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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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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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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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SpeQtral selects Kongsberg NanoAvionics and Mbryonics

SpeQtral, a leading quantum communication technology company, has chosen Kongsberg NanoAvionics (NanoAvionics) as the satellite bus provider for its upcoming SpeQtral-1 mission. Furthermore, the mission also has a second partner in Mbryonics, producing the satellite’s optical terminal. Using the technical expertise of NanoAvionics as a leading smallsat bus manufacturer and mission integrator and Mbryonics’s state-of-the-art optical terminal hardware, SpeQtral-1 aims to serve as a pathfinder commercial demonstrator, defining future quantum key distribution (QKD) services.

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OneWeb Signs Distribution Agreement for US Delivery

OneWeb has announced that it signed a distribution partnership agreement with IP Access International to deliver high-speed, low-latency broadband connectivity across the United States. Under this partnership, IP Access International will seamlessly blend OneWeb’s satellite services with all major terrestrial cellular providers in the U.S., providing resilient mobile communications through a single service plan and support center.

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EnduroSat to build Vyoma’s Situational Awareness Constellation

EnduroSat and Vyoma have announced that they will be working together on Europe’s first commercial mission for in-situ space situational awareness (SSA). As a result, Vyoma will use in-orbit optical telescopes to observe space objects and map the orbital environment at a high frequency, thus providing SSA data and services with near-zero latency. On the other hand, EnduroSat will design and build the ESPA microsatellites, which will deploy in a low-Earth orbit.

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Exolaunch to Deploy Muon Space Constellation

Muon Space and Exolaunch have signed a multi-launch agreement (MLA) to deploy Muon Space’s first three constellation satellites during SpaceX Transporter missions. Muon Space’s first satellite, MuSat-1, launched in June via Exolaunch on SpaceX’s Transporter-8 mission from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California.

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DCUBED Announces In-Space Manufacturing Demonstration

DCUBED logo

DCUBED, the German NewSpace hardware manufacturer, has announced that it will demonstrate in-space manufacturing as part of a demonstration mission in Q1 2024. This demonstration will represent the first time any product would undergo manufacture in free space. The demonstration will consequently see the production of a roughly 30-centimeter high, 3D-printed truss structure. Furthermore, it intends to prove the efficacy of in-space manufacturing and highlight the game-changing potential that such capabilities promise to deliver for production in orbit. 

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NOAA Removes Limits on Commercial Remote Sensing Licenses

NOAA

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has, through its Commercial Remote Sensing Regulatory Affairs (CRSRA) office has announced the modification of operating licenses of multiple commercial satellite systems. These license conditions had previously restricted the operations of commercial satellites, preventing them from offering their full remote sensing capabilities to the public. On July 20, 2020, NOAA implemented new, specific regulations on private remote sensing systems.

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