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ESA Announces RFI Towards European Launcher Challenge

Vega VV23 on launch pad. Credit ESA/Arianespace

In preparing for the European Launcher Challenge, the European Space Agency is reaching out to European launch service providers through a Request for Information. The European Launcher Challenge is a unique opportunity to participate and play an important role in shaping the future of Europe's access to space. ESA Member States will consequently decide on the exact parameters of the Challenge and fund it at the ESA ministerial Council in 2025

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NTT DOCOMO and Space Compass Invest USD$100 million in AALTO

Airbus

A consortium of Japanese businesses led by NTT DOCOMO, Inc. and Space Compass Corporation, together with Mizuho Bank Limited and the Development Bank of Japan Inc., has committed to invest USD$100m in AALTO HAPS Limited ("AALTO"), which manufactures and operates the stratospheric, solar-powered Zephyr High Altitude Platform Station (HAPS). The investment will happen through the Japanese Consortium’s investment vehicle, HAPS JAPAN Corporation.

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SUHORA and SatVu Form a Multi-Year Strategic Alliance

SUHORA

SUHORA has signed a new exclusive contract with SatVu, a UK-based high-resolution Thermal Satellite imaging company. This Strategic collaboration between SUHORA and SatVu unlocks huge potential for the users and industries in the region. The signing happened during the recently held Geospatial World Forum 2024. This significant collaboration, marked by signing the multi-year contract, solidifies the company’s commitment to innovation and excellence

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Webb Discovers the Universe’s Most Distant Galaxy

An international team of astronomers using the NASA/ESA/CSA James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) has found a record-breaking galaxy observed only 290 million years after the Big Bang. The team used Webb to observe galaxies as part of the JWST Advanced Deep Extragalactic Survey (JADES) program. Using Webb’s NIRSpec (Near-Infrared Spectrograph), scientists obtained a spectrum of the galaxy which also corresponded to a redshift of about 14.

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Vega-C Zefiro-40 Rocket Motor Completes Hot-Fire Test

Vega-C prime contractor Avio has tested the Zefiro-40 solid rocket motor, the second stage of the Vega-C rocket at its Salto di Quirra test facility in Sardinia, Italy. The rocket motor features an improved engine nozzle design, necessary to prepare for Vega-C's return to flight by the end of 2024. The initial post-test review indicated that the new nozzle assembly performed as expected throughout the scheduled 94-second burning time of the test, simulating a nominal in-flight performance.

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#SpaceWatchGL Interviews – Kai-Uwe Schrogl – “Seville, Brussels – and now?  ESA defines the next steps for space.”

Kai-Uwe Schrogl. Credit of the author

Paris, 27 May 2024. ESA held a Council at Ministerial level meeting last November in Seville and just concluded on 23 May 2024 together with the European Union a Space Council meeting in Brussels. We discussed with Kai-Uwe Schrogl, ESA’s Special Advisor for Political Affairs, where the Agency stands, where success and challenges are, and what to expect in the near future.

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ESA Launches EarthCARE Satellite for Climate Change Study

The European Space Agency (ESA) has launched the EarthCARE satellite on a Falcon 9 rocket from the Vandenberg Space Force Base in California, with the confirmation signal about the satellite's orbital status coming from the Hartebeesthoek ground station in South Africa. The mission is a joint venture between ESA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and was designed and built by a consortium of more than 75 companies under Airbus as the prime contractor.

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OKAPI:Orbits and Aurora Partner for Mission Optimization.

OKAPI:Orbits and Aurora

OKAPI:Orbits, a Space Traffic Management solutions company, and Aurora Propulsion Technologies, a developer of water-based resistojet thrusters and de-orbiting solutions for small sats and cube sats, have entered a strategic partnership to facilitate mission optimization. by leveraging their combined expertise and resources, they aim to maximize opportunities for innovation and growth in the industry

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IQ spacecom and RBC Signals Partner to Develop Go.BIC

IQ spacecom and RBC Signals

IQ spacecom and RBC Signals have announced a partnership to deliver Go.BIC (Global On-Demand Bi-directional Intersatellite Connection Service) to support inter-satellite connections for LEO operators. Viasat’s global L-band satellite network will also power the connectivity for the service. This service ensures real-time allocation of L-band capacity on a global scale, specifically tailored to meet the needs of Low Earth Orbit (LEO) operators.

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Lithuania-based Company offers alternative to SpaceX’s

Astrolight

Astrolight, a Lithuania-based Company, is offering laser communication innovations as an alternative to SpaceX's traditional radio frequency methods. With the EO sector set to triple its revenue to $9 billion annually by 2035 according to The WEF and McKinsey space insights report, the Lithuanian Company is advocating for laser communication as an alternative means to send data to Earth and emphasizing optical tech's impact in EO.

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