Space Forces | Eutelsat 5WB| Spaceway-1 | EU funding | On Orbit

Issue 1

Hi friends,

Welcome to this very first issue of the Satellite Rendezvous (SatRdv) newsletter. This first section is meant to be a place where I share my thoughts, comment on anecdotes I came across randomly or give my opinion on various topics; always related to the space industry. The second part, is where you can find your weekly digest. There, I try to be as objective as possible. However, sometimes, I let slip a few comments 😉!

Have a great week!

🛰 News of the week

👉The United States and Japan officially announce the formation of their respective Space Forces. The role of these new units, seen as an extension of the Air Forces, is to protect the country from dangers that may come from space (missiles, jamming of the country's satellites...). When I read this news, "to protect" can actually also mean "to attack". So it would not be surprising to see these new divisions displaying their new types of weapons from time to time...Does this mark the beginning of the Space Cold War?

👉The southern solar panel of the Eutelsat 5WB TV broadcasting satellite is now confirmed unrecoverable. NGIS, the manufacturer of the platform has not yet commented. The payload, supplied by Airbus Defence and Space, is operating in its nominal regime. What could be the cause of this problem? To be continued...

👉Battery anomaly was detected on the TV broadcast satellite Spaceway-1 (operated by DirectTV and built by Boeing). The loss of this satellite will not affect DirectTV's service since this satellite was launched 15 years ago and has been kept recently as a back-up. However, DirectTV is urged to de-orbite Sapceway-1 before the explosion generates dangerous debris. For the moment, the satellite does not relay on its batteries since it is facing the sun. A situation that is going to change starting on february 25th.

👉Nilesat signs a partnership with SpaceX for the launch of their geostationary Nilesat-301 in 2022. This Egyptian operator broadcasts more than 436 channels throughout the Arab world (North Africa, Near and Middle East) and has always relied on Ariane in the past. However, the French touch is still present since the satellite is based on the Spacebus 4000-B2, a Thales Alenia Space plateform.

👉The American Tethers Unlimited impresses the world with its demonstration of the Terminator Tape de-orbiter. It is a notebook-sized plate attached to a conductive tape sealed in a box on the outside of the satellite. Once the satellite has reached the end of its life, the plate is blown outwards, taking the 70m long ribbon with it. The goal is to accelerate by 24x the re-entry of the satellite in the atmosphere.

👉The EU will provide a €100 million loan to ArianeGroup to finance the development of Ariane 6 while investing a further €100 million in InnovFin Space Equity Pilot startup-capital funds. “The two announcements of today represent a game changer for Europe in the support of the European space industry” affirms Thierry Breton, EU Commissioner for the Internal Market.

👉Israel is preparing a high-tech government telecom satellite called Dror-1. This will be the first satellite 100% made in Israel since the manufacturer is Israel Aerospace Industries (ISI). The same company that developed the lunar lander Beresheet which crashed on the moon last year in April.

👉In the new episode of On Orbit podcast, three Hughes engineers discuss how they are creating affordable internet access around the world and the main challenges they are facing connecting remote communities. Listen to the 1h long podcast here.

Here you are debriefed 👌. Rendezvous next week! Until then, if you have a comment/question/suggestion, do not hesitate to reply to this email or leave a comment in the newsletter website.