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Space Economy

ESA Awards Two Contracts for LEO Cargo Return Service

A rendering of The Exploration Company's Nyx vehicle

The European Space Agency (ESA) has signed two contracts with Thales Alenia Space and The Exploration Company for the development of a commercial service capable of transporting cargo to and from the International Space Station (ISS) in low Earth orbit by 2030. ESA Director General Josef Aschbacher signed contracts with Hélène Huby from The Exploration Company and Massimo Comparini from Thales Alenia Space based in Italy, to develop a low Earth orbit (LEO) cargo return service.

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SSC Awards Starfish Space Contract for Otter Satellite Vehicle

Starfish Space Otter satellite vehicle

The Space Systems Command (SSC) has awarded Starfish Space a $37.5 million Strategic Funding Increase (STRATFI) contract to build, launch, and operate an Otter satellite vehicle for a docking mission. The mission aims to provide two years of augmented maneuver for National Security Space assets and give the U.S. Space Force a range of options to support existing assets and allow future assets to receive support without imposing additional configuration requirements.

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Ariane 6 Inaugural Flight Attempt in July 2024

Ariane 6 Illustration in flight. Credit ESA

The Ariane 6 Launcher Task Force has announced that Ariane 6's first launch attempt will happen within the first two weeks of July 2024, on track and in line with the launch period it communicated in November. Furthermore, the task force will give the tentative date for the first launch attempt at the ILA airshow in Berlin, Germany, which will hold from 5 June to 9 June, where all the task force members will be present.

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Spain Launches Space Technology Program Call With EUR 70m in Subsidies

CDTI

The Centro para el Desarrollo tecnológico Industrial (CDTI) Innovation has launched the 2024 call for the Space Technology Program (PTE) focused on promoting the competitiveness of the Spanish aerospace industry as a key actor for the next challenges and opportunities of the sector through the development of technological capabilities based on research and development. The call falls under the scope of Strategic Projects for Economic Recovery and Transformation (PERTE) Aerospace.

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Astroscale U.S. Appoints Lewis as Senior VP of Policy and General Counsel

Janna Lewis

Astroscale U.S. Inc. has announced the appointment of Janna Lewis as Senior Vice President of Policy and General Counsel, effective immediately. Based in Washington D.C., Lewis will consequently provide strategic legal and policy direction to facilitate Astroscale U.S.’s growth and ensure compliance with evolving regulations. She will guide the company in the areas of corporate law and governance, contracts, intellectual property and domestic policy, and she will serve on the Astroscale U.S. Board of Directors as Secretary.

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The Exploration Company Appoints Kirasich as VP US Operations

The Exploration Company

The Exploration Company has announced the appointment of Mark Kirasich as its VP of US Operations to further strengthen the company's position in the industry, especially for the NASA certification of its vehicle, and its growth towards lunar missions and human space flight. Mark Kirasich will consequently oversee all aspects of the company's operations in the United States. Furthermore, his extensive background in human spaceflight, flight operations and lunar vehicles will be instrumental in driving the company's growth in the USA.

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Infinite Orbits Announces Successful Fundraising Round

Infinite Orbits has concluded its first fundraising round, raising €12M in a round which Newfund Capital led. The round also saw participation from the EIC Fund, IRDI Capital Investissement and Space Founders France (a CNES venture arm). The closing of this round demonstrates confidence in Infinite Orbits’ vision and marks an important confirmation of the Company’s roadmap.

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Marble Imaging and Reflex Aerospace to Deploy EO Satellite Network

Marble Imaging

Marble Imaging has announced its partnership with Reflex Aerospace to develop the first of up to 200 advanced satellites, towards revolutionizing the Earth Observation industry. The Satellite fleet aims to address the urgent need for Earth Observation capabilities, strengthening sustainability by supplying real-time insights through very-high-resolution (VHR) imagery, Furthermore, Marble Imaging aims to be the leading European EO company capturing images of the entire planet every day in very-high-resolution (VHR). 

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Avanti Communications launches LEO services in South Africa

Avanti Communications

Avanti Communications has announced the launch of Low-Earth-Orbit (LEO) satellite connectivity services in South Africa, partnering with Q-KON to deliver seamless LEO connectivity from Eutelsat OneWeb. The new deal aims to improve business operations nationwide in what is a unique and challenging connectivity environment. Furthermore, it significantly bolsters Avanti’s multi-orbit solution and means the company can now offer a combination of LEO and GEO services effective immediately.

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Source Energy Solar Arrays Power Impulse Space’s OTV

Source Energy, a supplier of space solar arrays, has emerged from stealth mode and revealed the orbital success of the primary solar arrays it supplied for commercial partner Impulse Space. The Company aims to provide the industry with an assured supply of solar panels, deployable solar arrays, and space-hardened photovoltaic (PV) modules at a dramatically lower cost, and higher reliability than what is currently available. 

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