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Geopolitics

Rocket Lab Wins Contract to Build 18 Satellites for US Agency

SDA

The U.S. government has selected Rocket Lab to design, manufacture, deliver, and operate 18 space vehicles through a contract worth up to $515 million. Rocket Lab disclosed the award in a December 21 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). According to Rocket Lab’s SEC filing, the contract includes a base amount of $489 million, with incentives and options worth $26 million.

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CASC ends 2023 with Long March 2C/Yuanzheng 1S Launch

The China Aerospace Science and Technology Group (CASC) has successfully launched the Long March 2C/Yuanzheng 1S carrier rocket ignited. The rocket took off from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center, successfully sending the satellite Internet technology test satellite into the predetermined orbit. This successful launch represented the 48th out of 48 successful launch missions by the CASC. 

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#SpaceWatchGL Opinion: Crafting new solutions to avert an arms race in outer space

UK Space Satellite Image. Credit UK Space Agency

GPS signals that guide civilian aircraft in the Middle East and Ukraine are being jammed and spoofed, diverting flights and risking the safety of all onboard. Meanwhile, diplomats from 25 countries met again in Geneva to consider possible elements of a legally binding agreement to prevent an arms race in outer space (PAROS). Both situations arise from decades of unsuccessful diplomatic attempts to ensure that outer space – a shared, global environment on which the entire world depends – remains peaceful and available to all.

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Space Systems Command and SpaceX Launch USSF’s NSSL Falcon Heavy mission

ssc

Space Systems Command (SSC) and SpaceX have successfully launched the U.S. Space Force (USSF)-52 mission using a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket from Launch Complex (LC)-39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The Falcon Heavy carried the seventh mission of the X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle, an experimental test program to demonstrate technologies for a reliable, reusable, unmanned space test platform for the USSF.

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OHB secures European Defense Fund’s EUR 90 million for ODIN’s EYE II Project

OHB System AG, a subsidiary of the space and technology group OHB SE, already selected as the project coordinator for ODIN'S EYE II, a space-based early warning system designed to detect and track ballistic and hypersonic missiles, has now been funded: the European Commission, along with the European Defence Fund (EDF), has signed a grant agreement providing EUR 90 million in funding for the project. An industrial consortium, led by Bremen's space experts and comprising 43 companies from 14 European member states, will contribute to the development

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German SARah Military Satellites launch into Orbit

SARah satellites

OHB System AG has successfully launched two reflector satellites of the SARah reconnaissance system from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California. The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifted off from Launchpad SLC-4E at 14:11 CET and deployed its two passengers in space on schedule after a flight time of 25 minutes. Shortly afterwards, the operators received signals from the two satellites, kicking off the Launch and Early Orbit Phase (LEOP). 

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EU Adopts Conclusions for Space Traffic Management

European Council

The Council of the European Union (The Council) have adopted conclusions on ‘Space traffic management: state of play’. The conclusions address the challenges of an increasingly congested orbital space and the need for a common approach to ensure a safe and sustainable European space policy. As a result, the conclusions stress the urgency of developing an EU space traffic management (STM) approach, which will contribute to space safety, sustainability and security, and welcome the progress made so far.

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#SpaceWatchGL Geopolitics: Give a chance to the Ariane 6 Launcher Task Force

The Ariane 6 Launcher Task Force held an eagerly expected media briefing on 30 November 2023. It provided credible reassurances and a reasonably optimistic way forward for the beleaguered program. The Task Force is crucial in guiding Ariane 6 toward the intended summer 2024 maiden launch. A replay is available here  and a brief ESA update here. This briefing was as much interesting for what was clearly indicated, as it was for what remained unsaid. Let’s review the facts.

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#SpaceWatchGL Economy Opinion: South-Korea in space: The Miracle on the Han River 2.0

Two major space events took place in South-Korea in November 2023: Space Forum Korea, hosted by the South-Korean government, in close cooperation with the US and major ASEAN economies. And an International Workshop on Space Resources with Perspectives of Emerging Space Programs, hosted by the Secure World Foundation, an American NGO. Then, on the first day of December 2023, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched the country’s first spy satellite into orbit, from California’s Vandenberg Space Force base, just one month after North Korea had launched its own. Let’s review these events in context, and draw some observations on the global standing of South-Korea as an Emerging Space Country.

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