Virgin Orbit Mission Brings Air Launch Closer to UK Operations

LauncherOne ignites on its way to space. (Credit: Virgin Orbit)

Satellite launch from Spaceport Cornwall is a step closer following Virgin Orbit’s successful ‘Above the Clouds’ mission in the US.

SWINDON, UK (UK Space Agency PR) — The UK Space Agency welcomes the news that Virgin Orbit has successfully completed its third mission from California on Thursday 13 January, launching several satellites into orbit from beneath the wing of a 747.

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Virgin Orbit Launches 7 Payloads into Orbit

Cosmic Girl after takeoff from the Mojave Air and Space Port. (Credit: Douglas Messier)

MOJAVE, CALIFORNIA, January 13, 2022 (Virgin Orbit PR) — Virgin Orbit (Nasdaq: VORB), the responsive launch and space solutions company, confirmed it successfully deployed into orbit all 7 customer satellites onboard its LauncherOne rocket during today’s Above the Clouds mission.

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Virgin Orbit to Launch Satellites From California on Wednesday

LauncherOne ignites after being dropped from Cosmic Girl. (Credit: Virgin Orbit)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

Richard Branson’s Virgin Orbit will attempt to make it three in a row by launching a group of commercial and government satellites off the California coast on Wednesday afternoon.

Virgin Orbit’s Boeing 747 Cosmic Girl carrier plane is scheduled to take off from the Mojave Air and Space Port in California between 1 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. PST (21:00–23:30 GMT). The aircraft will drop the LauncherOne booster over the Pacific Ocean near the Channel Islands approximately one hour after takeoff.

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Spire Global Appoints Tim Braswell as Chief People Officer

VIENNA, Va. (Spire Global PR) –Spire Global, Inc. (NYSE: SPIR) (“Spire” or the “Company”), a leading global provider of space-based data, analytics, and space services today announced that it has appointed Tim Braswell as Chief People Officer. Mr. Braswell will report to Peter Platzer, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Spire.

As Chief People Officer, Mr. Braswell will oversee all aspects of Spire’s global human resources activities, including recruitment, talent development, employee systems, and health and wellness program management. Spire employs a diverse team of over 375 employees from more than 40 countries. Mr. Braswell will work closely with Spire management to cultivate an inclusive culture of growth and learning as the Company continues to grow rapidly.

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Building Towards Third Commercial Launch, Virgin Orbit Completes Final Launch Rehearsal

Virgin Orbit team completing final technical rehearsal of LauncherOne R5 for January flight. (Credit: Virgin Orbit)

MOJAVE, Calif. (Virgin Orbit PR) — Yesterday, Virgin Orbit, which has announced a planned business combination with NextGen Acquisition Corp. II (“NextGen”) (NASDAQ: NGCA), completed a full wet dress rehearsal of its air-launched LauncherOne satellite delivery service, taking the integrated system through a full run of procedures to verify the health of the system and the preparedness of the team.

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Virgin Orbit Delays Next Launch Until After Merger Vote

LauncherOne ignites after being dropped from Cosmic Girl. (Credit: Virgin Orbit)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

Virgin Orbit has delayed its next satellite launch, originally set for Wednesday, Dec. 22, to next month. The launch will come after shareholders of NextGen Acquisition Corp. II vote on Dec. 28 on whether to merge with Richard Branson’s launch services provider.

The merger with the special purpose acquisition company would allow Virgin Orbit to go public on Nasdaq under its own name. The deal will provide $483 million in capital to allow the company to grow.

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Kepler Communications Announces Testing of ÆTHER™ Network with Spire Global

TORONTO, December 16, 2021 (Kepler Communications PR) — Kepler Communications announced today the signing of a contract with Spire Global, Inc. (“Spire”) (NYSE: SPIR), a leading global provider of space-based data, analytics, and space services, to launch a test of Kepler’s ÆTHER network. This will serve as an initial test bed for Kepler’s ÆTHER service and will also help Spire evaluate how the technology can support its goal to collect accurate, timely and global data.

Announced at Satellite 2021, ÆTHER is the fulfilment of Kepler’s mission to enable the space economy by delivering the infrastructure for always-on, real-time connectivity to space-based assets. With ÆTHER, Kepler will solve one of the key challenges facing low earth orbit missions, which is limited connectivity with Earth, by relaying data through the ÆTHER network. Without an always-on, real-time communications link, operators must wait until the satellite is above a ground station to learn about the health of the asset, confirm satellite location, or identify anomalous behavior. In addition, the value of the data collected by satellites diminishes with time until it eventually reaches Earth. By providing an always on, real-time link to satellites, Kepler’s ÆTHER service delivers an important new service to the space community, while opening a new market for Kepler’s satellite technology.

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Virgin Orbit Set to Launch on Dec. 22

LauncherOne operated in powered flight for only seconds before an anomaly shut it down after being dropped from the Cosmic Girl Boeing 747. (Credit; Virgin Orbit)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

Virgin Orbit is planning to launch five satellites using its LauncherOne rocket on Dec. 22, according to a U.S. Coast Guard Notice to Mariners.

LauncherOne will be dropped by the Boeing 747 Cosmic Girl over the Pacific Ocean near the Channel Islands off the coast of Southern California. The launch window will last from 2-5 p.m. PST, the notice said. Backup launch dates are Dec. 23 and January 8-10 from 2:15-5 p.m.

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exactEarth Obtains Final Order Approving Plan of Arrangement for Acquisition by Spire Global

CAMBRIDGE, ON (exactEarth PR) — exactEarth Ltd. (TSX: XCT) (“exactEarth” or the “Company”), a leading provider of global maritime vessel data for ship tracking and maritime situational awareness solutions, is pleased to announce that it has obtained a final order from the Ontario Superior Court of Justice (Commercial List) approving the plan of arrangement previously announced on September 14, 2021 (the “Arrangement”) pursuant to which Spire Global, Inc. (NYSE: SPIR) (“Spire”) will acquire all of the issued and outstanding common shares of exactEarth (the “Shares”) through its wholly-owned indirect subsidiary Spire Global Canada Acquisition Corp. for CAD$2.5009 in cash and 0.1 of a share of Class A common stock of Spire for each Share held.

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Spire Global Announces Third Quarter 2021 Results, Net Loss of $32.7 Million

Company Reaffirms Revenue, ARR Guidance for 2021

VIENNA, Va.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Spire Global, Inc. (NYSE: SPIR) (“Spire” or “the Company”) a leading provider of space-based data, analytics and space services, today announced results for its quarter ended September 30, 2021. [Full Results]

“Spire performed well during the quarter, as we continued to make solid progress on our fiscal 2021 plan and a number of our strategic initiatives,” said Peter Platzer, Spire’s CEO. “We reached a new record for the number of ARR customers under contract, we signed several new and significant Weather contracts, and we further advanced our technology with the launch of two new optical ISL satellites that will enhance our offering. Additionally, we signed a definitive agreement to acquire exactEarth, a leader in maritime data with a team that has deep domain expertise. We expect the transaction would bring quite meaningful ARR as well as 150 new customers to whom we can offer additional Spire products and services.”

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Planned Comsat Constellations Now Exceed 94,000 Satellites

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

A wave of new applications submitted to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) last week for approval for communications satellites operating in the V band has sent the number of spacecraft in large constellations soaring to nearly 100,000.

A list compiled by Parabolic Arc shows that 94,255 satellites are included in the constellations. That number includes 29,439 satellites approved by the FCC or in development in China. The FCC has applicants pending before it for another 64,816 satellites.

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Space SPACs Earnings Week

Richard Branson celebrates the first Virgin Galactic trade on the New York Stock Exchange. (Credit Virgin Galactic)

Five space companies that went public by merging with special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs) report earnings this week.

Monday, Nov. 8

Virgin Galactic
5 p.m. EST (22:00 UTC)
https://investors.virgingalactic.com/news/news-details/2021/Virgin-Galactic-Announces-Date-of-Third-Quarter-2021-Financial-Results-and-Conference-Call/default.aspx

Tuesday, Nov. 9

Momentus
5 p.m. EST (22:00 UTC)
https://investors.momentus.space/news-releases/news-release-details/momentus-announces-date-third-quarter-2021-financial-results-and

Wednesday, Nov. 10

Redwire
8:30 a.m. EST (13:30 UTC)
https://ir.redwirespace.com/news-events/press-releases/detail/32/redwire-corporation-to-report-third-quarter-2021-results-on

Spire Global
5 p.m. EST (22:00 UTC)
https://ir.spire.com/news-events/press-releases/detail/76/spire-global-inc-schedules-third-quarter-2021-results

Thursday, Nov. 11

Astra Space
4:30 p.m. EST (21:30 UTC)
https://investor.astra.com/news-releases/news-release-details/astra-report-third-quarter-financial-results-november-11-2021

Spire Global Included in NASA X-59 Quiet Supersonic Flight Community Testing Contract

NASA’s X-59 Quiet SuperSonic Technology X-plane, or QueSST, will fly over communities in the United States to demonstrate quiet supersonic. (Credits: Lockheed Martin)

VIENNA, Va. (Spire Global PR) – Spire Global, Inc. (NYSE: SPIR) (“the Company” or “Spire”), a leading provider of space-based data, analytics and space services, today announced that it has been included as a subcontractor in an award contract between Harris Miller Miller & Hanson Inc. (HMMH) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The award supports a national campaign of community overflight tests using NASA’s X-59 Quiet SuperSonic Technology research aircraft.

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Spire Global Chosen to Aid in Maritime Collision Avoidance Research

Longtime Customer LatConnect 60 in Partnership with Curtin University Awarded Australian Research Council (ARC) Federal Grant

VIENNA, Va. (Spire Global PR) – Spire Global, Inc. (NYSE: SPIR) (“Spire” or “the Company”), a leading global provider of space-based data, analytics, and space services announced today that LatConnect 60, an Australian-based satellite data and insights provider, has extended their subscription to Spire’s Automatic Identification System (AIS) vessel tracking data. LatConnect 60 and Curtin University, Western Australia’s largest university, have recently been awarded a federal grant from the Australian Research Council (ARC) to conduct research on maritime collision avoidance in shipping lanes.

LatConnect 60 and Curtin University’s Intelligent Sensing & Perception Laboratory, led by Professor Ba-Ngu Vo, are creating sensor fusion algorithms to help solve this industry-wide issue, using data from satellite sensors, primarily Spire’s maritime domain awareness information. Incorporating this intelligence into maritime traffic monitoring systems is expected to result in more effective collision and contact avoidance strategies and contribute to more accurate predictions of traffic patterns for ship owners and insurers.

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National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency Launches Phase 4a of MagQuest Challenge on HeroX to Advance NASA’s Ability to Measure Earth’s Magnetic Field

Millions of Dollars to Help Accelerate Novel Approaches to Geomagnetic Data Collection for the World Magnetic Model

SPRINGFIELD, Va., September 28, 2021 (HeroX PR) — The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) just launched the Demonstration Phase (Phase 4a) of its MagQuest Challenge to develop novel data collection approaches for the World Magnetic Model.

The WMM ultimately ensures the accuracy of navigation because it corrects for differences in magnetic forces at a user’s location. The model is used by thousands of systems for mobile navigation apps and is critical for military and commercial uses around the world.

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