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Space Missions

Helicity Space Raises Seed Round for Fusion Propulsion Engines

Helicity Space, a commercial space company developing in-space propulsion and power technology based on fusion power, has raised $5 million in seed round funding from several new investors. The successful raise enables Helicity Space to advance its proprietary technology, the Helicity Drive, which consists of scalable fusion propulsion engines that should enable safer, faster, reusable, and more fuel-efficient travel into deep space.

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ispace and Orbit Fab Partner for Future Lunar Missions

Ispace-Orbit Fab partnership

ispace, inc. and Orbit Fab, Inc have announced an agreement to collaborate on in-space propellant harvesting and delivery for future missions to the Moon. The partnership will leverage each company’s unique and complementary capabilities to develop effective propellants and fuels from resources in space, such as water, ice, and lunar regolith or fine and rocky soils found on the surface of the Moon.

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Lunasonde to Launch Satellite for Subsurface Imaging

Lunasonde

Lunasonde has announced the launch timeline for its third satellite to Low Earth Orbit (LEO). The San Xavier satellite will fly on SpaceX’s Falcon 9 Transporter-11 in the summer of 2024 via launch provider Exolaunch. It is the company’s first on-orbit test of its proprietary very low-frequency radar technological stack capable of detecting subsurface mineral deposits up to two kilometers underground.

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Space Café Radio – CAMões Special – with Mission Controller Dr. Slavka Andrejkovičová

In this Space Café Radio - SpaceWatch.Global publisher Torsten Kriening spoke with Dr Slavka Andrejkovičová, CAMões Mission Control, and Principal Investigator at the GeoBioTec research unit at the University of Aveiro, Portugal. Torsten spoke with Slavka on the evening before the CAMões Mission analog astronauts left the cave. They have been on the mission for over 6 days already.

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Thales Alenia Space Signs Multi-Satellite Contract with PT Len

Thales Alenia Space has signed a multi-mission contract with PT Len Industri to provide a state-of-the-art Earth observation constellation combining both radar and optical sensors and dedicated to the Indonesian Ministry of Defence (MoD). As a result, both companies will join forces to deploy an end-to-end system including space and ground segment in Indonesia.

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U.S. Space Force Activates New Component for Europe and Africa

The U.S. Space Force

The U.S. Space Force, the U.S. European Command, and the U.S. Africa Command have launched the U.S. Space Forces Europe and Africa component, their newest service component. The component was established to ​​support the U.S. European Command (EUCOM) and U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) in an expansion of USSF’s growing reach into combatant commands.

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Amos to Supply Satellites for ESA’s CHIME Mission

Amos has won an ESA contract to supply six hyperspectral spectrometers that will serve as the heart of the CHIME satellite mission (Copernicus Hyperspectral Imaging Mission for the Environment, also known as Sentinel-10). CHIME is an extension of the Copernicus program of the European Commission, in partnership with the ESA. 

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#SpaceWatchGL Opinion: Is Humanity’s Future in Space Dependent on Starship?

Acrylic painting of an astronaut standing. Consulting surreal

In the first half of 2023 I conducted a study on the future of the global space economy for the future studies institute 2b AHEAD. Being based on in-depth expert interviews from both inside and outside the space sector, the study contains some wild predictions for the upcoming two decades: private space stations, modular, repairable satellites, a permanent Moon base, and nuclear propulsion. But many of these predictions stand on the assumption that SpaceX’s Starship will, as promised, dramatically ease accessibility to space. What if Starship fails? In this article, I would like to provide an overview of the consequences of Starship’s failure for future human activities in space.

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NSS Receives ESA Contract for Electric Propulsion Technology

Neutron Star Systems

Neutron Star Systems (NSS) has announced the signature of its second contract with the European Space Agency to deliver "Very High Thrust Density for Space Transportation". Under the agreement, NSS and its partners will design and manufacture a high-power electric propulsion (HPEP) prototype which will lay the groundwork for deploying electric propulsion (EP) technologies on future missions and ensuring European independence and capabilities for future operations.

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