Jan 2024 | No Comment

Ireland successfully launches its first satellite into space

EIRSAT-1, a student-built satellite from University College Dublin, has been successfully launched into space, officially becoming Ireland’s first-ever satellite.

The miniature cube satellite, or cubesat, designed, built, and tested at UCD under guidance of the European Space Agency (ESA), took flight at the Vandenberg Space Force Base in California aboard a Falcon 9 SpaceX rocket Friday evening (IST), 1st December.

Collaboration on Sustainable Lunar Economy

ispace and Orbit Fab agreed to collaborate on in-space propellant harvesting and delivery for future missions to the Moon.

The partnership will leverage each company’s unique and complementary capabilities to develop effective propellants and fuels from resources in space, such as water, ice, and lunar regolith or fine and rocky soils found on the surface of the Moon.

The MoU signed by both the companies sets the stage for a series of innovative demonstrations, including resource mapping and in-situ resource utilization (ISRU) missions aimed at drastically reducing the reliance on supplies from Earth.

India and US to launch joint satellite for earth observation

India and the US will launch the joint microwave remote sensing satellite for Earth observation, named NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar (NISAR) in the first quarter of next year.

NISAR is targeted for launch onboard India’s GSLV. Data from NISAR will be highly suitable for studying the land ecosystems, deformation of solid earth, mountain & polar cryosphere, sea ice and coastal oceans in regional to global scale. It was informed that ISRO’s S-band SAR was integrated with NASA’s L-band SAR at JPL/NASA and integrated L & S band SAR is currently undergoing testing with the satellite at URSC, Bangalore with participation of NASA/JPL officials.

NASA helps study one of the world’s most diverse ecosystems

NASA satellite and airborne tools aid an international team studying biodiversity on land and in the water around South Africa.

An international team of researchers spent October and November 2023 in the field studying one of the world’s most biologically diverse areas – South Africa’s Greater Cape Floristic Region. As part of the effort, researchers used NASA airborne and space-based instruments to gather complementary data to better understand the unique aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems in this region. Their findings will inform the capabilities of future satellite missions aimed at studying plants and animals.

Known as the Biodiversity Survey of the Cape (BioSCape), the effort is a large collaboration led in the U.S. by NASA, the University at Buffalo in New York, and the University of California, Merced. It is led in South Africa by the University of Cape Town and the South African Environmental Observation Network.

China launches Egypt’s remote-sensing satellite

China helped Egypt send a remotesensing satellite into orbit from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwestern China. The satellite MISRSAT-2 was launched on 4th Dec’23 using a Long March- 2C carrier rocket. Its purpose is to contribute to various applications in Egypt, including land and resource utilization, water conservancy, and agriculture.

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