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Djibouti Launches First Satellite Aboard Transporter-9

Djibouti has launched its first satellite, Djibouti 1A, into orbit, aboard Space's Transporter-9 smallsat rideshare mission on November 11 2023.  According to Space in Africa, the East African Country developed the satellite through a joint capacity-building program between Djibouti and its technical partner, the Centre Spatial Universitaire de Montpellier (CSUM). As a result, Djiboutian engineers and technicians in France designed, constructed and tested the satellite.

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Transporter-9 Launches Payload for Planet, D-Orbit, SpaceIn and others

Transporter-9.

SpaceX's transporter smallsat rideshare mission has launched more than 100 satellite payloads for various satellite companies in its ninth dedicated mission. The transporter-9 mission lifted from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California on November 11, 2023, deploying payload for Planet, D-Orbit, Spire Global, Iceye, Umbra and SpaceIn, among others. The payload also included orbital transfer vehicles that would later deploy their satellites into orbit.

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Rocket Lab Sets Next Electron Launch Window

Rocket Lab electron vehicle. Credit Rocket Lab

Rocket Lab USA, Inc. has announced it has set a return-to-launch window for its Electron launch vehicle. As a result, the Company will return to the pad at Launch Complex 1 with a dedicated Electron mission for Japan-based Earth imaging company iQPS (Institute for Q-shu Pioneers of Space, Inc.) during a launch window which opens on November 28th, 2023 and extends into December.

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Bulgaria Signs Artemis Accords at NASA Headquarters

NASA

Bulgaria has become the 32nd signatory to the Artemis Accords after Milena Stoycheva, the Bulgarian minister of innovation and growth, signed the accords. NASA Administrator Bill Nelson also participated in a signing ceremony, which took place on Thursday, 9 November. Also participating in the event at NASA Headquarters in Washington were NASA Deputy Administrator Pam Melroy, Georgi Panayotov, ambassador of Bulgaria to the United States and Sonata Coulter, deputy assistant secretary, U.S. Department of State.

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Airbus Announces Collaboration for Starlab Space Station

voyager space

The European Space Agency (ESA), Airbus Defense and Space, and Voyager Space have signed a trilateral Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) at the ESA Space Summit in Seville, outlining their collaboration for the Starlab space station in the post-International Space Station era. The MoU outlines that the parties intend to foster science and technology development and explore the potential for collaboration in conjunction with post-International Space Station low-Earth orbit (LEO) destinations.

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Euclid’s releases first images: bright stars to distant galaxies 

Eucild view of Horsehead nebula. Credit: ESA/Eucild consortium

Euclid, a wide-angle space telescope launched in July 2023, after a period of testing and calibrating has released the first images. Euclide is a European mission, built and operated by ESA, with contributions from NASA. The Euclid Consortium – consisting of more than 2000 scientists from 300 institutes across 13 European countries, the US, Canada and Japan – is providing the scientific instruments and scientific data analysis. 

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Viasat supports U.S.A.F in Major Indo-Pacific Military Exercise

Viasat

Viasat, Inc. has successfully supported the U.S. Air Force’s (USAF) Air Mobility Command (AMC) during a major military exercise, Mobility Guardian 2023 (MG23), involving 3,000 personnel and 70 aircraft from the U.S. and Allied Forces. One of the biggest of the year, the Air Force exercise featured complex test flights and operational scenarios across 3,000 miles of the Pacific region, including over Japan, Australia, and Hawaii. U.S allies also participating in the exercise included Canada, France, New Zealand, and the U.K.

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SpaceRake Receives SDA Funding for Miniaturized Lasercoms

SDA

SpaceRake, Inc., has received approximately $1.8 million in Direct to Phase II SBIR funding from the Space Development Agency (SDA). The two-year agreement will consequently provide funding for SpaceRake to develop miniaturized lasercom terminals for networking satellites in space. The SpaceRake terminals will enable a wide variety of satellites to connect to orbital network links like the SDA Transport Layer currently in development, allowing cost-effective small satellites and constellations to be increasingly viable for incorporation into future resilient space communication architectures.

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Sierra Space Announces Dream Chaser Spaceplane

Sierra Space has announced the completion of its first  Dream Chaser spaceplane, which will ship to NASA’s Neil A. Armstrong Test Facility in Ohio for environmental testing in the coming weeks. Sierra Space was able to develop the spaceplace through a substantial contract from NASA to resupply the International Space Station. The Pureplay commercial space company intends the Dream Chaser to lead the way in democratizing access to space, forging a path towards joint space exploration and international cooperation.

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