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NuSpace and Oxford Space Systems mission successfully launched

NuSpace NuLIoN satellite. Credit NuSpace

NuSpace announced on the 5th of September that it has successfully launched its Internet of Things (IoT) satellite, NuLIoN and deployed Oxford Space Systems’ deployable helical antenna. The small CubeSat represents NuSpace’s commitment to providing large-scale sensor-to-satellite connectivity throughout Southeast Asia aiming to provide IoT applications at any time. The mission is a step towards NuSpace’s ambitions to establish a global IoT constellation.

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ESA’s Ariane 6 engine completes firing test

Artists view of the configuration of Ariane 6 using four boosters. Credit ESA.

ESA’s new Ariane 6 launch vehicle, consisting of its upper and core stage, has been fuelled up and its core stage engine fired. The Vulcain 2.1 engine was ignited on the launch page, and fired for four seconds before switching off and its liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen fuels were drained to their separate underground tanks. These tests are the continuation of an earlier test on the 18th of July.

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The 6th CASSINI Hackathon aims to advance humanitarian aid. 

The 6th CASSINI Hackathon, titled “Space for International Development and Humanitarian Aid,” is gearing up to tackle pressing global issues with innovative solutions. The event hosted by N3XTCODER in Germany will take place from November 3rd to 5th across 11 locations in Europe. The Hackathon will focus on innovative solutions to advance international development and humanitarian aid. 

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Astrobotic Commences Two NASA Contracts

Astrobotic

Astrobotic have begun work on two NASA Small Business Innovation Research contracts that will further research on lunar plume-surface interactions (PSI), a key area of risk and uncertainty for lunar landing. This testing will generate valuable new data about how lunar dust stirred up by a lander's rocket plumes will affect landing systems, onboard payloads, landing sites, and nearby surface infrastructure on upcoming missions. The first project, 'Floatinator,' aims to control and eliminate a significant testing variable – namely, Earth gravity – that has limited ground-based lunar PSI tests.

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Firefly Aerospace Awarded Multi-Launch Agreement with L3Harris

Firefly Aerospace

Firefly Aerospace, Inc. announced it signed a multi-launch agreement with L3Harris Technologies [NYSE: LHX] for three dedicated launches on Firefly's Alpha vehicle in 2026. The agreement further encourages Firefly, a small-lift launch services company, to ramp up production of its Alpha vehicle to support the growing needs of both Government and commercial customers. Firefly will provide rapid launch capabilities for L3Harris to achieve direct access to low Earth orbit at a lower cost and support the responsive space needs of the U.S. Government. The three missions will launch from Firefly's SLC-2 launch site at the Vandenberg Space Force Base.

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Vodafone and Amazon to extend connectivity in Africa and Europe

Vodafone and Project Kuiper, Amazon’s low Earth orbit satellite (LEO) communications initiative, announced a collaboration through which Vodafone and Vodacom plan to use Project Kuiper’s network to extend the reach of 4G/5G services to more of their customers in Europe and Africa. In addition, Vodafone and Vodacom plan to use Project Kuiper’s high-bandwidth, low-latency satellite network to bring the benefits of 4G/5G connectivity to areas that may otherwise be challenging and prohibitively expensive to serve via traditional fiber or microwave solutions.

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UK Space Agency Announces US/UK Partnership

Hall Effect Space Thruster, built in the UK by Pulsar Fusion undergoing testing at the University of Southampton. Credit Pulsar Fusion

UK space agency announces vital US/UK partnership in electric space propulsion between Britain’s Pulsar Fusion and the University of Michigan. Pulsar is seeking ways to leverage the unique test capabilities of the University of Michigan for Hall thrusters. Therefore, the focus of this preliminary Phase I effort is to identify export-compliant paths for allowing this.

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Space Tango appoints Sita Sonty as CEO

Space Tango, a provider of automated microgravity solutions for research and manufacturing, announces the appointment of S. Sita Sonty as its new Chief Executive Officer (CEO), effective September 1, 2023. Sonty succeeds Co-Founder and current President, Twyman Clements. Prior to joining Space Tango, Sonty led the space industry practice for the Boston Consulting Group. She was also the Head of Human Spaceflight Sales at SpaceX, where she executed the first private spaceflight sale on the Crew Dragon on a Lower Earth Orbit Free Flyer and to the International Space Station.

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