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Earth observation

Airbus and UK progress with Skynet6 program

Paris, 15 January 2021. – Update on Skynet: Airbus and the UK Ministry of Defence have completed the design review phase of the project, Airbus said. Airbus was awarded the Skynet 6A contract in July 2020 and has been working on the program at its sites in Stevenage, Portsmouth and …

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Breton launches European launcher alliance and Cassini fund

Paris, 13 January 2021. – Europe needs a more aggressive space strategy, the European Commissioner for Internal Market, Thierry Breton, said and launched the “European Launcher alliance” as well as a €1 billion European space fund, Cassini, “to boost start-ups and space innovation”. “We must ask ourselves: will our current …

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Boeing to power ISS with six more solar arrays

Paris, 12 January 2021. – More power: Boeing provides six more solar arrays to the International Space Station (ISS) to increase the orbiting laboratory’s power supply, the company said. The modification to Boeing’s ISS sustainment contract with NASA calls for Boeing to deliver six additional solar arrays to NASA for …

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France launches super high-resolution military satellite

Paris, 30 December 2020. – France launched the second of its three CSO super high-resolution military satellites from French Guiana, the manufacturer Airbus announced. The Earth observation satellite CSO-2 that Airbus has built for the French Armed Forces has been successfully launched on a Soyuz launcher from the Kourou European …

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#SpaceWatchGL Opinion: My 2020 in a review – by Bassam Alfeeli

by Bassam Alfeeli Year 2020 was a year of many historical events. Taking Covid-19 aside, we have witnessed the launching of 3 missions to Mars and the return of samples from extraterrestrial bodies (Moon and Ryugu). We also saw the success of commercial human space flights as well as building …

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UK loses Galileo and Egnos but can continue with Copernicus and ESA

Paris, 29 December 2020. – The United Kingdom will no longer participate in the European Galileo or Egnos programs but can continue, in principle, with Copernicus and remain member of the European Space Agency (ESA), the British Government said. On its official www.gov.uk website, the Government lists the „Brexit transition: …

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Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre uses AWS Ground Station to support UAE and global industry development

When wildfires broke out across northern and central California in August, a remote-sensing Earth observation satellite watched 381 miles (613 kilometers) above the planet’s surface. Built entirely in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC), KhalifaSat captured imagery that could help governmental agencies and …

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ThrustMe and Spacety launch radar satellite on Long March 8

Paris, 24 December 2020. – The space propulsion company ThrustMe and the satellite service start-up Spacety launched Hisea-1, “the world’s first commercial C-band small satellite SAR with a phased-array antenna”, Paris-based ThrustMe said. SAR stands for Synthetic Aperture Radar and “functions basically like a bat’s echolocation system – they are …

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Viasat buys RigNet for $222 million

Paris, 23 December 2020. – Viasat acquires RigNet, a Nasdaq-listed provider of ultra-secure, intelligent networking solutions and specialized applications, the company announced on Monday. The all-stock transaction values RigNet at an enterprise value of approximately $222 million, Viasat said. “The acquisition will help to further accelerate Viasat’s strategy to provide …

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VV17 failure due to “wrong routing and connection” of cables

Paris, 20 December 2020. – It’s confirmed: the loss of the European Vega VV17 mission in November is due to wrong cable connections on the upper stage. The Independent Enquiry Commission set up after the failure found that the mission went off course due “to the wrong routing and connection …

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