ICYMI: summary of the news of the space industry during the holidays


Satellite archive photo

As the New Year kicks off and many return from a vacation break, here’s a quick recap of the news you might have missed. Via satellite over the past two weeks.

DIFI and DIS standardization groups join forces to make open standards a reality

Two separate groups that have worked on open standards in ground-based satellite technology are meeting. the Digital IF Interoperability Consortium (DIFI) and the Digital Interface Standards Working Group (DIS) jointly announced on December 22 that DIFI would unite the seven members of DIS into the consortium. The group is working on the extension and adaptation of an interoperable digital interface / radio frequency (IF / RF) standard based on the digital radio standard VITA 49.2.

NASA and Rocket Lab Clear Path for Electron Launch from Virginia in 2022

Nasa is on track to complete certification of the combat security software that will be used at the Wallops flight facility by the end of February. This paves the way for a Rocket lab launch of Wallops in the near future. Rocket Lab has worked with NASA and will use the software. NASA and Rocket Lab both expect Electron to launch from Virginia in 2022, a milestone that has been delayed.

Hughes forms joint venture with Bharti Airtel for satellite broadband in India

Hughes Network Systems formed a joint venture with Bharti Airtel (Airtel) to provide broadband satellite services in India. HCIPL will combine the Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) activities of the two companies. This is the completion of a joint venture first announced in May 2019. In addition, Hughes and OneWeb already have a memorandum of understanding in place for Hughes to distribute OneWeb capacity in India via HCIPL.

Shareholders Approve Virgin Orbit SPAC Merger

Virgin orbit is now a publicly traded company after the shareholders of NextGen Acquisition Corp. II approved the Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC) merger on December 28. The launcher is doing away with gross proceeds of around $ 228 million, significantly less than the $ 483 million Virgin Orbit had planned to withdraw. This indicates a large number of shareholder buybacks from PSPC. Virgin Orbit stock is down about 40% since trading began this week.

Relativity Space Appeals to Microsoft Vice President for New Software Engineer Role

Relativity space hired its senior vice president of software engineering, bringing in Scott Van Vliet, former Microsoft vice president of the company for the role. The company said it was a significant investment in the future of its software-driven manufacturing platform. “Our mission is to create an entirely new technology stack for aerospace manufacturing,” said CEO Tim Ellis.

OneWeb’s final launch in 2021 brings Constellation to 394 satellites

OneWeb closed 2021 with its 12th satellite launch on Monday, December 27. The launch of Arianespace brought the OneWeb constellation to 394 satellites, or 60% of its total size. This was the eighth launch of OneWeb in 2021, all Arianespace missions.

Main satellite launches to watch for in 2022

This is expected to be a significant year for satellite launches as a number of major satellite operators launch satellites which mark the culmination of multi-year business and investment plans. Take a look at our roundup of the main satellite launches we’ll be monitoring and covering in 2022.

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