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ÖWF Polar Star Award 2021 goes to OroraTech CEO

The Austrian Space Forum awarded the thirteenth Polar Star Award to Thomas Grübler, M.Sc., CEO and co-founder of OroraTech. The company uses satellite imaging for early detection of wildfires. First awarded in 2009, the Award honours personalities who are committed to get people excited about space.

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Satellite launch base at Andøya secures funding

Andøya Space is to receive US $42.9 million from the Norwegian government to build a small satellite launch base at Andøya in Northern Norway, the government announced. The project will add 150 new positions in the territory. It will also put Norway on the list of countries that are capable of launching satellites from their own land.

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Kuva Space raises funds for CubeSat constellation

Finnish Kuva Space raised € 4.2 million (US $4.85 million) to establish a constellation of commercial hyperspectral CubeSats, Kuva announced. The seed round brought investments from Voima Ventures and Nordic FoodTech VC, ESA Φ-lab’s InCubed programme and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland. The funding enables the company to build

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NASA selects Rocket Lab to launch its Solar Sail System

Rocket Lab USA announced it has been selected to launch NASA’s Advanced Composite Solar Sail System satellite, (ACS3), on an Electron rocket. The ACS3 technology relies on a combination of materials with different properties. Lightweight booms will deploy from a 12U CubeSat designed and built by NanoAvionics of Columbia, to support a solar sail.

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Eutelsat becomes second largest OneWeb shareholder

Eutelsat raised its stake in OneWeb to 23%, the company announced, making it the second largest shareholder behind Indian Bharti with 30.0%. Eutelsat said it has exercised a call option on a portion of the latest OneWeb funding round subscribed by Bharti, for $165 million, taking its shareholding from 17.6% to 22.9%.

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Change of command and new crew on ISS

Thomas Pesquet became commander of the ISS this week, taking over from JAXA astronaut and fellow Crew-2 member Akihiko Hoshide. Thomas will hold this role until before Crew-2 return to Earth in November. He is the fourth European and the first French commander of the ISS. Pesquet accepted his new position during a traditional ceremony of a key being handed over to him by Hoshide.

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NASA’s DART to impact asteroid’s moonlet

NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) is targeted to launch on 23rd November aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Space Force Base, NASA announced. The mission will be an evaluation of technologies for preventing a hazardous asteroid from impacting Earth. DART will be the first demonstration of the kinetic impact deflection technique.

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Space Sustainability: Preserving the Usability of Outer Space

Satellites orbiting the Earth provide many tangible benefits to billions of people around the world on a daily basis. However, space is becoming increasingly congested and the continuity of these benefits cannot be taken for granted. For more than a decade, Secure World Foundation (SWF) has focused its efforts promoting the sustainable use of outer space.

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