Space Tech Expo Bremen - 2021 Nov

North America

IIAS sends researcher Kellie Gerardi on Virgin into space

The International Institute for Astronautical Sciences (IIAS) will send its bioastronautics researcher Kellie Gerardi to space on a dedicated research mission with Virgin Galactic, the institute said. “The contract marks the world’s first industry-sponsored, human-tended research spaceflight on a commercial vehicle”.

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#SpaceWatchGL Column: E2MC Update On Space-Financing Rounds in May 2021

May 2021 saw over US$600 million raised in private fundraising for space-related companies. More than two-thirds of this amount comes from the announcement of another SPAC merger, this time with quantum key distribution company ArQit (as before, this amount assumes cash in trust, PIPE, no redemptions/repayments, and is before fees).

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James Webb telescope on Ariane 5 in October/ November

The giant James Webb Space Telescope is on Arianespace’s launch manifest for the fourth quarter of this year, officials from the European launcher and the U.S. space agency said. The telescope could be shipped from the U.S. to French Guiana late August, Thomas Zurbuchen, NASA’s science mission director, said at a virtual press briefing and mission update.

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New Zealand joins Artemis Accords

New Zealand is the 11th nation to sign NASA’s Artemis Accords, the country announced. New Zealand’s foreign minister Nanaia Mahuta and the economic development minister Stuart Nash announced the government has agreed to join the Artemis Accords, launched by NASA, and now signed by eleven nations, the government said on its website. 

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#SpaceWatchGL Opinion: Space Traffic Management: Trends 2020/2021 and Beyond

Space is becoming increasingly congested. The European Space Agency (ESA) has estimated that there are currently 128 million pieces of debris smaller than 1cm, about 900,000 pieces of debris 1–10cm in length, and around 34,000 pieces larger than 10cm in Earth orbit. This is in addition to the approximately 3,300 currently operational satellites.

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ESA partners with ArQit to fund quantum key QKDSat

The European Space Agency (ESA) partners with the British Arqit – a leader in the quantum encryption field – to develop its quantum key distribution satellite QKDSat, the agency said. ArQit recently announced that it was merging with Centricus, a global investment firm, in a transaction expected to provide Arqit with up to €330 million in gross proceeds.

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