Boeing 702 Digital Satellite to Boost Connectivity for Intelsat Customers

EL SEGUNDO, Calif., Sept. 29, 2017 – Boeing [NYSE: BA] has successfully supported seven out of seven satellite launches this year, including today’s launch of a 702 high-throughput digital payload satellite, built for Intelsat.

Intelsat 37e sent and received its first signals from space shortly after it launched today on board an Arianespace Ariane 5 rocket. Once in service, the satellite will deliver high-throughput services to support enterprise, broadband, government and mobility applications in the Americas, Africa and Europe.

“This latest launch is an example of our emphasis on quality and reliability to deliver the right products and capabilities to our customers,” said Paul Rusnock, chairman and CEO, Boeing Satellite Systems International, Inc. “Boeing’s market-leading digital payload technology gives our customers the flexibility to adapt to surges in demand for connectivity when and where it is needed, as well as adapt to any changes in their business needs or missions.”

Intelsat 37e is the second Intelsat EpicNG satellite built by Boeing to launch this year and the fourth Intelsat EpicNG satellite built by Boeing. Intelsat 35e, which launched in July 2017 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Base, Fla., was handed over to the customer last month.

For more information on Defense, Space & Security, visit Follow us on Twitter: @BoeingDefense

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Joanna Climer
Space and Missile Systems
Office: +1 310-364-7113
Mobile: +1 310-227-3534

Ariane 5’s fifth launch this year

Ariane 5’s fifth launch this year

Ariane 5 liftoff

30 September 2017

Ariane 5 has delivered two telecom satellites, Intelsat-37e and BSAT-4a, into their planned orbits.

Arianespace announced the liftoff at 21:56 GMT (23:56 CEST, 18:56 local time) yesterday from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana. The mission lasted about 47 minutes.

Intelsat-37e, with a launch mass of 6438 kg, was the first to be released after about 29 minutes. The 3520 kg BSAT-4a was released 18 minutes later.

Intelsat-37e, owned and operated by Intelsat, offers a new generation of fixed and mobile communications for the Americas, Africa and Europe. The satellite has a design life of more than 15 years.

BSAT-4a, operated by Japan’s Broadcasting Satellite System Corporation, will provide direct-to-home television services to Japan in high and ultra-high definition. The satellite has a design life of more than 15 years.

The performance requested for this launch was about 10 838 kg. The satellites totalled about 9958 kg, with payload adapters and carrying structures making up the rest.

This mission follows its previous launch attempt that was halted just before liftoff on 5 September. After solving the anomaly and completing related checks, Arianespace resumed operations for today’s launch.

Flight VA239 was the 95th Ariane 5 mission.

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Telemedicine via satellite improves care at astronaut landings

Telemedicine via satellite improves care at astronaut landings

Health check for Thomas Pesquet using Tempus Pro

29 September 2017

Tempus Pro, a portable vital-signs monitor offering telemedicine via satellite, is helping medics at ESA astronaut landings. Thomas Pesquet was the first to benefit at the end of his mission in May.

Astronauts returning from space must readjust to life on Earth. Gravity influences the body’s balance, cardiovascular functions, and especially the muscles, so astronauts are carefully monitored as soon as they are out of their reentry capsule.

When Thomas landed in Kazakhstan from his mission on the International Space Station, ESA medical staff stood by with the Tempus Pro.

As he was feeling gravity for the first time in six months, several sensors were attached to his body and connected to the device to gather important medical information.

This was repeated in the medical tent, during the helicopter ride back to Karaganda in Kazakhstan and on the aircraft back to Cologne in Germany, to allow doctors to detect any changes in his condition.

“In the challenging environment of an astronaut landing, Tempus Pro allowed us to track and log medical information quickly and easily and to share this in real time with our medical colleagues at ESA’s European Astronaut Centre in Cologne,” commented Sergi Vaquer, ESA’s flight surgeon.

The secured satellite link with the astronaut centre required a portable satellite antenna connected to the unit.

Tempus Pro transmits data via satellite

Medical teams at both sites examined advanced information containing Thomas’ vital signs such as blood oxygen level, blood pressure and heart activity, ultrasound images, realtime videos, pictures and voice.

All data were recorded in an encrypted patient record on the device for further evaluation at the centre.

Sharing information between teams in real time ensures the best possible outcome in the event of a medical emergency during landing operations. Working together increases accuracy and speed of diagnosis and treatment. It also enables a more coordinated and effective emergency response.

An improved version of the Tempus Pro, based on lessons learned, will be used in December when ESA astronaut Paolo Nespoli returns from the Space Station.

“The next challenge will be to send data from the Tempus Pro via satellite to medical teams on the ground from the aircraft transporting an ESA astronaut back to Cologne,” commented Arnaud Runge, ESA’s project manager. 

Remote Diagnostic Technologies of the UK developed the device with funding and support from the Business Applications part of ESA’s Advanced Research in Telecommunications Systems programme, which helps European industry to use space to create commercial applications in non-space sectors.

Tempus is a fully medically approved product that is used by airlines, at sea, in remote regions, and by the military in Europe and the US. Lightweight, compact and robust enough to withstand being dropped from 2 m, it is an all-in-one unit, meaning medics have less equipment to carry.

All conventional instruments typically required for emergency monitoring and intensive care can be connected such as blood oxygen saturation and contact temperature sensors, invasive and non-invasive blood pressure equipment, electrocardiogram leads, a laryngoscope and a USB ultrasound probe. It includes a GPS chip and has wifi, Bluetooth and ethernet connectivity, and can exchange voice, video and medical data.

“We are very pleased to see Tempus Pro used at an astronaut landing. This is a very demanding situation and proves the performance of this product,” added Arnaud.

The company is now developing Tempus ALS for ambulances and intensive care units, which can record data in a secured cloud via satellite communication as well as on the device, and plans new features such as a defibrillator.

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[release] Launch Postponement for Epsilon-3 Launch Vehicle with ASNARO-2 onboard

Launch Postponement for Epsilon-3 Launch Vehicle
with ASNARO-2 onboard

September 29, 2017 (JST)

National Research and Development Agency
Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) decided to postpone the launch of the third Epsilon Launch Vehicle (Epsilon-3) with the Advanced Small-size Radar Satellite (ASNARO-2) on Board which is originally scheduled on November 12, 2017, from the Uchinoura Space Center.
JAXA will take extra time to rectify the incompatibility found in the electrical system of the Epsilon-3 in the course of launch campaign at the launch site.

The new launch date will be announced as soon as it is determined.


BAIKONUR COSMODROME, Kazakhstan, September 29, 2017 – International Launch Services (ILS), a leader in providing launch services to the global commercial satellite industry, successfully carried the AsiaSat 9 satellite into orbit today on an ILS Proton for Asia Satellite Telecommunications Company Limited (AsiaSat) of Hong Kong. This was the 3rd commercial mission of the year for ILS and the 96th ILS Proton launch overall.

The Proton M launch vehicle, utilizing a 5-burn Breeze M mission design, lifted off from Pad 39 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 00:52 a.m. today local time (2:52 a.m. in Hong Kong; 6:52 p.m. GMT and 2:52 p.m. ET on September 28) with the AsiaSat 9 satellite on board. The first three stages of the Proton used a standard ascent profile to place the orbital unit (Breeze M upper stage and the AsiaSat 9 satellite) into a sub-orbital trajectory. From this point in the mission, the Breeze M performed planned mission maneuvers to advance the orbital unit first to a nearly circular parking orbit, then to an intermediate orbit, followed by a transfer orbit, and finally to a geosynchronous transfer orbit. Separation of the AsiaSat 9 satellite occurred as planned, 9 hours, 13 minutes after lift-off.

This was the 416th launch for Proton since its maiden flight in 1965. The Proton Breeze M vehicle is developed and built by Khrunichev Space Center of Moscow.

Built by SSL (Space Systems Loral), AsiaSat 9 will provide enhanced performance, higher efficiency and greater flexibility for DTH, video distribution, VSAT broadband and mobility services. AsiaSat 9 is a replacement satellite for AsiaSat 4 at 122°E with multiple C, Ku and Ka-band payloads. It carries the world’s first dedicated Ku-band Myanmar beam, new Ku-band beams for Indonesia and Mongolia, in addition to two enhanced Ku-band beams serving Australasia and East Asia and a wider high-power C-band coverage across the Asia-Pacific region. The five Ku band beams onboard AsiaSat 9 are equipped with cross-strap beam switching capability to provide flexible coverage.

ILS President Kirk Pysher said, “This is our 5th launch with AsiaSat over our long history with them, having launched over half of AsiaSat’s operational fleet. We are proud to have played a key role in the growth of AsiaSat’s business over the years. We appreciate the AsiaSat, ILS, Khrunichev, SSL mission teams for their dedication to ensuring a successful launch.”

“With Proton’s unique optimized delivery to orbit, extending the lifetime of the AsiaSat 9 satellite, AsiaSat is once again creating exceptional value for our services in Asia,” said Andrew Jordan, President and Chief Executive Officer of AsiaSat. “AsiaSat 9 will provide additional and enhanced services to a wide region of Asia and some ground-breaking capabilities in power and efficiency in some new regions. Sincere thanks to all of the AsiaSat 9 team members for a perfect mission and launch.”

About ILS
ILS provides launch services for satellite operators and offers a complete array of services and support, from contract arrangements, mission management and on-orbit delivery. ILS markets the Proton Breeze M, Proton Medium, and Angara 1.2 launch services to commercial and government satellite operators worldwide. ILS is a U.S. company headquartered in Reston, VA., near Washington, D.C.
For more information, visit, Twitter, FacebookInstagram, and YouTube

About AsiaSat
Asia Satellite Telecommunications Company Limited (AsiaSat), the leading satellite operator in Asia, serves over two-thirds of the world’s population with its six satellites, AsiaSat 3S, AsiaSat 4, AsiaSat 5, AsiaSat 6, AsiaSat 7 and AsiaSat 8. The AsiaSat satellite fleet serves both the broadcast and telecommunications industries. Over 600 television and radio channels are now delivered by the company’s satellites offering access to more than 830 million TV households across the Asia-Pacific region. AsiaSat’s new satellite, AsiaSat 9, was successfully launched on 29 September to replace AsiaSat 4. AsiaSat is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Asia Satellite Telecommunications Holdings Limited, a company listed on The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited (Stock Code: 1135). For more information, please visit


Media inquiries: Karen Soriano, Director of Communications and Customer Relations, International Launch Services, Reston, Va.; +1-571-633-7549; mobile: +1-571-282-5195;, Visit the ILS web site at

Winnie Pang, Manager, Marketing Communications; Tel: (852) 2500 0880; Email:

Travelxp 4K gearing up for commercial launch on 1 October at Eutelsat’s popular HOTBIRD neighbourhood

Paris, 28 September 2017 – Eutelsat Communications announces the commercial launch in Europe on 1 October of Travelxp 4K at its popular HOTBIRD video neighbourhood. Travelxp 4K, the world’s first 4K HDR channel, will leverage HOTBIRD’s market-leading penetration into cable and IPTV networks across Europe, the Middle East and North Africa.

Travelxp 4K will be available in English, Spanish Polish, Serbian, Croatian and Dutch in the coming months. Localisation in other languages will shortly be announced. The channel will initially feature 100 hours of world class travel programmes filmed across the world with multicultural hosts. The 4K version of the Travelxp brand follows the success of Travelxp HD that offers 100% of originally-produced premium travel and lifestyle programming distributed to over 50 million homes globally.

Now encrypted, Travelxp 4K is encoded in HEVC, at 50 frames per second (50p), with 10 bits of colour depth (1 billion colours), in the BT2020 colour space, and High Dynamic Range (HDR) with the Hybrid Log Gamma (HLG) standard developed by the BBC and NHK that creates richer and more dynamic images by increasing the contrast ratio between the lightest and darkest areas of the screen and expanding the volume of colours displayed. The HLG standard enables Standard Dynamic Range (SDR) TV sets to display an Ultra HD image (in SDR mode).

Travelxp 4K CEO, Prashant Chothani, commented: “We started the test feed on Eutelsat’s HOTBIRD neighbourhood at the beginning of the year and kept it Free-to-Air to enable operators and hardware vendors to access an HLG HDR content feed. As the world’s first 4K HDR channel, we are extremely grateful to all partners, vendors and stakeholders who have made this happen. Quality is at the forefront of Travelxp 4K and viewers are going to love the quality of content that we have produced.”

About travelxp 4K

Travelxp 4K is an initiative of Media Worldwide Limited, UK and Celebrities Management Private Limited, a is a privately held company in India, with interest in broadcast, advertising, media consulting and other related services. The company operates 10 (ten) satellite channels across the globe across its group companies.

Further information available at:


Trishala Maheshwari

Tel: +91 9820133783

About Eutelsat Communications

Established in 1977, Eutelsat Communications (Euronext Paris: ETL, ISIN code: FR0010221234) is one of the world’s leading and most experienced operators of communications satellites. The company provides capacity on 39 satellites to clients that include broadcasters and broadcasting associations, pay-TV operators, video, data and Internet service providers, enterprises and government agencies.

Eutelsat’s satellites provide ubiquitous coverage of Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia-Pacific and the Americas, enabling video, data, broadband and government communications to be established irrespective of a user’s location.

Headquartered in Paris, with offices and teleports around the globe, Eutelsat represents a workforce of 1,000 men and women from 32 countries who are experts in their fields and work with clients to deliver the highest quality of service.

For more about Eutelsat please visit

Vanessa O’Connor Tel: + 33 1 53 98 37 91
Marie-Sophie Ecuer Tel: + 33 1 53 98 37 91

Investors and analysts
Joanna Darlington Tel. : +33 1 53 98 35 30
Cédric Pugni Tel. : +33 1 53 98 35 30

Follow us at:

Eutelsat on Twitter  Eutelsat on Facebook  Eutelsat on LinkedIn  Eutelsat on Youtube  Eutelsat on Flickr  Google+

Hitachi Construction Machinery to Use Iridium® for Delivering Global e-Service Across the Planet

MCLEAN, Va., Sept. 27, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Iridium Communications Inc. (NASDAQ:IRDM) today announced a new long-term agreement bringing the truly global coverage and reliability of the Iridium® network to Hitachi Construction Machinery Co., Ltd.’s (TSE:6305) (“Hitachi Construction Machinery”) world class Global e-Service construction machinery management system. By integrating Iridium connectivity, Hitachi Construction Machinery’s Global e-Service will now be able to expand to regions and markets previously not possible. Together, Iridium and Hitachi Construction Machinery are making effective, reliable and truly global, construction machinery management possible for Hitachi Construction Machinery’s vast telematics customer base. 

Hitachi Construction Machinery’s Global e-Service construction machinery management system provides customers with robust maintenance information to help companies control CO2 emissions, minimize idling times and monitor fuel consumption. Through this new agreement, Global e-Service customers will be able to easily access and transfer critical data, that convey key operational information, including but not limited to, daily operation hours, temperatures and pressures. Quake Global, a key Iridium hardware manufacturer, provides its Iridium satellite network-based product for Hitachi Construction Machinery to integrate Global e-Service with the network.

“At Hitachi Construction Machinery, we are committed to providing reliable and accurate asset management capabilities to our customers with our Global e-Service system,” said Toru Kurenuma, general manager, design department control system center at Hitachi Construction Machinery. “Iridium’s network will afford us a new level of global connectivity that will help us grow our telematics business and expand our worldwide footprint.”

Iridium’s network is uniquely qualified for mobile telematics and serving the Internet of Things (IoT) beyond the reach of terrestrial networks, due to the inherent advantages it boasts.  Iridium operates the only 100-percent global network comprised of interconnected LEO satellites.  Due to its proximity to Earth in LEO, Iridium’s network delivers low-latency and reliable connectivity supporting critical business functions, like remote asset tracking, vehicle management and preventative maintenance.  With constantly moving satellites that can communicate with each other, end users have access to enhanced reliability and connectivity, even in the most remote locations.

“Partnering with Hitachi Construction Machinery is a major milestone for Iridium’s IoT business,” said Tim Last, vice president and general manager, IoT at Iridium. “We are excited to work together in making reliable, satellite-based telematics solutions available to Hitachi Construction Machinery’s Global e-Service customers.  Integrating with our network will allow Hitachi Construction Machinery to deliver improved performance and better coverage to its customers, helping expand their business into new regions previously not possible, due to lack of satellite coverage.  When deploying business critical communications, such as those with Global e-Service, reliability is key, and we are the only network that can offer that level of dependability and connectivity.”

To date, Iridium IoT services are used by eight of the top 20 heavy equipment, original equipment manufacturers, and includes five of the top 10. As the satellite IoT market continues to grow through the increased adoption of satellite-enabled telematics solutions, the need for global and reliable solutions will increase, further establishing Iridium’s position as a leader in this space.

All Iridium IoT services are compatible with Iridium’s next-generation constellation, Iridium NEXT. The new constellation, which is currently being launched by SpaceX, will also enable Iridium Certussm, the Company’s state-of-the-art communications platform supporting a portfolio of critical communications solutions.  Specifically, for Iridium IoT solutions, Iridium Certus will support faster speeds and higher throughputs, delivering an enhanced version of the low latency satellite connectivity it provides today.

For more information about Iridium’s IoT products and services, please visit

For more information about Hitachi Construction Machinery’s Global e-Service system, please visit

About Iridium Communications Inc.
Iridium is the only mobile voice and data satellite communications network that spans the entire globe. Iridium enables connections between people, organizations and assets to and from anywhere, in real time. Together with its ecosystem of partner companies, Iridium delivers an innovative and rich portfolio of reliable solutions for markets that require truly global communications. The company has a major development program underway for its next-generation network — Iridium NEXT. Iridium Communications Inc. is headquartered in McLean, Va., U.S.A., and its common stock trades on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the ticker symbol IRDM. For more information about Iridium products, services and partner solutions, visit

About Hitachi Construction Machinery 
Hitachi Construction Machinery Co., Ltd. (TSE:6305), headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, is a global construction machinery company with approximately 20,000 employees worldwide. Fiscal 2016 (ended March 31, 2017) consolidated revenues totaled 753 billion yen. Hitachi Construction Machinery will focus more than ever on the Construction and Mining Machinery Business, which includes Hydraulic Excavators, Wheel Loaders, Rigid Dump Trucks, Compaction Equipment, Cranes & Foundation Machines, Applications and Mine Management Systems. For more information on Hitachi Construction Machinery, visit the company’s website at:

Forward Looking Statements
Statements in this press release that are not purely historical facts may constitute forward-looking statements as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The Company has based these statements on its current expectations and the information currently available to us. Forward-looking statements in this presentation include statements regarding the deployment and capabilities of the Iridium NEXT constellation and products and services to be offered over the constellation, including Iridium Certus and the Aireon system. Forward-looking statements can be identified by the words “anticipates,” “may,” “can,” “believes,” “expects,” “projects,” “intends,” “likely,” “will,” “to be” and other expressions that are predictions or indicate future events, trends or prospects. These forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of Iridium to differ materially from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, uncertainties regarding potential delays in the Iridium NEXT deployment, the development and functionality of Iridium NEXT and related products and services, and the company’s ability to maintain the health, capacity and content of its satellite constellation, as well as general industry and economic conditions, and competitive, legal, governmental and technological factors. Other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated by the forward-looking statements include those factors listed under the caption “Risk Factors” in the Company’s Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2016, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) on February 23, 2017, as well as other filings Iridium makes with the SEC from time to time. There is no assurance that Iridium’s expectations will be realized. If one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or if Iridium’s underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those expected, estimated or projected. Iridium’s forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this press release, and Iridium undertakes no obligation to update forward-looking statements.

Press Contact:

Jordan Hassin                                                                                                  
Iridium Communications Inc.
+1 (646) 872-0067
Twitter: @IridiumComm

Investor Contact:

Kenneth Levy
Iridium Communications Inc.
+1 (703) 287-7570
Twitter: @IridiumIR

Preparing to fly Sentinel-5P

Preparing to fly Sentinel-5P

Members of the Sentinel-5P mission control team seen in ESA’s Main Control Room, Darmstadt, Germany, 26 September 2017, conducting simulation training to prepare for launch, planned for 13 Oct.

Team training

26 September 2017

The teams that will fly Sentinel-5P are training intensively for launch, ensuring that everyone knows their job and can react to any emergency.

A ‘team of teams’ at ESA’s mission control centre has spent months preparing to assume control of Europe’s next Earth observation mission, and the final weeks before launch have been the most intense.

Sentinel-5P – the P refers to ‘precursor’ – is the first mission for Copernicus dedicated to monitoring our atmosphere.

The satellite carries the state-of-the-art Tropomi instrument that will map a multitude of trace gases such as nitrogen dioxide, ozone, formaldehyde, sulphur dioxide, methane, carbon monoxide and aerosols – all of which affect the air we breathe, and therefore our health, and our climate.

Expansion of the Sentinel fleet in orbit highlights the expertise of teams at ESA and their capability to fly ‘constellation’ missions, as Sentinel-5P will fly in tight coordination with the US Suomi-NPP mission.

The challenging task of flying Sentinel-5P throughout its planned seven-year mission starts just 93 minutes after liftoff on 13 October, set for 09:27 GMT (11:27 CEST), on a Rockot from Russia’s Plesetsk Cosmodrome.

Phoning home


That’s when the satellite, already in space after separating from the rocket some 14.5 minutes earlier, will make its first call home, signalling via a ground station in Sweden to ESA’s main control room in Darmstadt, Germany.

“It’s called ‘acquisition of signal’, and it’s the moment when the years of careful development and preparation for our mission control systems, and the months of training for our mission control teams, will prove their worth,” says flight operations director Pier Paolo Emanuelli.

That moment is one of the riskiest for the satellite: its rocket must have provided the right boost to put it into the planned orbit, and until its solar panels deploy to start generating power, it must survive on batteries, which will last only for a limited time.

“Once we get the signal, and establish a commanding link with the satellite, we’ll begin a critical series of activities and procedures to verify the satellite’s health, ensure we have solar power and full communications, activate systems like the startracker cameras for navigation and ensure that 5P is fully functional after the incredibly vigorous ride into space.”

These initial activities continue around the clock for the first three days, after which the team will switch to daytime work, if all goes well, and move on to the next phase of the mission: commissioning the Tropomi sensor.

Training for all possibilities

If anything does go wrong, ESA will be well prepared. Since mid-July, the mission control teams – including the operations engineers, flight dynamics specialists, teams from ground stations, the science and project teams and representatives from European industry – have conducted 20 simulations out of the planned 26.


After this, mission control gets busy

Each runs for a full day, and employs sophisticated software to replicate the satellite and ground systems. Trainers can inject faults, errors and breakdowns into the simulation, testing the skill and knowledge of even the most experienced engineers and the teamwork and problem-solving abilities of everyone.

“The human factor is the one that determines the success of the mission. There is no single responsibility, and it is great to see our teams working together,” says spacecraft operations manager Daniel Mesples.

Getting ready to go to space

Between now and launch day, the final round of ‘sims’ will take place twice per week, culminating with a final dress rehearsal on 11 October, which, by tradition, simulates a completely normal launch sequence.

At ESOC, a member of the Sentinel-5P mission control team watches intently as data flow in from the ‘satellite’ – in reality, a simulation programme – during training on 7 September 2017

Intense work

This will involve the teams in Darmstadt, ground stations in Sweden, the Antarctic, Canada and Norway, and the ESA and Russian teams at Plesetsk.

During the rehearsal, the mission control systems will be connected to Sentinel-5P sitting on top of the rocket via a ground link, which will be removed only a few minutes before liftoff.

“We will already have practised an extensive range of contingency situations, and experience shows it’s good for team morale to run though a fully normal launch sequence one final time just prior to liftoff,” says Daniel.

On 12 October, the flight operations director will certify to the launch authorities that the mission control teams are fully trained, that the ground systems and facilities are tested and ready, and that launch can proceed.

“In September, the ESA centre celebrated its 50th anniversary in Darmstadt, and its rich history of 77 missions,” says Daniel.

“It’s terrific that this month has seen many of us practising and training to do what it has excelled in for five decades – preparing to go to space.”

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[ISS / Japanese Experiment Module (KIBO)] Development of new experimental platform 'MARS' – Multiple Artificial-gravity Research System – to elucidate the impacts of micro/partial gravity on mice

Development of new experimental platform ‘MARS’ – Multiple Artificial-gravity Research System – to elucidate the impacts of micro/partial gravity on mice

Last Updated: September 26, 2017

This Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) project focused on elucidating the impacts of partial gravity (partial g) and microgravity (μg) on mice using newly developed mouse habitat cage units (HCU) that can be installed in the Centrifuge-equipped Biological Experiment Facility (CBEF) in the International Space Station Kibo module.

In the first mission, 12 C57BL/6 J male mice were housed under μg or artificial earth-gravity (1 g). Mouse activity was monitored daily via downlinked videos; μg mice floated inside the HCU, whereas artificial 1 g mice were on their feet on the floor.

After 35 days of habitation, all mice were returned to the Earth and processed. Significant decreases were evident in femur bone density and the soleus/gastrocnemius muscle weights of μg mice, whereas artificial 1 g mice maintained the same bone density and muscle weight as mice in the ground control experiment, in which housing conditions in the flight experiment were replicated.

These data indicate that these changes were particularly because of gravity. They also present the first evidence that the addition of gravity can prevent decreases in bone density and muscle mass, and that the new platform ‘MARS’ may provide novel insights on the molecular-mechanisms regulating biological processes controlled by partial gg.

This study is published in Nature Scientific Reports, please visit:
Scientific Reports

*All times are Japan Standard Time (JST)