<img height="1" width="1" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=205228923362421&amp;ev=PageView &amp;noscript=1">

Signals and Space | V1 | Issue 34 | 12.04.23

Nelson’s at the helm in India and UAE. JAXA’s cyber threat. Quantum leaps in space. Delays, deals and sanctions. And more!



Good morning,

It's a rapidly changing world out there so let's get to it. Here’s what happened last week and why it matters...


  • Tim Reid, CEO of Mojave Air and Space Port, discusses a day in the life at the California spaceport.
  • Martin Coates, CEO of Orbex, discusses the Peatland restoration research project and Orbex's spaceport and launch vehicle development in Scotland.
  • Novelist CK Westbrook discusses her sci-fi series, focusing on space debris and environmental narratives within the space industry.
  • Maria Varmazis joins the CyberWire Daily podcast to discuss JAXA's recent cybersecurity breach.
  • Richard Mansell, CEO of IVO Limited, discusses the company's quantum EM drive test in space, exploring the potential and objectives of this cutting-edge technology.
  • Allen Herbert, an advocate for commercial space agrifood research and development, discusses his work in advancing agriculture and food production technologies in space.



Japan space agency hit with cyberattack, rocket and satellite info not accessed

  • What: Japan's Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) experienced a cyberattack targeting network equipment vulnerabilities. Crucial rocket and satellite operation data remained secure.
  • Who: Japan's Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).
  • Why: This incident highlights the escalating cybersecurity risks in the aerospace sector. It underscores the importance of robust cyber defenses for space assets, both in orbit and on the ground, essential for protecting sensitive technologies and ensuring the security of national and international space missions.

US Sanctions North Korean Cyber Unit After Satellite Launch

  • What: The U.S. and its allies imposed sanctions on North Korea's Kimsuky Cyberespionage Unit following North Korea's first satellite launch.
  • Who: United States, North Korea.
  • Why: The sanctions reflect international concerns over North Korea's satellite launch, perceived as a potential security threat. This move underscores the intricate relationship between space technology and global security, highlighting the geopolitical implications of space activities and the need for responsible space behavior.

With formalized MDO doctrine, Army turns focus to space, cyber

  • What: The U.S. Army has integrated space and cyber operations into its multi-domain operations (MDO) doctrine, expanding its focus beyond traditional land and air battles.
  • Who: U.S. Army.
  • Why: This doctrinal shift acknowledges the growing relevance of space and cyber domains in modern warfare. It indicates a strategic pivot in military training and operations, preparing the Army for challenges in these increasingly contested domains, and reflecting the changing landscape of global security threats.



Kratos Wins $579M Satellite Services Contract From Space Systems Command

  • What: Kratos Defense and Security Services received a $579 million IDIQ contract from Space Systems Command for satellite communications support. The contract involves command and control sustainment services, systems engineering, and technology modernization.
  • Who: Kratos Defense and Security Services, Space Systems Command, U.S. Space Force.
  • Why: This contract highlights the growing demand for advanced satellite communications in military operations. It reflects the ongoing efforts to modernize U.S. space capabilities, particularly in command and control systems, and underscores the significance of private-sector contributions to national security space initiatives.

United States Securities And Exchange Commission- Astra Space, Inc.

  • What: Astra Space raised an additional $2.7 million in financing and is exploring the possibility of going private.
  • Who: Astra Space, Inc.
  • Why: Astra's financial moves reflect the challenging dynamics within the commercial space industry. The potential shift to a private structure could be a strategic move to stabilize and streamline operations, highlighting the financial and operational complexities businesses in this sector face.

Amazons Project Kuiper and NTT Form Strategic Collaboration

  • What: Amazon's Project Kuiper partners with Japanese companies NTT and SKY Perfect JSAT to enhance satellite connectivity in Japan.
  • Who: Amazon's Project Kuiper, NTT Communications Corporation, SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation.
  • Why: This partnership represents a significant advancement in global satellite connectivity, especially in Japan. It demonstrates the increasing importance of satellite-based services in telecommunications and the potential of LEO satellites in delivering high-speed, reliable connectivity, impacting both commercial and consumer sectors.

India in Talks With Boeing, Blue Origin For Space Partnerships

  • What: India is exploring space partnerships with Boeing, Voyager Space, and Blue Origin, and announced a joint NASA-ISRO satellite mission, NISAR, for Earth observation.
  • Who: Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), NASA, Boeing, Voyager Space, Blue Origin.
  • Why: These potential partnerships and collaborations signal India's growing ambition and capability in space. The joint NASA-ISRO mission reflects an enhanced focus on Earth observation technology, crucial for addressing global challenges like climate change, and highlights the strategic importance of international cooperation in space exploration.

Ursa Major Raises $138 Million To Introduce Solid Rocket Motor Line And Scale Rocket Propulsion For Space And Hypersonic Applications

  • What: Ursa Major raised $138 million in funding to develop a solid rocket motor program and scale propulsion systems for space and hypersonic applications.
  • Who: Ursa Major.
  • Why: Ursa Major's significant funding round reflects the growing interest and investment in rocket propulsion technology. This development is key for the future of space and hypersonic travel, indicating the potential for new and innovative propulsion systems that could transform space access and exploration.

Arcfield Acquires Orion Space Solutions

  • What: Arcfield acquired Orion Space Solutions, enhancing its capabilities in space exploration and hypersonic detection for defense and intelligence agencies.
  • Who: Arcfield, Orion Space Solutions.
  • Why: This acquisition marks a strategic expansion in Arcfield's space sector portfolio. By integrating Orion's expertise in sensor design, spacecraft integration, and space mission operations, Arcfield strengthens its position in providing advanced space solutions, particularly for defense and intelligence applications.

Federal Jury Finds Aerojet Rocketdyne Breached Two Non-Disclosure Agreements

  • What: Aerojet Rocketdyne was found to have breached nondisclosure agreements with ValveTech Inc. concerning components for the Starliner CST-100 spacecraft.
  • Who: Aerojet Rocketdyne, ValveTech Inc.
  • Why: This legal decision highlights the critical importance of intellectual property rights and trust in partnerships within the aerospace industry. The case underscores the competitive nature of the sector and the need for clear contractual agreements and adherence to legal obligations in collaborative projects.



RFI: National Plan for Civil Earth Observations

  • What: The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy issued an RFI to inform the National Plan for Civil Earth Observations. The plan aims to enhance access to Earth data and address global changes.
  • Who: White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, U.S. Government.
  • Why: This RFI represents a significant step in leveraging Earth observation data for addressing global challenges like climate change. For space industry professionals, it underscores the importance of Earth observation technologies and the growing demand for data-driven solutions in environmental monitoring and policy-making.

NASA to Showcase Earth Science Data at COP28

  • What: NASA is presenting Earth science data at the 28th U.N. Climate Change Conference (COP28), focusing on insights on urbanization, transportation, biodiversity, and agriculture.
  • Who: NASA.
  • Why: NASA's involvement in COP28 highlights the critical role of space-based data in understanding and addressing climate change. The agency's presentations emphasize how satellite data can inform global environmental policies and actions, demonstrating the intersection of space technology and Earth's ecological challenges.

First 360-degree cameras in space capture incredible images of Earth

  • What: The first 360-degree images of Earth captured from space have been released, offering a unique perspective of our planet.
  • Who: Chinese tech company Insta360.
  • Why: These groundbreaking images mark a new milestone in space photography. The use of 360-degree cameras in space opens up new possibilities for capturing and sharing immersive views of Earth and space, enhancing public engagement and scientific observation.



NASA Administrator Bill Nelson in India, set to strengthen NASA-ISRO partnership

  • What: NASA Administrator Bill Nelson met Indian officials to discuss training an Indian astronaut for the ISS and potential collaboration on India's future space station.
  • Who: NASA, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), NASA Administrator Bill Nelson.
  • Why: Nelson's visit to India emphasizes the importance of international collaboration in space exploration. The discussion of astronaut training and space station development points to a deepening relationship between NASA and ISRO, highlighting the global nature of space exploration and the increasing role of emerging space nations.

Joint Statement from the US and Saudi Arabia on Intent to Cooperate in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space for Peaceful Purposes

  • What: The U.S. and Saudi Arabia announced their intent to cooperate in space exploration and use for peaceful purposes, focusing on commercial development and space security.
  • Who: United States, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
  • Why: This collaboration marks a significant step in international space diplomacy. It reflects the increasing global interest in space exploration and underscores the importance of cooperative efforts in advancing peaceful space initiatives and responsible behavior in outer space.

Science Committee Passes Bills to Secure Quantum & Commercial Space Leadership

  • What: The U.S. House Science, Space and Technology Committee passed the Commercial Space Space Act of 2023, focusing on updating government oversight of commercial space activities.
  • Who: U.S. House Science Committee.
  • Why: The passage of this bill underscores the U.S. government's intent to bolster its leadership in the commercial space sector. It aims to streamline and strengthen the regulatory environment, fostering innovation and growth while ensuring responsible and sustainable development in commercial space activities.

FACT SHEET: The U.S. – Angola Partnership

  • What: Angola signed the Artemis Accords as part of its partnership with the U.S., focusing on space exploration for the benefit of all humankind.
  • Who: United States, Angola.
  • Why: Angola's signing of the Artemis Accords is a significant step in international space cooperation. It demonstrates the expanding global interest in space exploration and the importance of collaborative efforts in advancing peaceful and sustainable space activities, fostering a common vision for space exploration.



4 Astronauts Will Be Trained For US-India Mission: ISRO

  • What: ISRO announced that four Indian astronauts will be trained overseas for a joint US-India space mission, with one astronaut heading to the ISS.
  • Who: Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), NASA.
  • Why: This training program is a significant step in US-India space collaboration. It marks a milestone in India's space capabilities and reflects the increasing importance of international partnerships in human spaceflight, enhancing global cooperation in space exploration.

NASA Artemis Programs: Crewed Moon Landing Faces Multiple Challenges

  • What: The GAO report indicates that NASA's Artemis III mission, aimed at landing humans on the moon, faces significant challenges and may slip to 2027.
  • Who: U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), NASA.
  • Why: This report highlights the complexities and challenges in human lunar exploration. The possible delay underlines the need for thorough preparation and testing, especially regarding SpaceX's Starship and the new spacesuits. It stresses the importance of realistic scheduling in ambitious space missions and the ongoing efforts to ensure safe and successful lunar landings.



STARCOM Releases Space Domain Awareness Doctrine Publication

  • What: The U.S. Space Training and Readiness Command (STARCOM) released its first operational level doctrine for space domain awareness. This doctrine outlines the U.S. Space Force's approach to ensuring freedom of operations in space.
  • Who: U.S. Space Training and Readiness Command (STARCOM), U.S. Space Force.
  • Why: The publication of this doctrine is crucial for space industry professionals as it provides a foundational framework for the operational strategies of the U.S. Space Force. It emphasizes the importance of maintaining space domain awareness for national security and the global space community, highlighting the evolving nature of space operations and policy.

The first Medium Earth Orbit Resilient Missile Warning/Missile Tracking Program successfully completes its critical design review and goes into production

  • What: The Space Sensing Resilient Missile Warning, Missile Tracking, Missile Defense program has completed its Critical Design Review for EPOCH 1 space vehicles, with manufacturing of six satellites scheduled for 2026.
  • Who: US Space Systems Command’s Space Sensing program.
  • Why: This development is a key step in enhancing national security and missile defense capabilities. The completion of the design review and the move to production of the EPOCH 1 satellites underscore the importance of space-based systems in missile tracking and defense, offering a significant advancement in military space technology.

Solicitation Notice for Proliferated Low Earth Orbit (PLEO) Satellite-Based Services

  • What: The U.S. Department of Defense issued a request for proposals for Proliferated Low Earth Orbit satellite services, with a potential $900 million in contracts over five years.
  • Who: U.S. Department of Defense.
  • Why: This solicitation reflects the growing interest and reliance on LEO satellites for diverse defense applications. It demonstrates the DoD's commitment to leveraging commercial satellite capabilities for enhanced communication and surveillance, signifying a major opportunity for space industry players in the LEO sector.

York Space Systems Successfully Demonstrates First Ever Link 16 Technology from Space

  • What: York Space Systems successfully demonstrated Link 16 technology from space, a significant advancement in space-based communication.
  • Who: York Space Systems, US Space Development Agency
  • Why: This achievement represents a major leap in military communications technology, enhancing global communication capabilities. The success of Link 16 from space paves the way for improved global communication networks and underscores the technological advancements in space-based systems for modern warfare and defense strategies.

Telesat Government Solutions Awarded DARPA Space-BACN Phase 2 Contract

  • What: Telesat Government Solutions received the Phase 2 contract of the DARPA Space-Based Adaptive Communications Node (Space-BACN) program.
  • Who: Telesat Government Solutions, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).
  • Why: This contract highlights the strategic importance of advanced communication systems in space. The Space-BACN program aims to enhance connectivity for the Department of Defense's joint all-domain command and control initiative, signifying a critical development in space technology for national security.

DIU: Open Solicitations

  • What: The US Defense Innovation Unit issued a solicitation for Hybrid Space Architecture, focusing on persistent sensing, data transport, high-performance edge compute, and data fusion.
  • Who: US Defense Innovation Unit.
  • Why: This solicitation is crucial for the development of next-generation space architecture, emphasizing the need for enhanced capabilities in space-based communication and data processing. It highlights the growing intersection of defense, commercial, and civil space operations, underlining the strategic importance of innovative space technologies for national security and beyond.

MUOS SATCOM System Completes Successful Demonstration in Canada

  • What: The Mobile User Objective System (MUOS), a U.S. DoD SATCOM system, successfully completed a demonstration in Canada.
  • Who: U.S. Navy, U.S. Space Force, Canada’s Department of National Defense.
  • Why: This successful demonstration signifies the effectiveness of international cooperation in satellite communications technology. MUOS' capabilities in providing secure and reliable communications in diverse environments are crucial for military operations, highlighting the strategic importance of advanced SATCOM systems in modern defense strategies.



ESA - Hot fire: Ariane 6 ready to rumble

  • What: Ariane 6, Europe's heavy-lift rocket, successfully completed a crucial engine burn test, keeping it on track for its inaugural launch next year.
  • Who: European Space Agency (ESA).
  • Why: The successful test of Ariane 6 is a significant milestone in maintaining Europe's independent access to space. For space industry professionals, this development is a reminder of the competitive and collaborative nature of the global space launch market and Europe's continued commitment to it.

Firefly Aerospace Completes First Miranda Engine Hot Fire Test

  • What: Firefly Aerospace successfully completed the first hot fire test of its Miranda engine, a key component for Northrop Grumman’s Antares 330 and the Medium Launch Vehicle.
  • Who: Firefly Aerospace, Northrop Grumman.
  • Why: This milestone is significant for the advancement of commercial space launch capabilities. The success of the Miranda engine test highlights the growing competency and collaboration within the private sector to develop more efficient and powerful launch vehicles, which is essential for maintaining competitive and versatile launch services in the industry.

Ireland set to launch first satellite into space

  • What: Ireland launched its first domestically produced satellite, EIRSAT-1, focusing on gamma-ray detection and testing new technologies.
  • Who: University College Dublin, Falcon 9 Launch.
  • Why: Ireland's entry into satellite development marks a significant milestone in its space capabilities. The EIRSAT-1 mission not only contributes to scientific research in astrophysics but also demonstrates the growing involvement of smaller nations in space exploration, diversifying the global space community.



Aerospace New Zealand Announcement

  • What: New Zealand appointed its first Minister for Space, Judith Collins, to drive the country's space sector, focusing on space-related activities and regulatory frameworks.
  • Who: Aerospace New Zealand, Judith Collins.
  • Why: This appointment signifies New Zealand's growing commitment to its space sector, aiming to reach a value of NZ$10 billion by 2030. It's an important development for space industry professionals, highlighting the potential for new opportunities and collaborations in the rapidly evolving global space economy.



XArc / Astroport Company Group Announce $1.3 Million in Multiple NASA SBIR/STTR Awards for 2023

  • What: Astroport Space Technologies and Exploration Architecture Corporation received a combined $1.3M from NASA for developing lunar construction and operations technologies.
  • Who: Astroport Space Technologies, Exploration Architecture Corporation (XArc), NASA.
  • Why: These awards are crucial for advancing lunar exploration technologies. The focus on developing landing/launch pad technologies for the lunar surface underlines NASA's commitment to the Artemis program and provides vital opportunities for innovation in lunar infrastructure, pivotal for sustained human presence on the Moon.



Lockheed Martin Technology Demonstration to Showcase Faster On-Orbit Sensor Calibration

  • What: Lockheed Martin is preparing to demonstrate a new electronically steerable antenna payload, aiming for faster on-orbit sensor calibration.
  • Who: Lockheed Martin, Firefly Aerospace.
  • Why: This demonstration represents a significant advancement in satellite communication technology. Faster sensor calibration can revolutionize broadband communications applications, enhancing the efficiency and capability of space-based systems in various sectors including commercial satellite communications.

POLARIS successfully tests spaceplane engine

  • What: Polaris conducted a successful test fire of their AS-1 engine for their reusable space launch and hypersonic transport system.
  • Who: German spaceplane company Polaris.
  • Why: This test represents a key step in the development of reusable spaceplane technology. Polaris' progress in creating a system that operates like an aircraft illustrates the ongoing evolution in space transportation, potentially revolutionizing access to space and hypersonic travel

Similar posts

Stay in the loop on new releases. 

Subscribe below to receive information about new blog posts, podcasts, newsletters, and product information.