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Welcome to your weekly newsletter from satsearch

In these emails we share trending stories from the industry along with insights from our work building the global marketplace for space. Let's dive in and take a look at some of the developments that caught our eye in the last week.

Researchers from Curtin University discover shock-impacted zircon in a Martian meteorite

Researchers at Curtin University have been studying the Martian meteorite NWA 7034, which was first found in the desert of northwest Africa in 2011. While assessing several studies on the composition of the meteorite, the researchers found tiny grains of the mineral zircon.

It was determined that the zircon crystallized around 4.45 billion years ago, making it one of the oldest zircon samples known from Mars – and making it older than the oldest known piece on Earth.

Zircon is one of the crucial minerals used to track historical records in planetary sciences. It works like a geochronometer, primarily revealing how much time has passed since it crystallized from magma. The researchers looked at more than 60 zircon crystals but found only one shocked grain, signifying that the impact occurred before the grain was mixed into the pile of fragments that became a rock.

Geochemical studies of meteorites create a foundation to answer some of the biggest and most complex questions we face, such as; ‘are we alone in the universe?’. These latest insights on NWA 7034 provide a glimpse into the historical records of Mars, especially with respect to the past habitability of the planet. Find out more here.

The oxygen isotopes O16 and O18 are also vital in gaining insights into historical planetary records. Similar to zircon, both the O16 and O18 isotopes also provide evidence of planetary history, but from a paleoclimate perspective. The study of geochemical composition of meteorites is gradually building a foundation for the scientific community to answer some of the most complex questions related to the origin of life. With several ongoing studies on Mars, including the robotic exploration by rovers like Curiosity and Perseverance, it is very clear that the planetary studies are adding significant value to this research.


Happening Wednesday - a free event on space software development

This Wednesday (February 23rd) we're hosting a free event on simplifying satellite software development, with hardware-accelerated .NET.

Zoltán Lehóczky of satsearch member Lombiq Technologies will demo the company's Hastlayer system, which can save on hardware costs and increase mission reliability by using established development tools and processes in space.


Navars Edutech planning to launch 100 satellites with Skyroot Aerospace

India-based education startup, Navars Eductech, plans to launch a constellation of 100 satellites over five years, in partnership with Skyroot Aerospace. Navars specializes in astronomy and space education and is well-known for offering real-life experiences through live content, software tools, hardware kits, and other experiences for K12 students.

With this constellation, Navars aims to provide insights into astronomical observations. Skyroot will launch the satellites in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) using its Vikram-I launcher, designed to deliver small satellites in LEO. With this strategic collaboration, Navars is hoping to accelerate interest in the space ecosystem among students through design, development and research in a plethora of satellite, launch vehicle, software programming, image and data analytics fields. Find out more here.

Utilizing live observation from satellites to educate young people is one of the most interesting ways to give students a taste of the applicability of academic thinking in space in real-life.

While there are a series of innovations taking place in the educational technology domain, India remains one of the biggest markets in the world as more and more of the population is inclined towards education and consuming appropriate content through different media. In addition, the privatization of space is one of the key elements that are both driving adoption of such services and that stands to benefit from an increase in interest and education.

Volga-Dnepr Group signs MoU with Singapore Space & Technology

The Volga-Dnepr Group, one of the leading Russian air transport and integrated logistics services companies, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Singapore Space & Technology Ltd (SSTL) to support Singapore and other countries in Southeast Asia in the field of space logistics.

The MoU was signed during the first week of February in the Global Space and Technology Convention (GSTC) 2022, which brought together premier space leaders and companies under one umbrella in Singapore.

Under this MoU, the Volga-Denpr Group will extend its integrated logistics services to support SSTL's network of space companies for the launch of their satellites.

It will provide transportation and charter services for satellites, from manufacturing and assembly sites to required end destinations covering, as required, the design solution, first/last mile, terminal handling, and customer clearance. Simultaneously, SSTL will act as a promotional partner for Volga-Denpr Group by creating awareness about the group’s services in the space segment. Find out more here.

Transportation of satellites and space systems is a critical task and companies like Volga-Denpr, who have deep experience in the air transport and integrated logistics sector, could prove to be promising partners for space-faring nations in Asia. Singapore is one of the emerging nations in space with a key focus on some advanced technologies including quantum communications via satellite. Find out more here.

Considering the ongoing developments in Singapore, the country is likely to attract several such international partnerships. Also, as one of the most digitalized countries in the world, Singapore could open new avenues for the Asian space sector.

Some Singapore-based companies, such as ST Engineering, have already established themselves in the same category as leading firms in Europe and USA, especially in the satellite segment. Therefore, Singapore might potentially become the bridge for Asia to emerge as one of the competitive space hubs of the world.

Kacific's COVID response receives global recognition

The COVID-19 pandemic hit several nations extremely hard, but it was primarily developing and underdeveloped regions that faced the most obstacles during the pandemic. Satellite resources have proved to be vital in overcoming several challenges, primarily communications. Kacific Broadband Satellites was one such satellite operator that initiated a large-scale community WiFi project to provide rural health clinics with high-quality, low-cost satellite broadband using affordable, easy-to-install antennas.

The project utilized capacity on Kacific’s high throughput satellite, Kacific1, which uses spot beam technology to cover populated areas across 25 nations. With such a visionary, community-driven initiative, Kacific’s community WiFi project has been recognized as the Satellite Project of the Year at the Global Carrier Awards 2021.

To manage the funds for this project Kacific partnered with GuarantCo, a UK-based company that mobilizes private sector local currency investment for infrastructure projects and supports the development of financial markets in lower income countries across Africa and Asia.

In this initiative, Kacific deployed around 200 terminals in Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, the Solomon Islands, and the Philippines. The project further provided these regions with fast and affordable broadband to health clinics, schools, and communities. It also allowed several health professionals to coordinate with nationwide COVID-19 health responses, arrange emergency evacuations, and communicate with city-based specialists. Find out more here.

Kacific is one of the new satellite operators in the Asia-Pacific region. Since its first launch of the Kacific-1 satellite in 2019, the company has increased its footprint across several Pacific nations and has been working to deliver its vision of universal, fast, high-quality broadband access at an affordable cost, using robust technologies.

Kacific-1 is a joint high-throughput communication satellite between Kacific and SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation. Recently, the company also set up a terminal near Mount Manaslu in Nepal at an altitude of 4,800 meters above sea level, further signifying the company’s extension of services to the South Asian region. Find out more here.

Hughes launches community LTE service in Brazil

Hughes Network Systems, an American satellite service provider, has deployed a three-month pilot of a new community LTE service at five villages in Brazil. The purpose of this service is to serve the people who are unable to receive appropriate cable, fiber, and cellular networks for communications.

This community LTE service will allow users to connect to local hotspots and access the broadband service by purchasing data from the local retailer that hosts them.

To create, manage, and deploy such services, Hughes is to utilize it’s JUPITER high-throughput satellite capacity and equipment, which processes, configures, and manages traffic locally, rather than sending it across the satellite link to the central network core. This technology allows the operator to manage the services at an affordable cost, as compared to traditional satellite backhauling. Find out more here.

Hughes has an extensive reach across Latin America. The company also has a strong hold across Asian countries such as India, where it also provides satellite broadband services.

It’s latest collaborations with LEO operators, like OneWeb, signify the expansion of its high-speed satellite broadband connectivity services for commercial sectors. Recently, both the companies also signed a six-year distribution agreement for LEO satellite services in India. Find out more here.

Orca Systems announces first wireless system-on-chip (SoC) solution for satellite IoT

Orca Systems, an American semiconductor company, unveiled its first wireless system-on-chip (SoC) solution for satellite-based Internet of Things (IoT) products, the ORC3990. It is also working with a partner, Totum Labs, to create RF technology for the product.

The ORC3990 consists of an integrated RF transceiver, PA, ARM CPUs, and memories. Its power management system is designed to support a 10+ year battery life and it can operate in temperatures ranging between -40 to +85°C. Additional function blocks that can be integrated within the ORC3390 SoC include the Totum satellite modem, power management unit (PMU) sub-system, which consists of all analog blocks, dual Arm Cortex-M0+ CPUs for separate network and application processing.

With deep expertise in a range of electronic systems, Orca Systems has supported a variety of partners to date, such as GlobalFoundries and the aforementioned Totum Labs. Find out more about the new SoC here.

Satellite-based IoT systems have gained a lot of momentum in recent years, with companies such as OQ Technology, Astrocast, Myrioata, Lacuna, Kineis, Kepler Communications, and others leading the upstream market. While established players such as Eutelsat are also venturing into the upstream satellite IoT market, the downstream segment remains a key vertical that could provide significant business opportunities in the future.

A new opportunity in space software

Satsearch member Lombiq Technologies is currently looking for a business leader for Hastlayer - a system that transforms software into electronic circuits, enabling more developers all around the world to potentially access satellite technologies and build applications for the future.

Find out more about the role here.

ReOrbit joins the satsearch membership program

We are very pleased to announce that Finnish reusable space systems manufacturer ReOrbit has joined the satsearch membership program. ReOrbit develops a suite of technologies designed to turn rigid, single-use satellites into reusable, flexible, and low-cost space systems.

ReOrbit's solutions make spacecraft platforms configurable and modular, so that they can accommodate different types of payloads. Such platforms are also equipped with built-in autonomous orbital capabilities and a software-defined architecture.

Find out more here on their satsearch supplier hub.

Rafael joins the satsearch membership program

We are very pleased to announce that Israel-based defense company Rafael Ltd. has joined the satsearch membership program. Initially founded in 1948, Rafael became a government-owned limited company in 2001 and today is one of the largest defense companies in Israel.

Rafael's core space industry expertise and product lines are in the areas of propulsion, composite materials, microsat technologies, and airborne launchers. The company has an ISO 9001 certified quality management system and flight heritage in over 80 missions, with clients and partners around the world.

Find out more about Rafael here on their satsearch supplier hub.

An overview of recent updates to the global marketplace for space on

Find your next customer here

We have received many new requests from buyers all over the world, looking for space products and services from across the value chain - so there might be something your company could help with.

Take a look at the latest business opportunities on the satsearch website.

Thanks for reading, and stay safe and healthy!

Hywel at satsearch
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