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(1 December 2020 – BlackSky) BlackSky today announced Uyen (pronounced “Win”) Dinh as its Vice President for Government Relations and Strategy.

Ms. Dinh brings more than two decades of experience, knowledge, and insight in the federal legislative, authorization, and appropriations processes. She is well versed in national security policy, national and military intelligence programs and policies, geospatial intelligence (GEOINT), cybersecurity, and other national security space issues.

Uyen Dinh (courtesy: BlackSky)

“BlackSky will make significant strides with Uyen leading our government relations and strategy efforts,” said Brian O’Toole, BlackSky CEO. “Uyen has the unique ability to view challenges and opportunities strategically, while building tactical roadmaps to address them. We will benefit from her experiences both in the public and private sectors. We look forward to Uyen spearheading our efforts to ensure that decision makers have a better understanding of BlackSky’s capabilities to deliver near real-time, first-to-know insights.”

Before joining BlackSky, Ms. Dinh served in the Department of Homeland Security as Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Office of Legislative Affairs. Prior to her executive branch service, she established Win Strategies, a strategic consulting company specializing in national security, space, ISR, and GEOINT issues. Earlier in her career she served as the vice president for government affairs at GeoEye, Inc., an early New Space company that built and launched high-resolution commercial imaging satellites.

Previously, Ms. Dinh served as majority counsel for several U.S. House of Representative committees and offices including the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI), the House Armed Services Committee (HASC), the Committee on Government Reform and Oversight, and the Office of Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.) specializing in national security and defense, intelligence, and homeland security issues.

“I’m excited about my new role with BlackSky,” said Ms. Dinh. “It’s a dynamic and innovative company with strong leadership and a talented workforce. BlackSky has a clear mission to deliver timely and accurate geospatial intelligence to better inform critical decision making. I’m looking forward to advancing this mission; by bringing awareness to how predictive analytics give decision makers exactly the info they need, when they need it. This is game changing.”

Born in Saigon, the Republic of Viet Nam, Ms. Dinh immigrated with her family to the United States in 1975. She received her undergraduate degree from James Madison University and her Juris Doctor from the Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law. Ms. Dinh is a member of the Virginia State Bar and serves on the Washington Cyber Roundtable’s Board of Advisors.

About BlackSky

BlackSky is a global monitoring company. We monitor activities and facilities worldwide by harnessing the world’s emerging sensor networks and leveraging our own satellite constellation. We process millions of observations daily from space, air, environmental sensors, asset tracking sensors, Industrial IoT, and Internet-enabled narrative sources. BlackSky’s on-demand swarm of satellites can image a location multiple times throughout the day. We monitor for pattern-of-life anomalies to produce alerts and enhance situational awareness. Our monitoring service is powered by cutting-edge compute techniques including machine learning, artificial intelligence, computer vision, and natural language processing. BlackSky’s global monitoring is available via a simple subscription and requires no IT infrastructure or setup.

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Infostellar introduces its new Chief Technology Officer

Infostellar introduces its new Chief Technology Officer

(11 January 2021 – Infostellar) Infostellar has announced the arrival of Steve Montgomery as the company’s Chief Technical Officer (CTO).

In this role, Steve will lead the company’s efforts in building and operating Infostellar’s global network of ground stations, including partner and company-owned assets. Steve will also leverage StellarStation by driving the technical development and expansion of the company’s ground segment products and services.

Steve Montgomery, Chief Technical Officer (courtesy: Infostellar)

“We are thrilled to have Steve join our team. Not only does he bring a wealth of technical expertise in building and operating global space assets, he also brings his experience in developing a startup GSaaS company into an industry leader.” says Infostellar Founder and CEO, Naomi Kurahara.

Kurahara added, “Steve will be a key factor in driving our products and services in the future, thus enabling Infostellar to provide mission critical ground operations to our growing client base.”

Steve has over 27-years of experience building and operating ground stations all over the world. He was a leader in the Universal Space Network team that was acquired by the Swedish Space Corporation (SSC) in 2009 and remained with the company until joining Infostellar.

Most recently, Steve held the position of Chief Establishment Director at SSC, where he was directly responsible for the installation and operation of a global network of ground stations in support of a wide variety of international space programs. While at SSC, Steve also held the position of Managing Director of SSC Space Australia Pty Ltd, where he was responsible for SSC’s ground station operations in that region. Additionally, Steve led SSC’s efforts in building a world-class Launch and Early Orbit Operation (LEOP) and On-Orbit communications capability that to this day provides mission critical services to the world’s leading space agencies and companies.

Montgomery said: “I am very pleased to be joining Naomi and the Infostellar team. This company is embarking on a journey that expands ground segment services while reducing capital and operational expenses by fully benefiting from cloud infrastructure. Together we have a unique opportunity to be an enabler of new space applications. ”

About Infostellar

Infostellar is a satellite ‘Ground Segment as a Service’ (GSaaS) provider. We provide flexible and scalable ground station services enabled by our cloud platform, ‘StellarStation’, which virtualizes ground station networks. By lowering the barriers to entry in the ground segment, Infostellar empowers newspace businesses to build better missions and improve the quality of their service. Founded in 2016, Infostellar is headquartered in Tokyo, Japan and has its European office in the UK.

About StellarStation

StellarStation is a flexible, scalable, satellite ground station sharing platform. After a one-time setup, satellite operators can access any ground station across our global network. StellarStation also enables ground station owners to monetise their unused capacity by sharing it with satellite operators.

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Altius Space Machines announces successful first orbital launch of DogTags aboard OneWeb’s satellites

Altius Space Machines announces successful first orbital launch of DogTags

(14 January 2021 – Altius Space Machines) Voyager Space Holdings subsidiary, Altius Space Machines has achieved a significant milestone: a successful first launch of the company’s DogTags universal grapple fixtures into space aboard OneWeb’s satellites.

This is the first of many planned launches for Altius’ DogTags, as the company is slated to produce grapple fixtures for all of OneWeb’s remaining satellites in its planned constellation.

Flight DogTag prototype (courtesy: Altius)

Altius’ DogTag grapple fixture is a commercially available universal grappling point for satellites. DogTags are optimized for magnetic grappling; however, they are compatible with a variety of grapple methods such as mechanical grasping, Gecko adhesion, electrostatic adhesion and harpoon grappling. DogTags help mitigate the growing space debris problem by making it easier to deorbit non-functioning satellites, and can also be used to tug functional satellites to new orbits, act as an anchor point for satellite servicing, and capturing and stowing various payloads.

“This is an incredibly proud moment for Altius. It’s always wonderful getting to see an idea your team has been working on for years take flight,” said Jonathan Goff, CEO and founder of Altius Space Machines. “Beyond this individual achievement, we’re optimistic today’s launch will be the first of many as we work to lower the cost of servicing, and enable satellite operators like OneWeb to pioneer more sustainable space operations.”

Altius’ partnership with OneWeb is part of OneWeb’s larger initiative focused on advancing Responsible Space. The satellite communications company is committed to “leaving no trace in space” and is partnering with companies like Altius as part of its advocacy efforts for space environmental stewardship to aid in orbital debris management. The satellites are manufactured by Airbus OneWeb Satellites in a state-of-the-art factory located in Merritt Island, Florida.

“It is very rewarding to see our first portfolio company reach such a major milestone as this one,” said Matthew Kuta, president and COO of Voyager. “The DogTag is just one of their many revolutionary on-orbit satellite servicing solutions that we know will be transformational for future commercial and private sector use.”

About Voyager Space Holdings

Voyager Space Holdings, Inc. is a global leader in space exploration. Voyager’s long-term mission is to create a vertically integrated publicly traded NewSpace company capable of delivering any mission humans can conceive. By centralizing shared services functions at the parent company level, Voyager enables engineer founded and led subsidiaries to focus more on development of innovative products and services. The firm’s first in industry model is uniquely tailored to support the growth needs of commercial space companies by offering an alternative solution to traditional private capital models and replaces them with a longer-term approach as a provider of permanent capital. Voyager is led by founders and space industry veterans Dylan Taylor and Matthew Kuta, with a Board of Directors that includes National Security Expert and four-star Air Force General William Shelton, leading investor Gabe Finke, and a world leading planetary Scientist, Dr. Alan Stern.

About Altius Space Machines

Altius is a space robotics and technology startup with expertise in orbital rendezvous and capture robotics, active debris removal, spacecraft mechanisms, assistive telerobotics, in-space propellant transfer, satellite servicing, and on-orbit assembly and manufacturing.

About OneWeb

OneWeb is a global communications network powered from space, headquartered in London, enabling connectivity for governments, businesses, and communities. It is implementing a constellation of Low Earth Orbit satellites with a network of global gateway stations and a range of user terminals to provide an affordable, fast, high-bandwidth and low-latency communications service, connected to the IoT future and a pathway to 5G for everyone, everywhere.

About Airbus OneWeb Satellites

Airbus OneWeb Satellites is a joint venture between Airbus and OneWeb that was formed in 2016 to design and manufacture the satellites for the OneWeb constellation. In the process, Airbus OneWeb Satellites has revolutionized satellite manufacturing by being the first to utilize commoditization and mass production techniques to dramatically reduce production times and costs. The company’s mission is not limited to the OneWeb program. Through the partnership with Airbus, Airbus OneWeb Satellites is offering to the market a standardized, mass produced satellite platform and payload interface that can be compatible with many different payloads, providing end-users with dramatic cost savings and opening the door for missions that were previously unthinkable.

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Lockheed Martin-built Orion spacecraft is ready for its Moon mission

Lockheed Martin built Orion spacecraft is ready for its Moon mission

(14 January 2021 – Lockheed Martin) NASA’s Orion spacecraft is ready for its mission to the Moon.

Lockheed Martin has completed assembly and testing of the Orion Artemis I spacecraft and has transferred possession to NASA’s Exploration Ground Systems (EGS) team today. Assembled at Kennedy Space Center, the EGS team will then perform final preparations on the spacecraft for its mission to the Moon later this year.

(courtesy: Lockhhed Martin)

Ready for the Moon

Orion is NASA’s new human-rated exploration-class spaceship that will take astronauts into deep space including the Moon and Mars. Lockheed Martin is the prime contractor for NASA and built the crew module, crew module adaptor and launch abort system. The European Space Agency provides the European Service Module for Orion.

The Artemis I mission will be the first launch of the Orion spacecraft aboard NASA’s Space Launch System rocket. Over the course of three weeks, the uncrewed Orion capsule will fly out and orbit the Moon and return to Earth. This test mission will validate the spacecraft, rocket and ground systems for future crewed missions.

“Orion is a unique and impressive spacecraft and the team did an outstanding job to get us to this day,” said Mike Hawes, Orion vice president and program manager for Lockheed Martin. “The launch and flight of Artemis I will be an impressive sight, but more importantly it will confirm Orion is ready to safely carry humans to the Moon and back home. This tremendous advancement opens the door to a new era of deep space exploration that will ultimately benefit us back here on Earth.”

Orion is being transferred from the Neil Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building at Kennedy, where it was assembled, to multiple Kennedy facilities where EGS will load propellants and other consumables such as ammonia, helium and nitrogen, and integrate the launch abort system and protective ogive fairing. After this is completed, it will be taken to the Vertical Assembly Facility to be lifted onto the SLS rocket and prepared for roll to the launch pad.

Crewed Missions Underway

The launch later this year will be the beginning of many Artemis missions to the Moon. The next mission, Artemis II, will be the first with a crew onboard and will go out to orbit the Moon and return. That Orion crew module and service module adapter are well under assembly at Kennedy and will see its first power-on of its integrated computers this summer.

Artemis III will see the first woman and the next man to walk on the Moon. Orion will carry them out to orbit the Moon where they will ultimately land on the surface using a lunar landing system. That spacecraft is already under construction as major structural elements of the crew module pressure vessel are arriving at NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility.

As part of an Orion production and operations contract, NASA ordered three Orion spacecraft from Lockheed Martin for Artemis missions III-V with plans to order three additional Orion spacecraft for Artemis missions VI-VIII and options for up to 12 missions.

About Lockheed Martin

Headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs approximately 110,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services.

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