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Space Missions

ESA contracts Avio to develop 3-stage Vega E launcher

The European Space Agency (ESA) signed a €120 million contract with the Italian manufacturer Avio to continue the development and manufacturing of the Vega launch system beyond 2025, the agency said. The contract, worth €118.8 million, engages Avio to prepare a new Vega launch vehicle version called Vega-E, which will make extensive use of Vega-C building blocks, ESA said. 

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France and Germany agree to ramp up Ariane 6 support

Germany and France agreed to spend more money on Ariane 6 and back the new European launcher, as well as the smaller Vega, with public and institutional missions. The two large budget contributors to the European Space Agency (ESA) thus concluded a discussion and discord between Berlin and Paris that could not be solved at the last Member State meeting mid-July.

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Rocket Lab sees Electron back on track after failure review

Rocket Lab found the root cause for the loss of its mission in May, the company said. It has concluded an extensive review into the cause of the anomaly that resulted in the loss of its “Running Out Of Toes” mission launched on 15 May 2021, Rocket Lab said. The review concluded that an issue occurred within the second stage engine igniter system. 

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#SpaceWatchGL Opinion: Cross-industry collaboration in the Space Sector

One of the reasons why space is rapidly attracting new investments is because of its potential to enable new applications for several non-space industries, health, communications, fintech, agriculture, oil & gas,  and even art, just to name some examples.

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Blue Origin’s New Shepard ready to go with Jeff Bezos on board

Blue Origin New Shepard’s first human flight mission is ready to lift off tomorrow, with its founder and owner Jeff Bezos on board, the company said. "New Shepard is go for launch, “ Blue Origin said. “On July 20, Blue Origin will fly its 16th New Shepard flight to space, and its first with astronauts on board.”

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Thales builds two Axiom Space modules for ISS

Thales Alenia Space will build two modules of the Axiom Space Station, “the world’s first commercial space station”. Thales and Axiom Space signed a contract for the development of the two elements that are scheduled for launch in 2024 and 2025 respectively, and will be docked to the International Space Station (ISS). The value of the contract is € 110 million.

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ispace’s lunar lander fit for assembly at ArianeGroup Germany

The Japanese lunar exploration company ispace has begun the assembly of the flight model for its lunar lander, which is to be used in the company’s first mission scheduled to launch in 2022, the company said. The final assembly of the flight model lander will be carried out in cooperation with Ariane Group at its facility in Lampoldshausen, Germany.

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Masten develops Moon positioning and navigation network

Masten Space Systems, the Californian Moon and Mars mission specialist, will develop a positioning and navigation network for the Moon, the company said. Masten was awarded a Phase II contract, through the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory, “to develop and demonstrate a lunar positioning and navigation network prototype”, the company founded in 2004 said.

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NASA and Northrop Grumman conclude Moon outpost contract

The U.S. space agency NASA and Northrop Grumman of Dulles, Virginia, concluded their contract to develop the Habitation and Logistics Outpost (HALO) for the Moon gateway, NASA said. As part of NASA’s Artemis program, HALO will be a critical way station and outpost in the orbit around the Moon. The firm, fixed-price contract is valued at $935 million, NASA said.

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