Author Archives: Alun Williams

Europe is moving towards the Moon

Nasa and the European Space Agency (ESA) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to take Europe to the Moon. ESA Director General Jan Wörner and Nasa Administrator Jim Bridenstine have officially declared the European Space Agency’s involvement with Nasa’s Artemis programme, albeit remotely due to Covid-19 restrictions. It will include building the next-generation International Space ...

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Arduino introduces Oplà IoT Kit for securing IoT projects

Arduino has announced the launch of its Oplà IoT Kit, described as an open programmable IoT platform. It aims to simplify the building of custom IoT devices, with support for cryptographic control over personal data. The entry-level kit comes with a set of eight self-assemble projects, showing how to easily turn everyday devices into ‘smart ...

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SpaceX completes 100th successful flight of Falcon rocket

It’s a ton up for Elon Musk’s SpaceX company as it completes the 100th successful flight of a Falcon rocket. This is since Falcon 1 first flew to orbit in 2008. On Saturday October 24, SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket launched another 60 Starlink satellites to orbit to complete the milestone. The location was Space Launch ...

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Lockheed Martin gets approval for Shetland Space Centre plans

The UK government has approved plans for Lockheed Martin to transfer its small satellite launch operations to Shetland Space Centre. It hopes this will lead to the creation of “hundreds of space jobs” in Scotland. The UK Space Agency (UKSA) believes the company’s plans to move its UK Pathfinder Launch to the Shetland site, at ...

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Microsoft Azure Space uses SpaceX to take on Amazon

Microsoft is extending its Azure cloud computing service, with Azure Space addressing the growing commercial opportunities around space connectivity. Back in July we reported that Amazon Web services were aiming for space business. It announced the introduction of a new business segment dedicated to the aerospace and satellite industry, and it will be this that Microsoft ...

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NASA selects first “human-tended” suborbital research using Virgin Galactic

A planetary scientist has been chosen to be the first to conduct NASA-funded science experiments while flying aboard a Virgin Galactic commercial spacecraft. Dr Alan Stern – of the Texas-based Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) – is associate vice president of SwRI’s Space Science and Engineering Division. He will fly aboard the “SpaceShipTwo” (pictured) on a ...

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Nokia to build a cellular network on the Moon

Nokia has revealed further details of being chosen by NASA last week as a partner involved in the Artemis operation, specifically to deploy a cellular network on the lunar surface. Nokia has proposed to deploy the first LTE/4G communications system in space, and on the lunar surface by “late 2022”. The idea is that it ...

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UK gets on board with NASA’s Artemis moon exploration programme

Countries such as Australia, Canada, Italy and Japan had already signed up for NASA’s Artemis programme previously, but now the UK is on board with America’s next-generation plan for Moon and Mars exploration. Artemis involves a new space station orbiting the moon and supporting material extraction and also proving a basis for further exploration to ...

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Astroscale raises $191m in funding for space debris removal

The Japanses company Astroscale Holdings – which specialises in space debris removal – has announced it has closed its Series E round with additional funding of $51 million, bringing the total investment raised to $191 million. This, says the company, makes it the most funded on-orbit services and logistics company globally and most funded space ...

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ESA’s force-feedback rover Interact is controlled one nation away

In a dress rehearsal for a robotic test campaign on the Moon-like volcanic slopes of Mount Etna, scheduled for next year, researchers at the European Space Agency (ESA) have been testing its rover, dubbed Interact. Demonstrating its remote control abilities, a controller in Germany operated ESA’s gripper-equipped Interact around a simulated moonscape at the European Agency’s ...

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