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Signals and Space | V2 | Issue 17 | 04.29.24

Women-owned small business in space. Russian Roulette at the UN Security Council. Happy birthday, Hubble. Voyager 1 is back online. 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.

-- Brandon Karpf, Vice President of N2K


  • Matthew Cosby, Director of Space Engineering at Goonhilly Earth Station, discusses the critical role of Goonhilly in supporting lunar and deep space communications, essential for future missions and space exploration.

  • Jason Michaud, Founder and CEO of Stardust Technologies, discusses his vision for democratizing space access through technological innovation and engaging with indigenous communities in Canada.

  • Rachana Mamidi, Space Engineer and host of “Those Space People” podcast, discusses her motivations for starting a podcast to highlight diverse careers in the space industry.

  • Sean Kane, VP of Strategy and Business Development at Mott Corporation, discusses the state of the supply chain in space manufacturing.

  • Libby Jackson, Head of Space Exploration at the UK Space Agency, discusses the ESA's new astronaut class and their rigorous training.

  • Shawn Linam, President, CEO and a founder of Qwaltec tells her story of how she launched Arizona-based Qwaltec and what it’s like to be a role model for women in aerospace.


Defense startup True Anomaly lays off around 25%, cancels summer internship

  • What: True Anomaly, a defense space startup, has cut about 25% of its workforce and canceled its summer internship program following operational challenges.
  • Why: These layoffs highlight the volatility in the space startup ecosystem and underscore the challenges faced by emerging companies in scaling operations amidst technical and financial pressures.

Agile Space Industries to provide propulsion capability for True Anomaly to enable dynamic space operations

  • What: Agile Space Industries has been selected to provide advanced propulsion systems for True Anomaly’s Jackal autonomous orbital vehicles as part of the VICTUS HAZE mission.
  • Why: This partnership is crucial for enhancing the maneuverability and operational capabilities of satellites, which can lead to more dynamic and responsive space missions.

Redwire Signs MOU with Boryung to Support its Trailblazing Humans In Space Program for Global Human Health

  • What: Redwire has signed an MOU with Boryung to support space-based research for human health, including hosting an annual innovation challenge.
  • Why: This collaboration leverages space environments to advance medical research, showcasing the potential of space technology to contribute to global health solutions.

mu Space and RBC Signals Sign Memorandum of Understanding for Satellite Ground Station Facilities Project

  • What: mu Space and RBC Signals signed an MOU to explore opportunities for developing satellite ground station facilities in Southeast Asia.
  • Why: This agreement aims to enhance satellite communication infrastructure in the region, supporting the expansion of global satellite networks and improving connectivity.

Rocket Lab Successfully Deploys Satellites ~500km Apart to Separate Orbits For KAIST and NASA

  • What: Rocket Lab executed its 47th successful Electron mission, deploying satellites for KAIST and NASA into separate orbits, one for Earth observation and the other for solar sail technology demonstration.
  • Why: This mission showcases Rocket Lab's precision deployment capabilities and contributes to technological advancements in satellite deployment and solar sail applications, vital for future space exploration and Earth monitoring.

PLD Space has achieved 120 million euros in funding to date

  • What: PLD Space, a Spanish launch company, has secured 120 million euros in funding, ensuring the progress toward the MIURA 5 mission scheduled for late 2025.
  • Why: This funding milestone is significant as it supports the development of new launch capabilities in Europe, contributing to the continent's growing autonomy and competitiveness in the global space launch market.

Momentus Receives Nasdaq Deficiency Notification Regarding Delayed Form 10-K

  • What: Momentus has received a deficiency notice from Nasdaq due to a delayed filing of its annual Form 10-K, with a 60-day period granted to regain compliance.
  • Why: This development could impact investor confidence and underscores the importance of compliance and transparency in corporate governance within the space sector.

AST SpaceMobile, Inc. (ASTS) Investor Notice: Robbins LLP Reminds Stockholders of the AST SpaceMobile, Inc. Class Action

  • What: AST SpaceMobile is facing a class-action lawsuit over alleged misleading statements regarding its satellite launch schedule, which has adversely affected its stock price.
  • Why: This lawsuit highlights the critical nature of maintaining regulatory compliance and the impact of operational transparency on company valuation and stakeholder trust in the rapidly evolving space industry.

Satellogic Signs Letter of Intent with O.N.E. Amazon to Support Building the Internet of Forests

  • What: Satellogic has signed a letter of intent with O.N.E. Amazon to support the creation of the "Internet of Forests," which involves using advanced sensor networks to monitor the Amazon rainforest.
  • Why: This initiative is significant for the space industry as it demonstrates the application of space-based technology in environmental conservation, potentially opening up new markets and applications for satellite data.

Lockheed Martin Reports First Quarter 2024 Financial Results

  • What: Lockheed Martin reported increased net sales in Q1 2024 compared to Q1 2023 but saw a slight decline in net earnings per share year-over-year.
  • Why: These financial results are crucial for stakeholders to assess Lockheed Martin's health and strategic positioning in the aerospace and defense industry amid economic and geopolitical shifts.

Seraphim Space launches second VC fund with nine investments already under its belt

  • What: Seraphim Space has initiated its second venture capital fund, SSV II, targeting early-stage space startups, with a focus on AI applications in space data. Initial investments include Delos and Renoster.
  • Why: The fund aims to fuel innovation in the space sector by supporting startups that could advance climate monitoring and insurance technology, positioning Seraphim as a key player in space industry investments.


ispace-U.S. Announces Official Launch Of Data Relay Service Enabled By Two Relay Satellites

  • What: ispace-U.S. has launched a new data relay service with two satellites designed to facilitate communication between Earth and the far side of the Moon.
  • Why: This service represents a significant technological advancement in lunar exploration, enabling continuous communication and data transfer from regions of the Moon that were previously out of reach.

Astroscale Unveils World’s First Image of Space Debris Captured through Rendezvous and Proximity Operations

  • What: Astroscale published the first-ever image of space debris captured during a close approach by its ADRAS-J satellite, marking a significant milestone in active debris removal technology.
  • Why: This achievement demonstrates advanced capabilities in tracking and potentially capturing orbital debris, which is crucial for maintaining the long-term sustainability of space operations.

Astroscale Japan Selected for Phase II of JAXA’s Commercial Removal of Debris Demonstration Program

  • What: Astroscale has been selected for Phase II of JAXA's debris removal program, tasked with developing a spacecraft to actively remove debris using a robotic arm.
  • Why: This progression into actual debris removal operations represents a critical step forward in mitigating space debris risks, enhancing safety for current and future space missions.

ISS National Lab-Sponsored Research Could Produce Nanomaterials for Life-Saving Therapies and Precision Drug Delivery

  • What: The ISS National Lab is sponsoring research that could lead to the development of nanomaterials for therapies and precision drug delivery systems.
  • Why: Conducting this research in the unique microgravity environment of space can lead to breakthroughs not possible on Earth, potentially revolutionizing medical treatments and drug delivery methods.

NASA Nurtures Promising Tech Ideas from Small Businesses

  • What: NASA's SBIR program has awarded $93.5 million in Phase II contracts to 95 small businesses to develop innovative technology solutions.
  • Why: Supporting small businesses in technology development not only fosters innovation but also bolsters the commercial space sector, driving forward new applications and economic growth in the aerospace industry.

ClearSpace Debris Removal Mission Passes Key Milestone

  • What: The ClearSpace mission to remove orbital debris has successfully completed its Preliminary Design Review, targeting a Vega payload adapter for removal, with a launch planned for 2026.
  • Why: This mission addresses the critical issue of space debris, which poses risks to satellites and human spaceflight. Its success is pivotal in advancing technologies and international efforts towards sustainable space operations.


USSPACECOM visit cements commitment to bolstering the Alliance in Korea

  • What: General Stephen Whiting from US Space Command discussed enhancing space and missile defense capabilities with South Korean leaders, amid concerns over China's rapid space advancements.
  • Why: This visit underscores the strategic importance of space assets in national and international security, stressing the need for allied cooperation in space technology and defense capabilities to counter potential threats.

Contracts For April 19, 2024

  • What: The US Air Force has awarded contracts to Stellar Sciences and Blue Halo to enhance satellite assessment and directed energy systems capabilities.
  • Why: These contracts are part of a broader effort to strengthen the US's strategic space capabilities, focusing on advanced technology development in AI, machine learning, and space situational awareness to maintain and secure US interests in space.


L3Harris Technologies Reports Strong First Quarter 2024 Results, Increases 2024 Profitability Guidance

  • What: L3Harris Technologies reported strong financial results for the first quarter of 2024, leading to an increase in its profitability forecasts for the year.
  • Why: These results reflect the robust health of the aerospace and defense sectors, indicating strong demand for advanced technology solutions in both civilian and military markets.

China facilitates developing nations to learn about space exploration

  • What: China is actively engaging with Latin American and Caribbean countries to promote collaborative space exploration and technology transfer.
  • Why: This initiative not only extends China's influence in international space affairs but also supports global development goals by sharing space technology with developing nations, fostering international cooperation.

Russia vetoes Security Council draft resolution on a weapon-free outer space

  • What: Russia vetoed a UN Security Council draft resolution, co-sponsored by the US and Japan, aimed at preventing the deployment of weapons in outer space.
  • Why: This veto highlights the geopolitical tensions in space policy and raises concerns about the potential militarization of space, which could affect global security and the future of international space cooperation.

Slovenia Signs Artemis Accords, Joins Pursuit of Safer Space

  • What: Slovenia has become the 39th country to sign the Artemis Accords during a strategic dialogue in Ljubljana, enhancing international collaboration in space.
  • Why: Slovenia's accession to the Accords expands global partnerships in space exploration, highlighting its growing role and commitment to adhering to peaceful and responsible space exploration standards.

Legislation to broaden Florida’s spaceport territory signed into law

  • What: Florida has enacted a law expanding the eligible spaceport territory within the state and adjusting funding eligibility criteria for spaceport projects.
  • Why: This legislative change aims to bolster Florida's position as a hub for space activities, facilitating greater infrastructure development and attracting more aerospace ventures to the state.


NASA gives Starliner ‘go to proceed’

  • What: NASA has cleared Boeing's Starliner spacecraft for its first crewed test flight, marking a significant milestone in the Commercial Crew Program.
  • Why: This decision is pivotal for NASA's goals of restoring domestic crew launch capability and ensuring continued access to the International Space Station for American astronauts.

Shenzhou-18 astronauts enter space station, in-orbit handover to be completed in five days

  • What: Astronauts from China's Shenzhou-18 mission have successfully docked with the Tiangong space station and are conducting an in-orbit handover with the Shenzhou-17 crew.
  • Why: This operation is part of China's continuous efforts to maintain and expand its independent human spaceflight capabilities, emphasizing its commitment to becoming a leading space-faring nation.

China’s Tiangong space station damaged by debris strike: report

  • What: The Tiangong space station suffered damage from a debris strike, impacting its solar wing and power supply.
  • Why: The incident highlights the increasing risk of space debris in low Earth orbit and underscores the need for more robust measures to ensure the safety and sustainability of space infrastructure.

SERA Partners with Blue Origin for Historic Space Mission

  • What: SERA has partnered with Blue Origin to launch a mission enabling citizens from nations without space access to participate in spaceflight, reserving all six seats on an upcoming New Shepard mission.
  • Why: This partnership democratizes access to space and highlights the growing trend of commercial space travel, broadening the scope of human spaceflight to include global participants outside traditional astronaut corps.

NASA Announces 30th Human Exploration Rover Challenge Winners

  • What: NASA's 30th Human Exploration Rover Challenge was won by teams from Parish Episcopal School in Dallas and the University of Alabama in Huntsville.
  • Why: The competition fosters STEM education and practical engineering skills, crucial for developing the next generation of aerospace professionals and innovators.


SaxaVord Spaceport granted range licence by Civil Aviation Authority

  • What: SaxaVord Spaceport received a range license from the UK Civil Aviation Authority, a critical step towards operational readiness.
  • Why: This license is essential for conducting safe and regulated space launches from the UK, contributing to the country's growing commercial space sector.

The Spaceport Company Signs Agreement with Maritime Launch to Provide Tracking and Telemetry Stations for Spaceport Nova Scotia

  • What: The Spaceport Company has signed an agreement with Maritime Launch Services to provide tracking and telemetry services for upcoming launches in Nova Scotia.
  • Why: This partnership is crucial for enhancing launch safety and data acquisition, facilitating Canada's ambition to become a more active participant in the global space launch market.


Japan Moon probe survives 3rd lunar night

  • What: Japan's SLIM lunar lander has successfully survived a third lunar night, an unexpected achievement that extends its mission timeline.
  • Why: The durability of SLIM enhances our understanding of the lunar environment and demonstrates the resilience of space hardware, which is crucial for planning future lunar missions and long-term lunar habitation.

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