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Voyager acquires majority control of XO Markets

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Voyager Space has completed the purchase of a majority interest in commercial space holding company XO Markets.

Revealed in December 2020, the transaction also includes XO Markets subsidiary Nanoracks. It involves the infusion of significant growth capital into the business.

The financial details of the deal remain undisclosed.

Nanoracks provides low-cost, high-quality solutions required for satellite deployment, along with basic and educational research in over 30 countries.

The company has already launched more than 1,000 projects to the International Space Station, as well as the Bishop Airlock on the SpaceX CRS-21 mission on SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket.

Nanoracks is also working on its long-term Space Outpost Program for private space platforms.

Voyager chairman and CEO Dylan Taylor said: “In the last year, the space industry has undergone a rapid evolution with demand for commercial space services reaching record highs.

“Innovative companies like Nanoracks are continuing to drive this transformation forward with first-of-their-kind technologies like the Bishop Airlock.

“We look forward to working with Jeffrey and his team as Nanoracks continues to push the envelope of what’s possible in the years to come while benefiting from the full support of our integrated model.”

Last month, Voyager completed the acquisition of The Launch Company, which specialises in the development of the systems, hardware, and processes to accelerate NewSpace companies to orbit.

In line with the NewSpace mission, Voyager recently inducted former Nasa administrator Jim Bridenstine to chair its advisory board.

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Source: https://www.aerospace-technology.com/news/voyager-xo-markets-space-nanoracks/

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Aerospace manufacturer completes clean sweep of Nadcap audits

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RHH Franks, specialist subcontract manufacturer to the global aviation industry, has announced the successful completion of all four of its Nadcap audits.

Over the last six months, the New Milton-based engineering firm has undergone intense on-site audits of its Nadcap accreditations: non-destructive testing; heat treatment; chemical processing; and welding.

RHH Franks managing director Elsa Hogan with the accreditation certificates

Most recently, the company received merit status for welding for the 13th time in a row since first being accredited in 2004. This means RHH Franks benefits from a less frequent audit schedule, reducing costs and time pressures on internal resources.

RHH Franks’ commitment to ensuring the highest quality for its aviation clients was cemented in 2004 with successful Nadcap accreditation for non-destructive testing, TIG welding and torch brazing.

Heat treatment, including dip brazing, and chemical processing accreditations followed in 2006 and 2009 respectively. Since then, the firm has undergone almost 50 audits, passing with flying colours every time.

Such a significant track-record of audit success puts RHH Franks among a limited group of elite manufacturers who operate at the highest level and are recognised as trusted suppliers to the aerospace industry.

While a Nadcap audit is a defined moment in time for which auditees prepare in advance, actually creating and maintaining a culture of compliance within an organisation is a constant endeavour and often a thankless task. Consequently, and in recognition of their hard work, I am delighted to congratulate RHH Franks for maintaining Nadcap accreditation,” said David Schutt, President and Chief Executive Officer at the Performance Review Institute.

Managing director Elsa Hogan commented: “Achieving Nadcap accreditation is not easy but as a company, we were determined to obtain and maintain such an important stamp of approval.

“It not only gives clients confidence in our ability, but also ensures we are consistently reviewing our own performance and processes.

“I’m delighted that we’ve again completed another successful round of Nadcap audits and want to extend my gratitude to the entire team, whose engineering expertise and professionalism is critical to us delivering such a high standard of service and complaint products to our clients.”

www.rhhfranks.co.uk

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Source: https://www.aero-mag.com/rhh-franks-nadcap-accreditations-15062021/

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SkyWatch raises $17.2 million in Series B funding round

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SAN FRANCISCO – SkyWatch Space Applications raised 20.9 million Canadian dollars ($17.2 ) in a Series B funding round, less than 17 months after welcoming investors to its Series A round.

The rapid pace of fundraising was not in the Canadian startup’s original plan but necessitated by demand for TerraStream, a data management and distribution platform SkyWatch offers Earth-observation companies.

“We didn’t anticipate a company adopting TerraStream to run their full operation until 2022 or 2023” because of the extraordinary level of trust required to hand off critical business functions like operations, cataloging, archiving and tasking to another company, SkyWatch CEO James Slifierz told SpaceNews.

Customers, however, have quickly adopted TerraStream. “We have close to 40 satellites under contract to launch in the next 12 months,” Slifierz said.

As a result, SkyWatch plans to use the proceeds of its Series B round to ramp up operations to keep pace with demand.

Drive Capital led the SkyWatch Series B round. Existing SkyWatch investors Bullpen Capital, Space Capital, Golden Ventures, and BDC Ventures also participated.

SatRevolution is set to be the first TerraStream customer to launch. The Polish Earth-observation startup is preparing to send aloft two three-unit cubesats to collect multispectral medium-resolution imagery and data.

The SatRevolution cubesats, called Stork-4 and Stork-5, are scheduled to launch on the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket rideshare flight later this month. Mexican startup SpaceJLTZ and Wyvern of Canada are the other two TerraStream customers SkyWatch has named.

SkyWatch has grown rapidly since it was founded in 2018. In the first half of 2021, SkyWatch revenue surged more than 450% compared with the same period in 2020.

EarthCache, a software platform offering access to aerial and satellite data sources through an application program interface, was the startup’s first product. SkyWatch developed TerraStream after noting how customers struggled to build their data management systems and quickly monetize data.

TerraStream is designed to take away that struggle and allow Earth-observation companies to focus instead on the quality and affordability of their datasets, the two primary factors Earth-observation data customers consider, Slifierz said.

SkyWatch raised $7.5 million in its Series A investment round announced in January 2020.

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Source: https://spacenews.com/skywatch-series-b/

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GE and Safran launch radical new open fan aero engine design

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GE Aviation and Safran have launched a new aero engine development programme targeting more than 20% lower emissions than today’s engines. 

The CFM RISE (Revolutionary Innovation for Sustainable Engines) programme aims to demonstrate and mature a range of new, disruptive technologies for future engines that could enter service by the mid-2030s.

The two companies have also signed an agreement extending the CFM International 50/50 partnership to the year 2050, declaring their intent to lead the way for more sustainable aviation in line with the industry’s commitment to halve CO2 emissions by 2050.

“The relationship between GE and Safran today is the strongest it has ever been,” said John Slattery, president and CEO of GE Aviation. “Together, through the RISE technology demonstration programme, we are reinventing the future of flight, bringing an advanced suite of revolutionary technologies to market that will take the next generation of single-aisle aircraft to a new level of fuel efficiency and reduced emissions. We fully embrace the sustainability imperative.  As we have always done in the past, we will deliver for the future.”

“Our industry is in the midst of the most challenging times we have ever faced,” said Olivier Andriès, CEO of Safran.  “We have to act now to accelerate our efforts to reduce our impact on the environment. Since the early 1970s, breakthrough engine efficiency and reliability have been the hallmark of our historic partnership and our LEAP engine already reduces emissions by 15 percent compared to previous generation engines. Through the extension of our CFM partnership to 2050, we are today reaffirming our commitment to work together as technology leaders to help our industry meet the urgent climate challenges.”

Technologies matured as part of the RISE programme will serve as the foundation for the next-generation CFM engine that could be available by the mid-2030s. The programme goals include reducing fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by more than 20% compared to today’s most efficient engines, as well as ensuring 100% compatibility with alternative energy sources such as Sustainable Aviation Fuels and hydrogen.

Central to the programme is state-of-the-art propulsive efficiency for the engine, including developing an open fan architecture. This is a key enabler to achieving significantly improved fuel efficiency while delivering the same speed and cabin experience as current single-aisle aircraft. The programme will also use hybrid electric capability to optimise engine efficiency while enabling electrification of many aircraft systems.

The programme is being led by a joint GE/Safran engineering team that has laid out a comprehensive technology roadmap including composite fan blades, heat resistant metal alloys, ceramic matrix composites (CMCs), hybrid electric capability and additive manufacturing.

The RISE programme includes more than 300 separate component, module and full engine builds. A demonstrator engine is scheduled to begin testing at GE and Safran facilities around the middle of this decade and flight test soon thereafter.

www.geaviation.com

www.safran-group.com

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Source: https://www.aero-mag.com/ge-aviation-safran-cfm-rise-15062021/

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Airbus creates zero-emission development centres in Germany and France

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Airbus has established zero-emission development centres (ZEDC) at two European locations to focus its efforts on metallic hydrogen tanks.

The ZEDCs are set up in Bremen, Germany, and Nantes, France. They will develop liquid hydrogen (LH2) tanks once operational by 2023. The initial flight test is planned for 2025.

When compared with kerosene, an LH2 tank requires specific systems engineering. It is liquified by cooling it to under -250°C and then stored in that state in tanks for increased density benefit.

The ZEDC centre in Bremen will concentrate on system installation and cryogenic testing of the tanks.

It will benefit from years of LH2 experience within Airbus Defence and Space and ArianeGroup, as well as hydrogen research ecosystem such as the Centre for Eco-Efficient Materials and Technologies (ECOMAT).

The Nantes site was selected due to its expertise in metallic structural technologies associated with the centre wing box. The Nantes Technocentre skills and capabilities and support of the local ecosystem such as the IRT Jules Verne will benefit the centre.

The Nantes ZEDC will also be able to handle metallic, composite technologies and integration, experience in co-design activities on nacelle inlets, radomes and centre fuselage complex work packages.

Airbus will also promote cross-industry collaboration to support the move to hydrogen-propulsion technologies and related ground-based infrastructure in the region.

Recently, Airbus Helicopters invited all major stakeholders in the industry to join its newly created Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) User Group.

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Source: https://www.aerospace-technology.com/news/airbus-germany-france-zero-emission/

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