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Astroscale Successfully Concludes ELSA-d De-Orbiting Mission

Astroscale

Astroscale Holdings Inc. has announced the completion of the final phase of its End-of-Life Services by Astroscale (ELSA-d) mission with the safe and controlled de-orbit operations of the ELSA-d servicer satellite. The satellite leveraged its remaining operational thrusters to achieve the controlled de-orbiting, marking the successful conclusion of the pioneering mission.

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#SpaceWatchGL Opinion: IRIS2 – The Elephant(s) In The Room

IRIS2 (pronounced “iris square”) is the new EU secure satellite constellation project, which stands for Infrastructure for Resilience, Interconnectivity, and Security by Satellite. Touted as “the European Union’s answer to pressing challenge of tomorrow, offering enhanced communication capacities to governmental users, businesses, while ensuring high-speed internet broadband to cope with connectivity dead zones,“ IRIS2 is the result of a brilliant vision at the intersection of European “strategic autonomy,” orbital economy and policy, space industry majors, innovative startups, bureaucratic agendas, and a European Union space strategy for security and defense. Like many brilliant visions, it runs the risk of being eaten for breakfast by the tyranny of execution. Could it be different this time?

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Dr Ouattara to Head AUC’s Science, Technology and Space Division

Dr Tidiane Outtara

The African Union Commission has appointed Dr Tidiane Ouattara as the Head of the Science, Technology and Space Division at the Department of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation, African Union Commission, as reported by Space in Africa. Prior to this, Dr Ouattara was (and still remains) the Space Expert in charge of the development and implementation of the African Outer Space Program, including implementing the African Space Policy and Strategy and establishing the African Space Agency. He also remains the Program Coordinator for the GMES and Africa program.

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Voyager Space Appoints Smith as CTO and Board Member

Voyager Space

Voyager Space (Voyager) has announced the appointment of Marshall Smith as the company's Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and as a member of Starlab Space's Board of Directors. Smith, who previously served as Voyager Space's Vice President of Exploration, will lead the technical strategy for Voyager's enterprise and guide the Starlab team through the design, development, and operations of the commercial space station.

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Aldoria Closes Series A Funding Through Green Financing

ALDORIA (formerly Share My Space) has announced closing its Serie A funding round, securing €10 million in equity investments from a strong syndicate, bringing the total amount of investment in the company to €22 million to date. To support this new stage of development, the company is strengthening its brand and effective today, Share My Space has become ALDORIA, a former name of the Pleiades nebula.

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Redwire Wins Blue Origin Contract to Develop ROSA Wings

Redwire

Redwire Corporation has announced that it has won a contract to develop and deliver four Roll-Out Solar Array (ROSA) wings, along with multiple Argus cameras and Low Voltage Distribution Units (LVDUs) for Blue Origin’s multi-orbit space mobility platform, Blue Ring. The ROSA wings Redwire is developing for Blue Ring will power the platform across a variety of missions focused on in-space logistics and delivery in medium-Earth orbit and beyond.

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Astrobotic Peregrine Mission 1 Re-enters Earth

Peregrine mission one

Following a successful launch and separation from the ULA Vulcan Centaur rocket on Jan. 8, 2024, Peregrine experienced a loss of propellant. Not only did that prevent any soft landing on the Moon, but the valve connecting helium to oxidizer had caused flooding and ruptured the tank. The spacecraft was now a flying hazard that could potentially create more debris in cislunar space or lunar orbit. After analysis and recommendations from NASA and the space community, Astrobotic determined the best option for minimizing risk and ensuring responsible disposal of the spacecraft would be to maintain Peregrine's trajectory toward Earth for atmospheric re-entry and burnup.

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JAXA Lands on the Moon Albeit with Limited Power Supply

JAXA

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has announced the successful soft-landing of its Smart Lander for Investigating Moon (SLIM) spacecraft on the moon, on January 20, 2024, at 0:20 am (JST). This feat makes Japan the fifth country to soft-land on the moon, joining the USA, China, the former Soviet Union, and India. Despite the historic landing, however, JAXA may not achieve full operationalization of the spacecraft as its solar cells are currently not generating power. 

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