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Space Missions

VESPA Payload Adapter Appears to Have been Hit in Orbit

ClearSpace

The European Space Agency (ESA) has received information from the United States 18th Space Defense Squadron that it has detected new objects in the vicinity of the VESPA payload adapter. This adapter has remained in orbit following the 2013 launch of a Vega rocket from ESA’s spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana. Furthermore, it is a 113 kg, two-meter-diameter, conical upper portion of a payload adapter associated with the VV02 Vega launch that delivered the Proba-V, VNREDSat-1 and ESTCube-1 satellites into Earth orbit.

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SDA Makes Awards to Build 72 Beta Variant Satellites

SDA

The Space Development Agency (SDA) has announced the awards of two prototype agreements with a total value of approximately $1.5 billion to build and operate the Tranche 2 Transport Layer (T2TL) – Beta variant prototype constellation. The constellation consists of 72 satellites and will form the foundation of Tranche 2 of the Proliferated Warfighter Space Architecture.

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Umbra Selected by AFWERX for SBIR Phase II Contract

Umbra has announced that AFWERX has selected it for an SBIR Phase II contract in the amount of $1.25 million. Furthermore, the contract focuses on Space-Based Moving Target Indication (MTI) to address the most pressing challenges in the Department of the Air Force (DAF). Umbra will consequently leverage its market-leading wide-bandwidth, affordable space systems, uniquely operating in paired flight, to develop and demonstrate Maritime and Ground MTI (MMTI and GMTI) capabilities.

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Sierra Space and Redwire Partner for In-Space Biotech Facilities

Sierra Space, a pureplay commercial space company, has announced that it has signed a strategic partnership with Redwire Corporation. As a result, both Companies will collaborate on groundbreaking commercial pharmaceutical and biotech R&D and manufacturing in Low Earth Orbit (LEO). Redwire is delivering state-of-the-art, flight-proven biotechnology and manufacturing technologies that would integrate into Sierra Space's Large Integrated Flexible Environment (LIFE) habitat platform.

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Rocket Lab Signs Dedicated Launch Deal with iQPS

Electron lifts off from Launch Complex 1 for the 'rocket like a hurricane' launch for TROPICS constellation. Credit Rocket Lab

Rocket Lab USA, Inc. has announced that it signed a deal to launch an Earth observation satellite on Electron for the Institute for Q-shu Pioneers of Space, Inc. (iQPS), a Japan-based Earth imaging company. The mission will tentatively lift off in September 2023 and will carry iQPS’s QPS-SAR-5 satellite "TSUKUYOMI-I" into orbit. Furthermore, it will be a dedicated Electron mission and launch from Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1 in Mahia, New Zealand. iQPS named the mission "The Moon God Awakens" in acknowledgement of Tsukuyomi, the Japanese God of the Moon.

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XRISM to Launch on Saturday From Japan

XRISM

The X-Ray Imaging and Spectroscopy Mission (XRISM) is ready to launch on 26 August 2023 to observe the most energetic objects and events in the cosmos. In doing so, it will unveil the evolution of the Universe and the structure of spacetime. XRISM will tentatively launch from the Tanegashima Space Center in Japan at 09:34 JST / 01:34 BST / 02:34 CEST. The mission is a collaboration between the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and NASA, with significant participation from ESA. In return for providing hardware and scientific advice, ESA will also receive 8% of XRISM’s available observing time.

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Luna-25 Lunar Probe Crashes onto Moon’s surface

Russia’s State Space Corporation, Roscosmos, has announced that the Luna-25 automatic lunar station collided with the moon's surface and subsequently perished. The agency pointed out that on August 19 that the lunar probe would have received propulsion thrust to descend into its landing trajectory on the Moon's elliptical orbit. However, the Agency lost contact with the probe "at about 2:57 p.m. Decree time." The Russian space agency disclosed that all measures regarding the spacecraft's location and establishing communications with it on August 19 and 20 yielded zero results.

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Space Intelligence to Map Kenya and Tanzania

Space intelligence REDD

Nature data specialist Space Intelligence will map two African nations to support integrity and transparency in the carbon markets. The maps for Kenya and Tanzania will help to provide a baseline for all Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) projects which aim to stop unplanned deforestation in the countries. Furthermore, the standards agency, Verra, will approve the maps. To ensure accuracy and validity, the maps will comprise two levels of data: a set of Forest Cover Benchmark Maps covering 2010-2020 and point-based Activity Data showing the precise location of deforestation.

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#SpaceWatchGL Summer Listening Series: Week Three – Trendsetters in the Space Sector

Greetings, SpaceWatchers, and welcome to Summer Listening Week Three! Summer is upon us, and as our gaze shifts towards the stars during those warm, clear nights, SpaceWatch.Global brings you its third collection or the Summer Listening Series. Based on the vote by our newsroom, we have mapped out an interstellar journey across five categories. After the Moon, Climate, Space and Earth this week is the turn of  “Trendsetters in the Space Sector.”

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ELA Signs Multi-Launch Contract With INNOSPACE

Equatorial Launch Australia (ELA) has signed a multi-year, multi-launch contract with INNOSPACE for orbital launches from the Australian spaceport. The agreement will consequently see the launch of several INNOSPACE rocket variants, each carrying between 50kg and 500kg payloads into low earth orbit from the Arnhem Space Centre (ASC) across five years until Dec 2028. ELA believes the signing of this contract has validated its business concept and development plans by securing INNOSPACE as the first commercial company to become a ‘resident launcher’ (long-term tenant and regular launcher) at the Australian spaceport.

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