Enrico Sargesse, Director General of the Italian Space Agency ASI noted in his presentation that Vega’s payload is to be increased to 3-3.5 tonnes. He foresaw that the launch vehicle would bid to launch small communications satellites heading for geostationary Earth orbit using electric propulsion for the final orbit raising from low Earth orbit. He also suggested that the International Space Station should be allowed to continue operations beyond 2020 until 2027.
Head of the European Space Agency Jean-Jacques Dordain paid tribute to the now defunct Envisat and looked forward to the launch of Metop-B in September 2013.
EADS has been awarded a grant of €1.7 milion to research Continuous Detonation Wave Engine Technology which could provide the basis of a zero velocity to hypersonic (Mach 5) velocity engine. The work will be done with the Russian Lavrentiev Institude of Hydrodynamics.
SSTL has signed a €80 million contract with OHB System AG to supply navigation payloads for the Galileo satellite system.
MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates (MDA) was awarded a Can$35 million contract to build the Hylas 3 communications payload for Avanti Communcations. The payload will actually be placed on a European Data Relay Satelltite EDRS 3. Meantime Avanti has received an offical endorsement by NATO for member nations to use its communications services.