Funding boost for UK climate space data industries
The UK Space Agency and the National Centre for Earth
Observation (NCEO) have announced that they will be jointly funding
a project to provide a seamless supply chain of climate data from
space. The funding will pay for data processing facilities,
community tools and software to allow regular production of climate
data from existing satellite instruments. The aim of the project is
to boost growth and innovation in the UK's climate services
SES to increase stake in O3b
Satellite operator SES is to acquire 100% of O3B Networks. Back
in April, the company announced plans to pay US$20m for a
controlling stake, increasing its 49.1% (fully diluted) interest in
O3b to 50.51%. SES now intends to exercise its call option under
the purchase agreement to acquire the remaining 49.5% of shares for
US$710m. Karim Michel Sabbagh, President and CEO of SES commented:
"O3b's MEO constellation is a key accelerator in the
execution of SES's differentiated strategy and substantially
improves SES's competitive positioning, particularly for
applications where low latency is an increasingly central feature.
By moving to 100% now, SES and O3b can immediately begin to realise
important commercial and financing synergies from bringing the two
businesses even closer together."
Europe could lead in SBAS for aviation
Europe has a unique opportunity to provide satellite based
augmentation systems (SBAS) to the aviation industry, according to
Carlo des Dorides, Executive Director of the European Global
Navigation Satellite Systems Agency (GSA). At the recent European
Organisation for Civil Aviation Equipment (EUROCAE) symposium, Mr
Dorides pointed out that Europe could have first-mover advantage
through work that the GSA and EUROCAE are carrying out to develop
SBAS standards. That work is being carried out under the umbrella
of EUROCAE's Galileo Working Group, which is tasked with
fostering the earliest introduction of Galileo-based services for
aviation. Mr Dorides noted that if Europe can be "first out of
the gate" on standards, it will have a better chance of
securing important market share. (Source: GSA press release).
Intelsat offers to buy back bonds
Intelsat announced on 12 May 2016 an offer to bondholders to buy
three lines of senior notes at up to US$625,000,000. The original 9
June expiry date has been extended to 22 June. The announcement did
not result in a change to Moody's Corporate Family Rating for
Intelsat which remains at B3 due to the group's debt and modest
free cash flow.
SpaceX has further success with re-usable rocket
SpaceX completed another successful launch and subsequent
landing of the first stage of its reusable rocket on a platform
floating in the ocean (6 May 2016). SpaceX's pre-launch
publicity had suggested that a successful landing on the ocean
platform was unlikely, given the mission's Geostationary
Transfer Orbit destination and the fact that the first-stage would
be subject to extreme velocities and re-entry heating. The Falcon 9
launched from Cape Canaveral carrying SkyPerfect JSAT
Corporation's JCSAT-14 communications satellite. JCSAT-14 is a
Space Systems Loral (SSL) telecommunications satellite that will
replace JCSAT-2A, providing coverage to Asia, Russia, Oceania and
the Pacific Islands.
UK Government announces spaceport legislation
The UK government has announced plans for a Modern Transport
Bill. The Bill, announced in the Queen's Speech on 18 May 2016,
will introduce legislation to enable the future development of the
UK's first commercial spaceports. The UK is not alone in its
ambition to become Europe's gateway for commercial space
flight. Plans are underway for Sweden's Spaceport, at Kiruna,
100km above the Arctic Circle to offer commercial human
The 13th and 14th satellites in the
Galileo constellation were successfully launched on an Arianespace
Soyuz rocket from French Guiana on 24 May 2016. Galileo is
Europe's civil global satellite navigation system. Once
complete, the system will consist of 24 operational satellites and
the ground infrastructure for the provision of positioning,
navigation and timing services. The two satellites will undergo
testing before being officially commissioned into the working
constellation later this year.
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In January of this year the findings of "Project MARTHA", a three year study into the causes and effects of crew fatigue, were released – along with proposals as to how best to mitigate against the risks posed by crew fatigue.
It is common practice for traders, usually when they are the sellers of the goods and the charterers of a vessel, to instruct the carrier to discharge cargoes without production of the original bills of lading and to agree to indemnify the carrier against the consequences of doing so.
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