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Traffic report from lunar orbit.

Russia’s Luna-25 reaches lunar orbit. India’s Chandrayaan-3 is in its final lunar orbit. SpaceX hands in its Starship mishap report to the FAA. And more.





Russia’s Luna-25 vehicle has reached lunar orbit according to Roscosmos. The Indian Space Research Organisation has announced that the Chandrayaan-3 is in its final lunar orbit. SpaceX hands over its mishap report to the Federal Aviation Administration following its April 20 Starship flight test, and more.

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T-Minus Guest

And our guest today is Author Izzy House, presenter of the Space Marketing podcast.

You can connect with Izzy on LinkedIn and find out more about her work on her website.

Selected Reading

Russia's Luna-25 Probe Reaches Moon Orbit- The Moscow Times/ AFP

Chandrayaan-3 reaches final orbit around moon, lander to separate on Thursday- Indian Express

Russian Space Agency Postpones First Flight Of New Spaceship Until 2028- RFE

Let the review begin—SpaceX takes another step toward launching Starship again- Ars Technica

A Framework for Optimized, Integrated Lunar Infrastructure- DARPA

U.S. deactivates GSSAP surveillance satellite, two new ones in the works- SpaceNews

Integrate raises $3.4M and wins Space Force contract for management software- Geek Wire

Terran Orbital Targets Large Revenue Growth in Second Half of 2023, Including Rivada Payment- Via Satellite

Europe space chief warns over political wavering on climate- Reuters

Putting the S in the first Meteosat Third Generation Sounder- ESA

Italian team wins Space Force’s first on-orbit Hack-A-Sat contest

Hack-A-Sat 4 pictures 

U-M gets $9.7M to help forecast harmful space weather- The University Record

Ireland’s First Satellite Will Shake Up Hunt For Gamma Ray Bursts- Forbes

Exclusive: Project manager urges smooth collaboration as Indian equipment for China Space Station cooperation struggles with export clearance - Global Times

KMI and O Analytics keep space safe from debris with NewSpace Nexus's Ignitor Program- KRQE

Prime Video Unveils Trailer for 'A Million Miles Away' Starring Michael Peña as Real-Life Astronaut José Hernández (Film News in Brief) 

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>> Alice Carruth: We choose to go to the moon, not because it's easy, but because it's hard. Yes, I'm aware that I sound nothing like JFK when I deliver his famous speech, but those words still ring true 60 years after he uttered them. Space is hard. Reaching the moon is incredibly hard. Russia, however, is making it all look rather easy.

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Today is August 16, 2023. I'm Alice Carruth, and this is T-Minus.

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Russia's Luna-25 reaches lunar orbit. India says its Chandrayaan-3 is in the final orbit of the Moon. SpaceX hands in its Starship mishap report to the FAA. And our guest today is author Izzy House, presenter of the Space Marketing podcast.

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On today's intel briefing, we're living in exciting times. Watching the race to the Moon in real-time as both the Russian Luna-25 and India's Chandrayaan-3 head to the lunar South Pole. Russia's vehicle has reached lunar orbit, according to Roscosmos. A spokesperson told AFP, for the first time in Russian contemporary history, an automatic station was placed in lunar orbit. This is, after all, the first mission to the Moon for Russia in 47 years. Luna-25 will orbit the moon at an altitude of 62 miles above the surface before its planned landing expected on Monday. The vehicle is performing normally, according to the Russian Space Agency, and they've shared images of what's been captured of the Earth and the Moon from the spacecraft earlier this week. Meanwhile, the Indian Space Research Organization, known as ISRO, has announced that their vehicle, the Chandrayaan-3, is in its final lunar orbit. The vehicle has been orbiting 100 miles above the Moon's surface, completing a series of maneuvers to reduce the orbit and velocity of the spacecraft. ISRO says that the propulsion module and the lander module are gearing up for their separate journeys. The land-rover module is expected to perform a powered descent to the lunar surface on August 23rd, just days behind the Russian vehicle. And back to Russia briefly, the country's state media is reporting a delay to the first flight of a new spacecraft produced by the Russian space agency Roscosmos. The transport spaceship Eagle was expected to launch this year, but has reportedly been postponed until 2028 without further details for now. SpaceX is making headlines again after handing over its report to the Federal Aviation Administration following its April 20th Starship flight test. Starship's first test in April resulted in anomalies and falling debris, leading to environmental groups filing a lawsuit against both SpaceX and the FAA. The FAA will now review the investigation report as part of its role as the regulator charged with ensuring public safety during commercial launch operations. SpaceX is expected to modify its license with the FAA following the review ahead of receiving authorization to launch again. And speaking of SpaceX, its Falcon 9 is expected to lift off this evening, taking another batch of Starlink satellites to orbit from Florida. The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, known as DARPA, has announced a future lunar economy study. The 10-year Lunar Architecture capability study will seek to establish an analytical framework that defines new opportunities for rapid scientific and commercial activity on and around the Moon through collective infrastructure investments. The study is also looking to identify related technical challenges. DARPA anticipates making final analytical frameworks for lunar infrastructure available to the public. The U.S. Space Force has taken out of service one of its satellites from its Geosynchronous Space Situational Awareness Program, known as GSSAP. The GSSAP Space Vehicle 2 has been in orbit since 2014 and has now been deactivated and placed in what's known as a "graveyard orbit." The GSSAP Space Vehicle 2 was one of six satellites made by Northrop Grumman that were launched by the U.S. Air Force starting in 2014. The remaining five satellites are still in service. Seattle-based company Integrate has announced that it's raised $3.4 million U.S. in recent funding and has been awarded a Space Force contract for software management services worth $1.2 million. Integrate will work on boosting the Space Force's program management software platform into higher orbit. The company also announced that it's added Firefly Aerospace as a customer in its first year. Terran Orbital, with their 51% revenue increase to $32.2 million U.S. in Q2 of 2023, aims for a steep revenue jump in the second half of the year to achieve its $250 million U.S. annual target. With a $2.6 billion backlog compromising 30 programs and 370 satellites, the spotlight is on their $2.4 billion U.S. deal for Rivada's 300-satellite LEO constellation. Despite investor concerns around Rivada's undisclosed funding and cash flow, Terran Orbital projected confidence in its financial reporting. Additionally, a $65 million U.S. Lockheed Martin subcontract is anticipated to support the company's cash flow. In a recent statement, Europe's top space official Josef Aschbacher of the European Space Agency highlighted escalating global warming concerns, citing record heat waves and wildfires. Aschbacher emphasizes the urgent need for continued leadership in tackling climate change, warning against political hesitation. Despite Europe's robust Copernicus environmental monitoring program, funding challenges loom, particularly with a 721 million euro shortfall, partly due to the U.K.'s reduced contributions post-Brexit. ESA is seeking resolutions by June 2024 to maintain momentum and affirm Europe's climate commitment. And in a related story, the European Space Agency also announced that the MTG-S1 weather satellite, a partner to last year's launched MTG-I1, has been equipped with its primary instrument, the Infrared Sounder and the Copernicus Sentinel-4 Spectrometer. This next-generation satellite, nearly two tons before fueling, will enhance atmospheric observations of weather forecasting, and most notably, an hourly air quality and pollution monitoring service over Europe. The satellite's completion marks a significant stride towards refining early severe weather predictions and will offer unparalleled atmospheric insights once it launches next year, a critical endeavor given the rapidly changing global climate and increase in severe weather events. The annual Hack-A-Sat contest hosted by the Space Force and Air Force Research Lab at the DEFCON Cybersecurity Conference last week took a groundbreaking step by allowing international teams to hack a live satellite in low-Earth orbit. Now, we've mentioned this competition a few times already. We interviewed Aaron Myrick, the project lead from The Aerospace Corporation who built the satellite, back on June 12th. Last week we also interviewed the hosts of the competition from the Aerospace Village. Italy's mHACKeroni emerged victorious under five finalist teams, proving their expertise in real-world on-orbit cybersecurity challenges. This competition underscores the escalating importance of space asset protection in an increasing digital age. Part of the challenge involved gaining access to the satellite's onboard camera, snapping a picture of Earth and exfiltrating the image. Check out the link in the show notes for those pictures. It's pretty cool. And we've reached out to our friends at Aerospace Corporation for a post-event interview, so stay tuned for that in the coming weeks. NASA has allocated $9.7 million U.S. to the University of Michigan to create a Space Weather Center of Excellence, addressing the critical need for improved space weather predictions. Current forecasts are inadequate for managing risk to astronauts and space instruments from harmful solar radiation. The new center, led by Lulu Zhao, aims to extend forecasting tools beyond Earth to the entire solar system using a machine learning algorithm informed by extensive solar data since 1973. Enhanced alerts will benefit missions like Artemis, and the compiled data set will serve as a benchmark for the global scientific community. Ireland is preparing to launch its first CubeSat, EIRSAT-1, later this year to track cosmic gamma ray bursts. Developed by University College Dublin with ESA support, the satellite aims to modernize gamma ray burst detection using low-cost technology. Future goals include deploying a CubeSat constellation. Besides democratizing space research, the mission promotes Ireland's emerging role in the space sector and prepares a new generation for the expanding industry.

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That concludes our briefing for today. You can find links to all the stories we've covered in our show notes along with a few that we did not, including a piece on Indian spacecraft parts heading to China and NewSpace Nexus Ignitor Program participants working on space debris mitigation. You can find them all at space.n2k.com. Hey, T-Minus crew, if you find this podcast useful, please do us a favor and share a five-star rating and a short review in your favorite podcast app. It will help other space professionals like you find the show and join the T-Minus crew. Thank you. We really appreciate it.

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Our guest today is author Izzy House, presenter of the Space Marketing Podcast. T-Minus host Maria Varmazis spoke to Izzy about the nuances of marketing for the space industry and asked her what the difference is between marketing and sales, and what makes space marketing tick.

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>> Izzy House: Well, I want you to imagine a diamond and it's got all these different facets on it. Well, marketing is the diamond, and sales is one of those facets. Sales is the human touch that you have with your audience that is designed to help that audience. But there is so much more that goes into what marketing is. In the nutshell, marketing is everything that your brand and your business do that your customer, your audience sees, feels, and experiences. It is everything from the mood to your -- the groundskeeper or to what your logo feels like. It is everything. It is how your brand feels to your audience, is the communication, is the message. It's your story. So it's all of that. My favorite facet of marketing is education, which is the one that NASA really uses for its marketing. If you need to study any case study for marketing, NASA is the one to study. You know, I firmly believe, and this is just the opinion of me, that space, our space industry would not exist without their marketing efforts, and, you know, they are the ones that got everybody on board during the '60s. You know, they were asking for a lot and it was during a time of very intense civil unrest, and we were at war, you know, going to war and -- I believe Vietnam was during that time, and then civil rights, and we just -- we had other places to spend that money. Yet they were able to get the American people on board to send somebody to the Moon, which we just celebrated the anniversary of the Moonwalk, and if it hadn't have been for that, they would not have funded it. So marketing is very powerful. Even if you do not have a dog in the fight, per se, you still have people that need to know you exist, and without marketing, they don't know you exist.

>> Maria Varmazis: I know in like traditional tech houses that I have been in it's like the engineer and then the sales guy and that's all you need. That's all you got to do to bootstrap. It's like, what do you need marketing for? And then people sort of accidentally discover why marketing exists later when it's like, "Oh, nobody knows we exist" or "I want our company to feel a certain way, but I don't have time to manage it. Who's going to do that?" It's like, oh, that's what marketing does, if you give them the chance to do that, yeah. I love that you brought up NASA as a great case study for who has done it well, at least historically. I'd love to know any examples outside of NASA of maybe somebody in the space industry that you feel has done a really good job of telling their story with a great marketing campaign or just sort of branding.

>> Izzy House: In my first book -- I have two books. I have Space Marketing, which I wrote as a primer for businesses, because when I first started my career, I was in what's called an "environmental technology incubator," so I was surrounded by all these geniuses that had inventions that would cure our planet's ills. They were magnificent. They did not understand marketing. They didn't respect it, and most of them never made it out of that incubator. And when I decided to go into space, combine both my passions, my love for space and my love for marketing, it was roughly about 2018, so it was relatively recent, and I have spent my whole career in marketing, working with small businesses, and I saw the same type of thing happening in the space industry and that concerns me because I value space very much. I love our Earth, I love our planet, and I firmly believe that in order to fix it, we have to go to space, for a couple of reasons. One, we need to see it, and you can only see it from the outside. Like the holes in the ozone. We were able to see them from space, so we were able to change legislation and get it fixed. So, and they're healing now. So I firmly believe that we have to see it, but also, too, when you're up in orbit or you're on your way to Mars or the Moon, you have this little ecosystem that you have to build, that you have to survive in, and so all that technology that goes into helping us not die, cleans our air, cleans our water, helps us grow, helps us understand our Earth better, and all that comes back down. So I feel it's very important that the companies that are in space learn how to tell their story. Most people that you talk to don't understand that they're carrying around space in their pocket. You know, they don't understand that when they woke up this morning, on their memory foam, that that was -- came from space, and there's so many different touch points that we have with space that people are just completely ignorant of, and that makes it to where the value of going to space, "Well, we have better things to spend our money on down here," you know, so they have to learn how to talk.

>> Maria Varmazis: This is something I've never quite understood, and I'd love to get your thoughts on this, because there are extremely intelligent people working in space. There's no doubting that. There seems to be almost like an attitude of, "Well, my tech is so great it's going to sell itself. Why do I need to tell a story about it?" This is not a unique thing to space, but it happens in other industries and it's like, why is space still making that mistake that other people have figured out? It doesn't work that way. Why?

>> Izzy House: Well, they haven't had to, for one. You know, up until like 2015, when commercial space really got its kickoff with the Space Act, you know, commercialized space wasn't a thing. You had one customer to woo and that was NASA, and maybe an investor, which you need marketing to get that investor, too, but the competition really wasn't there. You know, you may have had some of the big dogs, you know, like Boeing or those to compete with, but like take Moon-landers, for example, you know, there was like one company that did Moon-landers, or several little -- but it wasn't like there were -- how many Moon-landers are there right now just in our existence that are being built? There's a lot. And so how are you going to get somebody to pick your Moon-lander? And all of a sudden, you have a competitive arena that you are not prepared for. You know, if you were selling shampoo or soap, you've had to fight for that market share this whole time. You've had to be on top of the changes that are happening in marketing. It's a shifting landscape. It really is. So you have this whole group of really intelligent people that haven't had to care and now all of a sudden they do, and if you're curing cancer or curing the, you know, the problem, well, the world will come to you. That's what I noticed in the incubator, is that, you know, they assume that when you have the answer, the people will find you, but they can't find you if they don't know you exist.

>> Maria Varmazis: And there's a lot of information out there, and you could you could literally holding the cure for cancer in your hand, but if you're on page 10 of the Google search results, people won't know. It stinks. I wish it wasn't that way. Nobody -- but it's just that's the reality of the world we're in. You did mention you had two books. The second one was about spaceports, and that's so fascinating to me, because something that I talk to people about on the show a lot is about we have a certain number in existence right now, I think it's like 14, but there's so many planned, like 80 are being planned right now around the world. So that's seems like such a cool opportunity for somebody who works in marketing or a spaceport to differentiate themselves with marketing. I would love to get your thoughts on maybe who's doing it well or some case studies on maybe areas for opportunities there. So I'll let you go on that.

>> Izzy House: One of the reasons I'm passionate about spaceports and to where I wrote a book about marketing spaceports is because that's where space begins, and if it's not healthy, it's going to hamper our ability to get to space. We're already maxed out in the spaceports that we have. The spaceports that we have that do rocket launches, you know, they're older facilities and they can't keep up with the cadence, so there needs to be a whole bunch more. It's like airports. Airports, the way that we know them, you know, the boom happened in the '30s, and so that's not even 100 years ago that airports were very, very few, sprinkled around, and now like, for example, in my state, we have almost 60 airports, two of them international. So airports have become a part of our everyday world and we never question it, and spaceports will become a part and they need to be healthy, because there needs to be a good positive message. One of our spaceports did not survive some campaigns against them, and the ones that are trying to bring a spaceport to their local area or region, they need to understand how to get that message to combat the arguments that they're going to have, because you will have some, and sometimes they come from areas you didn't -- don't expect. So you need to understand what's going on, and you need to know how to tell your story and get your message out and resonate with your community so that they support you.

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>> Alice Carruth: We'll be back.

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Welcome back. When did you first get hooked on space? I know for many it was dreaming of being an astronaut as a kid. Not for me. I was first hooked on sci-fi. I'm a Trekkie, and I was a little obsessed with Stargate for a time. If you've ever seen SpinLaunch's centrifuge, then you know how much I loved hanging around that when it was being built. So to say that I continue to love space play out on the big and small screen would be a little bit of an understatement. I devour space movies and series. Admittedly, I don't stick with them all. Few keep my interest like Star Trek does, but I'm excited to see that Prime is releasing a new movie that I'm sure will keep me glued to my sofa, until 9 p.m. at least. I'm an early bird. A Million Miles Away starring Michael Pena as real-life astronaut Jose Hernandez plays out his story from migrant farm worker to astronaut, and yes, he dreamt of being an astronaut as a kid. The movie follows Hernandez from a rural village in Michoacan, Mexico, to the San Juan valley to the International Space Station. Look out for its release in September, in time for Hispanic Heritage Month. And Jose, if you're listening, from one immigrant in the Mesilla Valley to another further west along the border, you're quite the inspiration. Thank you.

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That's it for T-Minus for August 16, 2023. For additional resources from today's report, check out our show notes at space.n2k.com. We'd love to know what you think of this podcast. You can email me at space@n2k.com or submit the survey in the show notes. Your feedback ensures that we deliver the information that keeps you a step ahead in the rapidly changing space industry. N2K's strategic workforce intelligence optimizes the value of your biggest investment, your people. We make you smarter about your team while making your team smarter. This episode was mixed by Elliott Peltzman and Tre Hester with original music and sound design by Elliott Peltzman. Our executive producer is Brandon Karpf. Our chief intelligence officer is Eric Tillman, and I'm Alice Carruth. Thanks for listening.

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