Astroscale Closes Its Largest Funding Round to Date, Bringing Total Capital Raised to U.S. $300 Million

Additional U.S. $109 million in capital will accelerate on-orbit services technology development, facility expansion and global hiring.

TOKYO, Nov. 25, 2021 (Astroscale PR) – Astroscale Holdings Inc. (“Astroscale”), the market leader in satellite servicing and long-term orbital sustainability across all orbits, today announced it closed its Series F round with additional funding of U.S. $109 million from a group of new investors led by THE FUND Limited Partnership in Japan, with participation from international investors including Seraphim Space Investment Trust plc (“Seraphim Space”) in the United Kingdom and DNCA Invest Beyond Global Leaders, a sub-fund of the umbrella structured fund “DNCA Invest” incorporated under the laws of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, managed by DNCA Finance, a Limited Partnership in France. This is the largest funding round in the company’s history and brings the total amount raised to U.S. $300 million, affirming investors’ confidence in the rapidly expanding on-orbit servicing market.

(more…)

Isotropic Systems Joins UK Government and ESA Consortium Led by CGI to Develop Hybrid Satellite Communications for Trains

LONDON, UK, 17 November 2021 (Isotropic Systems PR) — Isotropic Systems, a leading developer of transformational broadband terminal technologies, has joined the consortium led by CGI (NYSE: GIB) (TSX: GIB.A), which has been selected by the UK Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, the UK Space Agency, and the European Space Agency (ESA), to develop a demonstration of a hybrid satellite communications and terrestrial network for use on trains.

The project is part of a joint initiative in the UK to demonstrate the integrated use of 5G in the area of transport and logistics. The Satellites for Digitalisation of Railways (SODOR) project will deliver pilot demonstrations of improved network connectivity for train monitoring and passenger broadband in 2022.

(more…)

UK and UN Join Forces in Using Space Tech to Tackle Climate Change

GLASGOW, Scotland (UK Space Agency PR) — A new project to map existing work to tackle climate action through the use of space technology and identify what more could be done has been launched by the UK Space Agency and the United Nations at COP26.

The government’s National Space Strategy, which was unveiled in September, set out an ambition for the UK to be a leader on using space for climate action. Now, the UK Space Agency will work with the UN Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) on a new review of existing activity on climate action through the use of space technologies.

The aim is to develop a strategic view of climate activities being carried out in space on a scale that has never been done before and, through this, increase policy coherence across the multilateral system and relevant international organisations.

(more…)

Space Data Helping Earth Adapt to Challenges of Climate Change

Satellite image showing London land surface temperature. (Credit: NCEO and University of Leicester)

SWINDON, UK (UK Space Agency PR) — Satellite data will be used to monitor and map heat in locations at greatest risk from climate change in one of two new projects being backed by the UK Space Agency.

Satellite data will be used to monitor and map heat in locations at greatest risk from climate change in one of two new projects being backed by the UK Space Agency.

(more…)

UK Government Backs Space Technology to Tackle Climate Change

SWINDON, UK (UK Space Agency PR) — Trailblazing technology that will help tackle climate change and predict global disasters using satellites is receiving new funding from the UK Space Agency.

Eleven UK organisations have been awarded a share of just under £7 million of government funding to put into action the latest advances in space innovation. The majority of the projects focus on climate change or environmental management, with others designed to secure our telecommunication systems and protect digital infrastructure against cyber-attacks.

(more…)

UK Climate Satellite Design Competition Opens for Next Generation of Space Scientists

SWINDON, UK (UK Space Agency PR) — The Government‘s Nanosat Design Competition has opened for entries, with aspiring space scientists invited to design a small satellite to help inform solutions to climate change.

Competition entrants will compete for a share of a £600,000 Challenge Fund, enabling them to develop and build their satellite design with the potential to launch from a UK spaceport from 2023.

Enter the Nanosat Design competition.

Nanosatellites are small satellites that can be used to gather scientific data, such as information on climate change, ranging from sea level measurements to mapping deforestation.

(more…)

AAC Clyde Space Advances xSPANCION Project

UPPSALA, Sweden, November 9, 2011 (AAC Clyde Space PR) — AAC Clyde Space and its partners, have successfully completed the first phase of the xSPANCION project with a successful Preliminary Design Review, conducted jointly with the European Space Agency (ESA). Together with the partners, the company has agreed to accelerate the project by kicking off the Spacecraft Manufacturing Preparation Phase. To achieve this, a Phase 2 has been introduced to the project valued at 5.6 MEUR (approx. 57.3 MSEK), of which the UK Space Agency, through the ESA’s Pioneer Partnership Projects, will contribute 2.8 MEUR (approx. 28.7 MSEK).

The 3-year project, previously announced 18th November 2020 by AAC Clyde Space aims to develop an innovative satellite constellation service. The total 19.7 M€ (approx. 201.7 MSEK) project is co-funded by the UK Space Agency, through ESA’s Pioneer Partnership Projects, with 9.9 M€ (approx. 100.9 MSEK).

(more…)

New Look for Ground-breaking UK-Led ESA Mission to Detect Climate Change

The TRUTHS satellite mission will collect measurements of the Sun radiation and of the sunlight reflected off Earth’s surface traced to an absolute metrological reference, which will then be used to improve the climatological data sets and calibrate the observations of other satellites. (Credit: National Physical Laboratory)

GLASGOW (UK Space Agency PR) — A new look for a UK-led mission that will set a new benchmark to detect change in Earth’s climate system has been unveiled as part of Earth Information Day (3rd November 2021) at COP26 – the United Nations Climate Change conference being hosted by the UK in Glasgow.

TRUTHS, which stands for Traceable Radiometry Underpinning Terrestrial- and Helio-Studies, will provide a gold standard reference for satellites observing the Earth, Moon and Sun.

(more…)

UK and France Reach New Agreement on Climate Change Mission

Dr Paul Bate, Chief Executive of the UK Space Agency, and Laurence Monnoyer-Smith, Director of Sustainable Development of CNES signing the implementation arrangement for MicroCarb at COP26. (Credit: UK Space Agency)

GLASGOW (UK Space Agency PR) — The UK Space Agency has provided new funding for a joint British and French mission, called MicroCarb, dedicated to monitoring atmospheric carbon dioxide – the main greenhouse gas responsible for climate change.

The UK Space Agency has provided new funding for a joint British and French MicroCarb mission dedicated to monitoring atmospheric carbon dioxide – the main greenhouse gas responsible for climate change.

Dr Paul Bate, Chief Executive of the UK Space Agency, and Laurence Monnoyer-Smith, Director of Sustainable Development of the French space agency, CNES, signed an implementation arrangement for the MicroCarb mission at COP26 – the United Nations climate change conference being hosted by the UK in Glasgow.

(more…)

Isotropic Systems and SES Redefine Global Satellite Services with First-Ever Multi-Orbit Field Tests

Credit: Isotropic Systems

Isotropic Systems simultaneously connects multiple SES satellites across separate orbits to converge broadband satellite networks and provide industry-leading quality of service and experience

READING, UK/Luxembourg, 2 November 2021 (Isotropic Systems PR) – Isotropic Systems, the leading developer of transformational multi-link satellite technology, and SES today announced the successful completion of the first-ever simultaneous multi-orbit antenna field tests, a game-changing development empowering a new age of connectivity on land, in the air and at sea for both civil and defense communications.

(more…)

UK Working with Global Partners to Clear up Dangerous Space Debris

Location of the 24,000 debris larger than 10 cm in low orbit in 2020. (Credits: NASA)

SWINDON, UK (UK Space Agency PR) — The UK Space Agency is today announcing a range of different initiatives aimed at supporting safe and sustainable space operations.

From developing our space tracking capabilities and promoting international efforts in space sustainability, to finding novel ways of removing space debris – the UK is leading the way to ensure the Earth’s orbit can continue to be used now and in the future.

(more…)

SSTL Secures ESA InCubed Funding to Improve Data Throughput for Small EO Satellites

GUILDFORD, UK (Surrey Satellite PR) — Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) has secured European Space Agency InCubed programme financial and technical support to demonstrate a high throughput, flexible and intelligent payload downlink chain for small Earth Observation satellites. Currently advanced and innovative satellite imaging payloads are producing data with ever increasing dimensionality, volume and rates which can exceed small satellite’s downlink bandwidth.

To tackle the onboard data bottleneck SSTL is leading a consortium that includes the University of Surrey and Craft Prospect Limited to develop and demonstrate new capabilities for SSTL’s Flexible & Intelligent Payload Chain (FIPC) solution. The FIPC’s advanced hardware architecture enables a new intelligent and adaptive data downlink and a state-of-the-art framework for software defined onboard data processing to realise a payload chain capable of handling the throughput rates of future small Earth Observation satellites. The framework enables processing applications which include data calibration and image compression to Machine Learning (ML) for image classification and information extraction towards greater satellite autonomy. 

(more…)

Astronauts to Receive Health Boost Thanks to UK Research

Luca Parmitano of ESA (European Space Agency) wears virtual reality goggles for GRIP, an investigation exploring how microgravity affects ability to grip and manipulate objects. (Credits: NASA)

PARIS (ESA PR) — British scientists are set to use the microgravity environment of the International Space Station to investigate the health challenges ESA astronauts could experience on proposed long-duration missions to the Moon and beyond.

The projects will tackle medical issues such as muscle loss, and stress and anxiety caused by isolation.

(more…)

UK Unveils “Bold” Strategy to Develop World Class Space Industry

  • National Space Strategy sets out long-term plans to strengthen the UK’s status as a world-class space nation
  • New vision will help grow UK’s multibillion-pound space industry, boost private investment and capitalise on UK strengths such as satellite manufacturing
  • Brings together UK government civil and defence space activities to protect UK interests at home and abroad

LONDON (UK Government PR) — New plans to strengthen the UK as a world class space nation by firing up its multibillion-pound space industry have been set out in a National Space Strategy  launched today.

From connecting people with their friends and family and monitoring climate to helping farmers to manage their crops, space plays a pivotal role in our daily lives, and is a vital part of the UK economy, worth over £16 billion per year.

(more…)

SSTL Signs Up ESA as Anchor Customer for Lunar Pathfinder Communications Relay Satellite

Lunar Pathfinder satellite (Credit: Surrey Satellite)

LONDON, September 15, 2021 (SSTL PR) — The European Space Agency (ESA) has signed a contract with Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) for communications services from Lunar Pathfinder, due to launch in 2024.  The Commercial Lunar Mission Support Services contract was signed between ESA’s Director of Human and Robotic Exploration, Dave Parker, and SSTL’s Managing Director, Phil Brownnett, on 15 September 2021 at The Royal Society in London.  Amanda Solloway, UK Government Science Minister, Josef Aschbacher, ESA’s Director General, Paul Bate, Director of the UK Space Agency, and SSTL’s Executive Chairman, Sir Martin Sweeting were also in attendance. 

(more…)