Satellites in space are getting smaller, but they’re getting increasingly useful. Much like how mainframe-sized computers have shrunk to become handheld gadgets thanks to Moore’s law, the same trend is playing out in space. One startup benefiting from this is Spire (formerly NanoSatisfi), a company founded and headquartered in San Francisco two years ago that recently opened an office in Singapore. The firm plans to launch at least 20 satellites in the next year, each small enough to hold in one’s palms and weighing no more than a bottle of wine.
Elon Musk is known for celebrating “moonshots” – ideas that are so futuristic, they seem to have little to no chance of succeeding today. His unshakable confidence that he can turn moonshots into realities has resulted in the electric car company Tesla, and the space exploration firm Space X. Though Musk’s companies get an enormous amount of attention, one Japanese construction company is ignoring the hype and getting started on its own stairway elevator to heaven.
The Japanese government is now turning to satellite images to better track its agricultural lands, on top of the maps it has been maintaining over the years. Acquiring satellite imagery is a fast and efficient solution for the Ministry of Agriculture, Makoto Higashi, CEO & President, Japan Spaceimaging Corporation, a partner of GIS provider Esri, told FutureGov. The alternative of taking aerial photography is not only slow, but requires tedious coordination and cooperation from local authorities.
Recently, Vietnam announced plans to send a 10 kilogram nano-satellite into orbit in 2016, according to Vietnamplus . This project is designed by a team made up of 100 percent Vietnamese engineers and experts. This nano-statellite is named NanoDragon. With a two-year countdown remaining, many scientists are excited to see this “made in Vietnam” dragon fly.
The NanoDragon satellite will be entirely designed and manufactured by Vietnamese experts, said Tuan. Last year, VNSC also successfully launched a micro satellite called Pico Dragon weighing 1kg. After infrastructure system of VNSC in Hanoi’s Hoa Lac area is completed, a 50kg satellite called MicroDragon will also be developed and is expected to be launched in 2018, he added. According to Tuan, by 2020, Vietnam will be capable of manufacturing and operating LOTUSat 2 – a commercial satellite weighing 500kg.
The Australia Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) and Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) have paired up to buy a the region’s first next-generation satellite-aided search and rescue (SAR) system that will speed up the location of vessels in distress. France’s Orolia Group owned subsidiary McMurdo Group Techno Sciences has won the €13 million (A$18.3 million), ten year deal [PDF]. The contract is as part of AMSA’s cooperation with its equivalent agency across the Tasman, Maritime New Zealand, and the Kiwis will chip in A$11.3 million for a ground station and operational costs.
Ngo Duy Tan, deputy director of the Small Satellite Operation and Exploitation Center, has confirmed that the satellite was saved from a possible accident as the center successfully adjusted its orbit. According to Tan, JSpOC (Joint Space Operations Center), the US command and control weapon system sent information that a possible collision would occur at 8.26 pm Hanoi time on August 15 with the probability rate of 0.279 percent. The center also said that the object which the satellite might collide with was moving at a speed of 14,000 meter per second.
Listed satellite company NewSat has been asked by the Australian Stock Exchange to explain a sudden drop in the company’s share price, following reports of a series of recent financial setbacks. The company was asked last Thursday to reveal any material information that could explain why its share price had fallen from $0.26 to $0.19 on July 30. Company secretary Michael Hewins on Friday [pdf] attributed the share price drop to a Eureka Report story that contained “negative commentary on the company, its corporate governance, capital structure and earnings expectations” – commentary the company “disagrees with”.
Telecommunications giant Ericsson will manage the ground systems of NBN Co’s upcoming long-term satellite service under a new bundle of work worth over $300 million, added to its 10-year, $1.1 billion contract with the national network builder. Ericsson had already won a contract to build and manage the fixed wireless component of the NBN’s rural and regional deployment in mid-2011.
NBN Co will provide a new satellite broadband service to up to 9000 premises in remote areas of mainland Australia to reach customers not covered by the over-subscribed Interim Satellite Service (ISS). The new NBN Co Satellite Support Scheme (NSS) will not be provided by the government-funded company. Instead, NBN Co has appointed IPStar to act as a wholesaler for regional internet providers. IPStar also provides satellites for the ISS. Reachnet and Active8me are participating in the NSS trial, with others expected to come onboard later, NBN Co said.
Setting on an ambitious space business, Japan’s NEC Corporation has opened a new facility for the assembly, integration and testing of satellites at its existing plant in Fuchu City, a suburb of Tokyo, the technology company announced on 14 July. The new “Satellite Integration Centre” adds to NEC’s Fuchu plant’s existing operations, and enables NEC to assemble as many as eight satellites in parallel, the company said in a statement.
VietNamNet Bridge – Russia’s State Duma has approved an agreement on cooperation in the exploration and use of outer space for peaceful purposes, Radio the Voice of Russia reported. The inter-governmental agreement was signed in Hanoi on November 7, 2012 during Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev’s visit to Hanoi. The deal creates an institutional and legal framework for cooperation programmes in joint specific areas relating to the exploration and use of outer space, as well as practical applications of space technology for peaceful purposes.
SINGAPORE: Orbiting in space, some 650 km above Earth, is Singapore’s first nano-satellite. Named VELOX-I, it was launched on Monday (June 30), in what is touted as a step forward for the country’s aerospace industry. Designed and built by students and researchers from Nanyang Technological University’s Satellite Research Centre, the satellite was launched from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh, on a space rocket owned by the Indian Space Research Organisation.
. Bui Trong Tuyen, head of the Small Satellite Project Management, and deputy head of the Vietnam Space Technology, an arm of the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology, spoke about the satellite’s capabilities in an interview given to Dat Viet newspaper several days ago. He said this was welcome news for the Vietnamese public who have heard recent reports that China is building a fake island on the Gac Ma Reef in the Vietnamese Hoang Sa Archipelago.
ST Teleport, one of Asia’s leading full-service satellite, fibre and IP communications solutions provider, and Eutelsat Communications (Paris:ETL) (NYSE Euronext Paris: ETL), one of the world’s leading satellite operators, are combining their expertise to respond to high user demand for connectivity solutions for data and video services in Asia. The two companies have completed the installation of a new gateway at ST Teleport’s Earth Station complex in Singapore that connects to the EUTELSAT 70B Ku-band satellite, one of the most flexible satellites serving Asian markets and connecting to Europe and Africa.
LUXEMBOURG & HONG KONG: Intelsat S.A., the world’s leading provider of satellite services, announced today that it has established a strategic agreement to provide access to its global C- and Ku-band broadband mobility network to SpeedCast, the leading global satellite communications and maritime service provider. Under the multi-year agreement, Intelsat will provide SpeedCast access to Intelsat’s global C-band and Ku-band satellite capacity as well as to its terrestrially managed network, IntelsatOne?.
WILMINGTON, DE and LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM — (Marketwired) — 06/04/14 — NSR’s newly released Wireless Backhaul, Trunking and Video Offload via Satellite, 8th Edition finds the Asian region dominating the wireless backhaul, trunking and video offload market on an annualized basis, leading to over 27% of cumulative global revenues from 2013-2023. The large user base, the topographic challenges and key markets that include Australia, China, India and Indonesia are key elements favoring satellite usage compared to other regions.
Mitsubishi Electric Corporation (TOKYO:6503) announced today that it completed the in-orbit delivery of the TURKSAT-4A satellite to Turksat Satellite Communication, Cable TV and Operation Inc. Co. (Turksat A.S.) on March 29. TURKSAT-4A was launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on February 15 (Japan time). After the launch, Mitsubishi Electric confirmed performance in a series of in-orbit tests while the satellite maintained a predefined geostationary orbit about 36,000 kilometers above the equator.
SES S.A.(NYSE Paris:SESG) (LuxX:SESG) announces that the SES-8 satellite has been successfully co-positioned with SES’s NSS-6 satellite at the orbital location of 95 degrees East and is now fully operational to serve the thriving markets in the Asia-Pacific region. SES-8 was launched on December 3, 2013 from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on board a SpaceX/Falcon 9 booster in SpaceX’s maiden launch into geostationary transfer orbit. Since then, extensive in-orbit tests have confirmed the flawless functioning of the spacecraft.