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SpaceWatch.Global Opinion

#SpaceWatchGL Opinion: Space Weather Warning: Are We Ready for the Next Solar Superstorm?

The Earth has recently experienced a powerful geomagnetic storm, rated as G4 on a five-point scale. This storm, accompanied by the Sun's most significant solar flare in two decades and a colossal plasma cloud hurtling towards us, is a stark reminder of our vulnerability to space weather. Its effects are expected to persist for at least another week, underscoring the importance of preparedness for future solar storms. 

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#SpaceWatchGL Opinion: 10 iconic marketing campaigns in Space

Marketing in outer space seems like an innovative idea, but it has 60+ years of history. Dr. Wernher von Braun, former Marshall Space Flight Center Director, pointed out on July 22, 1969: "Because without public relations we would have been unable to do it". Today, accelerated access to space provides unprecedented opportunities for #advertising stunts and viral marketing. Some campaigns raise ethical, environmental, and regulatory concerns, while others champion sustainability. 

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#SpaceWatchGL Opinion: Cosmos at a Crossroads – Navigating Astronomy and Satellite Mega-Constellations

ESA illustration of space debris. Credit ESA

Outer space presents myriad concepts for jointly creating inspiration and opportunity as well as challenges. With over 8,000 satellites currently in Earth orbit, reliance on satellite services for communications, imaging, and navigation has become ubiquitous to enhancing the quality of life on Earth. In fact, satellite communication has been deemed a public good since the early 1960s, which has enabled public reliance on space-based telecommunications. Other key satellite applications include weather forecasting, climate monitoring, and navigation support for global transportation.

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#SpaceWatchGL Opinion: Is human capital the recipe for success in the space sector? The ISU perspective

To say that the space sector has seen tremendous growth in the last decade has become somewhat of a platitude. Countless reports show impressive growth and a positive outlook for the future, even suggesting a new ‘golden age’ for the industry. There is also a wide consensus that for the space economy to reach the promise of morphing into a multi-trillion-dollar valuation in the decade to come, we need a strong, resilient, and innovative sector. The health of the space sector today and tomorrow will thus be key to achieving the goals that the space community wishes to see in the years to come.

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#SpaceWatchGL Opinion – The Moon is a Harsh Success

There’s been no shortage of recent attempts at clarifying what the problems are with the definitions of success or failure for a Moon mission. Bearing in mind the pressure applied on CEOs, leadership, and crews of many a lunar-aiming venture business, and equally knowing perfectly well how challenging is to land on the Moon, it is nevertheless important for the insiders of the sector  to develop considerations worthy of lunar stakeholders as they sort out their concerns.

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#SpaceWatchGL Climate – The first case of Space Washing?

On the 26th of January 2024, 118 marine conservation and environmental organizations signed a petition asking Iridium to stop producing their Short Burst Data (SBD) modules, real-time GPS tracking devices, because such service is used in dFADs, short for drifting fish aggregating devices, fishing tools scientifically proven to be environmentally harmful. Iridium’s answer acknowledged the potential issue, but declined the criticism. Whether the responsibility lies in the hands of the satellite tracking service providers, or with wholesale satellite network operators such as Iridium, it’s the first crack in a canvas painted by a domain that refuses to accept and take action upon a bitter reality: Space-based technology is dual-use in every sense, and the extreme efficiency and power of our services can, is and will be used for crimes against the environment, if not thoroughly regulated.

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#SpaceWatchGL Geopolitics : Japan’s Moon Landings – Was It A Success?

The JAXA SLIM (Smart Lander for Investigating Moon) mission soft-landed on the Moon on the night of Friday 18 to Saturday 19 January 2024 Japan Standard Time. JAXA would eventually confirm a successful precision landing for SLIM a few hours later. SLIM landed, but had an “attitude problem,” its position preventing its solar cells from receiving proper illumination.

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#SpaceWatchGL Opinion: IRIS2 – The Elephant(s) In The Room

IRIS2 (pronounced “iris square”) is the new EU secure satellite constellation project, which stands for Infrastructure for Resilience, Interconnectivity, and Security by Satellite. Touted as “the European Union’s answer to pressing challenge of tomorrow, offering enhanced communication capacities to governmental users, businesses, while ensuring high-speed internet broadband to cope with connectivity dead zones,“ IRIS2 is the result of a brilliant vision at the intersection of European “strategic autonomy,” orbital economy and policy, space industry majors, innovative startups, bureaucratic agendas, and a European Union space strategy for security and defense. Like many brilliant visions, it runs the risk of being eaten for breakfast by the tyranny of execution. Could it be different this time?

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#SpaceWatchGL Opinion: Beyond Hegemony – Rethinking Partnerships in a Multipolar World

In the present era, the global landscape is shifting towards increased multipolarity. The world has been fractured in antagonizing spheres of political and economical hegemony, resulting in both competition and conflict. The Russo-Ukrainian war continues. China is broadening its economical and geopolitical influence through grand-investments and the support of evolving economies. The BRICS have doubled their members and a variety or regional alliances appear to take shape. Europe faces the task of adjusting to the evolving power dynamics.

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