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Space for Earth News

SIG Welcomes Four New Academic Members


The Satcoms Innovation Group (SIG) has welcomed new academic members: Coleg Cambria, the Institute of Physics, The Northern Space Consortium and Space Wales. SIG is a membership organization that promotes innovation within the satellite communications industry to improve operational efficiency and minimise negative impact. It aims to foster relationships between operators, manufacturers, and solutions providers by providing a platform for members to exchange ideas, discuss challenges and opportunities, and explore technical aspects of industry efficiencies.

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Planet Labs to Provide Carbon Mapper with Hyperspectral Data

Planet Labs PBC has signed a multi-year data-license agreement with Carbon Mapper, Inc. to provide hyperspectral core imagery to the non-profit and its partners until 2030. The $20 million agreement is made possible by initial funding led by a major climate philanthropy. Carbon Mapper, Inc. has been a key partner to Planet in developing the Tanager hyperspectral constellation, and this contract extension marks an important step in the continuation of the coalition’s shared mission to help improve understanding of and accelerate reductions in global methane and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.

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Interstellar Selected by JAXA as Priority Launch Provider

Interstellar Technologies

Interstellar Technologies Inc., a comprehensive space infrastructure company, has announced the signing of a basic agreement with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) regarding the procurement of launch transport services. The agreement looks to select private-sector entities capable of launching satellites developed under JAXA’s small satellite missions, thus advancing the commercialization of space transportation services by startups and other entities through launch contract procurement.

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Orbex Secures Patent for ‘Petal Fold’ Reusable Rocket Technology

Upwards view of Orbex Prime rocket. Credit Orbex

Orbex has successfully patented its REFLIGHT reusable rocket technology following patent approval in several European markets, based on the patent grant by the European Patent Office, as well as in the United States. The technology works well with micro-launcher rockets like Orbex’s Prime rocket since it enables recovery of the launch vehicle by repurposing existing structural features while adding very little additional weight to the vehicle. It thereby enables reusability with very limited overall performance penalty and no additional rocket propulsion emissions in the upper atmosphere during re-entry.

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Spire Global to Scale Constellation for HANCOM InSpace

Spire Global logo. Credit Spire Global

Spire Global, Inc. has announced an agreement with HANCOM InSpace (“Hancom”), initially a spin-off by Korea Aerospace Research Institute and now a part of HANCOM Group, for Sejong-2 and Sejong-3, two additional satellites with Spire Space Services. Under this agreement, Spire will build and operate the satellites, expanding the capabilities of HANCOM-1 (Sejong-1). Together, these satellites will form a constellation for Korea’s first three-satellite remote sensing image data service.

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Koonibba Test Range Gets Set for Inaugural Launch

Southern Launch

The new launch facilities at the Koonibba Test Range, South Australia’s first permanent spaceport, are almost complete ahead of the impending inaugural launch. Located northwest of Ceduna, the range is a partnership between Southern Launch and the Koonibba Community Aboriginal Corporation. It is the largest commercial testing range in the Southern Hemisphere. Subject to final regulatory approval, the spaceport will witness its first suborbital test launch of German manufacturer HyImpulse’s SR75 rocket at the end of April or early May.

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UKspace Appoints Colin Baldwin as New Executive Director

UK Space Satellite Image. Credit UK Space Agency

UKspace has appointed Colin Baldwin as Executive Director of UKspace to lead the organization, following the decision by its Director, Lizzie Kerr, to step down from her role with the official trade association of the UK space industry. Lizzie will be retiring on 30 June 2024 after more than five and a half years in her post. Colin Baldwin's appointment as Executive Director of UKspace will consequently take effect from 1 July 2024.

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SatSure Partners ReOrbit for Space Infrastructure Solution


Bengaluru-based deeptech EO analytics and platform company SatSure, along with its subsidiary KaleidEO, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with ReOrbit. This partnership aims to develop innovative full-stack solutions to meet the future market demands in the Earth Observation (EO) segment. As a part of this partnership, KaleidEO will provide the bleeding edge of future-ready payload technology meant for sub-meter imaging capability. Meanwhile, SatSure’s downstream solutions and analytics stack will support businesses needing last-mile connections.

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