RemoveDEBRIS Satellite Net Captures Space Junk in Successful Test

GUILDFORD, UK (Surrey Satellite PR) — RemoveDEBRIS began its experimental phase of its mission on 16 September with the deployment of the net to capture a deployed target cubesat.

The net was developed and supplied by a team of engineers at Airbus in Bremen, Germany.

The RemoveDEBRIS satellite platform was designed and manufactured by SSTL and houses two target cubesats and four debris removal technologies – a net, a harpoon, vision based navigation using cameras and LiDaR, and a de-orbit dragsail. The spacecraft is operated in orbit by SSTL’s engineers from our Spacecraft Operations Centre here in Guildford.

RemoveDEBRIS is a low cost mission funded jointly by the European Commission and 10 partners including Airbus, Surrey Space Centre, Ariane Group, SSTL, ISIS, CSEM, Inria and Stellenbosch University.

The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Union Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement #607099.

Lockheed Martin To Help UK Space Agency Build First Commercial Spaceport; Launch First Orbital Rocket

Lockheed Martin UK Spaceflight Programme Video from Lockheed Martin Space on Vimeo.

FARNBOROUGH, England, July 16, 2018 (Northrop Grumman PR) — The UK Space Agency has selected Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) to help implement its vision for the UK Spaceflight Programme, an innovative initiative to create a world-leading commercial launch market that grows the UK economy through regular, reliable and responsible access to space.

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Surrey Satellite Awards Launch Services Agreement to Firefly Aerospace

CEDAR PARK, Texas, June 4, 2018 (Firefly Aerospace PR) — Firefly Aerospace, Inc. (Firefly), a developer of orbital launch vehicles for the small to medium satellite market, announced today the execution of a Launch Services Agreement (LSA) with Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL) for use of the Firefly Alpha launch vehicle.

“Firefly is pleased to enter into an LSA with SSTL to provide up to six Alpha launches from 2020 through 2022,” said Firefly CEO Dr. Tom Markusic. “The Alpha launch vehicle allows for deployment of SSTL satellites as a primary payload to their preferred orbit, rather than flying as a secondary payload on a larger launch vehicle.”

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NanoRacks Sends Groundbreaking Satellite, Biological Research to ISS

CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida (NanoRacks PR) –  NanoRacks, the leading provider for commercial access to low-Earth orbit, has brought yet another unique payload mission to the International Space Station. Carrying a professional protein crystal experiment, college-level biological research, and a debris capturing microsatellite (MicroSat), this mission continues to push the boundaries of commercial opportunities on the International Space Station.

The SpaceX CRS-14 Dragon was successfully installed on the Harmony Module of the International Space Station at 9:00 EDT on Wednesday.
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SSTL Confirms Sarah Parker’s Appointment as Managing Director

Sarah Parker (Credit: SSTL)

GUILDFORD, England (SSTL PR) — The Board of Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) has today announced that Sarah Parker has been formally appointed as Managing Director, a role she has been performing in an interim capacity since March 2017. Sarah Parker joined the Board of Directors in 1999 with responsibilities for corporate strategy and finance and has helped steer the business over a 20 year period to achieve international success and a £100m turnover.

Commenting on the appointment, Executive Chairman Sir Martin Sweeting: “I am delighted that Sarah Parker has been appointed as our new Managing Director. Sarah’s depth of knowledge of the industry and her experience in managing the Company’s growth will be invaluable as we continue to challenge the economics of space with new innovations and to explore new global business collaborations and partnerships.”

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Seraphim Space Tech Venture Capital Fund Reaches $95 Million Close

  • The world’s only dedicated space tech Venture Capital fund reaches £70m close
  • Europe’s leading space companies collectively supporting pioneering new fund
  • Former Google Earth CTO Michael Jones joins Seraphim as Managing Partner
  • Completed first 2 investments in leading nanosat constellations – Spire & Iceye

LONDON (Seraphim Capital PR) — A new revolution in Earth Observation is underway driven by low cost satellites and drones/UAVs enabling data that will be defining our changing world over the next decade. A new venture fund launched by Seraphim Capital has been established to capitalize on this opportunity.

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Futuristic Atomic Clock Prepared for Space

Tom Cwik, the head of JPL’s Space Technology Program (left) and Allen Farrington, JPL Deep Space Atomic Clock Project Manager, view the recently integrated Atomic Clock Payload on Surrey Satellite US’s Orbital Test Bed Spacecraft. (Credit: Surrey Satellite Technology)

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (NASA PR) — No one keeps time quite like NASA.

Last month, the space agency’s next-generation atomic clock was joined to the spacecraft that will take it into orbit in late 2017.

That instrument, the Deep Space Atomic Clock was developed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. On Feb. 17, JPL engineers monitored integration of the clock on to the Surrey Orbital Test Bed spacecraft at Surrey Satellite Technology in Englewood, Colorado.

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Surrey Satellite Expands LEO Platform Capability with VESTA Nanosat

VESTA nanosat (Credit: Surrey Satellite)
VESTA nanosat (Credit: Surrey Satellite)

GUILDFORD, UK (SSTL PR) — Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) has signed a contract with Honeywell to supply the VESTA satellite platform, a technology demonstration mission that will test a new two-way VHF Data Exchange System (VDES) payload for the exactEarth advanced maritime satellite constellation. The contract was signed as part of an MOU between Honeywell Aerospace and the UK Space Agency.

John Paffett, SSTL’s Director of Telecommunications, commented “The SSTL nanosatellite range provides flexible and highly capable payload accommodation, engineered with SSTL’s unrivalled class-leading reliability and I am delighted that VESTA will be first nanosatellite to be manufactured in our new NanoLab here in Guildford.”

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Surrey Satellite, Goonhilly Call for Lunar Orbit Payloads

Lunar Pathfinder mission (Credit: SSTL)
Lunar Pathfinder mission (Credit: SSTL)

GUILDFORD, UK (SSTL PR) — Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd and Goonhilly Earth Station Ltd (GES) have today announced a new partnership to go beyond Earth’s orbit and provide a new model of low cost, high value, space exploration and science. With the ultimate aim of supporting a Solar System network, the SSTL-GES Lunar Pathfinder mission and its successors will provide a system to transport payloads to the Moon together with communications links for these payloads and any other deployed assets back to the Earth.

The mission will support the international development and exploration of space, and the first mission will also provide a new opportunity to transport commercial payloads to lunar orbit. A call for flight opportunities for small lunar missions and payloads is now open and is hosted on a dedicated website www.goonhilly.org/lunar. The call targets the global space community from established space agencies, developing space nations, commercial entities, public and private organisations and universities.

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LauncherOne’s Long & Winding Road to Orbit: A Timeline

LauncherOne stage separation. (Credit: Virgin Galactic)
LauncherOne stage separation. (Credit: Virgin Galactic)

If the current schedule holds, Virgin Galactic’s revamped LauncherOne program will enter commercial service sometime in 2018 after roughly a decade of development. During that period, the program has been redefined several times, lost two of the key people hired to lead it, and changed its launch platform from WhiteKnightTwo to a jumbo jet. The estimates for the initial flight tests also have slipped by about  four years from 2013 to 2017.

Below is a timeline of the program’s major events, milestones, announcements, hires and departures, and other things. Feel free to let me know if I’ve missed anything significant.

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UK Space Technology Industry Gets £6 Million Boost

LONDON (UKSA PR) — The Government is to grant nearly £6 million to co-fund major new British research that will develop commercial products and services using space technology and data from space-based systems.

The grant funding, part of the National Space Technology Programme (NSTP) from the UK Space Agency (www.bis.gov.uk/ukspaceagency) and the Technology Strategy Board (www.innovateuk.org), will support four major research and development consortium projects to be led by Astrium Ltd, Avanti Communications Ltd, DMC International Imaging Ltd and Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd.

The total value of the R&D, including contributions from the participating companies, is over £11.5 million. The portfolio of projects includes participation by 21 partner companies, universities and research organisations, including 7 SMEs.

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Surrey Satellite to Offer High Tech, Low Cost Micro Sats

SSTL PR — Small satellite pioneer Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) plans to jump-start space innovation by combining state-of-the-art avionics with flight proven systems in a low cost 50kg class satellite platform – and for a price tag of around £2m [$3 million].

Adopting a new set of satellite design paradigms, the SSTL-50 microsatellite has a novel dual-mode design with the sole purpose of supporting and stimulating payload and subsystem innovation. One side of the spacecraft will fly the latest avionics, subsystems and high speed electronics available – either customer supplied or from SSTL – while the other side contains SSTL’s flight proven systems, offering low risk, managed redundancy.
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Deepening Ties With Russia Give Boost to UK Space Companies

Insider Media reports that the UK-Russia Year of Space 2011 is about much more than simply celebrating the 50th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin’s historic flight into space:

The decision by the government to share expertise, knowledge and innovation in space science with Russia will be a valuable boost to the work of South East space science businesses. That’s according to Guildford-based Surrey Satellite Technology, one of the country’s biggest space companies.
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Surrey Chief Sees Middle East Space Growth, Lunarnet

Some interesting remarks from Surrey Satellite Technology Chairman Martin Sweeting, who is set to address delegates at the Global Space and Satellite Forum (GSSF) 2011 in Abu Dhabi in May:

“The Middle East region has already demonstrated a keen interest in space-based technologies and I am therefore delighted to be given the opportunity to address the delegates at this year’s GSSF. Small satellites are at the forefront of space innovation, and I believe that there are great opportunities for the region to benefit from the high-tech commercial opportunities in this growing space sector.”

While speaking to the ‘Engineer’ last November, Sir Martin made a prediction which are precisely what you would expect from a visionary. He looks forward to manned space exploration returning within the next ten years after the discovery of significant amounts of water on the Moon and, never one to miss a business opportunity, Sweeting plans to surround the Moon with small satellites to give astronauts internet and communication capabilities.

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ESA Signs First Three Galileo Contracts

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ESA MISSION UPDATE
January 27, 2010

Yesterday, Mr René Oosterlinck, ESA’s Director of the Galileo Programme and Navigation-related Activities, signed the first three contracts for the Galileo full operational capability phase. This event marks the start of building the Galileo operational infrastructure.

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