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Avio, a rocket builder on the stock market: One year on, steady as she goes

PARIS — Rocket-hardware builder Avio SpA on May 10 reported double-digit increases in revenue and pretax profit for the three months ending March 31 as it continued to benefit from the operational Ariane 5 and Vega rockets, and the influx of development funds for the future Ariane 6 and Vega-C vehicles. A year after Avio became what may be the first pure-play rocket builder to enter a major...

In a blow to Maxar/MDA, Canada’s RCM satellites won’t be available commercially, reversing 20-year Canadian government policy

PARIS — Maxar Technologies will not have access to imagery from the Canadian government’s Radarsat Constellation Mission (RCM) following a decision by the Canada’s military that it will need the full capacity of the three-satellite system, Maxar Chief Executive Howard L. Lance said May 9. Maxar, which owns Canada’s MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates (MDA) and geospatial-imagery provider...

Hotel California? Not at all, says Space Angels. Space-sector equity exits have been successful

PARIS — Nine years after angel and venture-capital investors began taking a serious interest in the space sector, it’s time for some of them to think of exiting their positions. How’s that working out? Very well indeed, said Space Angels Chief Executive Chad Anderson, whose combination angel/VC fund tracks private space investment since 2009. “When you get to exit? No kidding: The average exit...

EU Commission proposes 25%-plus increase in space spending for 2021-2027 budget

PARIS — The European Commission on May 2 proposed a 25% increase in space spending for the seven-year budget starting in 2021, an increase all the more remarkable for the fact that the EU’s third-largest contributor, Britain, is presumed absent from the funding. The funding of 16 billion euros ($19.25 billion) is the dedicated space investment line. To it is added 235 million euros for...

They’re back: Activist U.S. investor repurchases stake in OHB, urges bid for Avio SpA

PARIS — Just when it thought it had ridded itself of a meddlesome U.S. activist shareholder, satellite and rocket-component builder OHB SE awoke April 23 to find that Wyser-Pratte Management Co. Inc. had returned as a major shareholder. This is the company that had previously identified itself as OHB’s largest non-family shareholder and in 2017 had tried to shake up the company, notably by...

Last-minute issues force recall of India’s GSAT-11; Ariane 5 launch in May with Azerspace-2/Intelsat-38 cancelled

  UPDATE APRIL 24: Arianespace said the launch of the ISRO GSAT-11 is postponed indefinitely pending resolution of unspecified issues. Launch of Azerspace-3/Intelsat-38 is delayed until around August, pending search for new co-passenger on Ariane 5. Next Ariane 5 flight, in July, is four European Commission Galileo positioning, navigation and timing satellites. No word from ISRO on nature of...

French President says Europe needs policy to neutralize SpaceX’s home-market advantage

PARIS — French President Emmanuel Macron on April 17 acknowledged that Europe’s space-launch industry had been “destabilized” by SpaceX and said France is investigating a European policy to neutralize what he said were market biases benefiting the U.S. launch-service provider. Addressing a Town Hall-type meeting devoted to European issues, Macron said he had not yet determined how precisely to...

Russia’s S7 aviation group says it has completed purchase of Sea Launch assets, will restart launches

PARIS — Russia’s S7 Group on April 17 said it it had completed the purchase of the California-based assets of the former Sea Launch commercial-launch company, principally the Sea Launch Commander ship and the floating Odyssey launch platform. Moscow-based S7 said it had received the necessary U.S. regulatory approval to conclude the transaction it had first announced in September 2016. S7,...

Roscosmos’s Koptev: Sea Launch revival unlikely, Angara to replace Proton by 2021

PARIS — A senior Russian government space official on April 16 said Russia is bound by an environmental agreement with Kazakhstan to phase out the heavy-lift Proton rocket in 2020, a deadline that argues in favor of the long-delayed, expensive Angara replacement. Yuri N. Koptev, a former head of Russia’s Roscosmos space agency who is now head of the Roscosmos Corporation’s science and technical...

For Sky and Space Global, ‘all options’ are being considered to raise cash this year

UPDATE APRIL 30: Sky and Space Global reported spending 2.82 million Australian dollars in the three months ending March 31 and said i expected to need 2.9 million Australian dollars for the three months ending June 30. After accounting for the 10 million Australian dollars raised from shareholders in April, the company reported a cash balance of 9 million Australian dollars as of March 31....

ArianeGroup CEO on Ariane 5 anomaly, government dithering on Ariane 6, and rocket reusability

PARIS — The chief executive of Europe’s ArianeGroup on April 10 addressed lingering questions around the Jan. 25 Ariane 5 rocket-trajectory anomaly and urged European governments to overcome their difficulties to commit to a bulk order of Ariane 6 vehicles by late June. Acknowledging the recent roadblocks that prevented the European Space Agency (ESA) from moving forward on Ariane 6 at a...

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