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Viktoria Urban

Skyrora signs deal with Shetland spaceport for UK rocket launch

Skyrora has signed a multi-launch deal over the next decade with SaxaVord Spaceport (formerly Shetland Space Centre) on Unst, the Shetland Islands. With the agreement, Skyrora is to become the first company to launch a rocket from UK soil. The company is aiming to deliver up to 16 launches a year by 2030.

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Maritime-traffic algorithms to use Spire’s data

LatConnect 60 is to use Spire Global’s Automatic Identification System (AIS) vessel-tracking data as a foundation for better predicting maritime traffic patterns, the companies announced. LatConnect will layer other data sources like satellite imagery, drones, and IoT sensors on Spire’s maritime data.

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Intellian signs antenna deal with SES

South Korean Intellian Technologies signed a US $60M supply deal with satellite fleet operator SES, Intellian announced. The company will equip SES with antennas that are a “mix of products operating on the ground and in the ocean,” said Intellian. The firm will provide Ka-band antennas for SES’s MEO broadband constellation, O3b mPOWER.

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ÖWF Polar Star Award 2021 goes to OroraTech CEO

The Austrian Space Forum awarded the thirteenth Polar Star Award to Thomas Grübler, M.Sc., CEO and co-founder of OroraTech. The company uses satellite imaging for early detection of wildfires. First awarded in 2009, the Award honours personalities who are committed to get people excited about space.

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Satellite launch base at Andøya secures funding

Andøya Space is to receive US $42.9 million from the Norwegian government to build a small satellite launch base at Andøya in Northern Norway, the government announced. The project will add 150 new positions in the territory. It will also put Norway on the list of countries that are capable of launching satellites from their own land.

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Kuva Space raises funds for CubeSat constellation

Finnish Kuva Space raised € 4.2 million (US $4.85 million) to establish a constellation of commercial hyperspectral CubeSats, Kuva announced. The seed round brought investments from Voima Ventures and Nordic FoodTech VC, ESA Φ-lab’s InCubed programme and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland. The funding enables the company to build

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NASA selects Rocket Lab to launch its Solar Sail System

Rocket Lab USA announced it has been selected to launch NASA’s Advanced Composite Solar Sail System satellite, (ACS3), on an Electron rocket. The ACS3 technology relies on a combination of materials with different properties. Lightweight booms will deploy from a 12U CubeSat designed and built by NanoAvionics of Columbia, to support a solar sail.

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Change of command and new crew on ISS

Thomas Pesquet became commander of the ISS this week, taking over from JAXA astronaut and fellow Crew-2 member Akihiko Hoshide. Thomas will hold this role until before Crew-2 return to Earth in November. He is the fourth European and the first French commander of the ISS. Pesquet accepted his new position during a traditional ceremony of a key being handed over to him by Hoshide.

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NASA’s DART to impact asteroid’s moonlet

NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) is targeted to launch on 23rd November aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Space Force Base, NASA announced. The mission will be an evaluation of technologies for preventing a hazardous asteroid from impacting Earth. DART will be the first demonstration of the kinetic impact deflection technique.

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