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Joshua Faleti

SpaceX Targets June 6 for Starship’s Fourth Flight Test

Starship 4th flight test

SpaceX has announced that it is now targeting 6 June 2024 for Starship's fourth flight test pending regulatory approvals. The flight test will fly a similar trajectory as the previous flight test, with Starship aiming to splashdown in the Indian Ocean. This flight path will not require a deorbit burn for reentry, to maximize public safety while still providing SpaceX the opportunity to meet its primary objective of a controlled Starship reentry.

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Webb Discovers the Universe’s Most Distant Galaxy

An international team of astronomers using the NASA/ESA/CSA James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) has found a record-breaking galaxy observed only 290 million years after the Big Bang. The team used Webb to observe galaxies as part of the JWST Advanced Deep Extragalactic Survey (JADES) program. Using Webb’s NIRSpec (Near-Infrared Spectrograph), scientists obtained a spectrum of the galaxy which also corresponded to a redshift of about 14.

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Vega-C Zefiro-40 Rocket Motor Completes Hot-Fire Test

Vega-C prime contractor Avio has tested the Zefiro-40 solid rocket motor, the second stage of the Vega-C rocket at its Salto di Quirra test facility in Sardinia, Italy. The rocket motor features an improved engine nozzle design, necessary to prepare for Vega-C's return to flight by the end of 2024. The initial post-test review indicated that the new nozzle assembly performed as expected throughout the scheduled 94-second burning time of the test, simulating a nominal in-flight performance.

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China Prepares to Land Chang’e on the Far Side of the Moon

CGTN

China is preparing to land its Chang'e vehicle on the dark side of the moon after it launched the vehicle from the Wenchang Satellite Launch Center three weeks ago. According to the European Space Agency (ESA), the landing is now set for 00:00 UTC on the second of June. The spacecraft aims to collect about two kilograms of lunar samples from the unexplored lunar south pole, including lunar soil and rocks, which it will subsequently try to return to Earth. 

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South Korea Establishes National Space Agency, KASA

KASA South Korea

South Korea has officially launched its space agency, the Korea AeroSpace Administration (KASA), to lead policy and industrial development in South Korea's aerospace sector. The establishment was made possible after the Country's national assembly passed a special law in January to unify government organizations in charge of space policy and projects. The new agency is based in Sacheon, South Gyeongsang Province, with an annual budget of 758.9 billion won ($556 million) this year. 

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Agnikul Cosmos Launches 3D-Printed Semi-Cryogenic Rocket

Agnikul Cosmos has successfully performed a sub-orbital test flight of its 3D-printed semi-cryogenic rocket -- Agnibaan -- from its launch pad at Sriharikota, after four failed attempts. Agnikul Cosmos was able to meet all the mission objectives of the controlled vertical ascent flight with nominal performance. The Company designed the vehicle in-house and used a single piece 3d printed engine to power the flight. 

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USGIF Announces Collegiate Accreditation for SDSU and UIUC

SDSU

The United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation (USGIF) has announced the accreditation of two new collegiate programs. Accreditation for the undergraduate certificate in Geospatial Intelligence (GEOINT) has been granted to South Dakota State University (SDSU) in Brookings, South Dakota. Additionally, the graduate certificate and master’s degree programs in CyberGIS and Geospatial Data Science at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) in the twin cities of Urbana and Champaign, Illinois, have earned USGIF accreditation.

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North Korea Spy Satellite Launch Ends in a Mid-flight Explosion

KCNA North Korea

North Korea’s attempt to launch a second military reconnaissance satellite into orbit failed after the rocket carrying the reconnaissance satellite exploded mid-air during the flight of the first stage. Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported that North Korea’s National Aerospace Technology Administration (NATA) conducted the launch of reconnaissance satellite Malligyong-1-1 at the Sohae Satellite Launching Ground in Cholsan County of North Pyongan Province.

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