April 27, 2013

Up to $44.5 Million In Play as Florida Legislators Consider Space Spending (Source: SPACErePORT)
The Florida Space Development Council -- with support from Space Florida -- has been tracking the progress of space-related bills in Tallahassee. With the end of the state's annual Legislative Session in sight (May 2), legislators are finalizing the state's ~$70 billion budget and passing bills along to Governor Rick Scott for his signature or veto. Several space-focused bills have progressed nicely during the session, and up to $44.5 million in space spending could be approved. Click here for a summary published by the Florida Space Development Council. (4/27)

NASA's Chief Defends Commercial Spaceflight Agreements (Source: Voice of America)
NASA chief Charles Bolden found himself defending the U.S. space agency's practice of investing in commercial companies to ferry cargo - and one day crew - to the International Space Station. The grilling came less than a week after Orbital Science's successful rocket test flight and after several successful SpaceX cargo flights to the International Space Station.

Senators on the appropriations subcommittee for Commerce, Justice and Science questioned NASA's priorities as they scrutinized the president's request for $17.7 billion to fund the U.S. space agency in fiscal year 2014. Specifically, they questioned NASA's ability to see through its plans to develop a heavy-lift rocket, known as the Space Launch System or SLS, while balancing investments in commercial enterprises to transport cargo and crew to the space station.

NASA is relying on commercial firms to handle transport to the space station so it can focus its attention on developing the next-generation of rockets and capsules that can go beyond low-Earth orbit -- to an asteroid or Mars. Russian transport to the space station is costly.  The U.S. signed a contract in 2011 to pay $753 million to Russia in exchange for transport and related services for 12 astronauts from 2014 through mid-2016. (4/26)

Hawaii's PISCES Signs Six Agreements for Collaboration (Source: Hawaii 24/7)
PISCES, the Pacific International Space Center for Exploration Systems, has entered into new partnerships with key organizations that support space exploration, signaling growing global interest in Hawaii aerospace. The International Space Exploration Research Institute in Korea, the Center for Rapid Automated Fabrication Technologies at USC, the International Society for Terrain-Vehicle Systems in New Hampshire, Russ Ogi, a local expert in 3D Printing and Design, the Hawaii TechWorks program of the East Hawaii Community Development Corp., and the Australian Center for Space Engineering Research are the six entities that have signed agreements with PISCES.

The MOU’s are formal agreements by all parties to work together in developing technologies needed to live in outer space, such as the Moon and Mars. These are the first MOU’s in five years for PISCES. Under the agreements, PISCES will collaborate with the six agencies to educate local students interested in space careers, provide aerospace job training for local workers, implement 3D printing technology and contour crafting to construct buildings using local materials (i.e. a base on the moon made out of volcanic rock), manufacture lunar concrete, build robots that can turn the moon’s soil into oxygen and water for survival, and much more. (4/25)

Can You Hear Me Now? Cellphone Satellites Phone Home (Source: NPR)
Smartphones can check e-mail, record videos and even stream NPR. Now NASA has discovered they make pretty decent satellites, too. Three smart phones launched into space this past Sunday are orbiting above us even now, transmitting data and images back to Earth. The PhoneSats, which cost just a few thousand dollars each, could usher in big changes for the satellite industry.

The PhoneSats started as a project among young engineers working at the NASA Ames Research Center in California. Jim Cockrell, the project's manager, says it began as a hallway conversation. One noted that smartphone microprocessors are cheaper than those in satellites. So why not just use a smartphone as a satellite? "It was sort of a whimsical notion," Cockrell says. But it also made sense. Modern satellites are used for communication and navigation, and so are smartphones. And the phones have things that satellites have, too, like accelerometers, gyroscopes and cameras.

At 53 years old, Cockrell is the self-described "graybeard" of the small team of 20-somethings. With decades of experience, he had good reason to think the project might not work. The phones would have to survive the violent shaking of their launch into orbit. Once in space, they would need to withstand extreme temperatures and intense radiation that doesn't exist on the Earth's surface. Click here. (4/27)

NASA Mission to Study What Disrupts Radio Waves (Source: NASA)
A NASA-funded sounding rocket mission will launch from an atoll in the Pacific in the next few weeks to help scientists better understand and predict the electrical storms in Earth's upper atmosphere These storms can interfere with satellite communication and global positioning signals. The mission, called EVEX, for the Equatorial Vortex Experiment, will launch two rockets for a twelve-minute journey through the equatorial ionosphere above the South Pacific. The launch window for the mission from the Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands is from April 27 to May 10. (4/25)

Is Orbital Sciences the Top Space Stock to Buy Now? (Source: Motley Fool)
Space is a star-studded business right now, with the final frontier luring top aerospace companies to beef up their launch businesses so as to cater to satellite customers and more. But if you're looking for a promising stock in the sector to consider buying now, dedicated space-launch company Orbital Sciences is one company flying high in 2013 that could be ready to blast off to even greater heights.

Orbital's stock has shot up more than 20% year to date after a string of successes, but the stock's risen higher in the past few days after an eventful week so far. The company reported earnings on Tuesday, and while revenue fell year over year -- and missed analyst expectations -- the falling sales were due primarily to the completion of several satellites under contract. Earnings managed to defy the drop, beating analyst projections handily while rising 50% year over year to $0.33 per share. (4/24)

Italy's SpaceLand Plans Center of Excellence for European Parabolic Flight, STEM, R&D (Source: SpaceLand)
SpaceLand has signed an exclusive agreement for educational and space-tourism-like flight campaigns on board the European Space Agency's parabolic flight vehicle. The company in coming months will begin development of a Center of Excellence for Microgravity in a world-famous Italian resort, after having secured $45 million in investment capital.

The initiative will advance STEM-related education in Europe, as well supporting innovation and R&D in biomedicine and science related to weightlessness and low-gravity programs, with obvious implications also in terms of space tourism. The program will be officially presented at the next IAC Congress in Bejing in September. SpaceLand invites interest from U.S. organizations that might want to expand their involvement in European space development. Click here. (4/26)

Freighter Docks With Space Station Despite Antenna Glitch (Source: RIA Novosti)
The Progress M-19M space freighter docked with the International Space Station (ISS) on Friday despite having failed to deploy one of its navigation antennas, Mission Control said. It docked with the ISS Zvezda module in automatic mode. (4/26)

How Satellite Technology is Changing Environmental Perspectives (Source: NBC)
High-tech environmental monitoring systems are also helping us get a handle on the state of our planet. It's good to remember that as Earth Week draws to a close. Just in the past couple of years, NASA has added to the nation's fleet of Earth-observing satellites. In 2011, the $1.5 billion Suomi NPP satellite went into orbit, blazing a trail for a new generation of planet-watchers that can provide data about extreme weather as well as atmospheric and sea surface temperatures, biological productivity, ozone levels and much, much more. Click here. (4/26)

Heads Up: SpaceX Testing is About to Get Louder in Texas (Source: Waco Tribune)
Testing at SpaceX's McGregor development facility is about to get loud even by their standards. (Given recent events, it was considered an especially good idea to let people know about this ahead of time.) In keeping with the company philosophy that tests happen as soon as everything's ready rather than holding to a rigid schedule, officials couldn't say yet precisely when the particularly loud tests will happen.

A short, 10-second test could come as early as Tuesday; a test firing for the full 3 minutes a Falcon 9 rocket's first stage burns on the way to orbit would follow a few days after the first test. The most likely possibility is that it's a Falcon 9 first stage test using nine of the new, more powerful Merlin 1D engines (it's known that the 1Ds have been tested individually; this could be the first test of the full, upgraded Falcon 9 v1.1 first stage). (4/26)

Space Florida Invites Spaceport Infrastructure Projects for State Funding (Source: SPACErePORT)
Space Florida sponsored a meeting with Florida Dept. of Transportation and local transportation planning officials to discuss the process by which new spaceport infrastructure projects can become eligible for state transportation funding. The Florida Legislature in Tallahassee has approved an annual $15 million allocation for spaceport infrastructure, supported by a statewide spaceport "system" plan that would include the Cape Canaveral Spaceport, the Cecil Spaceport in Jacksonville, and other FAA-licensed spaceports such as Space Coast Regional Airport, which is pursuing spaceport status from both the state and the FAA.

This new System Plan will be similar to the state's airport, seaport and highway system plans, focusing on multiple facilities instead of just the Cape Canaveral Spaceport. The funding available from FDOT will go to projects approved and prioritized by Space Florida, and will provide up to 50% of the project cost, making it a "matching" program. The selection process includes the submission of formal applications, which are due to Space Florida by June 7. Click here. (4/27)

FSDC Invites New Members to Support Growth (Source: FSDC)
The Florida Space Development Council has grown to over 75 members who assist the organization's grassroots efforts to expand and diversify the state's space industry. Membership is statewide (and in some cases out-of-state) with individual and corporate-level supporters from nearly every region of the state. The recent growth has made FSDC one of the most active and rapidly growing chapters of the National Space Society.

"FSDC is proud to grow to better represent the greater Florida space community," said FSDC President Laura Seward. "By making our voices heard we can bring about positive change within Florida and the National Space Society." Seward has reached out to members to approve a new Secretary for the organization, as well as for advice on dates and topics for future events. Click here. (4/27)

Vega Poised for Commercial Launches (Source: ESA)
The second Vega launch marks the transition to commercial exploitation, showcasing a mature launcher with increased capabilities and flexibility to meet the different demands of the launchers market. On 3 May, Vega flight VV02 will demonstrate extended capabilities made possible in part by the addition of the Vespa payload adapter. The Vespa, or ‘Vega Secondary Payload Adapter’, can carry multiple payloads and, on this mission, it will release three satellites into two different orbits. (4/26)

Hawaii Gears Up for First Satellite Launch (Source: Space.com)
The first space liftoff from the state of Hawaii is scheduled for October to launch a satellite designed by University of Hawaii faculty and students in Honolulu. A Super Strypi missile will loft the HiakaSat, lifting off from the U.S. Navy's Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai. According to officials, the 110-pound (50 kilograms) HiakaSat is a hoped-for prelude to the launch of small satellites on a routine basis.

For the state's first space launch, the University of Hawaii's Hawaii Space Flight Laboratory (HSFL) is the contractor for the launch facility, the satellite booster's three stages, and the spacecraft itself. The Barking Sands Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF) is billed as the world's largest instrumented multi-environment range capable of supporting surface, subsurface, air and space operations simultaneously. The PMRF offers polar and sun-synchronous launch options.

The solid-fueled Super Strypi launcher is developed by Sandia National Laboratories, the University of Hawaii and Aerojet. The rocket is based on an enlarged version of Sandia's Strypi sounding rocket. The low-cost rocket uses a rail launcher and can put a payload of a little over 500 pounds (250 kilograms) into a nearly 250-mile (400 kilometer) sun-synchronous orbit. (4/26)

Sea Launch Intelsat 27 Launch Failure Cause Isolated (Source: Sea Launch
Following the unsuccessful launch of the SL-48 mission on January 31, 2013, Sea Launch and Energia Logistics Ltd. (ELUS) formed a Failure Review Oversight Board (FROB) to review the contractor findings and agree on root cause and appropriate corrective actions to prevent recurrence. On April 25, 2013, the FROB completed its review of investigations into the failed launch attempt.

The investigations into the cause of the failure covered the entire Sea Launch complex to ensure all contributors to the failure were properly identified. The investigations isolated the failure to the Zenit-3SL first stage hydraulic power supply unit (BIM) used to pressurize the RD-171M main engine gimbal actuators. 

No additional contributors to the failure were found. The BIM failed approximately 3.9 seconds into the flight due to the abnormal performance of the pump that’s function is to pressurize the hydraulic oil supplied to the RD-171M main engine gimbal actuators. The pump failure was the result of contributing factors associated with a pump manufacturing process that proved difficult to control. (4/25)

China Launches Remote Sensing Sat, and Payloads for Ecuador, Argentina, Turkey (Source: RIA Novosti)
China has launched its first Gaofen-1 high-resolution remote sensing satellite into orbit, Xinhua news agency reported on Friday. The satellite was carried by a Long March 2D (Chang Zheng 2D) carrier rocket that blasted off from northwest China's Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center, the state news agency reported, citing China’s State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense. The same rocket also deployed three satellites from Ecuador, Argentina and Turkey as well as two satellite splitters from the Netherlands. (4/26)

What SpaceX Can Teach Us About Cost Innovation (Source: Bloomberg)
Earlier this week, the space-transport start-up SpaceX had its most successful launch test yet with Grasshopper, the first fully and rapidly reusable rocket. This is the latest step in the company's journey to dramatically reduce the cost of space travel, and follows the first private resupply of the International Space Station with the launch of their Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft last fall.

Initially when the start-up's founder, serial entrepreneur Elon Musk, looked at the space industry, he faced a quandary about where to innovate, given the restrictions and mandatory performance criteria for space travel. Musk quickly zeroed in on the one area ripe for innovation: cost reduction. He gathered a team with a wide cross-section of expertise and put them to work at trimming the fat.

In large companies, the task of cost cutting is invariably incremental and left to finance, which works with individuals or small groups within a specific department, region, or area of the business. On the other hand, the SpaceX approach innovates and transforms by looking at the entire business model instead of the parts. Cuts weren't just made to the physical rocket itself but to everything surrounding it — overhead, support services, development timeframe, and more. Click here. (4/25)

Launch Services: Why Existing Providers Have the Market Cornered (Source: Washington Business Journal)
The government expects to spend about $46 billion on launch activities from 2013 through 2017, according to the GAO. Increased competition could drive those costs down, but current policy makes it hard for new entrants to get to the launch pad. The major competitors for launch services — including satellite missions, the focus of a GAO report released Wednesday — Orbital Sciences Corp.; SpaceX; and United Launch Alliance.

Other players exist, of course, but those three are among the mainstays that have emerged in recent years, growing rapidly through massive contract awards from the Defense Department and NASA. Generally speaking, new players are few and far between, and the lack of competition is one reason the government spends so much on launch services. The GAO estimated the cost of each launch at $100 million to more than $200 million, with additional money spent to support launch infrastructure. Click here. (4/26)

Bill Nye Joins NASA Advisory Council on Education and Public Outreach (Source: Planetary Society)
Bill Nye, CEO of the Planetary Society, has been accepted into the NASA Advisory Council (NAC) which provides counsel directly to Charles Bolden, the NASA Administrator. He'll sit on the Education subcommittee at a time of great turmoil for NASA's Education and Public Outreach efforts. The 2014 budget proposes a very large cut to this division, as well as the consolidation of all activities to the NSF, the Smithsonian, and the Department of Education. (4/26)

NASA Picks ILC Dover To Build Next-Gen Spacesuit (Source: Space News)
ILC Dover bested David Clark Co. to win a $4.4 million NASA contract to build a next-generation Z-2 spacesuit for Johnson Space Center to put through its paces. ILC Dover’s long history of building spacesuits for NASA helped the company clinch the contract despite bidding 10 percent higher for the work than David Clark, which manufactured the orange pressure suits space shuttle astronauts wore for launch and entry.

An April 16 source selection statement shows that NASA liked some features of David Clark’s spacesuit design, including its use of carbon fiber and titanium to save weight and mass. But ILC Dover, the document says, presented a feasible plan for achieving even greater weight savings, reducing the mass of the suit to 65 kilograms, or 11 kilograms below the requirement. ILC Dover also scored points for proposing to deliver an additional torso concept that would increase the Z-2 suit’s fit and mobility. (4/26)

Sierra Nevada Completes Two Dream Chaser Milestones (Source: NewSpace Watch)
Sierra Nevada has successfully completed two milestones as part of NASA's Commercial Crew Integrated Capability (CCiCap) phase of the agency’s Commercial Crew Program.  SNC completed the Program Implementation Review, providing NASA with detailed plans for advancing the Dream Chaser crew transportation system towards a critical design state. SNC also completed an Integrated System Baseline Review that communicated the post-Preliminary Design Review maturity of the baseline Dream Chaser vehicle, mission systems, ground systems, and ULA's Atlas V launch vehicle. (4/26)

Governor Rick Scott is Urged to Champion State’s FAA Test Site Initiative (Source: FLDC)
The Florida League of Defense Contractors (FLDC) and Florida’s Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) industry leaders and supporters are calling on Florida Governor Rick Scott to place his full support behind the initiative to establish Florida as one of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approved UAS test sites. According to a recent AUVSI study on the Economic Impact of the Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration in the U.S., Florida stands to gain a significant infusion of high paying, technical jobs and revenue should they secure one of the six sites by the FAA.

The study predicted a $632 million economic impact to the state in years 2015 through 2017 and during that same period approximately 3,251 jobs created. Looking ahead to the ten year period from 2015 – 2025, the economic impact is predicted to exceed $3B here in Florida alone. Space Florida is spearheading the effort to have Florida named a test site by the FAA. (4/26)

Japanese Space Program Braces For Cuts (Source: Aviation Week)
As Japan’s space policy plans shift away from research and development, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) is finding its flagship science, technology and manned spaceflight programs in line for cuts and cancellations. Some or all of Japan’s satellites planned for the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), the HTV-R pressurized sample-and-crew-return mini-shuttle, and the H-X/H-3 launcher programs could face cancellation.

New laws have placed control of the Japanese space agency in the hands of the Office of National Space Policy. And ONSP director Hirotoshi Kunitomo seeks to reorient Japan’s space efforts from idealism to realism. ONSP will continue to support frontier science as a lower priority, providing it is based on the sort of low-cost, high-impact space science designed by JAXA’s Institute of Space and Astronautical Science (ISAS), embodied by the Hayabusa asteroid sample return mission.

But former high-priority goals to promote environmental monitoring, human space activities and putting robots on the Moon are now much lower priorities and will have to fight for funding, Kunitomo says. Instead, ONSP is focusing on three core programs, and only one of them, Japan’s launch vehicles, is a JAXA program. The highest priority effort, run by the ONSP, is to build out the Quasi-Zenith Satellite System (QZSS), Japan’s regional GPS overlay, with a budget approved for maintaining a constellation of four QZSS satellites by around 2018. (4/26)

Space Data Association Promises To Sue For Misused Pooled Data (Source: Space News)
A not-for-profit grouping of global satellite fleet operators that pools data on satellite locations, maneuvers and broadcast frequencies to improve safety is promising legal sanctions if any member misuses the data. The Space Data Association (SDA) says the legal agreements that members sign before gaining admission are written to dissuade operators from taking undue advantage of access to others’ proprietary data. (4/26)

If You’re Coming to Mojave on Monday, You’ll Need Your Stinkin’ Badges (Source: Parabolic Arc)
Word is that the Mojave Air & Space Port will be on a form of lock down for the SpaceShipTwo supersonic flight that Richard Branson says is scheduled for Monday morning. If you don’t have no stinkin’ airport badge, you ain’t getting on the airport property. History will be made on Monday, but anyone interested in watching will have to do so from outside the fence of a public airport. It’s an odd way to bring space travel to average people, albeit for folks who are worth millions and billions of dollars. (4/26)

On Arbor Day, Where are Florida's Six "Moon Trees"? (Source: NASA)
Apollo 14 was our nation's third trip to the lunar surface. Alan Shepard and Edgar Mitchell walked on the Moon while Stuart Roosa, a former U.S. Forest Service smoke jumper, orbited above in the command module. Packed in small containers in Roosa's personal kit were hundreds of tree seeds. Upon return to Earth, the seeds were germinated by the U.S. Forest Service. Known as the "Moon Trees", the resulting seedlings were planted throughout the U.S. (often as part of the nation's bicentennial in 1976) and the world. They stand as a tribute to astronaut Roosa and the Apollo program. Six of the trees are on record as being in Florida. Click here. (4/26)

Form-Fitting Plastic Cover Removed From Atlantis (Source: SpaceFlightNow.com)
The space shuttle Atlantis, now a museum piece at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, has emerged from the protective plastic cocoon that had encased the spacecraft since November. Cutting away strips at a time to reveal the nose and windows, then the tail and main engines before breaking for the day Thursday, workers resumed the process Friday morning to fully reveal the retired orbiter in preparation for opening the public display June 29. (4/26)

NASA Considers Robotic Spacecraft Rendezvous as Asteroid Mission Backup (Source: Space News)
NASA would consider sending the first crewed Orion mission to rendezvous with a robotic spacecraft in lunar orbit if it cannot redirect an asteroid to the Moon by 2021, a space agency official told a pair of advisory panels. When NASA rolled out its asteroid initiative as part of its 2014 budget proposal on April 10, the agency said its goal was to bring an asteroid into orbit around the Moon by 2021 so that the previously scheduled first crewed Orion mission, designated EM-2, could rendezvous with the asteroid.

Asked by the NRC committee what NASA would do if it could not find a suitable asteroid, Gerstenmaier said they would still fly the solar-electric propulsion spacecraft to demonstrate its technologies. “I would send that spacecraft on a pretty demanding demonstration mission, which we planned to do anyway,” he said. “Then I would put this spacecraft into this retrograde orbit, and then use Orion to go to that retrograde orbit.” (4/26)

Wallops Island Launches Can Fuel Economy (Source: DelMarVaNow.com)
Last week’s test launch of an Antares rocket from NASA’s Wallops Island launch site in Eastern Virginia could be a game-changer for Delmarva’s economy. Such flights, as well as other missions, could become a staple on Wallops Island. The launch brought national recognition to the region and many hundreds of visitors excited to see the rocket head into the sky. There is the opportunity for private companies to move some operations to places such as Pocomoke City and Salisbury. It is vital that NASA promote safety and environmental stewardship as the number of launches rises. Wallops Island may become nearly as well known Cape Canaveral. (4/26)

Saint Charlie (Source: Space KSC)
NASA Administrator Charles Bolden is fond of telling people he's a practicing Episcopalian. Although the Episcopal Church doesn't canonize individuals as saints, Wikipedia says that to Episcopalians all baptized Christians are saints of God and have the potential to be examples of faith to others. Some of these examples include those “holding moral positions that may have compromised their acceptance by society at the time they lived.” In that context, as a non-Episcopalian, I'd like to suggest that the Episcopal Church honor Bolden as a saint walking among us.

Bolden suffered the slings and arrows of outrageous Congressional behavior twice this week. On Wednesday, he put up with 75 minutes of grilling by members of the House Space Subcommittee. One member after another demanded he explain why NASA proposes an asteroid rendezvous rather than a repeat of the 1960s Apollo lunar landing.

Anyone paying attention to American human spaceflight for the last nine years, starting with President George W. Bush's Vision for Space Exploration proposal in January 2004, knows that Congress has authorized big programs — on paper. But they've failed to provide adequate funding, other than enough to keep people employed in their states and districts, and to steer contracts to major aerospace companies that spend millions of dollars annually on lobbying and campaign contributions. Click here. (4/26)

Big Contractors Also Poised for Shift to Disaggregation (Source: Space News)
With the U.S. Air Force’s space leadership vowing to move away from a status quo dominated by large, exquisite satellite systems, an unlikely corner of the space industry is claiming to be perfectly suited to the change: the big contractors who for decades built those very systems.

Small and mid-size firms are quick to say the Air Force’s emerging vision for space that features smaller, less-complex satellites and hosted payloads would lead to more opportunities for them to compete, or at least get a foot in the door. But some of the top prime contractors, the ones who have largely established the status quo that Gen. William Shelton, commander of Air Force Space Command, wants to move away from, said they saw the same opportunities. (4/26)

Air Force Stays the Course on Ground System Procurements (Source: Space News)
Although budget pressures have forced the U.S. Air Force to cancel plans for a new space surveillance satellite, the service appears to be moving full steam ahead with ground system procurements that will support its space situational awareness mission.

The cancellation of the Space Based Space Surveillance follow-on satellite, intended to keep tabs on objects in geostationary orbit, leaves no large competitive satellite procurements on the Air Force’s plate, at least in the near term. But there is plenty of activity on the ground system side, including a large contract award for a space surveillance radar that could come at any time, according to Air Force budget documents.

In a separate effort, meanwhile, the Air Force is requesting $8.5 million to begin installing a C-band space surveillance radar in Australia, one of the few new starts slated for next year. The project, to be co-funded by Australia, was hatched by an agreement signed in November by then-U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and his Australian counterpart, Stephen Smith. (4/26)

Satellite Links Enable Drone To Avoid Collision in European Demo (Source: Space News)
The European defense and space agencies on April 26 said they had successfully demonstrated the ability of an unmanned aircraft using satellite links to communicate with air traffic controllers to operate safely in civil airspace, including the performance of a collision-avoidance maneuver. The Desire project, or Demonstration of Satellites Enabling the Insertion of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) in Europe, is jointly funded by the European Defence Agency, an arm of the European Union, and the 20-nation European Space Agency. (4/26)

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