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Joshua Faleti

Swedish EU Presidency Program Reveals Space Priorities

By virtue of Sweden assuming the Presidency of the Council of the European Union (first semester, 2023), the Country has released its Swedish Presidency program that covers its plans for space. The program sets out the priorities and main direction for the Swedish Presidency of the Council of the European Union from 1 January until 30 June 2023. The priorities cut across many facets, including space. 

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Pale Blue Provides Water-Based propulsion System to Sony

Sony has adopted Pale Blue's water thruster for its new nanosatellite program, STAR SPHERE. The water thruster will prolong the satellite’s life by 2.5 years with the ability to enter and keep the orbit at 500-600 km altitude. Furthermore, Pale Blue will conduct its first space demonstration at the end of January 2023.

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Viasat Sells Link 16 TDLs Business to L3Harris Technologies

Viasat Inc, a global leader in satellite communications, has completed the sale of its Link 16 Tactical Data Links (TDL) business to L3Harris Technologies for approximately $1.96 billion in cash. Viasat expects the net proceeds from the sale to be approximately $1.8 billion after estimated taxes, fees, and other expenses. Furthermore, Viasat intends to use the proceeds to reduce net leverage and increase liquidity.

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Hakuto-R Lunar Lander Successfully Performs Maneuver

ispace, inc., a global lunar exploration company, has announced that its HAKUTO-R Mission 1 lunar lander has successfully carried out its second orbital control maneuver in accordance with its mission operations plan. The maneuver happened shortly after midnight on Jan. 2, 2023 (Japan Standard Time), with the operations management coming from ispace’s mission control center located in Nihonbashi, Tokyo

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Two CubeSats to Examine Space Weather Disturbances

Two CubeSats are on a quest to provide insight into space weather disturbances and the subsequent impact on communication signals, according to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The CubeSats, the Plasma Enhancements in the Ionosphere-Thermosphere Satellite (petitSat), and Scintillation Prediction Observations Research Task (SPORT) arrived at the International Space Station on November 27, 2022.

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President Biden Signs FY2023 Allocations to US Space Programs

President Biden has signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act into law and finalized funding for the 2023 financial year. The Act will see the disbursement of $1.7 trillion to fund the departments and agencies executing space programs. These include the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), The United States Department of Defense (DOD), and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The budget will run till September 30, 2023.

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Microsoft and Viasat to Expand Connectivity in Africa and Globally

Microsoft Corp. and Viasat have signed a new partnership to help deliver internet access to 10 million people globally, including 5 million across Africa. Viasat is the first satellite partner to work with Microsoft’s Airband Initiative. As a result, they will deepen Airband’s work in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nigeria, Guatemala, Mexico, and the United States, and prioritize expanding the program to Egypt, Senegal, and Angola to deliver much-needed internet connection, often for the first time.

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Sweden to Inaugurate Space Center in January

On 13 January 2023, the Swedish head of state, King Carl XVI Gustaf, and European and Swedish political dignitaries will visit Esrange Space Center in northern Sweden to cut the ribbon of a new spaceport. The new spaceport, which saw years of preparation and construction, will significantly reshape the European space landscape. The event will take place in Kiruna in conjunction with Sweden taking over the Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

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