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Geopolitics

CDL-Oxford is Hosting an Event for Europe’s Space Exploration

Colonel Chris Hadfield

The Creative Destruction Lab Oxford (CDL-Oxford) is hosting a unique meeting featuring 30 promising space startups and Colonel Chris Hadfield, former commander of the International Space Station, to help put Europe at the forefront of space exploration. The event will hold from 6-8 March 2024 at the Saïd Business School. The unique meeting will consequently see CDL-Oxford bring together a global mentor community of astronauts, entrepreneurs, investors, and scientists. 

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Rivada Secures U.K. Satcom Market Access License

Rivada Space Network

The UK Office of Communications (Ofcom) has granted Rivada a license that enables the company to provide satellite communications services in Great Britain. This is as Rivada is launching a constellation of low-earth orbit satellites to provide government communications, maritime and aviation connectivity, enterprise networking and backhaul services for telecommunications networks.

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Viasat Wins Northrop Grumman Contract to Support AFRL Initiative

Viasat

Viasat, Inc. has won a contract from Northrop Grumman to support the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) initiative, called the Defense Experimentation Using Commercial Space Internet (DEUCSI) Call 003 program – better known by its nickname 'Global Lightning.' As a result, the company's high-capacity geostationary satellites will support the program, which is connecting commercial space internet services for military users

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#SpaceWatchGL Climate – The first case of Space Washing?

On the 26th of January 2024, 118 marine conservation and environmental organizations signed a petition asking Iridium to stop producing their Short Burst Data (SBD) modules, real-time GPS tracking devices, because such service is used in dFADs, short for drifting fish aggregating devices, fishing tools scientifically proven to be environmentally harmful. Iridium’s answer acknowledged the potential issue, but declined the criticism. Whether the responsibility lies in the hands of the satellite tracking service providers, or with wholesale satellite network operators such as Iridium, it’s the first crack in a canvas painted by a domain that refuses to accept and take action upon a bitter reality: Space-based technology is dual-use in every sense, and the extreme efficiency and power of our services can, is and will be used for crimes against the environment, if not thoroughly regulated.

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NASA Names New Station Manager

NASA

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has selected Dana Weigel as the International Space Station (ISS) Program manager, based at the agency’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. Weigel succeeds Joel Montalbano, who has accepted a position as deputy associate administrator for the Agency’s Space Operations Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington. Both positions will be effective April 7.

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Iridium Connectivity Adopted by South Korean Military

Iridium

Iridium Communications Inc. has announced that the Republic of Korea (ROK) Ministry of Defense (MOD) has adopted Iridium connectivity for strategic use within its military operations. The ROK Army will consequently leverage a full suite of Iridium products and services to enhance operations, including real-time position-tracking capabilities for soldiers.

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GSOA & GSMA Partner to Boost Satellite and Mobile Convergence

GSOA

In a strategic move to boost the telecommunications landscape, the Global Satellite Operator's Association (GSOA) and the GSM Association (GSMA) have announced an important cooperation to foster innovation and seamless TN-NTN integration. Both associations consequently commit to advancing the capabilities of global communications by driving innovation, promoting standards, and delivering value to their members and the broader telecommunications industry. Furthermore, by combining the expertise and resources of both associations, they aim to explore new frontiers in technology and leverage synergies between mobile and satellite technologies.

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Rwanda Space Agency and POLSA Strengthen Partnership Ties

Rwanda Space Agency (RSA) and the Polish Space Agency (POLSA) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to advance partnership opportunities, marking a significant milestone in bilateral collaboration between Rwanda and Poland in space technology. Rwanda and Poland share robust bilateral ties, demonstrated by a state visit by Polish President Andrzej Duda this month to Kigali, Rwanda's capital city.

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Space Nuggets 08/2024 – 60th Munich Security Conference

In his review, Torsten Kriening shares his takeaways from the last week. The 60th Munich Security Conference featured discussions on geopolitical hotspots, collaboration, civil applications, global commons protection, and struggles for a unified vision for the Ukraine war within the EU. Notable moments include the signing of a Memorandum Of Understanding between the German Aerospace Center and the World Food Program and discussions on urgent global issues, but the “priorities are on the urgent issues, not the important issues” the discussions reflect on the critical but underrepresented role of space in addressing global challenges such as climate change and security issues.

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