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Space

Nelson is hopeful that he’ll be nominated for the position of NASA administrator

The Biden administration is planning to nominate Bill Nelson to fill the position of NASA administrator. This move will be considered a token of appreciation because this former senator was among the proponents of the agency on Capitol Hill. Reliable sources indicate that the administration will be announcing the nomination before the end of this week. The process was supposed to take place early but was postponed to prevent interferences with the Green Run engine test of the Space Launch System core stage that was going to happen at the Stennis Space Center. A recent White House briefing by press secretary Jen Psaki was adamant about divulging details concerning the nomination. She explained that she didn’t have anything to add to what they had already said concerning this matter and that they would continue to brief the country as updates arise.

Nelson became the most suitable nominee about a month ago, going with the previous nomination statistics that the Biden administration has encouraged. In this period, Psaki stated that the White House had no plans for selecting an administrator for this vital agency. Speculations about the nomination of Nelson filled the air in March, and there is no announcement related to the truth of the matter. Nelson is not a newbie in the space community after serving as a senator for three terms in Florida, a position that allowed him to be involved in Senate Commerce Committee and its space subcommittee. Additionally, he also led the establishment of the 2010 NASA authorization act that favored the production of Orion and an SLS rocket after halting the Constellation program. This policy allowed NASA to operate the commercial crew program.

Nelson aggressively participated in the election of the two previous NASA administrators. He advocated for the election of former astronaut Charles Bolden as the administrator, thrashing the other candidates proposed by the Obama administration. Bolden then served the agency through to the end of the Obama Era. Nelson again rallied behind Jim Bridenstine, who has served the Trump administration in NASA until its end. Nelson heaped praise upon Bridenstine for not politicizing the role considering he was a Republican congressman. The current senators will remember Nelson after his service, which was ended when he lost his fourth term election.

One commercial space pioneer stated that selecting Nelson for the position will be advantageous considering his previous choice, Bridenstine, has performed effectively. Experts think that Nelson has an eye for talent, and that is why he is the ideal person to head NASA. Another possible selection is a former astronaut Pam Melroy as Nelson’s deputy, although the details of the nomination are still scanty.

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Energy

Philippines leading grid operator gives Wartsila a contract to install a floating barge-mounted energy storage system

Finnish multinational energy sources manufacturer and service provider, Wartsila Corporation, will supply materials and install a floating barge-mounted 54megawatts (MW) energy storage system in a contract granted by Therma Marine Inc. (TMI).TMI, a subsidiary of Aboitiz Power Corporation, one of the significant grid operators in the Philippines, placed the order in September 2020. The first delivery is expected before the end of 2021 and will be carried out on a fast-track basis.

Wartsila, headquartered in Helsinki, will be the sole engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) operator for this project. Wartsila will install the new barge next to TMI’s thermal power barge with a 100MW capacity in the Maco municipality in Davao de Oro province. “Wartsila will meet our urgent needs with this innovative and unique floating energy storage barge. Their ability to deliver this first-of-a-kind solution in less than 12 months is, to say the least, impressive,” said Aboitiz Power CEO Emmanuel V. Rubio.

This will be the first floating storage system in the South East Asia region. Wartsila will place ten of its Wartsila GridSolv Max system using its GEMS technology. The technology is an intelligent software platform that monitors, controls, and optimizes energy assets on-site and portfolio levels. The project will deliver flexibility for TMI in their subordinate role for the National Grid Corporation.

“In addition to meeting TMI’s needs, it is important to note that Wartsila is the sole EPC provider for this kind of project. The alternative would be to have one supplier for the barge and another for the energy storage system, which would require a lot of coordination and would undoubtedly slow the final delivery considerably,” said Kari Punnonen, Wartsila’s Energy Business Director for the Australasia region. Wartsila’s services in South East Asia are well recorded. The company prides itself on a great portfolio, including 9,000MW of installed systems.2000MW among the 9,000 were installed on an EPC basis, and 300MW represent energy storage technology.

A floating power barge enables a fast supply of electricity to areas with limited infrastructure and is a mobile asset, promoting relocation or trade. Globally, the Finnish company has installed about 26 power barge systems, with a total power output of 1,500MW.GEMS is one of the fastest-growing and widely used energy storage software and integration platform worldwide. It can manage and coincide with any complex composition of energy assets such as wind, solar, thermal, and storage. The Wartsila GridSolv Max is an advanced energy storage solution that can support both stand-alone and combined energy storage systems. The technology provides flexible and modular storage for the core hardware assets within an energy storage system.

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Space

RUAG International becomes a space-centered ‘beyond gravity’ company

RUAG International, the Swiss component manufacturer, sheds its military operations into a space-only operational system that transforms into a ‘beyond gravity’ supplier. The new company is going to invest in news services, with a special focus on the United States and Asia, to broaden internationally

The company moves from a government-owned enterprise mentality to a smart startup with a view to analytical forecasting a space market of $ 1 trillion in the year 2040, stated André Wall, Chief executive of RUAG International. “Access to space was never more appropriate geopolitically,” Wall stated.

Since the parent group RUAG was divided into two independent firms last year, RUAG International has been formed. The Swiss Armed Forces were established to offer services while the RUAG international conducted space, aero-structures, munition, as well as aviation simulation and training activities. The MRO Switzerland supplied services.

General Atomics Europe purchased its activities recently in commercial aircraft and military helicopters. The defense as well as a technology giant. The new plan will allow RUAG International to retreat from military enterprises while optimizing its aero-structural operations ultimately.

Even before the end of 2021, the Swiss company will look for a different owner for its munitions business. However, it was said that the disposal of RUAG Aerostructures could be more difficult due to the impact of COVID-19 on the manufacturing of aircraft. “Not overnight change takes place,” Wall stated.

“We have nevertheless already taken numerous steps to build our present motivated by the upcoming future of us. As a leading tech firm with the highest dependability and attitude for a startup, we contribute greatly to its consistent growth and aim to become an innovation incubator.”

This shift is a major change for a firm that has provided computers, isolation, and processes to Europe’s space missions for over forty years. It follows a modern 5-year strategy by European integration mission manager Telespazio, who is hunting for newspaper purchases as he transforms his business in the next five years.

Telespazio is re-grouping its European space mission integrator after evolving world initiatives that in the 5 years to now are expected to contribute to almost double revenues. In the recent purchase under this strategic plan, the joint venture between the Thales Group of France aerospace giants and the Leonard of Italy acquired the space activities of Vitrociset centereds in Italy in order to improve its support services. Established in 1992, Vitrociset provides a range of defense, safety, space, and transport services by merging its CISET air traffic control company and Vitroselenia, defense logistics provider.

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Space

ISRO expected to launch a “game-changer” satellite on March 28th to monitor India’s borders

Every country on the planet is working on its space industry to ensure that experts can monitor all the happenings like other countries. India is one of the top Asian countries to invest in the space world, with many operational satellites in the earth’s orbit following multiple successful launches. In a recent announcement, India will move a milestone in the country’s security system. Why not when recent reports indicate that ISRA plans on launching a “game-changer” satellite on March 28th. The satellite’s fundamental goal is to deliver real-time images of the countries’ borders while expecting to monitor any suspicious activity or upcoming natural disaster.

This satellite will give India a reliable way of monitoring all the occurrences around its border and taking necessary emergency measures in anything fishy. The GISAT-1 launch date is likely this month on the 28th, and the reports follow after a recent successful launch of another observation satellite, Amazonia-1. It went aboard on the PSLV-C51. After the successful launch, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has been interested in launching the GISAT-1.

The mission that GISAT-1 will carry is fast monitoring upcoming natural disasters and giving images of the borders. This observation satellite will lift-off onboard the GSLV-F10 rocket. Its flight area is the Sriharikota Spaceport, Andhra Pradesh Nellore district, whose location is one-hundred kilometres north of Chennai. In an interview with ISRO’S official, the company hopes to launch the GEO Imaging satellite subject to weather conditions. The GSLV-F10 rocket will position the satellite in the geostationary orbit around 36,000 km from the earth’s equator via the onboard propulsion technique.

Initially, the GISAT-1 launch was to take place on March 5th,  2020. However, the development team raised technical reasons leading to its postponement to March 28th. Experts claim that this launch will take India to a higher and better level with the many advantages that come with this launch. The satellite features high-resolution cameras to allow clear images to monitor India’s landmass. With the data, India can prevent natural disasters and quickly respond to desperate situations.

Other than security, the observation satellite aims at getting spectral signatures in the forestry, agriculture, mineralogy and other ministries. The monitoring will occur at frequent intervals to make sure that experts don’t miss out on anything. With the successful launch of Amazonia-1, ISRO is aware of the benefits of an observation satellite. And this second launch of GISAT-1 to space will make the situation better. The initial forward step ISRO must take is to ensure that the launch is successful with no technical errors. Later, experts can follow necessary instructions for a productive venture.

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Energy

A Study on the future of how OEMs will adopt the Charging Technologies

A recent report has been released following the study on the transformation of EV charging technologies and infrastructure. This study including analyzing the future of the charging technologies adoptions extensively as far as OEMs are concerned. It looked at AC charging, and the DC charging was not excluded either. OEMs have integrated Electric Vehicles in their business strategies. After all, it is a clean energy initiative, and everyone would like to be part of such a life-changing situation. It has also played a considerable role in the automotive sector’s rapid growth in environment conservation and technology.

The future seems bright for electric vehicles, and sooner or later, the sector is most likely going to boom. In preparation for the same, automakers including Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi (RNM), Volkswagen, and Hyundai-Kia are coming up with complementary strategies. What the three have in common is coming up with business units that deal with electric vehicles exclusively. Every action has a reaction, and in this case, the latter is a rise in the need for charging stations. In addition to the infrastructure, there is also a need for safety regulations and standards when using them.

However, the electric vehicle market has its fair share of challenges. They include charging and vehicle range inconveniences, and that’s where the OEMs come in. their focus at the moment is coming up with technology that’s advanced enough to deal with such problems. Nevertheless, what they offer the consumers depend on what the EV on-board chargers (OBCs) dictate. After all, the responsibility of determining the specifications lies on their shoulders. OEMs need to come up with second-generation charging stations to facilitate fast AC charging. Currently, one needs 8 hours to charge a 25 kWh battery unit since most stations have a charging power of 3.7 kW. With the right technology, a power rating of 6.6 kW is possible, resulting in fast charging, saving time, and convenience.

A large percentage of OEMs, 98.3% to be specific, plans to change from 3-5 kW to 6-11 kW OBSs. That makes them ideal for the changing charging infrastructure, which could go up to 43 kW OBCs come 2027. There are high chances that the standard for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles will soon become anything between 6 and 8 kW OBCs, whereas that of battery electric vehicles will be 11 kW OBCs. DC charging will also soon become dominant for battery electric vehicles, and 50-250 kW options will become the standard charging capability. Whereas DC charging is not typical among plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, that is bound to change in the future. After all, at least 8 OEMs are currently working to change it.

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Energy

Minnesota will soon have electric cars and Republicans and Democrats disagree about how the state government should proceed

In Minnesota, electric vehicles account for just a small percentage of all automobiles. That, however, is about to change. Automakers are gradually focusing on electric vehicles over gas-powered vehicles, and state and federal policymakers across the United States are supporting EVs as part of a drive to curb carbon emissions from transportation.

Legislators in Minnesota are considering a slew of reforms to the state’s laws in order to plan for the emergence of electric vehicles. However, Republicans in charge of the Minnesota Senate, as well as Democrats in charge of the Minnesota House, have found no commonality on how exactly the state can respond to the burgeoning sector so far in the year 2021.

The GOP has concentrated on requiring electric vehicle owners to pay a replacement fee in lieu of Minnesota’s gas tax, which funds road construction, as well as stripping Gov. Tim Walz of his authority to set new car emission standards. DFLers also suggested electric car rebates in the hopes of encouraging the state government to buy more electric vehicles, finance the acquisition of the electric buses in the Twin Cities, and install charging stations in the state parks.

Senator Dave Senjem, who is a Rochester Republican who serves as the chairperson of the Senate’s Energy and Utilities Finance and Policy Committee, stated, “I think we all recognize that Electric Vehicle transportation is on its way.” “It’s a modern way of doing things, and it’ll be here sooner than we think.”

Electric vehicles have for a while been predicted to potentially compete with the gas-powered vehicles, but in the United States, those projections have only recently become a reality. General Motors stated in January that by the year 2035, it would only sell electric cars. California, the world’s largest vehicle market, intends to prohibit the selling of gas-powered vehicles by 2035, significantly reducing fossil fuel use in transportation.

Minnesota officials have stated that they would not take similar measures in the near future. Walz, on the other hand, is working to introduce stricter new vehicle pollution regulations that would force automakers to sell more cars in the state. Minnesota’s transportation system emits the most greenhouse gases, surpassing a power grid that has shifted away from the fossil fuels faster compared to the cars and trucks. As per the electric car analysis website EVAdoption, there are only about 14,484 electric or the plug-in hybrid vehicles in Minnesota in the month of September, as well as EVs, had about a 1.14% market share of the net sales in the year 2018, compared to the nation’s top California (7.84%) as well as Washington state (4.28%).

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Energy

The electric vehicle market growth is just the tip of the iceberg

Over one century ago, Pedro Salom started a project that is currently turning into a multi-billion industry. His first module, called Electrobat, became the first prototype Tobe developed in this line of products. However, like all the other models, it had its deficiencies, including covering 25 miles in a single charge at about 20 miles per hour.

Currently, the industry needs electric vehicle models that have a mileage range exceeding 500 miles. This demand is what is propelling the profitability of this industry and the massive production of electric vehicles to secure the market share. Some of the highlight performances in this industry include Tesla, which witnessed 740% gains last year. China was also represented in this sector with Nio, which recorded 1110% gains.

Another company that has come as a surprise package in this industry is Facedrive. The company managed to secure various deals and partnerships that will help it achieve its strategy of becoming eco-friendly. Various government agencies, famous people, and tech giants have bought into the company’s ideas which they intend to utilize to profit and expand their business through acquisition programs.

Most of the electric vehicle companies have been getting some action with the visible performance that they have displayed. For example, General Motors decided to widen its coverage by creating an ecosystem called Bright Drop. On the other hand, Apple is diving into this business with potential contracts with automotive companies like Hyundai and Kia. An additional advantage in this business is the Biden administration taking charge of the USA and announcing plans to implement green energy policies and establish a portfolio for electric vehicles’ high performance. The president also declared plans of pumping billions into the electric vehicle projects. The US intends to substitute 645000 government fleet vehicles with the electrified versions to ensure that the country aligns towards clean-energy cars.

The Biden administration will also be investing in the supportive infrastructure for the electric vehicle. This move will involve the development of more than 550000 electric vehicle charging stations countrywide. The momentum shaping the industry will be sustained with such strategies ensuring that electric vehicles become the order of the day. However, Facedrive had predicted such alignments in this industry and strategically capitalized on the benefits that accrue from such developments. The company has a simple model where each time a customer rides a gas-powered vehicle or an electric vehicle, the algorithm deducts a portion of the fare and places it into planting trees to overcome the carbon footprint. This system is efficient in the elimination of carbon emissions and will eventually grow to other markets.

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Space

EchoStar reveals Nanosatellite mistakes and the Jupiter-3 postponement

During a February 23 quarterly results call, EchoStar Corporation announced another setback in the deployment of the Jupiter-3 communications satellite, as well as the malfunction of two nanosatellites to enter their expected orbits. EchoStar executives shared enthusiasm about the launch of Maxar Technologies’ Jupiter-3 satellite, which will improve Ka-band capability in North as well as South America.

The deployment of Jupiter-3 has been pushed back to the second half of the year 2022, ” primarily attributed to COVID-19 constraints that every firm is facing and also in part due to manufacturing problems with some modules,” according to Pradman Kaul, who serves as the president of Hughes Network Systems. “We are working very closely with Maxar to both alleviate these problems and find ways to reclaim the schedule without placing the satellite at risk.”

The launch vehicle for the Jupiter-3 has been chosen by EchoStar, but it has yet to be announced. The large rocket was chosen, according to Kaul, “should restrict the period of time linked to satellite orbit increasing, assisting our in-service plan.” EchoStar also suffered a drawback when the propulsion mechanisms on two nanosatellites it launched into low Earth orbit to utilize spectrum obtained from the internet-of-things company Helios Wire in 2019 malfunctioned.

The two nanosatellites wanted to adjust their altitude as well as inclination after arriving in orbit on different rideshare flights. “The propulsion onboard the spaceship malfunctioned in both cases,” stated Anders Johnson, president of EchoStar Satellite Services. Tyvak Nano-Satellite Systems sold EchoStar the two S-band cubesats.

“I can verify that owing to the third-party propulsion platform not working nominally, the vehicles did not exceed the maximum operational altitude,” Marco Villa, president and chief operating officer of Tyvak said via email. In the second or even third quarter of the year, EchoStar aims to deploy another nanosatellite with a unique propulsion system.

In the fourth quarter of the year 2020, EchoStar’s overall financial results, as calculated by Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization (EBITDA), improved by 7% over the fourth quarter of the year 2019.  As a result of the higher operating profits, lower interest costs, increased foreign currency sales, and investment gains, EchoStar posted a $2.6 million net loss from the fourth-quarter continuing operations, relative to a $53.7 million net loss one year ago. Hughes had 1.56 million broadband consumers as of December 31.

Via its Hughes Network Systems as well as EchoStar Satellite Services business divisions, EchoStar Corporation is a multinational provider of the satellite communication as well as Internet services. Just before 2008, it was the parent company of DISH Network, which was spun off as DISH effective from January 1, 2008.

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Energy

Restart Energy to Install in Romania a 45 MW Solar Power Plant

Restart Energy is focusing on creating renewable energy to help the planet deal with climate changes. The company’s first step in the journey to the creation of a renewable energy portfolio of 500MW is under a ready-to-build project. It has acquired this deal and has come public about its intention to invest $30 million. The first venture involves the construction of a 45 MW solar power plant.

Restart Energy is one of the top electricity and gas suppliers. In a recent announcement, the Restart Energy claims that it will build a photovoltaic plant in Romania. Its exact location is northwest of Romania. If things go according to plan, Restart Energy will launch the new product next year-end of March. This venture will create jobs for a lot of people. The company needs one hundred people for the construction phase, requiring fifteen permanent workers in the facility.

The plant’s output is estimated to 55 GWh annually, the exact number of 25,000 households in Romania. From the recent reports, this project will reduce the amount of carbon dioxide emission. It will prevent the release of over 1.23 million tons of CO2 in the twenty-five years of its operation. In the company’s announcement, the spokesperson stated that the project is ready to start its building process. The first move will involve developing and integrating the upstream segment with 500 MW renewable energy works by 2025.

 How exactly does Restart Energy plan to achieve this ambitious step? It involves the development of 100 MW annually. Restart Energy has a joint venture alongside the United States’ Interlink Capital Strategies for the endeavor. The company hopes to achieve at least $100 million in the next five years in the investment section. The main targets include wind, solar, biomass, geothermal energy, and biogas.

The company bought the Sarmasag project during its brownfield stage from a team of experts. In a Restart Energy CEO and Founder, Armand Domuta, he expressed his excitement about the new project. He stated that Restart Energy is lucky to have a chance to contribute to the green development energy infrastructure in Romania. Also, the company will balance the grid with the introduction of clean and green energy.

Other than the firm’s funds, the project will receive finances via private banks and equity. The management team is working to boost its economy. Currently, the firm also operates in Serbia and is working on expanding to German and Space. Besides, Restart Energy is interested in joining the European Markets. The company’s move will help create energy that is clean and green from renewable sources. Many people hope to watch this project grow and assist in the planet’s mission to net-zero emission.

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Energy

High Country Conservation Center to roll out strategies to boost EV industry in Summit County, Colorado

High Country Conservation Center is a non-profit organization based in Frisco, Colorado. It provides waste reduction and resource conservation solutions in Summit County. In collaboration with Summit’s administration, the organization has prepared a community-based Electric Vehicle (EV) Readiness Plan. “It is a 10-year plan, and the goal of the plan is to create strategies that will help us expand infrastructure and make it easier for residents and visitors to Summit county to drive an electric vehicle,” said Jess Hoover, Climate Director at High Country Conservation Centre.

Summit County has revealed a couple of plans to boost battery-powered transport in the mountainous region. Municipality leaders and policymakers are pushing for a transition to battery-powered public transport, private cars, and ride-hailing vehicles. By 2030, 30% of all vehicles in Summit County are expected to be electric. Fast forward to 2050, the county government targets to have zero-emissions of greenhouse gases from the transport sector.

According to Michael Wurzel, Sustainability Coordinator for Summit County, there are eight public EV charging stations across the county. Four of them are located at the Summit County Library at Frisco. The other four were installed at the Frisco Transfer Center, and the government plans to add more soon. The county administration is looking to build more charge points at the Courthouse in Breckenridge. The town already has 22 charge points spread across the town hall, recreation center, public works building, as well as the Stephen C. West Ice Arena.

Furthermore, the South Gondola Lot parking center will have about 40 charge stations. The newly constructed structure can accommodate more charging points depending on the demand for EV charging. This information was revealed by Jessie Burkley, Sustainability Coordinator for Breckenridge. In Silverthorne, there are several Tesla charging points serving the public since 2013.

The Summit Community Climate Action Plan (SCCAP) resonates with the initiative by the non-profit organization. Hoover said through creating the plan, they will implement one of the strategies identified to meet the plan’s targets. Summit County, Frisco, Silverthorne, Breckenridge, and Dillon came together to adopt the SCCAP plan.

Hoover’s organization collaborated with key players in Summit County to draw this plan. These include the local authorities, ski communities, Xcel Energy, Charge Ahead Colorado, as well as Southwest Energy Efficiency Project.

“We definitely want to make it more convenient for residents and visitors to drive an electric car in our community, but we also understand that purchasing an electric car is still out of reach for a lot of Summit County residents,” said Hoover. To ensure affordability across the county residents, some communities give discounts on second-hand EVs. Xcel Energy has a dozen programs lined up that will back the organization’s and government’s efforts. Similarly, the Colorado administration has laid out plans to prepare for the transition to battery-powered transport.