Small Satellite Conference
SpaceNews is pleased to bring you comprehensive coverage of the 35th Small Satellite Conference, presented by Blue Canyon Technologies, Aug. 9-12.
The use of cubesats has grown dramatically in recent years, but some are wondering if the form factor has reached the limits of its usefulness.
Tethers Unlimited’s Terminator Tape lowered a cubesat into Earth’s atmosphere in eight months, while a nearly identical satellite without a 70-meter conductive tail is expected to remain in orbit for more than a decade.
The space sector in general has proven resilient throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Alexandre Najjar, Euroconsult senior consultant, said Aug. 12 during a Small Satellite Conference side panel.
Rocket Lab will build and launch three of its Photon spacecraft to serve as platforms for a startup with space manufacturing aspirations.
Satellite broadband startup OneWeb has secured $300 million of strategic investment from Hanwha, the South Korean conglomerate with plans for its own megaconstellation.
Ground station providers anticipate a new era of collaboration after coming together to support Astroscale, the startup months away from conducting the world’s first privately funded debris-removal demonstration.
French startup Unseenlabs is set to fly its next maritime surveillance nanosatellite on an Arianespace Vega rocket in mid-August, instead of launching with Rocket Lab as it did for the first three BRO spacecraft the venture has launched since mid-2019.
Ensuring that small satellites can communicate not only within their own constellations but within a broader ecosystem is one of the primary challenges cited by Lt. Gen. John Shaw, U.S. Space Command deputy commander, in an Aug. 9 keynote at the 35th Small Satellite conference.
Japanese company IHI Aerospace plans to market a version of the little-used Epsilon small launch vehicle to commercial customers, although at prices significantly higher than similar vehicles in development.
Accion Systems plans to supply miniature ion thrusters for Xplore Inc.’s 150-kilogram LEO Xcraft satellite, under an agreement announced Aug. 10.
Rocket Lab will conduct three launches of satellites for Earth observation company BlackSky in about one month, the fastest launch cadence the company had demonstrated to date.