E-Space raises US$50m: E-Space, the start-up communications satellite constellation founded by Greg Wyler, announced 7 February that it has closed the largest seed funding round in space technology history. The US$50m investment, led by Prime Movers Lab, will fully fund E-Space's launch of its first test satellites in March 2022 and a beta launch later in the year. Mass production of the E-Space constellation is due to start in 2023.
OneWeb signs collision avoidance deal with LeoLabs: OneWeb has entered into a multi-year agreement with space situational awareness provider, LeoLabs for its Collision Avoidance solution. LeoLabs routinely tracks 180,000+ resident space objects in Low Earth Orbit, providing satellite owners with location data on other satellites and space debris. To date, OneWeb has launched two-thirds of its planned 648 satellites fleet that will provide broadband internet services around the world.
ESA hopes to resolve Copernicus finances: The head of the European Space Agency has said that ESA hopes to reach agreement with the European Commission on finding €750m of finance for the EU's Copernicus earth observation satellite programme. The shortfall has arisen due to continued delays to the United Kingdom's access to the Copernicus programme following Brexit.
UK announces Defence Space Strategy: The UK government's Ministry of Defence has published its Defence Space Strategy: Operationalising the Space Domain. The strategy sets out the government's vision for the role of defence in the space domain across three strategic themes focused on (i) protecting and defending the UK's interest in space, (ii) enhancing military operations by delivering resilient space services and (iii) developing a skilled workforce and producing coherent space policies. The strategy is supported by a government commitment to invest an additional £1.4bn in space over the next ten years, much of which will fund a global constellation of low Earth orbit satellites for surveillance and military operations.
ICEYE raises US$136m in Series D round: ICEYE announced 3 February that it has raised US$136m in a Series D funding round led by Seraphim Space that included new investors BAE Systems and Kajima Ventures. ICEYE provides businesses and governments with persistent earth observation monitoring capabilities using a satellite constellation equipped with synthetic aperture radar that can collect images day and night in any weather. ICEYE will use the funds to grow its Natural Catastrophe solutions offering and to further developing its constellation.
D-Orbit to go public in SPAC deal: Italian-based in-space satellite transportation logistics business, D-Orbit, announced 27 January that it is to go public via a merger with Breeze Holdings Acquisition Corp, a special purpose acquisition company. The transaction is expected to deliver up to US$185m in cash at closing.
European Commission gives green light for Allianz control of Intelsat: The European Commission has given its approval under EU merger rules for Allianz SE to acquire sole control of Intelsat Holdings SA. The Commission examined the merger under the simplified merger review procedure and concluded that it did not raise competition concerns.
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