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#SpacewatchGL Op’Ed: Smallsats – The Hitchhiker No More?

The small satellite revolution is in full swing. It is on the menu at every conference. It is on our newsfeeds. It is the talk of the industry. The last couple of years have heralded a true breakthrough for the small satellite as news has poured in of new constellations in development and emerging operators looking to use small satellites to drive innovation and cater for emerging applications. With manufacturing prices tumbling and increasingly sophisticated technology and propulsion systems becoming reality for the smallsat, this is a phenomenon that is surely set for longevity. However, there is one rather large problem looming and that is the shortage of rides into space. Yes, you have a satellite but how do you find a vehicle to get it where it needs to go?

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InSpace Forum 2018: How Did the Russian Forum On Space Industry and UAV’s Proceed?

On 21 March 2018, InSpace Forum 2018, a large event dedicated to commercial space industry and the application of UAV's, kicked off in Moscow. Participants discussed important legal aspects of the aerospace industry and shared experience in business management.

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Earth-i releases its first full-colour video of Earth taken from space by VividX2

Earth-i has released the first video taken by VividX2, the technology prototype for its Vivid-i constellation. Launched on 12 January 2018, VividX2 is the world’s first commercial satellite able to provide full-colour video of life on earth. Weighing 100kg and measuring approximately 1 cubic metre, VividX2 is orbiting at 505km above the Earth and travelling at approximately 7km per second. At the heart of the satellite is an Ultra High Definition (UHD) camera that captures high-resolution images for any location on Earth – and also films up to two minutes of video at a time as it passes over each target location.

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Japan’s Sony Corporation to Enter Satellite Optical Communications Market

Japan's Sony Corporation is seeking to enter the New Space sector by manufacturing optical communication devices for small satellites, based on Sony's decades-long experience in manufacturing compact disc (CD) players. This marks a diversification of Sony's business empire, and it is also a strong signal that Japan's great trading houses and companies are looking for opportunities in the New Space sector in Japan and abroad.

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Russia’s SkolTech to Host SpaceUp Unconference on 21 April 2018

SpaceUp is a worldwide leading space exploration ‘unconference’ platform specifically designed for free exchange of new and interdisciplinary ideas. It brings together students, researchers, entrepreneurs, astronauts, cosmonauts, and space enthusiasts to network, learn, and actively interchange interesting space ideas. Participants can talk or present on any chosen space-related topic from any discipline like astrophysics, cosmology, engineering, biochemistry, human physiology, business, law, policy, arts, culture, fiction, etc.

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#SpaceWatchGL Interviews: James Yenbamroong of mu Space

Thai New Space startup mu Space is making big waves in Thailand with its efforts to bridge the digital divide in rural Thailand, and ultimately, in other parts of Southeast Asia, and with its long-term plans to bring commercial space travel to Thailand and the wider region. mu Space brings a vibrant New Space startup dynamic to Thailand, as the country embarks on its Thailand 4.0economic modernisation initiative where mu Space finds itself very much at the forefront. SpaceWatch.Globalhas been covering mu Space’s progress for months, and we managed to talk with its founder and Chief Executive Officer James Yenbamroong to hear his thoughts about the progress of mu Space so far, and its future plans.

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Rocket Lab All Set for Responsive Launches, Making New Zealand a Launching Power

U.S. orbital launch provider Rocket Lab has announced its first commercial launch for New Space companies Spire and GeoOptics, further establishing New Zealand as a space launch power. Rocket Lab will open a 14-day launch window beginning 20 April 2018 to conduct its first fully commercial launch. The mission, named ‘It’s Business Time’, will include manifested payloads for Spire Global and GeoOptics Inc., built by Tyvak Nano-Satellite Systems.

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Saudi Crown Prince Visits Virgin Galactic in California

The Crown Prince of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman, visited the facilities of Virgin Galactic at the Mojave Air and Space Port in California on 2 April 2018. The Crown Prince and his delegation, which included the Saudi ambassador to the United States Prince Khalid bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, were hosted by Sir Richard Branson, Chairman of the Virgin Group, and by George Whitesides, CEO of Virgin Galactic.

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