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#SpaceWatchGL Economy – A REVIEW OF 2023-2024 INVESTMENT TRENDS BY SPACE CAPITAL

On 07 February 2024, we attended a review of the space economy hosted by Space Capital’s Chad Anderson and Justus Kilian. This follows the publication of their Q4 2023 report back in January 2024, which readers can download here. We have covered previous interventions by Chad Anderson at space conferences here and here.

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Astroscale Successfully Launches Debris Inspection Spacecraft

Astroscale

Astroscale Japan Inc., a subsidiary of Astroscale Holdings Inc., has successfully launched its commercial debris inspection demonstration satellite, Active Debris Removal by Astroscale-Japan (ADRAS-J), from Rocket Lab’s Launch Complex 1 in Mahia, New Zealand, on Sunday, February 18, at 2:52 pm UTC. The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) selected ADRAS-J for Phase I of its Commercial Removal of Debris Demonstration program. Astroscale Japan is responsible for the design, manufacture, test, launch and operations of ADRAS-J.

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Uruguay Becomes Latest Signatory to the Artemis Accords

Uruguay joins Artemis Accords

Uruguay became the 36th country to sign the Artemis Accords during a ceremony at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Headquarters in Washington on Thursday. Omar Paganini, the Uruguayan foreign minister, signed the Artemis Accords on behalf of Uruguay, with NASA Administrator Bill Nelson signing on behalf of the United States. 

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EpiSci Selected by SDA for SBIR Phase II Award

SDA

EpiSci has announced an SBIR Phase II contract with the Space Development Agency (SDA) to advance the capabilities of low earth orbit (LEO) overhead persistent infrared (OPIR) sensors. This effort builds on EpiSci’s expertise in signal processing technology using state-of-the-art artificial intelligence (AI)/machine learning (ML) techniques to provide warfighters a competitive advantage.

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Space Nuggets – 07/2024 – The first commercial mission to land on the Moon?

Intuitive Machines is gearing up for a soft landing on the moon. This mission comes at a crucial stage after the Peregrine failure and Japan's SLIM mission. The risk and the pressure from a commercial point of view is very high, making this landing crucial for private players in the commercial space economy. Our Editor in Chief Dr Emma Gatti spoke about the interesting advances in lunar landing technology, highlighting the use of methane and liquid oxygen engine.

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D-Orbit to Build European Responsive Space Systems Architectures

D-Orbit

D-Orbit has been selected to join the Responsive European Architecture for Space (REACTS) project under the European Defence Fund (EDF) 2022. As part of this innovative collaboration, D-Orbit will focus on the use of orbital transfer vehicles (OTVs) within responsive space systems. REACTS aims to enhance European defense capabilities through a robust, scalable network of Responsive Space Systems (RSS).

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Caltech and NASA to Launch UVEX to Survey Ultraviolet Light

NASA

California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) are conducting a new mission to survey ultraviolet light across the entire sky and consequently offer more insight into how galaxies and stars evolve. NASA will launch the UVEX (UltraViolet EXplorer) space telescope tentatively in 2030 as its next Astrophysics Medium-Class Explorer mission to facilitate the mission.

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ESS & Arnhem Space Centre Sign Launch Services MOU

ESS

Singapore’s rocket company, Equatorial Space Systems (ESS), has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Equatorial Launch Australia (ELA). The MoU will consequently see ESS become a resident launcher at the Arnhem Space Centre in Nhulunbuy, Northern Territory. The MoU covers upcoming suborbital launches onboard the Dorado sounding rocket family – carrying science experiments and technology demonstrator payloads – and extends towards orbital launch services for satellite clients onboard the company’s Volans launch vehicles. 

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Intuitive Machines Launch Odysseus on Lunar Mission

Intuitive Machines has launched its IM-1 lunar mission from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The IM-1 mission Nova-C class lunar lander (Odysseus) has subsequently been deployed and has begun its journey to the lunar surface. If successful, the IM-1 lunar mission will be the first commercial soft landing attempt on the Moon. It would also mark the first American mission in 51 years to complete a soft touchdown on the Moon.

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LeoLabs and SWF Lead Joint Statement on Debris Remediation

LeoLabs has released a joint statement on debris remediation signed by representatives of commercial entities in collaboration with the Secure World Foundation (SWF). LeoLabs and SWF led this effort in response to the continual accumulation of massive derelict objects (e.g. spent rocket bodies, etc.) in low Earth orbit (LEO). As of January 2024, around 29% of the total mass in LEO consists of these massive objects, 43% of which were left in orbit since the turn of the century. These objects pose the greatest debris-generating potential in LEO, putting the satellites the global economy relies on at risk.

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