Summary: 22 Feb 2021 - 28 Feb 2021

LAUNCHES

New Indian rocket launches Brazilian Earth observation satellite
28 Feb 2021 - Rocket: PSLV-C51; Payload: Amazônia 1, 18 co-passenger satellites; Date: 28 February 2021, 0454 UTC; Launch site: Satish Dhawan Space Centre SHAR, Sriharikota, India. The main payload was placed into a 741 km x 757 km x 98.51 degrees Sun-synchronous orbit after a flight of about 17 minutes. In the succeeding 1 hour 38 minutes, all the 18 co-passenger satellites successfully separated from the PSLV in a predetermined sequence. >>>

New Soyuz-2.1b rocket lifts off with Arktika-M satellite
28 Feb 2021 - Rocket: Soyuz-2.1b; Payload: Arktika-M No.1; Date: 28 February 2021, 0914 UTC; Launch site: Baikonur, Kazakhstan. The satellite was deployed into a highly elliptical Molniya orbit. >>>

New Arianespace, Starsem to launch 36 more OneWeb satellites on Soyuz
28 Feb 2021 - Preparations are underway for Arianespace's next mission: to orbit another 36 OneWeb Internet connectivity satellites. The launch, set for 25 March, will utilise the medium-lift Soyuz launcher from Vostochny Spaceport in Russia. >>>

New NASA awards launch service contract for TROPICS mission
28 Feb 2021 - NASA has selected Astra Space Inc. to provide a launch service for the agency's Time-Resolved Observations of Precipitation Structure and Storm Intensity with a Constellation of SmallSats (TROPICS) mission. The TROPICS mission consists of a constellation of six CubeSats and will increase the scientific community's understanding of storm processes. >>>

Chang Zheng-5B Y2 rocket transported to launch site
25 Feb 2021 - The Chang Zheng-5B Y2 rocket, which is to launch the core module of China's space station, was safely transported to the Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site in Hainan Province recently. >>>

Update: PSLV-C51/ Amazônia launch preview
25 Feb 2021 - PSLV-C51, which is the 53rd mission of PSLV, will launch Amazônia-1 of Brazil as primary satellite and 18 co-passenger satellites from Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) SHAR, Sriharikota. The launch is tentatively scheduled at 0524 UTC on 28 February 2021, subject to weather conditions. >>>

General Atomics partners with Rocket Lab to launch Argos-4
25 Feb 2021 - General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems (GA-EMS) announced that it has signed a contract with Rocket Lab to launch the GA-EMS developed Orbital Test Bed (OTB) satellite carrying the Argos-4 Advanced Data Collection System (A-DCS) hosted payload. >>>

L3Harris awarded second year of MOSSAIC contract
25 Feb 2021 - L3Harris Technologies has been awarded US$89 million for option-year two of a U.S. Space Force and U.S. Space Command contract to continue maintaining and modernising infrastructure to track objects in space. >>>

Third Yaogan 31 trio launched
24 Feb 2021 - Rocket: Chang Zheng 4C; Payload: three Yaogan Weixing 31 satellites; Date: 24 February 2021, 0222 UTC; Launch site: Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center, China. The satellites were deployed into near-circular 1,090 km x 63.41 degrees orbit. >>>

Orbex commissions 3D printer for rapid rocket-building
24 Feb 2021 - Orbex has commissioned AMCM to build the largest industrial 3D printer in Europe, allowing the UK-based space launch company to rapidly print complex rocket engines in-house. >>>

SATELLITES

China's Tianwen-1 enters Mars parking orbit
24 Feb 2021 - China's Tianwen-1 probe entered the parking orbit of Mars after performing an orbital manoeuvre, according to the China National Space Administration (CNSA). >>>

ClimaCell to launch constellation of radar-equipped satellites
24 Feb 2021 - ClimaCell announceh the company has designed proprietary radar-equipped satellites and will begin launching dozens into space over the coming years. ClimaCell's radar-equipped small-satellite constellation represents a first in the history of the weather industry. >>>

Blue Canyon to develop six additional DARPA Blackjack satellites
24 Feb 2021 - Blue Canyon Technologies (BCT), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Raytheon Technologies, announced it will develop an additional six satellites for the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's Blackjack programme under a Phase 3 contract. >>>

L3Harris awarded additional payload Mission Data Units for GPS III
23 Feb 2021 - L3Harris Technologies has received contracts totalling US$137 million for four navigation payload Mission Data Units (MDU) for future GPS III Follow-on (GPS IIIF) satellites. >>>

Anand satellite not to fly aboard next PSLV
23 Feb 2021 - Indian space startup Pixxel announced that its first satellite called Anand will not be launched as a piggyback payload aboard the Indian Space Research Organisation's (ISRO) Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) C51 as planned on 28 February. >>>

TAS to deliver two more pressurised cargo modules to NGC
22 Feb 2021 - Thales Alenia Space has been confirmed by Northrop Grumman to deliver pressurised cargo modules for the 18th and 19th Cygnus cargo mission to the ISS. >>>

Neutron Star Systems awarded contract for superconducting components
22 Feb 2021 - Neutron Star Systems (NSS) has announced the signature of its first contract with the European Space Agency to deliver superconducting components for spacecraft. >>>

BUSINESS

Redwire acquires Deployable Space Systems (DSS)
23 Feb 2021 - Redwire announced that it has acquired Deployable Space Systems, Inc. (DSS), a supplier of mission-enabling deployable solar arrays, structures and mechanisms for space applications. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. >>>

FEEDS & LINKS

New Azercosmos, View Satellite Network to provide services in Africa
28 Feb 2021 - Azercosmos has signed an agreement with View Satellite Network, which provides global broadcasting services for television and radio channels over multiple platforms worldwide. >>>

New GomSpace, J.P. Morgan test blockchain transaction on GOMX-4
28 Feb 2021 - GomSpace and J.P. Morgan have successfully utilised the GOMX-4 satellites for an in-orbit demonstration (IOD) and tested tokenised value transfer in space. The IOD from GomSpace enabled J.P. Morgan to test the world's first bank-led tokenised value transfer in space, executed via smart contracts on a blockchain network established between satellites orbiting the Earth. >>>

SES extends long-term partnership with Sky
25 Feb 2021 - Sky UK has extended its contract with SES for satellite capacity in a new agreement that will add over €90 million in secured backlog. >>>

Sateliot, The Space Alliance to co-operate on IoT connectivity
23 Feb 2021 - The satellite telecommunications operator Sateliot will rely on the experience and know-how of The Space Alliance between Thales Alenia Space and Telespazio for the development of a constellation of nanosatellites to ensure that IoT connectivity is compatible with the 5G standard. >>>

European pubcasters sign multi-year capacity contracts with SES
22 Feb 2021 - SES announced that it has signed multi-year capacity agreements totalling over €66 million in backlog with multiple public broadcasters in Europe throughout 2020. >>>