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NASA picks Intuitive Machines to study lunar swirls

NASA selected Intuitive Machines for scientific Moon missions and will pay the Houston-based company $77.5 million, the agency said. The agency picked Intuitive Machines to deliver Moon research, science investigations and a technology demonstration in 2024, NASA said. The commercial delivery is part of NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CPLS) initiative and the Artemis program.

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RFA and Morpheus to jointly push new propulsion technologies

The propulsion systems supplier Morpheus Space and the launch service provider Rocket Factory Augsburg (RFA) want to cooperate in the field of future propulsion technologies, the companies said. RFA intends to integrate Morpheus propulsion systems into the orbital stage of its RFA One launch vehicle system to improve its overall performance and sustainability, the Augsburg-based company said.

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Australian SingTel Optus to launch on Ariane 64

The Australian operator SingTel Optus will launch its Optus-11 communications satellite on an Ariane 6 in 2023, ArianeGroup said. SingTel Optus will use an Ariane 64 configuration with four side boosters to inject its new Optus-11 satellite into its geostationary transfer orbit. Optus-11 is a Ku-band satellite serving Australia and New Zealand with several thousand beams, Arianespace said.

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Vega launches three French military Ceres satellites

Arianespace has successfully launched three French military Ceres satellites on a Vega from the European spaceport in French Guiana, Airbus and Arianespace said. The satellites were built by Airbus Defence and Space and Thales for the French Armament General Directorate. CERES stands for Space-based Signal Intelligence Capability.

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Rocket Lab acquires dispenser company Planetary Systems

Rocket Lab acquires Planetary Systems, a spacecraft separation systems company based in Maryland, for $42 million in cash and a 1.7 million share package, Rocket Lab said. The deal includes a nearly one million Rocket Lab share option as a performance earnout. Planetary Systems is a provider of mechanical separation systems and satellite dispensers.

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HawkEye 360 raises $145 million from Seraphim and others

HawkEye 360 receives additional funding of $145 million from Insight Partners and Seraphim Space, the space data company said. The series D round was led by New York-based global private equity and venture capital firm Insight Partners and Seraphim Space Investment Trust, the world’s first listed space tech fund, HawkEye said.

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Planet acquires European VanderSat for $28 million

The Earth imaging company Planet acquires the Haarlem/ Netherlands based ag data specialist VanderSat, Planet said. Planet acquires VanderSat, a leading provider of advanced earth data and analytics, for approximately $28 million, in a mix between $18 million in Planet Labs PBC shares and $10 million in cash, the company said. 

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Viasat to step up and buy Inmarsat for $7.3 billion

Viasat wants to buy Inmarsat from private investors for $7.3 billion, the satellite operator announced. The takeover creates the largest satellite operator in the world, with a combined revenue of probably close to $4 billion. Inmarsat was acquired by a consortium consisting of Apax Partners, Warburg Pincus, the CPP Investment Board and the Ontario Techers´ Pension Plan in December 2019.

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