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The rise of the goddess of strife and discord.

Australia’s Gilmour Space raises $36M. JAXA launches its H3 rocket. Astroscale’s ADRAS-J space debris mission lifts off from New Zealand. And more.




Australia-based space services company Gilmour Space raises $55 million Australian dollars, in a Series D round. The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) successfully launched the second H3 rocket on February 17. Astroscale launched its commercial debris inspection demonstration satellite ADRAS-J, from Rocket Lab’s Launch Complex 1 in New Zealand, and more.

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T-Minus Guest

Our guest today is Sarvesh Garimella, Chief Scientist and CTO at MyRadar

You can connect with Sarvesh on LinkedIn and learn more about MyRadar on their website.

Selected Reading

Fresh capital fuels Queensland’s space race as Gilmour eyes launch

JAXA | Launch Result of the second H3 Launch Vehicle (H3TF2)

Astroscale Successfully Launches World’s First Debris Inspection Spacecraft, ADRAS-J

United Nations agrees to address impact of satellite constellations on astronomy | ESO

Varda Space Industries Update 3 on Vardas W-1 Mission

Sateliot achieved “HELLO WORLD” on NTN 5G, integrating with KSAT and AWS

Big, doomed satellite seen from space as it tumbles towards a fiery reentry on Feb. 21 (photos)

Science and technology projects wanted for potential UK mission with Axiom Space - GOV.UK

Thales Alenia Space launches MARSBalloon to offer students the chance to fly experiments and test technologies that could one day be destined for Mars

How a new space race could be harming the Earth’s atmosphere | PBS News Weekend

Disney star turned space CEO: Bridgit Mendler launches satellite data startup backed by major VCs

Roscosmos seeks to obscure bidding process to evade US sanctions

Private Odysseus moon lander beams home 1st photos from space

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We took a long weekend here in the United States, but there was a lot going on out west this weekend, launches from both Japan and New Zealand, and new capital funding rounds.

And this week we're expecting a surge in re-entries and the first possible commercial lunar landing by a U.S. company.

So let's dive in, shall we?

Today is February 20, 2024.

I'm Maria Varmausus, and this is T-minus.

Australia's Gilmore space raises US$36 million.

JAXA launches its H3 rocket.

Astroscale's address J's space debris mission lifts off from New Zealand.

And our guest today is Cervesh Garamella, chief scientist and CTO at MyRadar, who will be discussing predictive weather data with me in the second half of the show.

So definitely stay with us for that.

Let's take a look at our Intel briefing for this Tuesday.

We're starting out our show today with news of a financial deal.

And we think it's notable both for the amount of money and where it's being invested. 55 million Australian dollars, or about US$36 million, have been raised in a series D round by Queensland Australia-based space services company Gilmore Space.

Gilmore is developing Australia's first domestic orbital rocket, the Ares Orbital Launch Vehicle, which the company expects will have its made in flight later this year.

The Ares is a three-stage rocket with a 305 kilo payload capacity, capable of delivering those payloads to low-Earth orbit, and it will launch from Gilmore's own Bowen Orbital Space Port.

Gilmore's new funding round was led by Queensland Investment Corporation, and the funds will go towards the production of the company's orbital rocketry and satellites, with the goal of furthering Australia's space sovereignty and making the country more competitive on the global launch market.

Gilmore Space co-founder and CEO Adam Gilmore said this in a press release.

This investment will allow us to enhance Australia's sovereign space and defence capabilities, onshore more manufacturing, and to hire and upscale even more Queenslanders.

Our vision is for rockets made and launched in Queensland, carrying satellites and other payloads to space for our global customers, and we're incredibly grateful for the support of QIC in helping us realize that vision.

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, also known as JAXA, launched the second H3 rocket, known as H3TF-2, on February 17, from the Tanegashima Space Center.

The launch vehicle, built by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries for Japan's National Space Agency, delivered a pair of satellites to orbit.

JAXA said that the launch vehicle flew as planned, and the second stage of the H3 launch vehicle was injected into the predetermined orbit.

JAXA confirmed that the separation signal was sent to the TIRSAT, controlled re-entry of the second stage was performed, and the separation of the vehicle evaluation payload for was verified.

The H3 is due to replace the two-decade-old H2A, which is retiring after two more launches.

It was a real win for the Japanese Space Agency that is looking to develop a satellite launch program that can perform at a regular cadence.

When there's more success stories from Japan over the weekend, Astroscale confirmed the successful launch of its commercial debris inspection demonstration satellite, active debris removal by Astroscale Japan, or ADDRESS J, from Rocket Lab's Launch Complex 1 in New Zealand on Sunday.

The ADDRESS J spacecraft was selected by JAXA for Phase 1 of its commercial removal of debris demonstration program.

The mission is the world's first attempt to safely approach, characterize, and survey the state of an existing piece of large debris through RPO.

An RPO generally refers to orbital maneuvers in which two spacecraft arrive at the same orbit and approach at a close distance.

ADDRESS J is designed to rendezvous with a Japanese H2A upper-stage rocket body, demonstrate proximity operations, and gather images to assess the rocket body's movement and condition of the structure.

The mission will demonstrate the most challenging RPO capabilities necessary for on-orbit services.

The United Nations has agreed to address the impact of satellite constellations on Earth-based astronomy.

COPEOUS' Scientific and Technical Subcommittee has agreed to an agenda item for the next five years with the title "Dark and Quiet Skies - Astronomy and Large Constellations - Addressing Emerging Issues and Challenges."

As the UN's top body for space-related matters, the committee deals with all topics related to international cooperation and the exploration of space and planetary bodies, including the deployment of satellites, space debris mitigation, long-term sustainability of space, and the use of orbital slots.

The provisional agenda item will now go before the full committee in June to be endorsed.

Varda's space took to social media over the weekend to update its W1 mission plan.

The vehicle has successfully executed its initial burn to lower perigee as they stay on track for reentry on February 21.

They're expected to perform a second burn to raise apogee at some point today.

The vehicle is expected to land in Utah tomorrow.

That would be Wednesday.

And speaking of vehicle reentry, here's a story that's been all over the headlines and news lately.

A European space agency satellite is expected to deorbit this week.

ERS-2, or European Remote Sensing 2, launched in 1995 and spent 16 years observing our planet.

ESA has performed dozens of maneuvers to begin bringing ERS-2 down for a reentry, which is expected sometime tomorrow.

ESA says the ERS-2 is expected to burn up as it reenters the atmosphere.

And the ERS-2 satellite has an estimated mass of 5,057 pounds after depleting its fuel, and has been captured on camera as it nears our atmosphere by commercial imaging companies.

The images are pretty cool.

And you can check out those images in our show notes.

Spain-based Sateliot, which operates a low-Earth orbit 5G Internet of Things satellite constellation, has achieved 5G service messaging connection with the Kongsberg Satellite Services, or KSAT, commercial network called KSAT-Lite, together with Amazon Web Services.

Using AWS, Sateliot says it has built a fully virtualized cloud-native 5G core for narrowband or NBIOT non-terrestrial networks, or NTN.

This all provides flexible, low-cost, and hyper-scalable narrowband solutions supporting Sateliot's end-to-end service.

Sateliot has marked a significant milestone by establishing its first-ever 5G service connection using KSAT's ground station as a service network.

This achievement was made possible by integrating Sateliot's narrowband IoT NTN core network deployed using AWS with the KSAT-Lite multi-mission solution, which now functions as a 5G point of presence.

The UK Space Agency has put out a call for science and technology projects for a future mission with Axiom Space.

Up to 15 million pounds of commercial funding could be made available for British science and technology to be featured in the future mission.

The UK Space Agency is giving scientists, innovators, and businesses the opportunity to submit proposals now to maximize the benefits of a mission in the near term.

UKSA and Axiom Space have signed an MOU last year that outlined the plans to pursue a commercially sponsored UK astronaut mission, but no definitive plans for that mission have yet been finalized.

And Tolasilinia Space has announced a new STEM project led by the company's graduates and apprentices in the UK.

The Mars Balloon is a hands-on science project for primary and secondary students and shows how exciting and varied career opportunities in space, engineering, and science can be without putting on a space suit.

Students are encouraged to work together to create experiments to test the response of electronics, materials, plants, and even food to the harsh conditions in space.

Experiments will need to fit inside a small capsule and will fly on a high-altitude balloon rising to an altitude of 30 kilometers.

The deadline for registration is March 8th with the launch of the balloon in May.

More details can be found by following the link in our show notes.

And that concludes our briefing for today.

You'll find links to further information in the selected reading section of our show notes.

And you'll also find links to a few stories that we didn't cover.

Ones on how the new space race could be harming our atmosphere.

We spoke to Nair Gross about that one on the show last week, by the way.

And there's another one on a new satellite data startup backed by major VCs.

And the last story is on Roscosmos' bidding process.

Those links and much more can be also found at space.n2k.com and just click on this episode title.

Hey T-minus crew, if you're just joining us, be sure to follow T-minus Space Daily in your favorite podcast app.

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And our guest today is Cervesh Garamella, Chief Scientist and CTO at MyRadar.

I started by asking Cervesh to tell us about MyRadar.

MyRadar has been around since about 2009.

We started as an app company, bringing environmental and weather data into the hands of our users.

And over the years, we've grown to over 15 million active annual users and have been downloaded over 50 million times.

And we've been slowly adding functionality to the app and growing the relevance and capabilities of delivering hazard information and weather information related to a bunch of different environmental phenomenon.

And in the past few years, we've been trying to differentiate our capabilities and figure out how we can bring in our own data into the mix.

And in 2019, we launched our first prototype satellite with the intent to start differentiating the data products and the alerting services that we can provide.

And so that was a prototype validating the subsystems for some of the engineering testing that we needed to do.

And then we launched three more subsystem validations in 2022.

And we are currently on track for an October launch on SpaceX Rocket, integrated with Exo Launch.

And that's for our full system end-to-end commercial pathfinder test to do the full-on integration of all of the pieces that we've tested on the ground and some of the pieces we've tested in orbit.

And the cool thing about these satellites is they have onboard AI so they can tell us what they see in addition to being able to show us what they see.

And so for our core mission or our core competency of bringing environmental information into the hands of users in an expedited way, we can cut to the chase and we can get right to the key information that a decision maker needs to have in place in order to choose what right actions to take in a short amount of time.

And so over the years, we've been building these types of situational awareness, tactical awareness tools, and the satellite constellation allows us to expand on our core competency there.

That's so cool.

I thank you for that, by the way.

I always am fascinated by about hearing about developments in satellite tech where the AI is on board.

I kind of geek out about that because I just think that is so neat that we're, you know, instead of having to figure out all that data once it comes back to Earth that the satellite is doing a lot of that heavy lifting, that is just so neat to me.

Can you tell me a bit more about this constellation that your company is building out?

Because that's, I mean, this is an exciting time for you all.

So tell me more about it.

Yes, really exciting.

So the satellites in the constellation are called Horus, and so we're launching Horus 1.

So H-O-R-I-S stands for Hyperspectral Orbital Remote Imaging Spectrometer.

And we have on board several imagers that we'll be able to observe in the visible near IR and thermal IR wavelengths with more band density in areas where we expect there to be more spectrally relevant features of interest.

And we can use the data from all of three of those imagers that we are planning to launch in the first pathfinder and the second pathfinder that's going up in February, fuse them together and start training machine learning models for automated detection and alerting for this low latency application.

Oh, that's so neat.

Okay, so there are a lot of really cool companies doing Earth observation.

Everybody has a sort of a different way that they like to do it.

Obviously having your own sources of data is a really important differentiator for you all.

But I'm also curious about what you all do and how you're trying to do it better than your competitors, if you can give me that pitch.

Yeah, totally.

The goal is to have about 150 or so satellites in orbit in the constellation providing global sub-hourly coverage for the hazards that we want to alert on.

And the difference between what we're doing and what other people are doing is really leaning into this alerting use case.

And so we are shrinking the form factor to enable there to be more satellites.

And we are putting in AI improvements to address some bottlenecks for being able to miniaturize satellites in this way.

And the goal isn't necessarily to give you the most exquisite picture of what your farm looked like a week later after it burned down, but to give you the data in time for you to be able to do something and use a bucket of water instead of a fire brigade is the eventual goal.

Gotcha, that's so neat.

All right, alerting is a huge thing, especially with climate change making, so many more adverse things happen.

The need is great.

And certainly I can see a lot of application for what you're all doing.

As I said, you all are in a very exciting time right now.

The launch is coming up in October.

What's it like right now?

What are you all?


What's going on?

It's all hands on deck.

We're going full steam ahead on getting everything integrated.

So we are wrapping up hardware in the loop testing for the flat set right now.

And we're beginning the integration of the flight models and putting all the pieces together in the actual geometry that it'll need to be.

And so we're in the process of developing that flight model hardware.

And yeah, it's a really cool time.

And we're really excited to start getting some data back from these satellites, getting the first light imagery back from the engineering prototypes, who's a huge milestone.

And this is going to be an even bigger milestone where we get to put all the different pieces of the Jigsaw puzzle together and watch it do its job.


And I imagine there's a lot of things coming after this, which I always hate to ask, what's after this?

Because it's a huge step that's right in front of you.

And I know you're all working on that right now.

But it is part of the larger vision, right?

So yeah, tell me how this fits in with the bigger picture.


So the goal to build this and launch this constellation fits into our existing plans and existing capabilities because we send between three and four billion alerts to our users every year for various hazards that we can detect from third party sources or from our own AI algorithms to generate the alert data.

But the goal for the company is to use this platform, this Hora satellite platform to be the first company to send a billion alerts from space and have those alerts be relevant and timely and usable to the standard that all of our alerts and customers are used to experiencing with the MyRator set of products.

That's fantastic.


When it comes to alerts and I'm thinking very broadly, just in terms of the amount of noise a lot of people get, getting that timely and relevant alerting is always a challenge, but a very noble one and extremely important, especially given the stakes that we're talking about here.

So this is fantastic.

I'm wishing you all the best in looking forward to hearing how things go, especially as we get closer to launch.

Is there anything else that you wanted to mention about what's going on or what you're looking forward to?

Anything that we didn't cover you wanted to mention?

You know, space is really cool.

And one of the things that I'm really looking forward to is the chance to go to another launch.

And so the October launch is supposed to be out of Vandenberg in California.

And I hope to be there in person to see it.

And, you know, it's one of the most dramatic, life-changing types of events to experience.

You see the candle light downrange.

And then there's this pause.

There's this stillness that exists for just a moment before the pressure wave hits you and you feel the sound reverberating in your chest.

And I was lucky to watch one of the GOES satellites that NOAA developed go into orbit a few years ago and I haven't had a chance to go experience a launch with the pandemic and all the travel sort of interruptions in the intervening time.

But this is one that I'm really excited to be able to see in person.


Your baby's going to be on there.


I mean, that's got to, I can't even begin to imagine how much more special that must make an already extraordinary event.

I have heard second hand.

I will be thinking of you when the launch goes as well.

And it's honestly, every time there's a rideshare that goes, I know there's so many people's, so many hopes and dreams and hard, hard work on those launches.

It's quite an amazing thing.

So I will be thinking of you all and wishing you all the best of luck.

And I hope you get to see it in person too, because certainly you've been working on it.

I hope you get to be there and see it.

A daily timer, it's T minus 230 days until scheduled launch.

And so I look at that timer with a combination of excitement and a little nervousness, because you know, we still have to finish all the work in time.

So that's a, it's a fun place to be, but it's definitely action packed.

We'll be right back.

Welcome back.

And now for my favorite activity, describing photographs in an audio only podcast.


Now Odysseus, as you probably know, is the lunar lander that intuitive machines has on the way to the moon right now.

Hopefully, we'll see a landing attempt in just two days.

It is an exciting time to be a space nerd, y'all.

It truly is.

And while it's on the way to the moon, how can any spacecraft possibly resist the temptation to send a photo of our gorgeous home, especially if they can do it selfie style?

And indeed, just a day after launching, Odysseus took a bunch of pretty decent selfies.

And yes, you can see the lander and its payloads.

Everything's looking pretty darn optimal on its way to the moon.

Some of the photos that Odysseus took show the second stage of its orbital ride, the Falcon 9 drifting slowly away, later turning into just a speck of light over the curve of the Earth.

These photos are so cool.

And the other photos are a bit further along on Odysseus's journey with the entirety of our gorgeous blue planet in the background.

And with a pretty lovely view of Australia and central view, you know, no big deal.

The photos are especially noteworthy since they are also in really lovely high resolution.

I guess the benefit of being launched by a private company is that you can get into development fast and take advantage of newer, more lightweight tech.

And yeah, maybe you can also make a business case for getting a pricier, more high-res camera on board.

Anyway, we'll link the lovely photos for you in our show notes.

Fingers crossed for the intuitive machine's team that will be seeing stellar photos from their landing on the moon very soon.

That's it for T-Minus for February 20th, 2024.

For additional resources from today's report, check out our show notes at space.ntuk.com.

We're privileged that N2K and podcasts like T-Minus are part of the daily routine of many of the most influential leaders and operators in the public and private sector, from the Fortune 500 to many of the world's preeminent intelligence and law enforcement agencies.

This episode was produced by Alice Carruth, mixing by Elliot Peltzman and Trey Hester, with original music and sound design by Elliot Peltzman.

Our executive producer is Jen Iben.

Our VP is Brandon Karpf.

And I'm Maria Varmausus.

Thanks for listening.

We'll see you tomorrow.





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