Europe’s Newest Launcher



Space investments continue to mount around the world.  Europe’s new vehicle provides yet another milestone in our space legacy.  (Editor – EPIQ Space)

You can find this article and others on ESA’s website here.

Four of the latest set of Galileo navigation satellites will be launched on Ariane 6 rockets – ESA’s first contract to use Europe’s new vehicle.

The launches are scheduled between the end of 2020 and mid-2021, using two Ariane 62 rockets – the configuration of Europe’s next-generation launch vehicle that is best suited to haul the two 750 kg navigation satellites into their orbits at 23 222 km altitude.

Under development, Ariane 6 is Europe’s newest launcher, designed to extend guaranteed access to space for Europe at a competitive price. It will operate in two configurations, depending on customer needs: Ariane 62 is fitted with two strap-on boosters while Ariane 64 has four.

“Ariane 6 is not only in full development, but it will soon be put to use,” notes Daniel Neuenschwander, ESA’s Director of Space Transportation. “This contract is a key step in the upcoming ramp-up phase of Ariane 6.”

The Galileos have so far either been launched in pairs by Soyuz from French Guiana or in fours by Ariane 5.

A new Ariane 5 flight is scheduled for the end of this year, to add four more satellites to the 18-strong constellation already in orbit. This month saw the arrival of the first elements of the rocket in French Guiana, transported aboard the MN Colibri roll-on/roll-off ship.

The contract specifies the decision to use Ariane 62 is subject to the vehicle’s development schedule, with Soyuz available as an alternative. A final choice will be made at the end of 2018, two years before the first launch.

Galileo is Europe’s own satellite navigation system, providing an array of positioning, navigation and timing services to Europe and the world.

A further eight Galileo ‘Batch 3’ satellites were ordered last June, to supplement the 26 built so far.

Galileo satellites

With 18 satellites now in orbit, Galileo began initial services on 15 December 2016, the first step towards full operations.

Further launches will continue to build the constellation, which will gradually improve system performance and availability worldwide.

The launch contract with Arianespace was signed by Paul Verhoef, ESA’s Director of the Galileo Programme and Navigation-related Activities, and Stéphane Israel, Arianespace’s Chief Executive Officer. ESA signed the contract on behalf of the EU represented by the European Commission – Galileo’s owner. The Commission and ESA have a delegation agreement by which ESA acts as design and procurement agent on behalf of the Commission.

September 18, 2017 |

Boeing Satellite Most Advanced Digital Payload

The O3b mPOWER satellites will include Boeing’s most-advanced digital payload technology and will be built using electronics from the flight-proven 702 satellite platform customized to support the unique MEO environment.

Boeing has provided advanced satellites for the Space Industry for many decades.  The latest medium earth orbit satellite for SES will deliver a new direction for the industry.  (Editor – EPIQ Space)

Boeing to Design and Build Seven Medium Earth Orbit Satellites for SES

The satellites will carry Boeing’s most-advanced digital payload applicable to all orbits.

EL SEGUNDO, Calif., Sept. 11, 2017 – Boeing [NYSE: BA] will design and build seven super-powered medium earth orbit (MEO) satellites for SES, delivering efficient high-performance data communications services to users around the world.

The O3b mPOWER satellites will include Boeing’s most-advanced digital payload technology and will be built using electronics from the flight-proven 702 satellite platform customized to support the unique MEO environment.

“With this new technology and design, Boeing is able to build satellites faster and more cost-effectively while still providing the high performance our customers have come to expect from Boeing digital satellites,” said Paul Rusnock, chairman and CEO, Boeing Satellite Systems International, Inc. “This latest digital payload design has an unprecedented level of technology integration, built-in test capability and is modular and scalable for all orbits.”

“The SES O3b mPOWER system opens a new era of connectivity, fundamentally transforming the role and capabilities of satellites,” said Karim Michel Sabbagh, president and CEO at SES. “O3b mPOWER is a unique system with exponentially more power, performance and flexibility, which sets the technology at the highest level, offering a visionary roadmap for next generation technology.”

The satellites are designed to be launched up to four at a time in a stacked configuration, depending on the selected launch vehicle.

Starting in the 1990s, Boeing has built 12 satellites for SES. The latest, SES-15, was launched earlier this year.

For more information on Defense, Space & Security, visit Follow us on Twitter: @BoeingDefense.

# # #


Joanna Climer
Space and Missile Systems
Office: +1 310-364-7113
Mobile: +1 310-227-3534

September 11, 2017 |

Hurricane Harvey and the Satellite Industry



We often forget all of the applications of the satellite industry.  The predictions of Hurricane Harvey is largely a result of the industry.  (Editor – EPIQ Space)
Find this article and others on ESA’s website here.


  • Released 05/09/2017 11:13 am
  • Copyright NASA
  • DescriptionAlthough the pictures of the devastation of Hurricane Harvey on Earth leave little to the imagination, seeing it from space confirms the enormous power the hurricane had. Taken by NASA astronaut Randy Bresnik from the International Space Station orbiting Earth at 400 km altitude, Randy commented, “The destructive power beneath the clouds of Hurricane Harvey ruins any thought of the beauty of the cloud formations from above”.

    The hurricane hit mainland USA and caused flooding and damage affecting hundreds of thousands of people. The city of Houston was hit with much of its force including NASA’s Johnson Space Center, the main site for astronauts and the International Space Station. Mission control in Houston remained operational despite the centre being closed from August 28 until today – flight controllers slept on site in makeshift beds as entrance to the facility was difficult due to floods.

    After record rainfall for five days, the storm passed, leaving many people without homes, water or electricity. ESA has many staff members working at Johnson Space Center including ESA astronauts Luca Parmitano and Andreas Mogensen. People in Houston are now working to rebuild damaged property.

    Among the many consequences of the hurricane, was the delay of the departure of NASA’s G5 plane from Houston to collect NASA astronauts Peggy Whitson and Jack Fischer from their landing site after their mission on the International Space Station. An ESA plane was sent to retrieve the two astronauts in Karaganda, Kazakhstan, and brought them back to Cologne, home of ESA’s astronaut centre for a stopover before continuing to USA.

    ESA’s Director General Jan Woerner said, “Spaceflight is a global endeavour and partnerships created by the International Space Station extend beyond space back to Earth. Our thoughts go out to everyone affected by Harvey, our American colleagues and their friends and families.”

September 6, 2017 |

Eclipse Image from NASA


Image of the Moon transiting across the Sun, taken by SDO in 171 angstrom extreme ultraviolet light on Aug. 21, 2017.

Credit: NASA/SDO

Last Updated: Aug. 21, 2017
Editor: Rob Garner
The Solar Eclipse created a tremendous amount of excitement and entertainment across the US today.  Images continue to emerge from across the country.  The attached image was taken by SDO.
While it may have been difficult to obtain decent images with a standard camera or view it with special glasses, the attached image captures the spectacular moment.
Editor – EPIQ Space
August 21, 2017 |

Additec CEO Discusses Unique Additive Technology Solution



EPIQ Space interviews Brian Matthews, CEO and President of Additec at Space Tech Expo in Pasadena California.  Additec has a unique additive technology solution and Brian discusses their ability to build affordable larger systems.

The industry has been developing additive technology solutions.   Additec is leading the way with innovative solutions to meet the needs of complex devices.

Editor EPIQ Space


August 7, 2017 |

Alicia Monroy Introduces High Data Rate Fischer Products



EPIQ Space had the opportunity to meet with Alicia Monroy at Space Tech Expo in Pasadena California.  Alicia introduced a unique series of connectors  that achieve higher data rates which are smaller and lighter than traditional connector solutions.

Innovative customers are using miniature high density connectors with power and signal options.  Even though the connector are very small, they are very rugged.  These reliable connectors are very low profile with unique features for routing wires.

Editor:  EPIQ Space




August 2, 2017 |

NASA’s Voyager Spacecraft Incredible 40-Year Milestone

An artist concept depicting one of the twin Voyager spacecraft.
An artist concept depicting one of the twin Voyager spacecraft. Humanity’s farthest and longest-lived spacecraft are celebrating 40 years in August and September 2017.
Credits: NASA

The idea of any spacecraft lasting 40 years is astonishing, but even more so when you consider the years in which it was built.  We have not only learned more about the environments in space over the past 40 years, but more importantly, we have learned how to develop products that will survive the harsh environments.  There seems to be a push to reduce the standards associated with many space programs.  It is programs like the Voyager that reminds us of the benefits we can obtain for both science as well as business when programs have a longer life.

The article below from NASA is a great reminder of the many quiet successes the satellite industry has delivered over many decades.

This article and others can be found on NASA’s website here.


NASA’s Voyager Spacecraft Still Reaching for the Stars After 40 Years

Humanity’s farthest and longest-lived spacecraft, Voyager 1 and 2, achieve 40 years of operation and exploration this August and September. Despite their vast distance, they continue to communicate with NASA daily, still probing the final frontier.

Their story has not only impacted generations of current and future scientists and engineers, but also Earth’s culture, including film, art and music. Each spacecraft carries a Golden Record of Earth sounds, pictures and messages. Since the spacecraft could last billions of years, these circular time capsules could one day be the only traces of human civilization.

“I believe that few missions can ever match the achievements of the Voyager spacecraft during their four decades of exploration,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate (SMD) at NASA Headquarters. “They have educated us to the unknown wonders of the universe and truly inspired humanity to continue to explore our solar system and beyond.”

The Voyagers have set numerous records in their unparalleled journeys. In 2012, Voyager 1, which launched on Sept. 5, 1977, became the only spacecraft to have entered interstellar space. Voyager 2, launched on Aug. 20, 1977, is the only spacecraft to have flown by all four outer planets – Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. Their numerous planetary encounters include discovering the first active volcanoes beyond Earth, on Jupiter’s moon Io; hints of a subsurface ocean on Jupiter’s moon Europa; the most Earth-like atmosphere in the solar system, on Saturn’s moon Titan; the jumbled-up, icy moon Miranda at Uranus; and icy-cold geysers on Neptune’s moon Triton.

Though the spacecraft have left the planets far behind – and neither will come remotely close to another star for 40,000 years – the two probes still send back observations about conditions where our Sun’s influence diminishes and interstellar space begins.

Voyager 1, now almost 13 billion miles from Earth, travels through interstellar space northward out of the plane of the planets. The probe has informed researchers that cosmic rays, atomic nuclei accelerated to nearly the speed of light, are as much as four times more abundant in interstellar space than in the vicinity of Earth. This means the heliosphere, the bubble-like volume containing our solar system’s planets and solar wind, effectively acts as a radiation shield for the planets. Voyager 1 also hinted that the magnetic field of the local interstellar medium is wrapped around the heliosphere.

Voyager 2, now almost 11 billion miles from Earth, travels south and is expected to enter interstellar space in the next few years. The different locations of the two Voyagers allow scientists to compare right now two regions of space where the heliosphere interacts with the surrounding interstellar medium using instruments that measure charged particles, magnetic fields, low-frequency radio waves and solar wind plasma. Once Voyager 2 crosses into the interstellar medium, they will also be able to sample the medium from two different locations simultaneously.

“None of us knew, when we launched 40 years ago, that anything would still be working, and continuing on this pioneering journey,” said Ed Stone, Voyager project scientist based at Caltech in Pasadena, California. “The most exciting thing they find in the next five years is likely to be something that we didn’t know was out there to be discovered.”

The twin Voyagers have been cosmic overachievers, thanks to the foresight of mission designers. By preparing for the radiation environment at Jupiter, the harshest of all planets in our solar system, the spacecraft were well equipped for their subsequent journeys. Both Voyagers are equipped with long-lasting power supplies, as well as redundant systems that allow the spacecraft to switch to backup systems autonomously when necessary. Each Voyager carries three radioisotope thermoelectric generators, devices that use the heat energy generated from the decay of plutonium-238 – only half of it will be gone after 88 years.

Space is almost empty, so the Voyagers are not at a significant level of risk of bombardment by large objects. However, Voyager 1’s interstellar space environment is not a complete void. It’s filled with clouds of dilute material remaining from stars that exploded as supernovae millions of years ago. This material doesn’t pose a danger to the spacecraft, but is a key part of the environment that the Voyager mission is helping scientists study and characterize.

Because the Voyagers’ power decreases by four watts per year, engineers are learning how to operate the spacecraft under ever-tighter power constraints. And to maximize the Voyagers’ lifespans, they also have to consult documents written decade’s earlier describing commands and software, in addition to the expertise of former Voyager engineers.

“The technology is many generations old, and it takes someone with 1970s design experience to understand how the spacecraft operate and what updates can be made to permit them to continue operating today and into the future,” said Suzanne Dodd, Voyager project manager based at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California.

Team members estimate they will have to turn off the last science instrument by 2030. However, even after the spacecraft go silent, they’ll continue on their trajectories at their present speed of more than 30,000 mph (48,280 kilometers per hour), completing an orbit within the Milky Way every 225 million years.

The Voyager spacecraft were built by JPL, which continues to operate both. The Voyager missions are part of the NASA Heliophysics System Observatory, sponsored by the Heliophysics Division of SMD.

For more information about the Voyager spacecraft, visit:



Dwayne Brown / Laurie Cantillo
Headquarters, Washington
202-358-1726 / 202-358-1077 /

Elizabeth Landau / Jia-Rui Cook
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
818-354-6425 / 818-354-0724 /

July 31, 2017 |

Soyuz MS-05 Prior to Launch


ESA astronaut Paolo Nespoli will be launched to the International Space Station july 28th for his third spaceflight.


The size of the Soyuz MS-05 is massive, standing at 50M tall when erected.  This Russian spacecraft remains the work-horse of the industry, carrying crew to the Space Station.  (Editor – EPIQ Space)

Find this article and others on ESA’s website here.

The Soyuz MS-05 spacecraft that will carry ESA astronaut Paolo Nespoli, NASA astronaut Randy Bresnik and Roscosmos commander Sergey Ryazansky to the International Space Station is now on the launch pad in Kazakhstan.

The craft was rolled out by train on 26 July 2017 from Baikonur Cosmodrome’s MIK 112 integration facility to pad 1. It now stands upright and is ready for liftoff on 28 July at 15:41 GMT (17:41 CEST).

The Soyuz MS is the latest upgrade to the Russian spacecraft and remains the only means of transporting crew to and from the Space Station.

The spacecraft is launched on a Soyuz FG rocket, a three-stage vehicle that stands 50 m tall and uses kerosene and liquid oxygen as propellants. Within 10 minutes of launch, it will have propelled the crew 200 km above Earth.


  • Title Ready to roll
  • Released 26/07/2017 1:59 pm
  • Copyright ESA–M. Pedoussaut
July 26, 2017 |

Arralis Developing a Line of Unique Space Products



EPIQ Space had the opportunity to interview Barry Lunn of Arralis at Space Tech Expo in Pasadena California.  Barry discusses the future of the space industry.  Plug and play millimeter wave systems on a chip and developing fully integrated RF Front-Ends has never been done before.

Developing the same technology for use on earth that can also be used in a satellite, meeting all of the environmental concerns with space, is a challenge.

This company will be very well positioned in the space industry with these unique products.

Editor:  EPIQ Space

July 10, 2017 |

Tim Gray of Space Vector Pursues Product Challenges


Tim Gray Interviewed by EPIQ Space at Space Tech Expo

Tim Gray of Space Vector was interviewed by EPIQ Space at Space Tech Expo in Pasadena California.  Tim discusses the need for additional talent in the industry to help support growth.  Finding people with the right background with the appropriate degrees and experience to support the complexities of the industry continues to be a challenge in the US as the labor market tightens.

The challenges of additive manufacturing with new technologies is requiring unique solutions to ensure success.  Extreme testing is pushing the envelope.

Developing products that can go to higher frequencies with approaches that could not be done before will provide a bright future for Space Vector.


Editor:  EPIQ Space


July 5, 2017 |
Epiq Space

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