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Space Tech Expo Bremen - 2021 Nov

Viktoria Urban

Mars rover Perseverance collected first rock sample

NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover has collected the first sample of Martian rock, a core from Jezero Crater slightly thicker than a pencil, NASA reported. The core is currently awaiting retrieval in an airtight titanium sample tube with serial number 266. The rover had failed to collect samples on its first try just last month.

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NASA selects five US firms for lunar lander studies

NASA announced it will grant US $146 million to five US companies to conduct studies for future lunar lander concepts. This will enable a “steady pace of crewed trips to the lunar surface under the Artemis program,” NASA said. The five companies and their awards are Blue Origin: US $25.6M, Dynetics: US $40.8M, Lockheed Martin: US $35.2M, Northrop Grumman: US $34.8M and SpaceX: US $9.4M.

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BAE Systems acquires In-Space Missions

BAE Systems acquired In-Space Missions to make it a fully-owned subsidiary, In-Space announced. In-Space, founded in 2015, designs, builds and operates bespoke space missions for customers. The company specialises in space services for earth observation, navigation, satellite communications, and space exploration.

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Spire Global acquires exactEarth to boost maritime data business

Spire Global and exactEarth Ltd. announced their agreement for Spire to acquire exactEarth for approximately US $161.2 million in cash and stock. After the merger, exactEarth will be fully owned by Spire and will become a subsidiary operating from Cambridge, Ontario, Canada. The combined company will accelerate Spire’s customer base by over 75% and will ensure cross-selling opportunities.

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Hungarian government adopts ambitious space strategy

The Hungarian government announced that it accepted a document identifying the cornerstones that set out the country’s opportunities and future development directions in the field of space. The aim is to make Hungary an active player in space exploration and space activities. The government’s vision is for the country to play a regional leading role in certain development areas.

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JAXA and ESA spacewalkers carry out system upgrades on ISS

Astronauts Akihiko Hoshide of JAXA and Thomas Pesquet of ESA conducted the first spacewalk by two international partner astronauts without a NASA astronaut on Sunday, 8:15 a.m. ET, NASA reported. The event happened just three days after the Russian spacewalk. This was Hoshide’s fourth and Pasquet’s sixth extravehicular activity (EVA) and the 12th spacewalk of the year.

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SpaceX launches all-civilian crew into three-day Earth orbit

SpaceX is launching four civilians into space on Wednesday, 8:00 pm ET from launch pad 39A, at NASA's Kennedy Center, Reuters reports. The three-day mission marks the first time to enter Earth orbit with exclusively private citizens. The news comes after billionaires Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos both conducted few-minute space flights during the summer.

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South Korean consortium invests in Relativity Space

A consortium of three South Korean companies invests US $50 million in American rocket start-up Relativity Space, News Naver reported. The three companies are Hanwha Aerospace, NH Investment & Securities and Consus Asset Management. The investment is part of the US $650 million Relativity Space raised in the Series E funding round in June, Maeil Economic Daily said.

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DARPA increases Lockheed Martin’s Blackjack contract

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) increased Lockheed Martin’s contract for the Blackjack program by US $25.3 million, the agency announced. The Blackjack project is aimed at validating high-speed military communication, navigation and missile warning capabilities of small satellites.

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