Ukraine got access to high-precision satellite images, and the Russian engine exploded in orbit: News Digest

Selection of space news for breakfast: Max Polyakov’s EOS company signed an agreement with GEOSAT 2 on satellite data transmission, 215 thousand subscribers connected to Starlink in Ukraine in the first month, and China launched a constellation of commercial satellites into orbit.

Max Polyakov’s EOS made it possible to obtain high-precision satellite images thanks to a commercial deal with GEOSAT

Despite the risks of the information agenda in the conditions of military aggression, the message about the deal appeared in the public space only now.

GEOSAT 2 has become the first satellite that already transmits operational surveillance data over the territory of Ukraine exclusively for use by our country. The satellite is in orbit and allows receiving data with ultra-high resolution, previously unavailable for Ukraine. It also provides an opportunity to take pictures at a distance of 100 kilometers from the state borders of Ukraine. Launched into orbit in January 2022, the Ukrainian satellite Sich-2-30 has a much lower resolution.

SpaceX Crew-3 astronauts leave from the space station to home

The landing of the spacecraft off the coast of Florida is scheduled for May 6 at 07:43 a.m. Kyiv time. The SpaceX Crew Dragon Endurance spacecraft has undocked from the ISS and is returning to Earth. On board is the crew of the Crew-3 mission, which began work on the International Space Station on November 11 last year. The astronauts spent six months in space.

Market News

Astroscale satellites. Source: Astroscale

Canadarm3 technology to be included on Axiom commercial space station

MDA has completed the first sale of Canadarm3 technology which will be used on the Axiom Space commercial space station. Axiom is currently building the first module, the Axiom Hub One, of its modular space station. The Hub One along with Hub Two would form the anchor modules attached to the International Space Station (ISS) and would serve as crew quarters and offer research and manufacturing capabilities.

Astroscale’s ELSA-d completes complex rendezvous operation

Astroscale Holdings Inc. (“Astroscale”), the market leader in satellite servicing and long-term orbital sustainability across all orbits, has announced that, despite several unexpected setbacks, its End-of-Life Services by Astroscale-demonstration(ELSA-d) mission successfully completed further controlled close-approach rendezvous operations between its two spacecraft in orbit.

Satellogic to launch 68 satellites with SpaceX

Earth imaging company Satellogic announced it signed a contract with SpaceX to launch 68 more satellites as it continues to build out its constellation. The companies did not disclose the terms of the contract, and Satellogic did not answer questions about when the launches would take place and whether they would be separate or joint missions.

China launched a new batch of commercial Earth remote probe satellites Jilin-1

China successfully launched eight Earth remote probe satellites on Thursday. As indicated in the corporation’s statement published on its WeChat social network page, the launch took place at 10.38 a.m. local time (05.38 a.m. Kyiv time) from the Taiyuan cosmodrome in the northern province of Shanxi. Among the launched satellites are seven spacecraft of the Jilin-1 Gaofen-03D series and one of the Jilin-1 Kuanfu-01C series. The current launch was the 419th in a row for the Changzheng series launch vehicles.


Roc aircraft during the flight. Source: Stratolaunch

Report: U.S. defense and intelligence agencies slow to embrace small-satellite revolution

The United States risks falling behind China in space capabilities, in part because of the slow adoption of commercial innovations such as small satellites.

A new Atlantic Council report says the U.S. defense bureaucracy appears “unwilling or unable to adapt to the changing environment” driven by commercial space industry.

Russian engine exploded in orbit

A spent Russian Launch Support System (LSS) engine exploded in near Earth orbit. Он использовался для вывода в космос спутников системы ГЛОНАСС в 2007 году. It was used to launch GLONASS satellites into space in 2007. This was announced by the 18th Space Control Squadron of the US Air Force. At least 16 fragments of space debris were formed as a result of the incident.

Air Force’s rocket propulsion arm looking to invest in technologies for ‘responsive launch’

AFRL asked companies to explain how they would launch a small spacecraft to a high energy orbit with only days or weeks’ notice. The organization known as AFRL’s “rocket lab” based at Edwards Air Force Base, California, is “soliciting information and comments from industry on their ability to meet future responsive launch missions and to identify specific investments in technology that would improve responsive capabilities,” said a request for information.

Stratolaunch carried out the 5th test flight of a giant hypersonic aircraft carrier

The Roc carrier aircraft, the largest aircraft ever built, has made its fifth test flight. The test results ensure that the Roc is ready to perform its duties.

The Roc, created by Stratolaunch, a hypersonic vehicle manufacturer, is the largest aircraft in the world with a wingspan of 117 meters across. The aircraft, weighing about 227 thousand kg, is designed to lift hypersonic vehicles into the air.

Satellite Internet is a hot novelty in Ukraine

During the month, the number of downloads of the Starlink application used to connect computers and phones to dishes and, thus, to satellite Internet signals in Ukraine increased from zero to 215 thousand, which is 58% of the total number worldwide.

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