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President Trump Space Exploration a National Priority

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President Donald J. Trump signs Space Policy Directive 1
Representatives of Congress and the National Space Council joined President Donald J. Trump, Apollo astronaut Jack Schmitt and current NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson Monday, Dec. 11, 2017, for the president’s signing of Space Policy Directive 1, a change in national space policy that provides for a U.S.-led, integrated program with private sector partners for a human return to the Moon, followed by missions to Mars and beyond.
Credits: NASA/Aubrey Gemignani
 
NASA has been through various ups and downs.  There seems to be a renewed interest in supporting Space Exploration.  (Editor – EPIQ Space)
  
Dec. 11, 2017
RELEASE 17-097

New Space Policy Directive Calls for Human Expansion Across Solar System

Lunar Sample 70215
Lunar Sample 70215 was retrieved from the Moon’s surface and returned by NASA’s Apollo 17 crew. The sample is a basaltic lava rock similar to lava found in Hawaii. It crystallized 3.84 billion years ago when lava flowed from the Camelot Crater. Sliced off a parent rock that originally weighed 8,110 grams, the sample weighs 14 grams, and is very fine grained, dense and tough.
Credits: NASA

President Donald Trump is sending astronauts back to the Moon.

The president Monday signed at the White House Space Policy Directive 1, a change in national space policy that provides for a U.S.-led, integrated program with private sector partners for a human return to the Moon, followed by missions to Mars and beyond.

The policy calls for the NASA administrator to “lead an innovative and sustainable program of exploration with commercial and international partners to enable human expansion across the solar system and to bring back to Earth new knowledge and opportunities.” The effort will more effectively organize government, private industry, and international efforts toward returning humans on the Moon, and will lay the foundation that will eventually enable human exploration of Mars.

“The directive I am signing today will refocus America’s space program on human exploration and discovery,” said President Trump. “It marks a first step in returning American astronauts to the Moon for the first time since 1972, for long-term exploration and use. This time, we will not only plant our flag and leave our footprints — we will establish a foundation for an eventual mission to Mars, and perhaps someday, to many worlds beyond.”

The policy grew from a unanimous recommendation by the new National Space Council, chaired by Vice President Mike Pence, after its first meeting Oct. 5. In addition to the direction to plan for human return to the Moon, the policy also ends NASA’s existing effort to send humans to an asteroid. The president revived the National Space Council in July to advise and help implement his space policy with exploration as a national priority.

“Under President Trump’s leadership, America will lead in space once again on all fronts,” said Vice President Pence. “As the President has said, space is the ‘next great American frontier’ – and it is our duty – and our destiny – to settle that frontier with American leadership, courage, and values. The signing of this new directive is yet another promise kept by President Trump.”

Among other dignitaries on hand for the signing, were NASA astronauts Sen. Harrison “Jack” Schmitt, Buzz Aldrin, Peggy Whitson and Christina Koch. Schmitt landed on the moon 45 years to the minute that the policy directive was signed as part of NASA’s Apollo 17 mission, and is the most recent living person to have set foot on our lunar neighbor. Aldrin was the second person to walk on the Moon during the Apollo 11 mission. Whitson spoke to the president from space in April aboard the International Space Station and while flying back home after breaking the record for most time in space by a U.S. astronaut in September. Koch is a member of NASA’s astronaut class of 2013.

Work toward the new directive will be reflected in NASA’s Fiscal Year 2019 budget request next year.

“NASA looks forward to supporting the president’s directive strategically aligning our work to return humans to the Moon, travel to Mars and opening the deeper solar system beyond,” said acting NASA Administrator Robert Lightfoot. “This work represents a national effort on many fronts, with America leading the way. We will engage the best and brightest across government and private industry and our partners across the world to reach new milestones in human achievement. Our workforce is committed to this effort, and even now we are developing a flexible deep space infrastructure to support a steady cadence of increasingly complex missions that strengthens American leadership in the boundless frontier of space. The next generation will dream even bigger and reach higher as we launch challenging new missions, and make new discoveries and technological breakthroughs on this dynamic path.”

A piece of Moon rock was brought to the White House as a reminder of the exploration history and American successes at the Moon on which the new policy will build. Lunar Sample 70215 was retrieved from the Moon’s surface and returned by Schmitt’s Apollo 17 crew. Apollo 17 was the last Apollo mission to land astronauts on the Moon and returned with the greatest amount of rock and soil samples for investigation.

The sample is a basaltic lava rock similar to lava found in Hawaii. It crystallized 3.84 billion years ago when lava flowed from the Camelot Crater. Sliced off a parent rock that originally weighed 8,110 grams, the sample weighs 14 grams, and is very fine grained, dense and tough. During the six Apollo surface excursions from 1969 to 1972, astronauts collected 2,196 rock and soil samples weighting 842 pounds. Scientific studies help us learn about the geologic history of the Moon, as well as Earth. They help us understand the mineral and chemical resources available to support future lunar exploration.

For information about NASA’s missions, programs and activities, visit:

https://www.nasa.gov

-end-

Jen Rae Wang
Headquarters, Washington
202-358-1600
jenrae.wang@nasa.gov

Last Updated: Dec. 11, 2017
Editor: Karen Northon
December 11, 2017 |

High Altitude Aerial Platform Satellite Replacement?

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High-altitude pseudo-satellites
There have been various attempts at solutions to replace traditional satellites.  The High-Altitude aerial platform has the ability to provide an interesting solution between drones and satellites.  (Editor – EPIQ Space)
 

CROSSING DRONES WITH SATELLITES: ESA EYES HIGH-ALTITUDE AERIAL PLATFORMS

28 November 2017ESA is considering extending its activities to a new region of the sky via a novel type of aerial vehicle, a ‘missing link’ between drones and satellites.

High Altitude Pseudo-Satellites, or HAPS, are platforms that float or fly at high altitude like conventional aircraft but operate more like satellites – except that rather than working from space they can remain in position inside the atmosphere for weeks or even months, offering continuous coverage of the territory below.

The best working altitude is about 20 km, above the clouds and jet streams, and 10 km above commercial airliners, where wind speeds are low enough for them to hold position for long periods.

From such a height they can survey the ground to the horizon 500 km away, variously enabling precise monitoring and surveillance, high-bandwidth communications or back up to existing satellite navigation services.

Record-breaking Zephyr

Several ESA directorates have teamed up to investigate their potential, explains future-systems specialist Antonio Ciccolella: “For Earth observation, they could provide prolonged high-resolution coverage for priority regions, while for navigation and telecoms they could shrink blind spots in coverage and combine wide bandwidth with negligible signal delay.

“ESA is looking into how these various domains can be best brought together.”

Earth observation specialist Thorsten Fehr explains, “We’ve been looking into the concept for the last 20 years but now finally it’s becoming reality.

“That’s come about through the maturing of key technologies: miniaturised avionics, high-performance solar cells, lightweight batteries and harness, miniaturisation of Earth observation sensors and high-bandwidth communication links that can deliver competitively priced services.”

Navigation engineer Roberto Prieto Cerdeira adds “There’s obvious potential for emergency response. They could also be employed semi-permanently, perhaps extending satnav coverage into high, narrow valleys and cities.”

European companies have already unveiled product lines. For instance, Airbus has developed the winged, solar-powered Zephyr, which in 2010 achieved a world record 14 days of continuous flight without refuelling.

Lighter-than-air Stratobus

Zephyr-S is designed to fly payloads of a few tens of kilograms for up to three months at a time, with secondary batteries employed to keep it powered and aloft overnight. A larger Zephyr-T version in preparation will support larger payloads and power needs.

Thales Alenia Space is meanwhile preparing the lighter-than-air Stratobus, with its first flight expected in 2021.

The buoyant Stratobus airship can carry up to 250 kg, its electric engines flying against the breeze to hold itself in position, relying on fuel cells at night.

November 30, 2017 |

NASA Spacecraft Preparing for Human Deep Space

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Orion with European Service Module

9 November 2017

There has been a tremendous amount of energy devoted toward placing humans in deep space.  NASA’s Orion Spacecraft is on track to developing the latest vehicle to help support effort.  (Editor – EPIQ Space)

The Road to Orion’s Launch

NASA’s Orion spacecraft aims to send humans further into space than ever before, and ESA’s European Service Module will provide the essentials for keeping the astronauts alive and on course.

A review of the programme by NASA to assess progress is now showing a launch date from December 2019 to June 2020.

The first Exploration Mission-1 will circle the Moon without astronauts to lay the foundation and prove the technology for a second mission with a crew.

In Bremen, Germany, integration of the service module is well under way, with work already starting on the second.

More than 11 km of cables are being laid and connected to send the megabytes of information from the solar panels, fuel systems, engines, and air and water supplies to the module’s central computers.

Recently, the Orion’s 24 orientation thrusters were installed, complementing the eight larger engines that will back up the main engine.

The module’s complex design requires 1100 welds for the propulsion system alone, with only 173 left to complete.

European Service Module

Teams in Bremen at the Airbus integration room are on eight-hour shifts to keep work running 24 hours a day, aiming for a shipment of the completed module to the USA in the summer of 2018.

It will be flown to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, where it will be combined with the crew module before they are moved to NASA’s Plum Brook station in Ohio for extensive tests to ensure they are ready for launch and the voyage into deep space.

The service module is based on technology from ESA’s tried-and-tested Automated Transfer Vehicles that flew to the International Space Station on five missions. For Orion, the design is more complex with more systems but the technology behind it has been miniaturised to fit into the smaller Orion structure.

ESA’s David Parker, Director of Human Spaceflight and Robotic Exploration, says: “The Orion spacecraft and service module is an inspiring international cooperation at the forefront of technology and humanity’s drive for exploration. All the teams involved are justly proud to be part of such a complex and important project.”

November 13, 2017 |

Arianespace Makes Launches Look Easy

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Vega lifts off

While we sometimes forget the amount of effort that goes into a successful launch, it is even more compelling when the launch is taking into consideration the disposition of excess debris.  Arianespace makes this all look easy.  (Editor – EPIQ Space)

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

8 November 2017

Vega Launches Earth Observation Satellite for Morocco

Arianespace has launched a Vega rocket to deliver an Earth observation satellite into orbit for the Kingdom of Morocco.

Liftoff of Vega’s 11th mission from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana came at 01:42 GMT on 8 November (02:42 CET; 22:42 local time on 7 November).

With a mass at liftoff of 1110 kg, Mohammed VI-A was manoeuvred into its target Sun-synchronous orbit about 55 minutes into the mission after a series of burns of Vega’s upper stage.

Complying with debris regulations to help keep space clean, Vega’s upper stage fired a final time to burn up high in the atmosphere over the ocean.

Vega is a 30 m-high, four-stage vehicle designed to accommodate small scientific and Earth observation payloads of 300–2500 kg, depending on the orbit.

November 7, 2017 |

Game-Changing Electric Propulsion Deployed

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Eutelsat-172B
The satellite industry has recognized the significance of All-Electric Satellites.  Boeing has had a successful program for some time.  Airbus has improved their competitiveness with their latest platform.  (Editor – EPIQ Space)

ESA ROLE IN EUROPE’S FIRST ALL-ELECTRIC TELECOM SATELLITE

17 October 2017Europe’s first all-electric telecom satellite has reached its final working orbit above the Pacific Ocean. Eutelsat-172B, built for Eutelsat by Airbus, carries new technologies developed through ESA-led projects, including fully articulated thruster arms.

The satellite relied entirely on electric thrusters to climb from its initial orbit into its planned slot over the equator some 35 800 km up, and is now using them to hold position.

“Electric propulsion is at least an order of magnitude more efficient than standard chemical propulsion for satellites,” explains ESA electric propulsion specialist Jose Gonzalez Del Amo.

“By electrically charging propellant and accelerating it using electrical power from solar arrays, much more energy is squeezed out of each breath of gaseous propellant.

Robotic arm

“This opens up the option of flying lighter satellites because they can fly on smaller launchers. Or a greater percentage of the same mass can be dedicated to the revenue-earning payload in place of bulky propellant tanks.

“The main trade-off is that all-electric satellites take much longer to reach their final orbit because electric propulsion provides low thrust, firing continuously to accelerate gradually over time.”

Eutelsat-172B – the first to fly of six Eurostar E3000 all-electric platforms sold so far to telecom companies by Airbus – reached its working orbit some four months after its 2 June launch.

ESA propulsion laboratory

Already a commercial success, this platform includes several innovations developed through ESA’s long-running Advanced Research in Telecommunications Systems programme, as well as the equivalent Plan d’Investissements d’Avenir programme of France’s CNES space agency.

“All-electric telecom satellites have been in service globally since 2015, but Eurostar E3000 has a novel addition: a pair of 3 m-long three-jointed arms carrying thrusters on the end,” explains ESA structural engineer Mario Toso.

“Instead of having different thrusters embedded at corners of the satellite, the twin arms can be moved freely about its body.

 “One big advantage is that the thrusters can always be aligned precisely with the satellite’s centre of gravity for orbit raising and stationkeeping – saving propellant to elongate mission life.

“And this flexibility means the thrusts can be choreographed around antennas and solar wings which might otherwise be struck by thruster plumes.”

A second project developed the thrusters’ power processing unit – the interface between them and the rest of the satellite’s power system.

Satellite in testing

“The thrusters operate on a high voltage, receiving lower voltage inputs from the rest of the satellite,” says ESA power systems engineer Michail Tourloukis. “This unit helps to ensure that electrical noise from their operation does not come back inside the satellite.”

Improved versions of E3000’s thruster arms and power unit are now included in Airbus’s next-generation satellite platform, Eurostar Neo, which they are developing under ESA’s Neosat programme.

ESA’s Giorgio Saccoccia comments: “This game-changing electric propulsion on European commercial and scientific satellites is the result of more than two decades of development by ESA, in strong collaboration with national agencies and European companies.

“The achievement of Eutelsat-172B is a reward for the role that ESA has played with our partners, boosting the competitiveness of European products.”

October 25, 2017 |

Iridium Next Continues to Change the Satellite Industry

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Thales Group - Iridium_Montage

Iridium Next is well on its way to achieving its goal of launching 75 satellites by mid-2018 with the latest launch of 10 satellites.  This program has been helped change the satellite industry with lower than normal radiation requirements in exchange for deep discounts with some of the largest volumes procured for space applications.  Suppliers have developed new lines of products in response to this constellation and others like it.  (Editor – EPIQ Space)

SUCCESSFUL 3RD LAUNCH OF 10 IRIDIUM® NEXT SATELLITES!

Third batch of 10 satellites built by Thales Alenia Space ready to begin on-orbit testing in preparation to join the constellation
 
Cannes, 9 Octobre, 2017 – The third batch of Iridium® NEXT satellites built by Thales Alenia Space has been successfully launched by SpaceX from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. After the perfect commissioning of the first 20 satellites launched in January and June, thirteen of which are now interconnected and operating in full compatibility with the initial Block One Constellation, with seven being maneuvered to an adjacent plane, this new milestone allows to continue the fantastic Iridium® NEXT adventure.Thales Alenia Space is prime contractor for the Iridium® NEXT program, in charge of engineering, integration, operations and in-orbit validation of the 81 satellites and the overall system. The first 20 satellites showed that Iridium® NEXT is perfectly compatible with the existing system. The satellites are integrated in series by Thales Alenia Space’s subcontractor Orbital ATK, at its Satellite Manufacturing Facility in Arizona under the supervision of a dedicated local Thales Alenia Space team. Launch and Early Operations (LEOP) and In Orbit Tests are performed by Thales Alenia Space from the Iridium Control Center at Leesburg (Va).

“I am very pleased to see that the overall performances provided by the first 20 satellites are exceeding Iridium’s expectations. This is a significant reward for all the teams who have worked hard for years on this program. In addition to being a real feat of technological prowess, Iridium® NEXT, by integrating with the Iridium Block 1 constellation to provide global coverage without requiring local ground infrastructure, has recently proved its efficiency under the tragic circumstances in Puerto Rico, where 88 percent of the island’s cell phone network fell down due to the hurricane,” declared Denis Allard, Iridium® NEXT Vice President for Thales Alenia Space. He added: “In addition to this third launch, the production of 23 additional satellites has now been completed. We have also started integration of the 64th satellite. Everything is on track to meet our objective, namely to launch all 75 Iridium® NEXT orbital satellites by mid-2018”.

The Iridium® NEXT constellation will offer global connectivity thanks to 66 interconnected satellites at an altitude of 780 km, along with nine spares in parking orbits and six more spare satellites on the ground. This international system provides unrivaled capability for communications on the move (individuals, land vehicles, aircraft, ships), and ensures full global coverage, including the oceans.

Copyrights:
Artistic view: © Thales Alenia Space/Master Image Programmes
Photos: © SpaceX

About Thales Alenia Space
Combining 40 years of experience and  a unique diversity of expertise, talents and cultures, Thales Alenia Space architects design and deliver high technology solutions for telecommunications, navigation, Earth observation, environmental management, exploration, science and orbital infrastructures.  Governments, institutions and companies rely on Thales Alenia Space to design, operate and deliver satellite-based systems that help them position and connect anyone or anything, everywhere, help observe our planet, help optimize the use of our planet’s – and our solar system’s – resources. Thales Alenia Space believes in space as humankind’s new horizon, which will enable to build a better, more sustainable life on Earth. A joint venture between Thales (67%) and Leonardo (33%), Thales Alenia Space also teams up with Telespazio to form the parent companies’ Space Alliance, which offers a complete range of services and solutions. Thales Alenia Space posted consolidated revenues of about 2.4 billion euros in 2016 and has 7,980 employees in nine countries. www.thalesaleniaspace.com

Thales Alenia Space – Press Contacts:

Sandrine Bielecki
Phone: +33 (0)4 92 92 70 94
sandrine.bielecki@thalesaleniaspace.com

Chrystelle Dugimont
Phone: +33 (0)4 92 92 74 06
chrystelle.dugimont@thalesaleniaspace.com

Cinzia Marcanio
Tel: +39 06 41512685
cinzia.marcanio@thalesaleniaspace.com

October 9, 2017 |

U.S. Reestablishes National Space Council

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It is always great to see interest in Space programs.  Whether it is new products or services from the various suppliers around the world, Space Agencies investing in new programs, deep space endeavors, new countries entering the market, or new initiatives like SmallSats.  It is very important to the US Space industry to see a renewed interest from the current administration reestablishing the National Space Council.  (Editor – EPIQ Space)

NASA Provides Coverage for First Meeting of the National Space Council

NASA Television and the agency’s website will provide live coverage of the first meeting of the National Space Council starting at 10 a.m. EDT Thursday, Oct. 5.

The meeting, titled “Leading the Next Frontier: An Event with the National Space Council,” will be held at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia. It will be chaired by Vice President Mike Pence and include participation by acting NASA Administrator Robert Lightfoot, as well as a number of Trump Administration cabinet members and senior officials, and aerospace industry leaders.

“We expect to come out of this meeting with a reinvigorated focus for America’s space exploration goals that engages all the innovation of NASA and our partners, moves us toward national priorities, and excites people around the world,” said Lightfoot.

The council will hear testimonial from expert witnesses who represent the sectors of the space industry: Civil Space, Commercial Space, and National Security Space. President Trump signed an executive order reestablishing the National Space Council on June 30.

October 4, 2017 |

Vice President Pence Visits NASA

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Rep. Robert Aderholt, R-Alabama, and Vice President Mike Pence talk with Expedition 53 crew members Joe Acaba, Randy Bresnik and Mark Vande Hei of NASA, who currently are working and living aboard the International Space Station, from the Payload Operations Integration Center at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, Monday, Sept. 25, 2017.
The U.S. Space program has gone through many cuts over the years including the Space Shuttle.  A visit by Vice President Mike Pence hopefully is a great indication of a bright future.  (Editor – EPIQ Space)
Sept. 25, 2017
RELEASE 17-080

Vice President Pence Visits NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center

Vice President Mike Pence tours Marshall Space Flight Center
Vice President Mike Pence, second from left, is given an overview on Monday, Sept. 25, 2017, of NASA’s Space Launch System structural test stand at the agency’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, by Center Director Todd May, right, as Rep. Robert Aderholt, R-Ala., looks on. The Vice President visited the space center to view test hardware for NASA’s Space Launch System, America’s new deep space rocket and to call the crew aboard the International Space Station.
Credits: NASA/Bill Ingalls

Makes First White House-level Call to Space Station Crew from Center

Vice President Mike Pence offered his thanks Monday to employees working on NASA’s human spaceflight programs during a tour of the agency’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

The Vice President saw the progress being made on NASA’s Space Launch System(SLS), the world’s most powerful deep space rocket, that will send astronauts on missions around the Moon and ultimately to Mars. He also visited Marshall’s Payload Operations Integration Center, where the agency manages all research aboard the International Space Station.

“Today, I met pioneers who are helping America travel into the unknown and expand our knowledge for the benefit of the nation,” said Vice President Pence. “I’m inspired by the people at Marshall, and NASA as a whole, who are passionate and dedicated to space exploration. The massive hardware and innovative technologies we are building will propel us far beyond our home planet and allow America to lead in space again.”

From Marshall’s science command center, Vice President Pence called the NASA astronauts aboard the space station and spoke with Expedition 53 commander Randy Bresnik, and flight engineers Mark Vande Hei and Joe Acaba. This is the first White House-level call to the International Space Station from Marshall. He also met with the ground controllers that provide around-the-clock support of the crew’s scientific activities on the orbiting laboratory, paving the way for future deep space exploration missions.

“The work underway today at Marshall, supporting station science and with SLS, is integral to ensuring this nation’s incredible global leadership in human exploration,” said acting NASA Administrator Robert Lightfoot. “Vice President Pence now has personally visited three NASA centers in the last four months, and I deeply appreciate the Vice President’s strong commitment to our space exploration mission.”

The Vice President toured the SLS engineering facility where the engine section of the rocket’s massive core stage is undergoing a major stress test. The rocket’s four RS-25 engines and the two solid rocket boosters that attach to the SLS engine section will produce more than 8 million pounds of thrust to launch the Orion spacecraft beyond low-Earth orbit. More than 3,000 measurements using sensors installed on the test section will help ensure the core stage for all SLS missions can withstand the extreme forces of flight.

“The work we are doing today is paving the way for a new generation of astronauts to travel farther into space than humans have ever ventured before,” said Marshall Center Director Todd May, who hosted the visit. “This next chapter in the story of our national space program is being written by the men and women of Marshall, who keep us on the leading edge of spaceflight and truly make this the Rocket City.”

The Vice President concluded his visit with a tour of U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center for briefs from Army leaders on current missile defense projects and Army initiatives. Redstone Arsenal, where Marshall is located, is an Army installation with a workforce of around 41,000 active duty military, government civilians, and contractors. The arsenal is a federal center of excellence hosting components of more than 70 government organizations, including NASA, Department of Defense, Missile Defense Agency, FBI, and Department of Justice.

For more information about NASA’s missions and activities, including video and images of Vice President Pence’s tour of the Marshall Space Flight Center, visit:

https://www.nasa.gov/marshall

-end-

Jen Rae Wang
Headquarters, Washington
202-358-1600
jenrae.wang@nasa.gov

Kim Newton
Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala.
256-544-0034
kimberly.d.newton@nasa.gov

Last Updated: Sept. 26, 2017
Editor: Karen Northon
September 26, 2017 |

Europe’s Newest Launcher

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ARTIST’S VIEW OF THE CONFIGURATION OF ARIANE 6 USING TWO BOOSTERS (A62)

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

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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 www.boeing.com. Follow us on Twitter: @BoeingDefense.

# # #

Contact:

Joanna Climer
Space and Missile Systems
Office: +1 310-364-7113
Mobile: +1 310-227-3534
joanna.e.climer@boeing.com

September 11, 2017 |
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