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Positioning Navigation and Timing

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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U.S. SDA awards $150 million launch contract to SpaceX

Paris, 4 January 2021. – The U.S. Space Development Agency (SDA) has awarded SpaceX a $150 million launch service contract, the agency announced. The Hawthorne, California-based firm has been awarded a $150,450,000 firm-fixed-price contract for launch services from Vandenberg Air Force Base for the Space Development Agency’s Tranche 0 Transport …

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Bangkok start-up to build “first spaceship of Thailand”

Paris, 30 December 2020. – “E la nave va” – but it’s not a movie: The Bangkok-based start-up mu Space wants to build “the first spaceship of Thailand” next year, the company announced. The company said during the opening of its first spaceship factory in Thailand that it wants to …

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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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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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Iridium launches global maritime distress and safety service

Luxembourg, 16 December 2020. – Iridium Communications launched its Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) service, giving seafarers, “for the first time in history”, “a real-time emergency response and rescue service that works everywhere in the world”. “No other maritime emergency response system matches the coverage and real-time communications …

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Breton wants European LEO, more defense and Ariane 7

Paris, 9 December 2020. – Another LEO and more defense & security: The European Commissioner for Internal Market, Thierry Breton, is working on a European Low Earth Orbit satellite constellation. “European broadband connectivity is neither ubiquitous nor robust enough to address our digital inequalities,” Breton said at the European Space …

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Solar-powered Zephyr successfully flies in stratosphere

Paris, 7 December 2020. – Solar powered, stratospheric: The Zephyr High Altitude Platform Station (HAPS) completed a long test flight in November, Airbus Defence and Space announced. The test which was held during three weeks in Arizona, U.S., “aimed to demonstrate operational flexibility and aircraft agility, particularly testing lower altitude …

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