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Airbus and UK progress with Skynet6 program

Paris, 15 January 2021. – Update on Skynet: Airbus and the UK Ministry of Defence have completed the design review phase of the project, Airbus said. Airbus was awarded the Skynet 6A contract in July 2020 and has been working on the program at its sites in Stevenage, Portsmouth and …

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Rolls-Royce and UK develop nuclear power in space

Paris, 15 January 2021. – Rolls-Royce works with the UK Space Agency to study nuclear power options for space exploration, the company said this week. Innovative power and thermal management alongside novel nuclear technologies, digital capabilities and engineering know-how have considerable application in space, Rolls-Royce said, “from the manufacturing and …

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Blue Origin close to human space flight with 14th New Shepard test

Paris, 15 January 2021. – Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin has successfully launched and landed back its 14th New Shepard test vehicle and also brought back the capsule intended to offer human trips to the edge of space. The New Shepard lifted off from Blue Origin’s West Texas test site yesterday, …

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EU backs Orbital Ventures and Primo Space with €300 million

Paris, 14 January 2021. – The European Commission and the European Investment Fund (EIF) invest €300 million into the space sector, the EU announced, with €100 million stemming from the EU budget. The investment supports two space tech focused funds, Orbital Ventures and Primo Space, the “first ever EU-backed equity …

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Japan joins Artemis mission with Gateway contribution

Paris, 14 January 2021. – Japans joins: The country’s space agency JAXA will cooperate with NASA on the lunar Gateway, the outpost planned to orbit the Moon, NASA said. Japan will provide several capabilities for the Gateway’s International Habitation module (I-Hab), which will provide the heart of Gateway life support capabilities and …

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U.S. Space Command to move from Colorado to Alabama

Paris, 14 January 2021. – Going to Huntsville: the U.S. Space Command will move its headquarters from Colorado to Alabama, Governor Kay Ivey announced. The headquarters will be at Huntsville’s Redstone Arsenal, the Republican Governor Ivey announced, bringing reportedly 1600 jobs to Alabama. The location was chosen over five other …

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Breton launches European launcher alliance and Cassini fund

Paris, 13 January 2021. – Europe needs a more aggressive space strategy, the European Commissioner for Internal Market, Thierry Breton, said and launched the “European Launcher alliance” as well as a €1 billion European space fund, Cassini, “to boost start-ups and space innovation”. “We must ask ourselves: will our current …

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Exotrail demonstrated mini-thruster for smallsats in space

Paris, 13 January 2021. – The French new space start-up Exotrail used the 13th European Space Conference to announce the successful in-orbit demonstration of its innovative electric mini-propulsion system. “Exotrail reports full success of first-ever cubesat mission equipped with Hall-effect electric propulsion technology,” the company said yesterday. “Through an In-Orbit …

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FCC allows SpaceX to put ten Starlink satellites in lower orbit

Paris, 12 January 2021. – Ten is okay: The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has granted SpaceX to launch ten Starlink satellites into polar orbit. SpaceX had requested to operate nearly 350 satellites in lower orbit and modify its licenses accordingly; the FCC deferred that part of the application. “(W) …

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