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Signals and Space | V2 | Issue 7 | 02.20.24

New funding for space debris monitoring. Nuggets from space. Nothing says true love like space and cybersecurity. Uruguay joins the Artemis Accords. And more!



Good morning,

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


  • Bryce Kennedy, President of the Association of Commercial Space Professionals, discusses upcoming bootcamp for space startups.

  • Nic Ross, Founder and CEO of Niparo, discusses spacecraft re-entry pollution and key takeaways from the ESA ESTEC Space Sustainability Workshop.

  • Veronica Moronese, Director of Legal Affairs at ThinkOrbital, explores the future of space colonization and its legal implications.
  • Dr. Yarin Eski discusses Space Criminology, exploring potential crimes in space and their legal ramifications.

  • Daniel Fox discusses the parallels between exploring Antarctica and space, emphasizing the importance of exploration for understanding and protecting our planet and beyond.


Millennium Space Systems Contracts Voyager Space for Star Trackers

  • What: Millennium Space Systems awarded Voyager Space a contract to build star trackers for its satellite constellation programs.
  • Why: This contract highlights the importance of precision navigation technology in satellite operations, supporting the development and deployment of small satellite constellations.

BAE Systems Final Acquisition Approval for Ball Aerospace

  • What: BAE Systems received regulatory approval to acquire Ball Aerospace for $5.5 billion, integrating it as Space & Mission Systems within BAE.
  • Why: This acquisition marks a significant consolidation in the aerospace sector, enhancing BAE's capabilities in spacecraft, mission payloads, and antenna systems, signaling a strategic shift towards expanding their space and defense portfolio.

LeoLabs Raises $29 Million to Deliver Enhanced AI-powered Insights for Space Operations

  • What: LeoLabs has secured $29 million in new funding to expand its space operations services, focusing on building end-user applications and partner integrations for tracking space objects in low Earth orbit. The investment was led by GP Bullhound.
  • Why: This funding round is significant for the space industry, emphasizing the growing importance of space situational awareness and space traffic management as low Earth orbit becomes increasingly congested with satellites and debris.

Two Startups Selected Through Technology in Space Prize to Leverage ISS National Lab

  • What: Symphony Bio and FluxWorks have been selected for funding to conduct microgravity research on the ISS National Lab, focusing on cancer treatment and development of magnetic gearboxes, respectively.
  • Why: These projects illustrate the unique benefits of conducting research in space, such as advancing medical treatments and engineering solutions, potentially leading to breakthroughs that can benefit humanity on Earth.

K2 Space Raises $50 Million for Monster Satellites

  • What: K2 Space, founded by SpaceX veterans, has raised $50 million to expand operations and launch its first satellites, focusing on the development of Mega class satellite buses.
  • Why: This funding underscores the growing interest and investment in innovative satellite technologies, which are crucial for advancing global communications, defense, and research capabilities.

Skylo Technologies Secures $37 Million Funding

  • What: Skylo Technologies raised $37 million to expand its direct-to-device connectivity services, aiming to enhance IoT and mobile communications via existing satellites.
  • Why: This investment highlights the importance of expanding global connectivity, especially in remote areas, and the role of emerging companies in driving innovation in satellite communication technologies.

BlueHalo Acquires Eqlipse Technologies

  • What: BlueHalo announced its acquisition of Eqlipse Technologies, aiming to create a defense technology leader with a combined revenue approaching $1B.
  • Why: This acquisition reflects the consolidation trend within the defense sector, aiming to enhance capabilities and market presence in a competitive industry.

Iridium's 2023 Results and 2024 Outlook

  • What: Iridium announced its financial results for 2023 and issued guidance for 2024, showing growth in subscribers, especially in commercial IoT.
  • Why: Iridium's performance and outlook reflect the increasing demand for satellite communications, underscoring the sector's growth potential.


Aerospace Cybersecurity Market Growth

  • What: The aerospace cyber security market is expected to reach $58.8 billion by 2032, growing at a CAGR of 8.4% from 2023 to 2032.
  • Why: The substantial growth in the aerospace cybersecurity market underscores the increasing importance of cyber protection in the aerospace industry, driven by the rising threats in cyberspace and the growing dependency on digital technologies.


NASA Welcomes Greece as Newest Artemis Accords Signatory

  • What: Greece has joined the Artemis Accords, becoming the 35th country to sign the agreement, which is led by the United States and aims to support safe and peaceful space exploration activities.
  • Why: Greece's accession to the Artemis Accords underscores the expanding international collaboration in space exploration and the shared commitment to responsible activities in space, including on the Moon and beyond.

Space and Aeronautics Subcommittee Hearing

  • What: The U.S. Space and Aeronautics Subcommittee held a hearing on the present and future of American activities in low-Earth orbit, focusing on competition with China and the transition from the ISS.
  • Why: This hearing underscores the strategic importance of low-Earth orbit in national and international space policy, highlighting concerns about maintaining leadership and fostering innovation in space exploration and utilization post-ISS.

Uruguay Joins Artemis Accords

  • What: Uruguay has signed the Artemis Accords, joining as the 36th signatory in a ceremony at NASA HQ.
  • Why: Uruguay's accession to the Artemis Accords highlights the growing global consensus on the principles of peaceful and responsible space exploration.

Dr. Tidiane Ouattara Appointed President of African Space Council

  • What: Dr. Tidiane Ouattara has been appointed as the president of the African Space Council by the AU Executive Council.
  • Why: This appointment signifies a major step in operationalizing the African Space Agency, highlighting the continent's commitment to developing its space capabilities.


IM-1 Mission Nova-C Lunar Lander Successfully Enroute to the Moon

  • What: The IM-1 Mission, featuring the Nova-C lunar lander, has successfully launched and is en route to the Moon, aiming for a landing near the lunar south pole.
  • Why: This mission represents a significant milestone in commercial lunar exploration, highlighting the growing role of private companies in advancing lunar science and exploration.

China Plans Lunar Test Satellite Launches

  • What: China is set to launch Tiandu 1 and Tiandu 2 satellites into lunar orbit to test new technologies for future moon missions.
  • Why: These launches are critical steps in China's ambitious lunar exploration plans, demonstrating its commitment to advancing space science and exploration technologies.


Rocket MOU Signed with Equatorial Launch Australia

  • What: Equatorial Launch Australia signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Equatorial Space Systems for rocket launches.
  • Why: This partnership highlights the growing demand for launch services in the Asia-Pacific, positioning the Arnhem Space Centre as a key player in the region.

First Ariane 6 Flight Model Shipment

  • What: The first flight model of the Ariane 6 rocket has been shipped to Europe's Spaceport in French Guiana.
  • Why: The shipment of the Ariane 6 flight model to the launch site marks a pivotal step towards its inaugural launch, showcasing Europe's commitment to maintaining and advancing its position in the global space launch market.

NordSpace Tests Liquid Rocket Engine

  • What: NordSpace successfully tested its Hadfield-10 liquid rocket engine, preparing for Canada's first commercial space launch.
  • Why: This achievement underscores Canada's growing role in the global space industry and the importance of developing homegrown launch capabilities.

Tāwhaki National Aerospace Centre provides mission-critical boost for aerospace sector

  • What: New Zealand inaugurates the Tāwhaki National Aerospace Centre, featuring a new runway and infrastructure to support aerospace activities, including horizontal space launches and stratospheric flights.
  • Why: The establishment of this center marks a significant step in New Zealand's efforts to position itself as a key player in the global aerospace industry, fostering innovation and meeting international aerospace demands.


Thales Alenia Space to Equip NASA’s NEO Surveyor Mission

  • What: Thales Alenia Space will provide communication equipment for NASA’s NEO Surveyor mission, aimed at detecting near-Earth objects.
  • Why: The mission's goal to defend Earth against potential asteroid and comet threats highlights the importance of advanced space technology in planetary defense strategies.

Synspective Signs MOU with the National Remote Sensing Agency of Vietnam and Fujitsu Vietnam

  • What: Synspective has entered into a collaboration with Vietnam's Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and Fujitsu Vietnam to advance satellite remote sensing technology for environmental monitoring and disaster prevention.
  • Why: This partnership highlights the critical role of Earth observation technologies in addressing climate change and natural disasters, showcasing how international cooperation can enhance capabilities for environmental protection and socioeconomic development.


Quantum Computing Inc's NASA Subcontract

  • What: Quantum Computing Inc. has been awarded a fourth subcontract from NASA to develop technology for removing sunlight noise from LiDAR spectral mapping in low-Earth orbit.
  • Why: This subcontract represents an advancement in space technology, enabling more accurate and efficient data collection for cloud and aerosol properties, essential for preparing space missions and understanding Earth's atmosphere.

NASA’s New Experimental Antenna Tracks Deep Space Laser

  • What: NASA has successfully demonstrated the capability of a new antenna to receive laser communications from the Psyche spacecraft in deep space, indicating a potential for higher data rate communications.
  • Why: This development is pivotal for future deep space missions, including human expeditions to Mars, by promising to significantly increase the volume of data that can be transmitted over vast distances.


Viasat's First Installation for U.S. Navy

  • What: Viasat has completed its first satellite communications installation on a U.S. Navy Military Sealift Command ship.
  • Why: This installation marks a significant advancement in maritime communications, enhancing connectivity and operational capabilities for the U.S. Navy's global missions.

Vast Selects Addvalue for Space Station Connectivity

  • What: Vast has chosen Addvalue to provide communications systems for its Haven-1 space station, slated for launch in 2025.
  • Why: This partnership demonstrates the critical role of reliable, real-time connectivity in supporting operations and research on private space stations, emphasizing the expanding infrastructure in low-Earth orbit.

MDA, SDA Confirm Successful Launch of Satellites

  • What: The Missile Defense Agency and Space Development Agency successfully launched satellites for hypersonic and ballistic tracking into low-Earth orbit.
  • Why: This launch enhances U.S. capabilities in tracking advanced missile threats, demonstrating the critical role of space-based assets in national defense.

US Space Force Cancels Northrop Grumman Military Satellite Program

  • What: The US Space Force canceled a multibillion-dollar satellite program with Northrop Grumman due to cost overruns, development issues, and delays.
  • Why: This cancellation underscores the challenges and complexities of developing advanced military satellite systems, as well as the importance of fiscal and project management in defense procurement.

Air and Space Forces Announce Changes for Great Power Competition

  • What: The U.S. Air Force and Space Force have announced strategic changes to maintain superiority amid global competition, including the creation of an Integrated Capabilities Command.
  • Why: These decisions reflect the evolving nature of military needs in space and the importance of integrating capabilities across domains to ensure national security.

Aalyria, U.S. Gov’t, ESA & Others Conduct Demonstration of Technology That Enables Hybrid Space Architecture and CJADC2 Capabilities

  • What: Aalyria has partnered with the U.S. Government, ESA, and others to demonstrate technology enabling a hybrid space architecture and CJADC2 capabilities, focusing on creating resilient and low-latency communications networks.
  • Why: This demonstration is crucial for national security and defense, showcasing the potential for integrating commercial and governmental assets into a unified network to ensure secure and uninterrupted global communications.

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