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NASA’s Charlie Bolden: Bringing Humans to Mars and Humanity Together

Charles Bolden, the administrator of the US space agency NASA, is visiting the Middle East to encourage greater international cooperation in the exploration of the planet Mars. Before departing Washington, DC, on 3 June 2016 for his visit to Israel, Jordan, and the United Arab Emirates, Mr. Bolden wrote on his …

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Luxembourg to boldly go where nobody has ever gone: the spaceresources.lu initiative to conquer celestial resources in deep space

Luxembourg may be one of the tiniest nations on Earth, but it’s ambitions to go where no one ever went, notably into deep space, are truly out of this world. Already amongst the top-ten space-faring nations worldwide, Luxembourg on 3 June 2016 announced that the Grand-Duchy is resolutely forging ahead with …

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Satellites and the Middle East’s cyber wars

The latest round of cyber skirmishes that have erupted between Iranian and Saudi Arabian hackers is a timely reminder that Middle Eastern satellites and their operators are vulnerable to more sophisticated cyber attacks. ThorGroup’s Dr. John B. Sheldon explores this often discussed yet poorly understood threat to space systems. On …

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What if Iran’s space programme is what the Iranians say it is… a space programme?

What if Iran’s space programme is exactly what the Iranian government says it is… a space programme? What if Iran’s Simorgh and Safir rockets are actual space launch vehicles rather than a cover for the development of long-range ballistic missiles? And, if we are to assume all of this is …

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Spacepower in the Middle East: The Paradox of Strategic Depth and Transparency

Tragically, the Middle East has been the backdrop for changes in the character of war over the past few decades. With the rapid dissemination of high-resolution Earth observation satellites throughout the region, even more changes in the character of war are in store, argues ThorGroup’s Dr. John B. Sheldon. The unique, …

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Securing reliable satellite navigation in the Middle East

It is difficult to overstate the critical importance of satellite navigation for the Middle East, yet the service is vulnerable to disruption. ThorGroup’s Dr. John B. Sheldon examines the threats to satellite navigation in the region, and ways to mitigate their worst effects. When Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) seized …

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No Pressure: The Hope Mars Mission and the Future of UAE Space Exploration

Recent developments in international space exploration plans for Mars have inadvertently placed the UAE’s Hope Mars Mission in the forefront, and impact the future of UAE’s space exploration ambitions. ThorGroup’s Chairman and President, Dr. John B. Sheldon, explains. Without even knowing or asking for it, the past several weeks have …

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Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030: A Golden Opportunity for Space?

ThorGroup’s Chairman and President, Dr. John B. Sheldon, explores the role of space in Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 recently announced economic and social reform programme. He argues that Vision 2030 is a golden opportunity for Saudi Arabian space. Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the son of King Salman and Deputy Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, …

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Iran’s Future Spy Satellites: What Can Be Done?

With the Iranian sanctions regime steadily coming apart, it is only a matter of time before Iran acquires – or even develops on its own – a high-resolution imaging satellite that will revolutionise its military and civil remote-sensing capabilities. Such a development is of particular concern to a number of countries …

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