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Prepare to jump to light speed: Inside the mission to go interstellar | New Scientist issue 3225
"Proxima Centauri is 4 light years away. Ambitious space mission Breakthrough Starshot is developing a way to push spacecraft there at a fifth of the speed of light"
dreams  awe  NewScientist  inspiration  Space 
9 days ago by pierredv
LEFT FOR DEAD: ANTI‐COMPETITIVE BEHAVIOR IN ORBITAL SPACE - Adilov - - Economic Inquiry - Wiley Online Library
Abstract

In a dynamic investment framework with depreciation, we show incumbent satellite operators have incentives to “warehouse” a fraction of their assigned spectrum and orbital slots, keeping nonoperational assets in place, which reduces output, increases prices, and diminishes social welfare. Exploring three distinct market structures, we model firms' incentives to warehouse, and show conditions under which firms choose to warehouse rather than replace nonfunctioning satellites. We find a dominant firm with a competitive fringe produces more and longer duration warehousing relative to perfect competition or monopoly. Regulators could remediate warehousing by increasing a firm's marginal costs, or by increasing the probability of reallocating orbital slots that do not have a fully functioning satellite. (JEL L9, L5)
space  competition  economics 
april 2019 by pierredv
Amazon lists more than 70 jobs for Project Kuiper satellite operation – GeekWire
"Boy, that escalated quickly: Just hours after GeekWire revealed that Amazon is planning a 3,236-satellite constellation to provide global broadband access, code-named Project Kuiper, the company posted scores of job openings for the new space venture."

"Meanwhile, the Secure World Foundation’s Brian Weeden voiced concern over Project Kuiper’s potential impact on orbital debris."
Virtually all of the 73 Kuiper-related jobs listed on Amazon’s website are in Bellevue, Wash. One exception is a Seattle opening for a senior corporate counsel specializing in international trade and export control.

The timing is notable given Amazon’s decision to relocate its worldwide operations team from Seattle to Bellevue — a decision that seems to signal that the tech giant is cooling on its hometown.
GeekWire  space  Amazon  satellite  Seattle  Bellevue  employment  space-debris  orbital-debris 
april 2019 by pierredv
Soyuz launch completes first-generation O3b constellation - SpaceNews.com Apr 2019
"European launch provider Arianespace completed SES’s first-generation O3b constellation April 4 [2019] with the Soyuz launch of four satellites."

"SES now has 20 O3b satellites in medium Earth orbit. Franco-Italian manufacturer Thales Alenia Space built the Ka-band satellites, each of which carries 20 gigabits per second of throughput. "

"John-Paul Hemingway, SES Networks CEO, stood by SES’s decision to focus on medium Earth orbit, arguing that low Earth orbit systems will face latency challenges similar to GEO satellites because their closer proximity to the Earth means smaller coverage areas, necessitating routing traffic through multiple stops for long-distance communications. "
SpaceNews  O3b  space  launch  Soyuz  SES  MEO 
april 2019 by pierredv
Driving Space Commerce Through Effective Spectrum Policy | National Telecommunications and Information Administration
"On May 24, 2018, President Donald J. Trump issued Space Policy Directive – 2 (SPD-2), Streamlining Regulations on Commercial Use of Space. The section on radio frequency spectrum requires the Secretary of Commerce and the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) to provide a report to the President “on improving the global competitiveness of the United States space sector through radio frequency spectrum policies, regulation, and United States activities at the International Telecommunication Union and other multilateral forums.” This report responds with a set of recommendations to support the radio frequency needs of the United States space sector."
NTIA  space  Spectrum  DoC 
april 2019 by pierredv
4 Big Challenges for Emerging Space - NSR - Mar 2019
"With companies moving beyond the R&D phase into operations (48% of total companies founded today, up from 43% in 2016), a healthy market dynamic exists, but on the road to success, there are 4 critical elements common to most emerging space players that NSR identified across all segments."

1. funding
2. regulatory barriers
3. market readiness
4. technology development

"3 segments of the market, namely:
Earth-to-Space (E2S): infrastructure/services developed on Earth to facilitate the use of space (manufacturing and launch)
Space-to-Earth (S2E): services delivered from assets in space for use on Earth (satcom services, downstream geospatial analytics etc.)
Space-to-Space (S2S): including services delivered in space (space tourism, in-orbit servicing etc.)"
NSR  space  satellite  business 
march 2019 by pierredv
The world's great nations are revisiting the moon. But where's Europe? | New Scientist Dec 2019
"Since the beginning of the Soviet state, space travel has been associated with utopianism, exemplified by 19th-century visionary Nikolai Fedorov and his colleague Konstantin Tsiolkovsky."

"For the US, going to the moon was all about rugged, pragmatic individualism; for the Soviets, it was a parable for their communal social philosophy. This enactment of national myth is apparent in the Chinese moon programme. Chang’e is the name of a goddess who flew to the moon after she drank an elixir of immortality to stop her husband’s enemy from stealing it: a story of heroic and dutiful self-sacrifice that underlies China’s Moon Festival in the autumn. ... more recently the government has revived legends and historical figures such as Confucius to mobilise nationalist sentiment."

** Not clear to me how this is "enactment of national myth" - unless one defines myth as Merriam Webster https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/myth
"2 a : a popular belief or tradition that has grown up around something or someone especially : one embodying the ideals and institutions of a society or segment of society"
NewScientist  space  utopianism  myth 
march 2019 by pierredv
The Woomera Manual | The Woomera Manual
"The Woomera Manual project is an international research project that is spearheaded by The University of Adelaide, The University of Exeter, the University Of Nebraska and the University of New South Wales - Canberra. Our mission is to develop a Manual that objectively articulates and clarifies existing international law applicable to military space operations."
space  law  military  defense 
february 2019 by pierredv
Telesat signs New Glenn multi-launch agreement with Blue Origin for LEO missions - SpaceNews.com Jan 2019
"Canadian fleet operator Telesat has agreed to launch satellites for its future low-Earth-orbit broadband constellation on multiple New Glenn missions, Blue Origin announced Jan. 31.

The agreement, for an unspecified number of launches and satellites, makes Telesat the fifth customer to sign up to use the reusable launcher, which is slated for a maiden flight in 2021. "

"Blue Origin already has eight other New Glenn missions in backlog: one each for Paris-based Eutelsat, Sky Perfect JSAT of Japan and Thai startup Mu Space, plus five launches for low-Earth-orbit megaconstellation company OneWeb. "

"Telesat is preparing a constellation of roughly 300 communications satellites for global internet connectivity services. The satellite operator plans to select a manufacturer — either Airbus Defence and Space or a team comprised of Thales Alenia Space and Space Systems Loral — later this year. "

"In a separate Jan. 31 announcement, Telesat said Loon has agreed to deliver a network operating system design that Telesat can use to support its LEO constellation. Loon, a subsidiary of Google parent company Alphabet, said last fall it sees non-geostationary satellite operators as customers for a variation of the software-defined network it uses to deliver mobile connectivity via high-altitude balloons."

"The rocket can carry 45 metric tons to low Earth orbit, and features a payload fairing twice the size of any other rocket on the market, according to Blue Origin."
space  satellite  SpaceNews  launch  BlueOrigin  Telesat  Loon  Alphabet  Google 
january 2019 by pierredv
FCC fines Swarm $900,000 for unauthorized smallsat launch - SpaceNews.com Dec 2018 Dec 2018
Swarm Technologies will pay $900,000 to settle an investigation by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission into the startup’s launch of four picosatellites on an Indian rocket this January without regulatory approval, the FCC announced Dec. 20.
space  FCC  enforcement  Enforcement-Bureau  EB  Satellites  SwarmTechnologies  satellite 
december 2018 by pierredv
APOD: 2018 November 26 - Rocket Launch as Seen from the Space Station
A close inspection of the featured time-lapse video will reveal a rocket rising to Earth orbit as seen from the International Space Station (ISS).
APOD  space  launch  timelapse  video 
november 2018 by pierredv
Rocket Raccoon: Trash Pandas unveil logos | MiLB.com
"Last month, Madison, Alabama's impending Minor League Baseball team announced that they would be known as the Rocket City Trash Pandas. On Saturday, logos were unveiled to go along with this memorable moniker. "

"The Trash Pandas' color scheme is described by the team as "Space Black, Rocket Red, Sky Blue and Trashcan Gray." According to Klein, the primary logo tells "the story of a raccon with ingenuity cobbling together all the elements he needs to launch a trash can into outer space." "
logos  raccoons  design  space  humor 
october 2018 by pierredv
The quest to conquer Earth’s space junk problem, Nature news, Sep 2018
"Zombie satellites, rocket shards and collision debris are creating major traffic risks in orbits around the planet. Researchers are working to reduce the threats posed by more than 20,000 objects in space. "

(great animation from ESA, and Nature infographic)

"Several teams are trying to improve methods for assessing what is in orbit, so that satellite operators can work more efficiently in ever-more-crowded space. Some researchers are now starting to compile a massive data set that includes the best possible information on where everything is in orbit. Others are developing taxonomies of space junk — working out how to measure properties such as the shape and size of an object, so that satellite operators know how much to worry about what’s coming their way. And several investigators are identifying special orbits that satellites could be moved into after they finish their missions so they burn up in the atmosphere quickly, helping to clean up space. "
space  orbital-debris  space-junk  animation  visualization  infographics  NatureJournal 
october 2018 by pierredv
The battle for more satellite bandwidth - POLITICO
Tom Stroup pushes for satellite:

"... in some of the working groups there seems to be a disconnect between space policy and the role we play in 5G services and the spectrum that will be made available for 5G services and the need for harmonization throughout the world."
Politico  space  5G  satellite  SIA  interviews 
september 2018 by pierredv
Electric propulsion to send smallsats from LEO to GEO orbit, moon - SpaceNews.com aug 2018
"Blue Canyon Technologies, a small satellite supplier based in Boulder, Colorado, is bidding on two missions to transport spacecraft from low Earth to geostationary orbit with electric propulsion in addition to a mission to send a satellite from low Earth orbit to the moon. The missions are scheduled to fly within the next couple of years, said George Stafford, Blue Canyon chief executive and president. With electric propulsion, it will take a satellite about four months to move from low Earth to geostationary orbit and six months to reach the moon, said Daniel Hegel, Blue Canyon advanced development director."
SpaceNews  space  propulsion  BlueCanyon  smallsats 
august 2018 by pierredv
Former space executive Sirangelo joins University of Colorado - SpaceNews.com Aug 2018
"Mark Sirangelo, who left Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) in June after heading the company’s space division for a decade, has joined the University of Colorado Boulder as an “entrepreneur-in-residence” in its aerospace engineering program."
SpaceNews  space  CU-Boulder 
august 2018 by pierredv
Iridium posts sharply higher revenue, forecasts decade-long capex holiday - SpaceNews.com Aug 2018
"With seven of eight launches completed for Iridium Next, its $3 billion second-generation constellation, Iridium is poised to begin a 10-year “capex holiday,” CEO Matt Desch said during a call with investors, projecting a reduction to $35 million in annual spending after the final launch. McLean, Virginia-based Iridium spent $132 million in capital expenditures the past three months, most of it on Iridium Next."

"... reiterated that Iridium is on track to complete the full constellation of 75 in-orbit satellites this year. "

"Desch said 80 percent of Iridium’s telecom traffic is traveling over Next satellites, of which 65 are in orbit. ... The full Iridium Next constellation consists of 66 operational satellites, nine orbiting spares and six ground spares."

"Iridium subscribers totaled 1,047,000 at the end of June, up 15 percent year over year, with commercial IoT subscribers counting for 576,000, up 25 percent from the same time in 2017. "

"Desch declined to describe pricing for the new contract Iridium is working on, but hinted that Iridium is pitching Certus, its new higher throughput broadband offering, to the government in addition to traditional services of secure voice, push to talk, and IoT narrowband connectivity."
Iridium  business  space  satellite  broadband  IoT 
august 2018 by pierredv
Why the Private Spaceflight Industry Needs More Lawyers (Op-Ed) Jul 2018
"We need law schools to prepare students for this infinite realm of property law regarding physical property, like the construction and use of spacecraft, space stations and even to attempts to colonize the moon and Mars. That preparation also extends to the vast universe of intellectual property. Law students also need to learn the mechanics of laws governing aviation and space travel, as well as personal liability and insurance. And existing lawyers need to expand their knowledge of these subjects, lest the commercial quest for space have nowhere to go because too many questions go unanswered."
opinion  space  law  education 
august 2018 by pierredv
Satellite Constellations: Too Much of a Good Thing? - Northern Sky Research, Aug 2018
"LEO constellations, theoretically, benefit from economies of scale [but] it is crucial to recognize the point where the variable costs start to outweigh the fixed cost benefits, and the cost save turns into cost disadvantages, also known as diseconomies of scale."

"To support the production of satellite constellations ... will most definitely result in bottlenecks within the industry with further increase in internal diseconomies of scale for operators as well as for the suppliers."

"At a certain point, the additional satellites for the larger constellation continue to increase the costs but are unable to produce revenues at the same rate, resulting in a lower ROI for the 4,425-satellite [SpaceX] constellation."
NSR  space  satellite  constellations  economics  business  SpaceX 
august 2018 by pierredv
Commercial space bill clears Senate committee - SpaceNews.com Aug 2018
"The Senate Commerce Committee approved a bill Aug. 1 that would streamline commercial launch and remote sensing regulations but also includes language conflicting with a House bill. The committee favorably reported S. 3277, the Space Frontier Act of 2018, on a voice vote without any members speaking out against it. "

"The revised version leaves in place a section that gives the Department of Transportation, though the Federal Aviation Administration, the ability to use the payload review portion of the launch licensing process to authorize non-traditional space activities that are not overseen by other agencies. "

"The second [approved amendment], by Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.), calls on the U.S. government to develop “consistent standards across Federal agencies” to minimize the risks posed by orbital debris. "
SpaceNews  legislation  space  commerce  orbital-debris 
august 2018 by pierredv
Telesat picks Airbus Defence and Space as second constellation design partner - SpaceNews.com aug 2018
"Telesat awarded a second constellation design contract Aug. 1, choosing Airbus Defence and Space to begin studies on the company’s proposed system of 117 low Earth orbit communications satellites.

The contract follows a similar deal awarded July 30 to a team of Maxar Technologies and Thales Alenia Space."

"Airbus is already under contract to build 900 small telecom satellites for OneWeb, producing the first 10 in France before shifting production to a new $85 million factory in Florida."

"It is not clear what role OneWeb Satellites could play in building satellites for Telesat. Erwin Hudson, vice president of Telesat LEO, told SpaceNews earlier this summer that the satellites Telesat envisions will be materially larger than the 145-kilogram satellites OneWeb plans."

“They are more substantial, larger, more complex satellites than some of the other LEO constellations because we’ve got phased array antennas and onboard processing in addition to the [inter-satellite link] terminals,” Hudson said of Telesat LEO.
SpaceNews  Telesat  Airbus  space  broadband  satellite  business  antennas 
august 2018 by pierredv
National Space Council officials to attend WRC-19 spectrum conference - SpaceNews.com
"Michael Beavin, senior policy adviser at the National Space Council, confirmed the council “is planning to send folks” next fall to the four-week conference, referred to as WRC-19, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt."

"The satellite industry fared better than expected at the previous WRC in 2015, protecting the majority of the 800 MHz C-band from mobile operators wanting the spectrum for cellular networks. The satellite industry also flustered the U.S. Federal Communications Commission by uniting against U.S.-led efforts to examine satellite Ka-band spectrum’s potential for 5G cellular networks. . . . Francois Rancy, director of the ITU’s radiocommunication bureau, said last November that C- and Ka-band look like prime targets for cellular 5G ‘harmonization,’ or coordinating the spectrum on a regional or global basis for a single purpose."

"FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly echoed the importance of satellite communications, but said he remained frustrated with the satellite industry’s deflection on Ka-band at WRC-15."
NationalSpaceCouncil  WRC-19  SpaceNews  space  spectrum  ITU-R 
july 2018 by pierredv
Telesat selects Thales-Maxar team for LEO constellation design work - SpaceNews.com Jul 2018
"Telesat on July 30 selected Thales Alenia Space and Maxar Technologies’ Space Systems Loral division to collaborate on the design of its low Earth orbit broadband satellite constellation."

"Telesat’s schedule for manufacturing and service activation has slipped by about a year. The company now plans to have the constellation in service in 2022, instead of 2021 as originally envisioned."

"Telesat says its LEO constellation will offer multiple terabits of secure throughput with latency low enough to rival fiber. Targeted applications include broadband to aircraft, boats and land vehicles, corporate networks, governments and rural connectivity. "

"Thales is the manufacturer for the 81 LEO satellites in Iridium Next, integrating the spacecraft with Northrop Grumman, and has a study contract with startup LeoSat for its proposed constellation of 84 broadband satellites. Maxar’s MDA division in Canada is a supplier to OneWeb for the company’s 900-satellite constellation. "
SpaceNews  Telesat  space  satellite  broadband  LEO  business  Thales  Maxar 
july 2018 by pierredv
Satellite EOL: Not One Size Fits All - Northern Sky Research Jul 2018
"A satellite launched in the 1990s was designed to operate for an average 12 years, a life expectancy that by the 2000s increased to 15 years. Many continue to operate for 18 years or more, but 15 remains the prevailing design life. Yet with operators seeking new strategies in today’s challenging market, and technology advancing at an ever-faster pace, could the 15-year GEO satellite life be a standard of the past?"

"NSR’s Satellite Manufacturing and Launch Services, 8th Edition, found that commercial GEO communications satellites in-orbit today have an average age of 8.9 years. Only 17.2% of current satellites are in the process of being replenished, indicating that a slate of new orders – or decisions to not replace aging satellites – are coming in the next few years."

"Many elements contribute to a satellite reaching EOL or experiencing a reduction in capabilities, but exhaustion of fuel most commonly drives the 15-year design life. As operators increasingly turn to electric propulsion, this driver will ease, enabling satellites to remain in station-kept orbit longer than with chemical designs. A more near-term solution to lengthen satellite lifetimes is to use in-orbit servicing vehicles, either for refueling or as a tug to provide station keeping."

"Interest in short, 7-8-year lifetimes has also emerged."
NSR  market-research  satellite  business  space  GEO 
july 2018 by pierredv
EO Investment Picture: Worth More Than a Thousand Words - Northern Sky Research Jul 2018
"The Earth Observation (EO) market has been in constant evolution and recently, it has transitioned from costly, large EO satellites to smaller, more nimble ones flying as part of constellations. Using many small satellites is enabling real-time earth monitoring and observation, and with this, increasingly large amounts of data are being produced every day. Additionally, medium resolution imaging (1 m. to 5 m.) is abundant, and its price relatively low and declining."

"This combination of price decrease and data profusion has created a business opportunity favoring the entrance of new players and the application of digital technologies into new business models,"

"Small satellite constellations with new sensor technologies have enabled data and imaging of the Earth in large amounts, thereby allowing for a new set of companies to arise at the intersection of low-priced imagery and digital technologies: data analytics.

And it is not by coincidence that NSR’s research found almost 90% of new space companies dedicated to EO are for data analytics; inexpensive imagery and digital technologies can deliver high value intelligence applications at a much cheaper cost."

"45% of new EO companies were founded in North America and captured 84% of total investments."

"Diving deeper into 2017, and more particularly into the dynamic North American market, NSR’s analysis shows most investor attention was focused on two companies: Orbital Insights and Descartes Labs. "
NSR  satellite  space  EarthObservation  remote-sensing  business  market-research  data-analytics  investing  EO  OrbitalInsights  DescartesLabs 
july 2018 by pierredv
Senate introduces bill to streamline commercial space regulations - SpaceNews.com, Jul 2018
"Three senators introduced legislation July 25 to reform commercial space regulations, including a provision that conflicts with language in a bill passed by the House. The Space Frontier Act, S. 3277, primarily focuses on reforms to regulation of commercial launches and remote sensing. It includes language calling for streamlining of processes for licensing launches and reentries as well as for licensing remote sensing spacecraft."

"Many of the bill’s provisions are in line both with Space Policy Directive (SPD) 2, signed by President Trump in May, and the American Space Commerce Free Enterprise Act, a bill that the House approved in April. "

"The Senate, though, differs with the House and the White House in one area, authorization of so-called “non-traditional” commercial space activities... The House bill gives that authority to the Commerce Department while SPD-2 endorsed more generally the creation of a “one-stop shop” for most commercial space regulations in that department. The Senate bill, though, would give that authority to the FAA, though the Department of Transportation."

"The Senate bill does have the support of the leadership of the House Transportation Committee."
SpaceNews  legislation  space  commerce  FAA  DoC 
july 2018 by pierredv
Earth observation startup Planet trims workforce by "less than ten percent" - SpaceNews.com Jul 2018
"Planet, the startup that operates the world’s largest constellation of Earth imaging satellites, laid off dozens of workers July 13. One source put the number at 38."

Per Jeff Foust, seem to be "shifting from developing its imaging satellite constellation to creating new commercial products based on the images those satellites provide"

"Planet was founded in 2010 with a small team and a big idea: to deploy an enormous constellation of cubesats to offer daily, global Earth imagery. The San Francisco startup, which grew to employ nearly 500 people, achieved that goal late last year with 200 satellites, including its own cubesats and larger spacecraft it acquired when it took control of BlackBridge’s RapidEye fleet in 2015 and Google’s Terra Bella constellation in 2017."
SpaceNews  space  remote-sensing  satellite  business  EO  EarthObservation 
july 2018 by pierredv
[pdf] Stimson SWF - roundtable report on space insurance, Jan 2018
“The suppliers of space insurance face steep competition and limited demand, so they currently compete to gain customers”

“… it seems that the structure of the space insurance market currently precludes any incentivizing from the insurers onto the operators”

“The British government has required such insurance and the power of the UK insurance industry to dictate behavior has been increased.”
SWF  StimsonCenter  space  insurance 
july 2018 by pierredv
July 2018 - On the EU's Space Program and new EU Agency for Space Proposal | Via Satellite
"The European Commission (EC), seeking to assert more control over European space policy, regulation and governance, has published a proposal for a regulation establishing the EU space program and the EU Agency for the Space Program."
ViaSatellite  EC  EU  space  ESA  Europe  EuropeanCommission 
july 2018 by pierredv
Boeing constellation stalled, SpaceX constellation progressing - SpaceNews.com
"Boeing is not actively building any satellites for the constellation it proposed to U.S. regulators two years ago, an industry executive said June 25.

“We have a filing but we haven’t really started developing it yet, so I would call that not really moving forward,” Dawn Harms, vice president of global sales and marketing at Boeing Satellite Systems International, said at the CASBAA Satellite Industry Forum here. "

"SpaceX anticipates starting service with around 800 satellites in 2020 or 2021. "
SpaceNews  space  LEO  NGSO  satellite  Boeing  SpaceX 
june 2018 by pierredv
House Science Committee approves space traffic management bill - SpaceNews.com June 2018
"The House Science Committee approved a bill June 27 that would give the Commerce Department new responsibilities for space traffic management despite opposition by some Democrats that the bill “rubber stamps” the administration’s space policy. The committee favorably reported on a voice vote H.R. 6226, the American Space Situational Awareness and Framework for Entity (SAFE) Management Act.

The legislation, announced by the committee June 22, would authorize the Commerce Department to provide space traffic management services, such as collision warnings, to civil and commercial satellite operators within one year of the bill’s enactment.

The bill authorizes NASA to develop a space traffic management science and technology plan, outlining research to be done to improve work in the area. It also calls on the Commerce Department to develop a pilot program for space traffic coordination."
space  SpaceNews  legislation  STM 
june 2018 by pierredv
NASA, Defense Department support giving space traffic management role to Commerce - SpaceNews.com June 2018
"At a rare joint hearing of the strategic forces subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee and space subcommittee of the House Science Committee June 22, officials said they backed the plan in Space Policy Directive 3 announced four days earlier to give Commerce Department authority to provide safety-related space situational awareness data to civil and commercial satellite operators."
space  SpaceNews  legislation  DoC  NASA  DoD 
june 2018 by pierredv
CONFERS
CONFERS aims to benefit the entire on-orbit servicing industry by building common understanding between developers, operators, customers, investors, insurers, and government policy makers while protecting commercial participants’ financial and strategic interests.
space 
june 2018 by pierredv
US Government and Military Satellite Market, Forecast to 2022, Jan 2017
"The US government is the single largest purchaser of commercial satellite services in the world, and accounted for $1.34 billion in 2015."
satellite  space  forecast  market-research  USG  DoD 
june 2018 by pierredv
Industry Partners Help Establish Consortium for Satellite Servicing Standards, SWF, June 2018
The Secure World Foundation (SWF) is proud to be part of a team that recently won a contract from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to help address the lack of standards for cooperative on-orbit servicing. In November 2016, DARPA released a request for proposal for the Consortium for Execution of Rendezvous and Servicing Operations (CONFERS) Program. On October 3, 2017, a team consisting of SWF, the University of Southern California’s Space Engineering Research Center (SERC), and the Space Infrastructure Foundation (SIF), and led by Advanced Technology International (ATI), was awarded the initial phase of a multi-year contract to establish the Consortium.
SWF  DARPA  space 
june 2018 by pierredv
Space Radar Satellites Tracking Earth From Space - Nanalyze June 2018
The ability to shrink space radars down to below 100 kilograms is a real game changer in terms of both construction and launch costs for these types of satellites. ICEYE seems to have taken the lead and is already improving the resolution without adding much bulk (about 20 pounds) to its next-generation SAR satellite. As the constellation grows, it will provide even faster “revisit” rates, meaning updated data on the same geographic location, on the scale of just a few hours. That’s important not just for automating something like shipping traffic but for, say, managing assets during a natural disaster such as a hurricane, where persistent cloud cover would foil optical satellite systems.
space  remote-sensing  ICEYE  radar  SAR  nanalyze 
june 2018 by pierredv
Airbus to establish Zephyr flight test centre in Western Australia | Jane's 360, June 2018
"Airbus has selected Wyndham Airport in Western Australia to be the primary flight test centre for its Zephyr ‘pseudo-satellite’ unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV)."

"The Zephyr is designed to operate for up to 45 days at a time at altitudes of up to 70,000 ft to remain clear of the weather and commercial air traffic. Potential payloads include an over-the-horizon communications relay for line-of-sight communications and/or a surveillance payload. The latest Zephyr-T (Twin-tail) being developed by Airbus DS increases the wingspan of the baseline aircraft from 25 m to 33 m, enabling it to carry as 20 kg payload."
Janes  HAPS  UAV  space  Airbus 
june 2018 by pierredv
FCC Approves Audacy license for commercial satellite data-relay constellation - SpaceNews.com Jun 2018
"The U.S. Federal Communications Commission granted a spectrum license June 7 to Audacy, the Silicon Valley startup planning to establish a space-based commercial communications relay network."

"Audacy plans to send large satellites into medium Earth orbit and to begin providing services in 2020 for satellite, human spaceflight and launch vehicle operators including data downlink, continuous monitoring and command services"
SpaceNews  FCC  Audacy  NGSO  space  satellite  MEO 
june 2018 by pierredv
In-Orbit Servicing Markets (IoSM) - Northern Sky Research June 2018
With the first commercial servicing spacecraft slated to launch in 2018, NSR’s industry-first In-Orbit Servicing Markets (IoSM) study dives into the market dynamics and challenges shaping this nascent industry and its future potential. IoSM evaluates the value proposition of core IoS applications for different customer types, providing a global market revenue and addressable market demand forecast for each application in the 2017-2027 period. Two case studies on commercial GEO satellite life extension provide insight into the operator perspective in service-or-replace trade-offs, assessing when and why IoS is a compelling option.
NSR  market-research  space  satellite  in-orbit-servicing 
june 2018 by pierredv
Space Fence on Kwajalein will allow Air Force to monitor debris, threats - Pacific - Stripes Apr 2017
"The Air Force Space Surveillance System, which shut down in 2013 after 50 years, tracked about 20,000 objects. Space Fence, a tracking system being built by Lockheed Martin on the remote South Pacific island of Kwajalein, is expected to be able to track 200,000."

"Space Fence will be able to detect objects as small as marbles at the roughly 250-mile height of the International Space Station. Such a small speck of debris might sound benign, but NASA has replaced space shuttle windows damaged by flying paint flecks."
space  USAF  orbital-debris  SSA  LockheedMartin  radar 
may 2018 by pierredv
The Curious Case of the Rogue 'SpaceBee' Satellites - The Atlantic,May 2018
"The SpaceBee is a prototype satellite from Swarm Technologies, a start-up founded in 2016 and based in Los Altos, California. There is little publicly available information about Swarm. According to Mark Harris, the reporter at IEEE Spectrum who first broke the story about the satellites’ unauthorized launch, the company is in stealth mode"

"As of April, there are 589 nanosatellites in orbit—satellites with masses between one kilogram and 10 kilograms (2.2 pounds to 22 pounds), according to a comprehensive database run by Erik Kulu, a spacecraft systems engineer in Glasgow"

"Lockheed Martin is currently building a radar system that would allow the Space Surveillance Network to track smaller objects than is possible now. The program is expected to be finished by the end of this year. "
theAtlantic  satellite  Space  orbital-debris  space-debris  FCC  nanosatellites  cubesats 
may 2018 by pierredv
AGI establishes commercial deep space radar tracking system - SpaceNews.com
"AGI and Thoth Technology said they have set up a radar system on a 46-meter antenna at the Algonquin Radio Observatory in Ontario. The system is capable of tracking objects out to distances of 50,000 kilometers, and can detect objects about two meters across on GEO."

“We want to get down to 20 centimeters or less.”

"Johnson said that combining the radar observations with existing optical observations of GEO belt objects improves the accuracy of positions of those objects to 150 meters, compared to 250 meters using optical observations alone"
SpaceNews  AGI  SSA  space  radar  GEO  orbital-debris 
may 2018 by pierredv
NASA Upgrades VHF Communications for International Space Station, Apr 2018
Via Dale Hatfield

"NASA is implementing upgrades to VHF communications ground stations that back up the International Space Station (ISS) primary communications system, the Space Network and communicate with Soyuz spacecraft when out of Russia’s range. The ISS’s first component launched in 1998."
NASA  VHF  space 
may 2018 by pierredv
Non-GEO Constellations: Surviving the Disruption - Northern Sky Research - May 2018
"The main industry segments most affected by Non-GEO constellations are HTS Communications, IoT and Earth Observation (EO). ... The main industry segments most affected by Non-GEO constellations are HTS Communications, IoT and Earth Observation (EO). Each of these segments presents its own set of challenges and therefore different barriers to success. NSR’s Satellite Constellations: A Critical Assessment report investigates for the first time what guarantees success for LEO constellations within these three segments and the associated disruption on the industry."

"higher revenue requires a higher market share, which further requires low latency and higher coverage. That is the main value proposition of mega-constellations. However, the bigger the constellation, the higher the capital investment needed, and the higher the complexity of manufacturing with (because of their architecture) higher replenishment cost."

"The new Non-GEO constellations are expected to cause the biggest disruption in the HTS segment, conspicuously in Consumer Broadband and Backhaul/Enterprise verticals."

"these new LPWAN IoT constellations, despite offering the highest innovative disruption value, are not likely to have a significant impact on the overall satellite industry - financially, contributing just over 2% of overall NGEO revenues by 2027."

"A combination of low revenues and insufficient market capture will restrain at least one EO constellation from closing its business case."

"New IoT constellations such as Hiber, Astrocast and Kepler have a unique business case based on providing low cost, low power IoT solutions. This market is currently addressed by companies like Sigfox and LoRA on the terrestrial side and – to a limited extent – Iridium, Globalstar and Orbcomm on the satellite side."
NSR  market-research  satellite  space  business  LEO  NGSO  IoT  EO  EarthObservation 
may 2018 by pierredv
Iridium breaks Inmarsat monopoly on maritime safety communications - SpaceNews.com
"The UN certified Iridium Communications to provide Global Maritime Distress Safety System (GMDSS) services, ending Inmarsat’s monopoly on the internationally required service for ships"

"The International Convention of the Safety of Life at Sea treaty requires ships of 300 gross tonnage or more have GMDSS equipment onboard for international trips. Inmarsat had been the sole provider of GMDSS equipment since 1999.

Iridium said it expects to begin GMDSS service in 2020."
SpaceNews  Iridium  satellite  space  maritime  GMDSS 
may 2018 by pierredv
SpaceX's new price chart illustrates performance cost of reusability - SpaceNews.com May 2016
"Prices are shown as $62 million for the Falcon 9 Full Thrust and $90 million for the Falcon Heavy"

"pricing information listed is for geostationary missions only and does not apply to Mars missions. Nor should it be used as a guide to launches into low Earth orbit."

"Prices are shown as $62 million for the Falcon 9 Full Thrust and $90 million for the Falcon Heavy." Per http://spacenews.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/spacex-price.gif, lifts up to 5.5 mT and 8.0 mT respectively
SpaceNews  SpaceX  space  launch  business 
may 2018 by pierredv
SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches 10 more Iridium NEXT satellites into orbit - CBS News Mar 2018
"the fifth batch in a $3 billion 81-satellite constellation"

"66 of the 1,896-pound [860 kg] satellites operating in six orbital planes are required to complete the Iridium NEXT network. The company plans to eventually launch 15 in-orbit spares, using SpaceX to put 75 of the 81 planned satellites into orbit at a cost of more than $500 million"

"SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket streaked away from California early Friday, boosting the fifth set of 10 Iridium NEXT relay stations into orbit,"

"The new spacecraft feature a phased-array antenna that can generate 48 beams over a footprint 3,000 miles across"

"Iridium NEXT satellites, designed by the European aerospace giant Thales Alenia Space and built by Orbital ATK in Arizona, feature a different design that will not routinely result in flares"
CBSNews  Iridium  ThalesAlenia  OrbitalATK  launch  SpaceX  antennas  satellite  space 
may 2018 by pierredv
SpaceDataHighway Achieves 10,000 Successful Laser Connections - Via Satellite - May 2018
"The SpaceDataHighway system, a public-private partnership between the European Space Agency (ESA) and Airbus, has achieved 10,000 successful laser connections. The reliability rate has reached 99.8 percent, and during the first one and a half years of routine operations, these successful connections have downloaded more than 500 terabytes of data."

"The system’s satellites are designed to lock on to low-orbiting satellites via laser and collect their data as they travel in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) scanning the Earth. From its position in Geostationary Earth Orbit (GEO), the SpaceDataHighway acts as a relay, transmitting the large quantities of data down to Earth in near-real time, at a speed of 1.8 Gbit per second."

"Each day, the SpaceDataHighway is able to relay up to 40 terabytes of data acquired by observation satellites, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), or aircraft to Earth."
ViaSatellite  space  Communications  ESA  Airbus  reliability  optical-communications  LEO  GEO 
may 2018 by pierredv
Eutelsat Does the Math on Reducing Future Satellite Costs - SpaceNews.com Dec 2015
"The total capital cost of placing a telecommunications satellite into geostationary orbit is made up of the satellite’s construction, accounting for 50 percent of the total; 30 percent for the launch vehicle; and the rest reserved for insurance charges and diverse expenses."

"[Eutelsat said] it must reduce its satellite costs — construction, launch, insurance and ground segment — to 1 million euros ($1.1 million) per gigabit per second of throughput."
SpaceNews  satellite  space  business  Eutelsat 
may 2018 by pierredv
Trump’s Space Force should be more Coast Guard than Marines | TheHill May 2018
"For example, we have the Navy and Coast Guard as military and civil counterparts, with significant distinctions between their legal authorities. There are many reasons that the Coast Guard is normally a civilian agency, only transferred to Department of Defense control in extraordinary circumstances, not least of which being that it is an act of war for the Navy to board foreign-flag vessels at sea. We need to have a civilian agency with police powers in that role to prevent a string of international incidents."
space  HudsonInstitute  Brandt-Pasco  TheHill 
may 2018 by pierredv
Defense Department turning over space traffic management to Commerce, but details still unclear - SpaceNews.com May 2018
"Although there is overall agreement on the transfer of responsibilities, the specifics of who will do what may take years to sort out. DoD has deep expertise in “space situational awareness,” or SSA, whereas Commerce faces a steep learning curve."

"DoD holds the SSA authority and public service responsibility under section 2274 of Title 10 of the U.S. Code"

"The chairman’s mark of the Fiscal Year 2019 National Defense Authorization Act unveiled on Monday includes language that lays a path for the implementation."

"The space catalog is maintained by the Joint Space Operations Center at Vandenberg Air Force Base, which is part of U.S. Strategic Command. The center operates the Space Surveillance Network, a worldwide system of ground-based radars along with ground-based and orbital telescopes."

"There are 1,500 active satellites on orbit today. DoD monitors about 20,000 objects in space that are 10 cm or larger."

"There are still questions on who will perform specific duties such as operating sensors, Loverro noted. When there are two satellites coming close to each other, somebody has to “task” a sensor to go take measurements and calculate distances between objects."
SSA  STM  DoD  DoC  space  legislation  orbital-debris 
may 2018 by pierredv
China developing reusable space rocket - Xinhua | English.news.cn Apr 2018
China aims to recover the first stage of the Long March-8 carrier rocket, which is still under development and is expected to make its maiden flight around 2021, according to a Chinese rocket expert.
China  space  launch 
april 2018 by pierredv
FAA reauthorization bill boosts commercial space office - SpaceNews.com Apr 2018
A reauthorization bill for the Federal Aviation Administration passed by the House April 27 includes several provisions intended to support its commercial spaceflight activities, including a major increase in authorized spending levels. ... Several amendments approved by the House during its debate, though, involve the FAA’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation, or AST, and its role in regulating commercial spaceflight.

A manager’s amendment introduced by Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Pa.), chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, and passed on a voice vote April 26 included among its provisions a sizable increase in authorized funding levels for AST. The bill raises AST’s authorized budget from its 2018 level of just under $22.6 million to more than $33 million in 2019, with further increases to nearly $76 million by 2023. ... However, appropriators are not bound to fund the office, or other parts of the FAA, at levels stated in the bill.

establish an “Office of Spaceports” within AST
SpaceNews  FAA  space  legislation  AST 
april 2018 by pierredv
May 2018 - AI Heads to Space with a Constellation of Use Cases | Via Satellite Apr 2018
"Though the technology is just starting to roll out, Artificial Intelligence is applicable to many aspects of the satellite ecosystem, including system manufacturing, in-orbit management and image processing. From optimizing satellite builds on the factory floor to accurately determining the GDP of an entire nation, automated, scalable algorithms offer the space ecosystem rich potential for both an operational sea-change and a whole new set of applications."

"It’s important to note that AI may represent enormous possibilities for process improvement, but its deployment is not without challenges. One of the main issues on the manufacturing front is the intense amount of customization that’s required. No two satellites are identical, despite attempts to standardize products and systems."

In orbit: "... SES, whose fleet of 70 satellites each generates continuous health and status data. The operator is working with IBM Watson to use a real-time streaming AI to look at that data lake and increase reaction time to correct and normalize satellite operations when fluctuations in the telemetry occur."

"AI however opens up a new chapter in EO by lending scale, automated image tagging and sorting, and map correlations — which, taken together, can be used for entirely new applications, such as understanding the economic state of a third-world nation."
ViaSatellite  AI  space  satellite 
april 2018 by pierredv
Companies, lawyers argue against changing Outer Space Treaty - SpaceNews.com May 2017
Commercial space companies and space law experts recommended against any changes in the Outer Space Treaty at a recent hearing, arguing regulatory issues can be better addressed through laws and regulations.
SpaceNews  OuterSpaceTreaty  space  commerce  law 
april 2018 by pierredv
EDF Announces Satellite Mission to Locate and Measure Methane Emissions | Environmental Defense Fund Apr 2018
"Environmental Defense Fund President Fred Krupp today announced plans to develop and launch a new satellite purpose-built to identify and measure methane emissions from human-made sources worldwide, starting with the oil and gas industry. Data from MethaneSAT is intended to give both countries and companies robust data to spot problem areas, identify savings opportunities, and measure their progress over time."
EDF  space  satellite  remote-sensing  climate 
april 2018 by pierredv
Pence Promises New Space Traffic Management Policy Soon – SpacePolicyOnline.com April 2018
"Vice President Mike Pence announced today that the National Space Council will soon present to the President a new policy on Space Traffic Management. The need to manage the growing congestion in Earth orbit has been discussed for years. Many expected the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) would be assigned the task, but Pence revealed that it will be the Department of Commerce instead."

"In their simplest definitions, knowing where a space object is and, if it is maneuverable, where it is going, is Space Situational Awareness (SSA) while having authority to direct an agency or company to move a satellite is Space Traffic Management (STM)."

"DOD has indicated for some time that it would like to shift SSA responsibility for civil government and commercial operators to another government agency so JSPoC can focus on its primary mission of supporting military requirements."

"No agency has responsibility for STM yet."

Pence "reiterated the Administration’s proposal to end direct support for the International Space Station (ISS) in 2025 and thereafter rely on the commercial sector to operate low Earth orbit (LEO) facilities that NASA can lease instead of own: “where the government will be a tenant and a customer, not a landlord.”"
space  STM  space-traffic-management  DoC  FAA  orbital-debris  JSPoC  DoD 
april 2018 by pierredv
Support Grows for the NASA Authorization Act of 2018 | Committee on Science, Space, and Technology
Apr 19, 2018 Press Release
WASHINGTON - The U.S. House Science, Space, and Technology Committee today announced growing support for the NASA Authorization Act of 2018 (H.R. 5503). The committee approved the legislation Tuesday by a bipartisan vote of 26-7.
space  NASA  legislation 
april 2018 by pierredv
House Approves American Space Commerce Free Enterprise Act | Committee on Science, Space, and Technology
Apr 24, 2018 Press Release
WASHINGTON – The U.S. House of Representatives today unanimously passed the American Space Commerce Free Enterprise Act (H.R. 2809), which simplifies and strengthens the space-based remote sensing regulatory system, enhances U.S. compliance with international obligations, improves national security and removes regulatory barriers facing new and innovative space operators.
space  legislation  remote-sensing  EO 
april 2018 by pierredv
Back to the Moon? Understanding Trump’s Space Policy Directive 1 | CSIS Dec 2017
"On Monday, December 11, 2017, President Trump amended the 2010 National Space Policy to redirect the United States to go back to the Moon through the “Presidential Memorandum on Reinvigorating America's Human Space Exploration Program,” also commonly referred to as Space Policy Directive 1."

"The directive dictates that a section of the 2010 National Space Policy be deleted and replaced with new language to ensure that NASA and the U.S. government aim to send Americans back to the Moon first before pursuing deep space exploration, including Mars. ... These 63 words could signal a significant shift in the goals and direction of NASA, a $19 billion government agency."

"Space Directive 1 is a clear departure from the Obama administration and redirects efforts back to cislunar space (the area between the Earth and Moon)."

"Space Policy Directive 1 specifically calls for both commercial and international partners, whereas the language it replaces did not include this."

"In many ways, the Trump administration’s Moon first space policy is a return to the Bush administration’s space exploration plan, which also focused on returning to the Moon first before going to Mars."

"Space Policy Directive 1 is exceedingly vague in both objectives and timelines. "

"Third, the administration must develop a framework for partnership with both commercial firms and international partners."
WhiteHouse  EoP  space  CSIS 
april 2018 by pierredv
House passes commercial space regulatory bill - SpaceNews.com - Apr 2018
"The House of Representatives approved legislation April 24 that would reform commercial remote sensing regulation and create a licensing regime for “non-traditional” commercial space activities."

"The House approved on a voice vote H.R. 2809, the American Space Commerce Free Enterprise Act"

"Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), chairman of the House Science Committee,... he claimed, removed uncertainty regarding who would regulate emerging commercial space applications, ranging from satellite servicing to lunar landers, that don’t clearly fall into areas already overseen by the [FAA, FCC and NOAA], which today license launches, satellite communications and commercial remote sensing, respectively. "

"bill gives the Office of Space Commerce within the Department of Commerce the authority to issue “certifications” for space objects not otherwise licensed by the FAA or the FCC"

"reforms commercial remote sensing regulations, moving licensing of those spacecraft from NOAA’s Commercial Remote Sensing Regulatory Affairs office to the Office of Space Commerce"

"easily cleared the House, its future is less certain. The Senate has been working on its own commercial space bill, led by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), chairman of the Senate space subcommittee."
SpaceNews  legislation  space  DoC  NOAA  FAA  FCC 
april 2018 by pierredv
House committee approved revised NASA authorization bill - SpaceNews.com Apr 2018
"The House Science Committee, after some unusual last-minute drama, approved a NASA authorization bill April 17 that offers more support to the agency’s Earth science program."

Ranking member "criticized the content of the bill, including both Earth science cuts and its endorsement of administration’s space exploration plans without any hearings by the committee to discuss them"

"manager’s amendment also replaced language in the original bill directing NASA to use commercial space products and in-space infrastructure with language instead requiring NASA to prepare a report on the potential use of such commercial capabilities"

"Other amendments approved [included] a reaffirmation of the risks of orbital debris,..."
SpaceNews  space  legislation 
april 2018 by pierredv
May 2018 - Calculating the Economics of Reusable Launch Vehicles | Via Satellite
"With 23 successful first stage recoveries under its belt, SpaceX has proven that reusability is not just a way to save a couple bucks. The advantages it brings over traditional expendable vehicles has completely flipped the industry on its head, forcing every rocket company to take a beat and reconsider the way they approach launch as a business.

But the mathematics driving the resurgence of reusable rockets is more nuanced than it may seem. As it turns out, the economic considerations behind making reusability a core element of your business can be as complex as the rocket science itself."

"This design would increase Firefly Aerospace’s lift from 1 metric ton to Low Earth Orbit (LEO) with Alpha to 4 metric tons, giving the company a quick path to the medium mass market. "

"Blue Origin CEO Bob Smith believes it’s just a matter of time before reusability becomes commonplace across all launch paradigms."
ViaSatellite  launch  economics  space  FireflyAerospace  business 
april 2018 by pierredv
Glasgow leads Britain's satellite space race - Sky News, Apr 2018
"Satellites once took 10 to 15 years to design and produce but newer nano-versions can be easily built in days or weeks."

"The former shipbuilding hub has re-invented itself for the space age. It now makes more satellites than any other city outside the United States.

Scotland's first satellite, built by Clyde Space, was launched just four years ago. Since then Alba Orbital and Spire Global have joined the space race, between them putting around 100 satellites in orbit."
UK  Scotland  space  manufacturing  satellite  Spire 
april 2018 by pierredv
US Commerce Department to Manage Space Traffic Under New Policy - Via Satellite - Apr 2018
"The United States government is putting the finishing touches on a new space traffic management policy designed to protect U.S. national security and commercial spacecraft amid growing congestion in space, Vice President Mike Pence announced April 16. "

"The new policy will direct the Department of Commerce to provide a basic level of space situational awareness for public and private use. That information will be based on the space catalog compiled by the Department of Defense."

"The policy will also encourage the commercial space industry to work with the federal government to develop data-sharing systems, technical guidelines and safety standards to minimize space debris and avoid satellite collisions. The United States will adopt those tools and encourage other countries to follow suit, Pence said."
ViaSatellite  space-traffic-management  STM  DoC  DoD  space 
april 2018 by pierredv
Commerce Department ready to add space traffic management to growing space role - SpaceNews.com
"Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross says his department is gearing up to add space traffic management to its growing portfolio of commercial space responsibilities."

"Those plans will build upon earlier studies that examined shifting the responsibility from the Defense Department for providing space traffic management services, such as collision warnings, for operators of civil and commercial satellites. That will include, he said, leveraging the expertise of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), part of the Commerce Department, in developing standards in collaboration with industry."

"[Ross]emphasized the “baby steps” nature of that planned transition, but didn’t estimate how long it would take to complete."

"The hour-long “listening session” allowed companies to discuss their concerns, which included a lack of transparency in the licensing review process and long timelines."
SpaceNews  space  STM  space-traffic-management  DoC  Wilbur-Ross 
april 2018 by pierredv
Lightfoot calls for enlightened approach to risk management at NASA - SpaceNews.com April 2018
"In his last major speech as NASA’s acting administrator before retiring, Robert Lightfoot said he believes the space agency needs to do a better job assessing risks and making decisions in order to carry out its exploration plans"

"One problem, he said, is that missions are often sold on their benefits, but once under development, the focus shifts to their risks."

He also said that decisions are slowed down because information on various options and their risks isn’t brought fast enough to key officials. “The elevation of risk to senior leadership doesn’t happen fast enough,” he said. “That processes crushes decision velocity.”
NASA  space  risk-assessment  risk-management 
april 2018 by pierredv
Startup with SoftBank, Airbus investment planning video constellation with several hundred satellites - SpaceNews.com Apr 2018
"A satellite startup that today announced SoftBank, Airbus, Bill Gates and OneWeb founder Greg Wyler as investors says it has plans to field a constellation of hundreds of satellites to provide global video of the Earth, but provided few details on how it will accomplish that goal."

"EarthNow spun out of the business incubator Intellectual Ventures last year with a mission to record the planet and provide video in real time to users on the ground. Airbus is the company’s manufacturing partner, using production lines made to build thousands of telecom satellites for OneWeb in Toulouse, France and Exploration Park, Florida."

"EarthNow’s imaging payload will drive the cost slightly higher than that of a OneWeb telecom satellite, which is estimated at around $1 million each, he said."

"Hannigan said Airbus is building the satellites using an enhanced version of the OneWeb bus produced by OneWeb Satellites, the Airbus-OneWeb joint venture that is building OneWeb’s constellation."

"Hannigan wouldn’t describe the EarthNow ground system, which would likely require either numerous ground stations or inter-satellite links to ensure real time data delivery, saying only that “each satellite is connected to the ground at all times.”"
SpaceNews  Space  EO  EarthObservation  remote-sensing  OneWeb  manufacturing  Airbus  EarthNow 
april 2018 by pierredv
Companies look to Trump administration to further ease export rules for space technology - SpaceNews.com April 2018
Jeff Foust paraphrase: "While reforms enacted in 2014 removed many commercial satellites and their components from the U.S. Munitions List, and therefore no longer subject to ITAR, changes in satellite technology merit a new look at what should be on the list, companies argue. Such reforms could include regular reviews, on five-year cycles, of items on the Munitions List and the Commerce Control List. "

From the story:

"Those firms and many others are pinning their hopes for further regulatory relief on the Trump administration since the National Space Council’s executive secretary, Scott Pace, is working with members of the panel to recommend changes to export rules by the end of the year."
SpaceNews  space  exports  export-rules  trade  ITAR 
april 2018 by pierredv
Commerce to take responsibility for space traffic management under new policy - SpaceNews.com Apr 2018
"A new space traffic management policy announced by Vice President Mike Pence April 16 would give the Commerce Department, and not the FAA, responsibility for providing space situational awareness data to satellite operators."
space  SpaceNews  regulation  DoC  FAA  orbital-debris 
april 2018 by pierredv
NASA authorization bill increases emphasis on commercial partnerships - SpaceNews.com April 2018
"A NASA authorization bill to be considered by the House next week would direct NASA to work more closely with commercial partners in areas ranging from Earth observation to deep space exploration.

The NASA Authorization Act of 2018, introduced by Rep. Brian Babin (R-Texas), chairman of the House space subcommittee, was released April 13. The legislation is scheduled to be marked up by the full House Science Committee on April 17."

"One part of the bill, titled “Commercial,” includes a number of sections directing NASA to make use of commercial capabilities in future exploration missions."

"The bill’s commercial language is not limited to space systems. The U.S., the bill states, “should foster the development of U.S. private sector remote sensing capabilities and analyses that can satisfy the public interest in long-term continuous collection of medium-resolution land remote sensing data.”"
SpaceNews  legislation  space  NASA  EO  EarthObservation  remote-sensing 
april 2018 by pierredv
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