OneWeb satellite to be deorbited at the end of its active lifetime
by Staff Writers
Paris (ESA) May 29, 2022
The world's first mission to remove several small telecommunications satellites from orbit once they reach the end of their operational service is about to start building and testing its prototype spacecraft.
British-based in-orbit servicing company Astroscale - working in an ESA Partnership Project with satellite operator OneWeb - will begin manufacturing the first commercial "servicer" prototype designed to capture multiple satellites in low Earth orbit under the ESA Sunrise Programme.
Companies such as OneWeb are launching constellations comprised of hundreds of communications satellites to connect people in the hardest-to-reach locations through global satellite internet broadband services.
OneWeb currently has 428 satellites orbiting approximately 1200 km above the Earth; its completed constellation will number almost 650 satellites.
Removing these telecommunications satellites from their orbits once they are at the end of their lives is essential to ensure that today's interconnected digital world is not compromised by collisions that damage active satellites in space - and to protect the low Earth orbit environment as a natural and shared resource.
There are currently two options for removing end-of-life OneWeb satellites from their orbits at the end of their predicted five to six years of service.
Each has been allocated enough fuel to be able to actively deorbit at the end of its useful lifetime. But, in case of failure, each has also been built with either a magnetic or a grappling fixture, so that a servicer spacecraft could collect and actively deorbit the satellite.
The servicer spacecraft that Astroscale will build and test is called "ELSA-M" and is planned for launch in 2024. The servicer spacecraft will be the first "space sweeper" capable of removing multiple defunct satellites from their orbits in a single mission.
Following this demonstration, Astroscale will offer a commercial service for clients that operate satellite constellations in low Earth orbit, providing the technology and capability to make in-orbit servicing part of routine satellite operations by 2030.
Sidus Space selects L3Harris Mission Critical Operations Center Software for LizzieSat constellation
Cape Canaveral FL (SPX) May 27, 2022
Sidus Space, Inc. (NASDAQ:SIDU), a Space-as-a-Service satellite company focused on commercial satellite design, manufacture, launch, and data collection, is pleased to announce its selection of L3Harris Technologies (NYSE:LHX) InControl and OnTime software for command and control and mission planning for LizzieSat Constellation InControl will provide satellite command and control software for on-orbit, factory test and ground system monitor and control. InControl supports the full range of command ... read more
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