SpaceTalks 4.0 - 2024

Government

The U.K. and EU Agree Draft Horizon Deal

The United Kingdom and European Union have agreed to a draft agreement regarding Britain’s re-entry into the Horizon Europe research program. Britain formally left all three schemes when it quit the EU in January 2020, and discussions to re-associate as a third country proved difficult. As a result, the European Commission blocked the British researchers' participation until the UK resolved a post-Brexit row over Northern Ireland’s trading arrangements.

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OQ Technology Wins ESA Contract to Build Nanosatellites

OQ Technology has won an ESA € 1.1 Million contract to design, build, integrate, test and demonstrate three advanced nanosatellites. The satellites will feature multiple payloads providing space-based 5G narrowband internet-of-things communications services and optical communications link. Furthermore, they will include hyperspectral Earth observation data to support precision agriculture as part of the ERMIS mission.

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EUSPA Grows Further to Support EU Space Traffic Management

The European Union Agency for the Space Program (EUSPA), as of 1 July, will begin operating the Space Surveillance and Tracking (SST) Front Desk, following a European Commission’s Decision of 3 June 2022. This follows the European Union's objective to take a holistic approach to Space Traffic Management to address the issue of space congestion.

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Euclid Launches to Space to Study Dark Matter

Euclid

The European Space Agency has launched the Euclid Space Telescope, an orbital telescope built to shed light on mysterious cosmic phenomena known as dark energy and dark matter. The space telescope launched aboard a Falcon 9 rocket at 11 a.m. EDT (1500 GMT) from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida, United States of America. The mission has cost about $1.4 billion and has a design lifespan of about six years. Furthermore, the Agency expects it to transform astrophysics and potentially the understanding of the very nature of gravity itself.

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Aarti Holla-Maini to become UNOOSA Director

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has announced the appointment of Aarti Holla-Maini of the United Kingdom as Director of the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) in Vienna. She will succeed Simonetta Di Pippo of Italy. The Secretary-General also extended his appreciation to the Chief, Committee, Policy and Legal Affairs Section, Niklas Hedman, who will continue to serve as Acting Director of UNOOSA until Ms. Holla-Maini assumes this position.

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Virgin Galactic Sets Date for Galactic 01 Flight

Virgin Galactic has announced the four-person crew and target date for its Galactic-01 commercial spaceflight. The three-person crew from the Italian Air Force and National Research Council of Italy will board VSS Unity for a 90-minute flight to conduct a series of suborbital science experiments.

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