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#SpaceWatchGL Opinion: How Africa and Europe May be Compromising Private Sector Participation in the African Space Industry

Africa, much like the US, Europe, and China, has demonstrated its interest in using space as a means to a societal end. In Africa’s case, the continent has awakened to how space, specifically space science and technology, can assist in addressing Africa’s social and economic challenges. The way the African Space Strategy puts it, Africa needs “an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in the global arena." The rapid global development of spatial activities is a nifty representation of the fact that the same awakening happened in other parts of the world way before Africa. This may mean that Africa is late to the party, but perhaps it's more encouraging to see it as Africa being able to learn the best model for space development from other more advanced spacefaring nations.

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POLARIS successfully tests spaceplane engine

Firing of Polaris engine. Credit Polaris

Polaris, a German aerospace start-up, successfully ignited their AS-1 engine on the 22nd of November. This Hot Fire Test was the first time the engine had been ignited. The test took place on an airfield at a former airport in northern Germany. The main material of the engine is Inconel and this engine is a heavy ground test version, with lighter versions of the engine for in-flight testing. 

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Kenya-based Amini Raises Seed Funding for Climate Tech


Amini, a Kenya-based climate-tech startup aiming to bridge the environmental data gap in Africa, has raised $4 million in seed funding. Salesforce Ventures and the Female Founders Fund led the funding round, with further participation from VC Satgana, Pale Blue Dot and Superorganism, who had previously backed the startup in its $2 million pre-seed round earlier this year.

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Arcfield Acquires Orion Space Solutions

Arcfield Canada. Credit Arcfield

Arcfield, a government technology and mission support provider, announced on the 29th of November that it has completed its acquisition of Orion Space Solutions, a developer of end-to-end space mission capabilities and solutions. Arcfield intends for the acquisition to enhance their space exploration and hypersonic detection and tracking capabilities for agencies in the Department of Defence (DoD) and Intelligence Community (IC).

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TASL and Satellogic Partner to Build LEO Satellites in India


Tata Advanced Systems Limited, India’s private sector player for aerospace and defense solutions, and Satellogic Inc. have announced their collaboration to establish and develop local space technology capabilities in India. This collaboration is a first step in TASL’s satellite strategy and a significant milestone for Satellogic as it enters the fast-growing Indian defense and commercial market.

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Kayrros to launch global methane map at COP28

Kayrros to launch global methane map at COP28. Credit Kayrros

Kayrros, an environmental intelligence company, launched a free version of their Methane Map at COP28. It is an open-access, live map which draws insights from Kayrros’ Methane Watch product. With the new Methane Map, Kayrros aims to make climate data more accessible, and give governments, institutions, investors, insurers and individuals to gain insights at every level, from regional overviews to specific facilities. 

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CAMoes 2023 – Interview with Dr Pedro Marques-Quinteiro

The day after the team left the cave, they gave lectures in the local schools. During the session in a full seated alma mater in the school with over 200 kids and teachers, Torsten Kriening spoke with Dr Pedro Marques-Quinteiro. Pedro is an Organisational Psychologist with over 10 years of experience working with people in high reliability organisations and extreme work environments. In March 2018 and February 2020, he led two scientific expeditions to King George (Antarctica) to study teamwork in isolated, confined, and extreme environments. He supports CAMões human performance and behaviour research.

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