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Viktoria Urban

DARPA increases Lockheed Martin’s Blackjack contract

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) increased Lockheed Martin’s contract for the Blackjack program by US $25.3 million, the agency announced. The Blackjack project is aimed at validating high-speed military communication, navigation and missile warning capabilities of small satellites.

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SpaceX to launch Yahsat’s Thuraya 4-NGS satellite

Yahsat has chosen SpaceX to launch its Airbus Defence and Space-built Thuraya 4-NGS next-generation mobile connectivity satellite, the companies announced. The terms of the contract have not been disclosed by either side. Yahsat selected Airbus to develop Thuraya 4-NGS last year. The preliminary design review in June found that the development of the satellite was on schedule.

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D-Orbit signs €2,2 million space debris removal contract with ESA

The UK branch of D-Orbit signed a €2,197M contract with ESA for phase 1 of the development and in-orbit validation of a “Deorbit Kit”, D-Orbit said. The agreement is part of ESA’s Space Safety Programme. The decommissioning kit is a self-contained suite of equipment that can be used with space vehicles of any size.

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Orolia awarded €70 million in atomic clock contracts for Galileo

Orolia is paid €70 million to provide atomic clocks for the first 12 satellites of the Galileo Second Generation System (G2S), Orolia announced. The funding comes in two contracts, one with ESA and the other with Leonardo. The news comes after the European Commission and ESA chose Orolia’s Skydel GNSS signal simulation core engine for the G2S radiofrequency constellation simulator in May.

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Masten is to develop positioning and navigation network on the Moon

Masten Space Systems was awarded a Phase II SBIR contract to develop and test a lunar positioning and navigation network prototype, Masten said. The GPS-like solution is part of the Air Force Research Laboratory’s AFWERX program. The network will boost cislunar security, improve landing accuracy and hazard avoidance by providing location tracking for spacecraft and astronauts on the lunar surface.

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Firefly Alpha failure caused by uneventful engine shutdown

Investigation uncovered that Firefly Aerospace’s first Alpha rocket had failed due to the shutting down of one of its first-stage engines, Firefly said. The launch took place at Vandenberg Space Force Base in California on 2nd September. The engine shut down just a few seconds after lift-off making the rocket tumble out of control two and a half minutes into the flight.

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China’s Chang’e-5 orbiter is set for another Moon flyby

The Chang’e-5 orbiter module is currently on its way back to the Moon following deep space tests according to reports. Last year, the orbiter delivered a return module containing 1.731 kg of lunar samples to Earth before setting off to deep space. Chang’e-5 orbiter was in orbit around Lagrange point 1 (L1) where it carried out orbit control tests and observations.

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