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ARIANESPACE'S FIRST VEGA MISSION OF 2019 IS APPROVED FOR LIFTOFF WITH PRISMA
Wednesday, March 20, 2019
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Source: Arianespace


Source: Arianespace


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ÉVRY, France - The 14th Vega mission from French Guiana - which will orbit an Italian Space Agency Earth observation satellite - has been authorized for liftoff following completion of its launch readiness review, which was conducted today at the Spaceport.

This assessment - held prior to each flight of an Arianespace launcher family member - confirmed that the vehicle and its PRISMA (PRecursore IperSpettrale della Missione Applicativa) payload are flight-ready, along with the Spaceport’s infrastructure and the network of downrange tracking stations.

All is now set for a March 21 liftoff at precisely 10:50:35 p.m. local time in French Guiana (1:50:35 UTC on March 22) for a mission lasting 54 minutes and 8 seconds.

The mission is designated VV14 in Arianespace’s numbering system. It will be performed from the Spaceport’s SLV launch site - where the Vega was assembled and now stands in a flight-ready configuration, protected by a mobile gantry that will be withdrawn prior to liftoff.

Flight VV14 will mark Arianespace’s third mission in 2019, and is the company’s first this year using a lightweight Vega launcher - which is one of three launch vehicles operated by Arianespace at the Spaceport, along with the medium-lift Soyuz and heavyweight Ariane 5.

PRISMA: protecting national and global security

PRISMA - which will be operated by the Italian Space Agency (ASI) - was built by OHB Italia on a dedicated platform hosting the payload supplied by Leonardo Airborne and Space Systems. Once operational, it will support major applications to protect both the planet and Italy’s national security.

It is fitted with a state-of-the-art electro-optical instrument and a hyperspectral sensor with a medium-resolution photo camera sensitive to all colors (panchromatic); and will employ these capabilities for environmental monitoring, resources management, identification and classification of crops, the fight against pollution, homeland security among other uses.

PRISMA will be the third satellite launched at the service of ASI by Arianespace, whose backlog comprises two other spacecraft for the Italian space agency.

Source:  Arianespace
Associated URL: www.arianespace.com

 
LOCKHEED MARTIN'S FIRST SMART SATELLITES ARE TINY WITH BIG MISSIONS
Wednesday, March 20, 2019
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Source: Lockheed Martin


Source: Lockheed Martin


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DENVER, Col. - Lockheed Martin announced a new generation of space technology launching this year that will allow satellites to change their missions in orbit. Satellites that launched one, ten or even fifteen years ago largely have the same capability they had when they lifted off. That's changing with new architecture that will let users add capability and assign new missions with a software push, just like adding an app on a smartphone. This new tech, called SmartSat, is a software-defined satellite architecture that will boost capability for payloads on several pioneering nanosats ready for launch this year.

This year Lockheed Martin is integrating SmartSat technology on ten programs and counting, including the Linus and Pony Express nanosats, which will be the first to launch. These are rapid-prototype, testbed satellites using internal research and development funding, ready for 2019 launches on the first LM 50 nanosatellite buses:

· The Linus project delivers two 12U cubesats performing a technology demonstration mission, validating SmartSat capabilities as well as 3D-printed spacecraft components.

· Pony Express builds multiple 6U satellites destined for a low earth orbit and will space qualify state-of-the-art networking technologies. Pony Express 1 is a pathfinder for a software-defined payload that will test cloud computing infrastructure and was developed in nine months. Follow-on Pony Express missions will prove out RF-enabled swarming formations and space-to-space networking.

Cyber security is at the core of this new technology. SmartSat-enabled satellites can reset themselves faster, diagnose issues with greater precision and back each other up when needed, significantly enhancing resiliency. Satellites can also better detect and defend against cyber threats autonomously, and on-board cyber defenses can be updated regularly to address new threats.

SmartSat uses a hypervisor to securely containerize virtual machines. It's a technology that lets a single computer operate multiple servers virtually to maximize memory, on-board processing and network bandwidth. It takes advantage of multi-core processing, something new to space. That lets satellites process more data in orbit so they can beam down just the most critical and relevant information-saving bandwidth costs and reducing the burden on ground station analysts, and ultimately opening the door for tomorrow's data centers in space.

SmartSat uses a high-power, radiation-hardened computer developed by the National Science Foundation's Center for Space, High-performance, and Resilient Computing, or SHREC. Lockheed Martin helps fund SHREC research, and in turn gains access to world-class technologies and student researchers.

Source:  Lockheed Martin
Associated URL: news.lockheedmartin.com

 
THALES ALENIA SPACE REACHES KEY MILESTONE FOR NANORACKS' AIRLOCK MODULE
Wednesday, March 20, 2019
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Source: Thales


Source: Thales


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TURIN, Italy - Thales Alenia Space, a joint venture between Thales (67%) and Leonardo (33%), is pleased to announce that the shell for Bishop airlock module is ready for ship to the NanoRacks integration facility in Houston, Texas.

The NanoRacks airlock module - dubbed "Bishop" - is the first-ever commercial airlock that will operate on the International Space Station. Owned and operated by NanoRacks, Bishop will be a permanent commercial module on the ISS. It can also be removed from the ISS for use on future commercial platforms under the NanoRacks Space Outpost Program. Bishop will offer five times more satellite deployment volume than opportunities available on the ISS today. It is scheduled to launch on the SpaceX CRS-21 service mission in January 2020.

Thales Alenia Space produced and tested the critical pressure shell for Bishop, as well as various secondary structures, including the Micrometeoroid and Orbital Debris (MMOD) shields with multilayer insulation (MLI) panels, the power and video grapple fixture support structure and other structural components.

NanoRacks is responsible for project management, mechanical and avionics design engineering, safety, operations, quality assurance, mockups and crew training, as well as the final assembly, integration and testing of the Bishop airlock.

Source:  Thales
Associated URL: www.thalesgroup.com

 

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