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NASA puts SpaceX’s Moon landing award on hold

Following complaints by competitors, the U.S. space agency NASA suspended SpaceX’s work on the Human Landing System (HLS). Pursuant to protests of Blue Origin and Dynetics to the Government Accountability Office (GAO), NASA “instructed SpaceX that progress on the HLS contract has been suspended”, NASA said.

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EU enlarges mandate of new space agency EUSPA

Much more than a renaming: The European Union strengthens one of its main pillars to execute on its €14.88 billion space programme that the European Parliament approved on Tuesday. It transforms the European Agency for Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GSA) in Prague into the EU Agency for the Space Programme (EUSPA).

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NASA sees strong support from Biden in first 100 days

A 100 day track record: “In just the first 100 days of their administration, President Biden and Vice President Harris have expressed strong support for NASA’s goals and missions – and have laid out a vision that will guide the agency for the years to come,” said acting NASA Chief of Staff Bhavya Lal.

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OHB to launch ‘in-house’ with Rocket Factory Augsburg

Luxembourg, 28 April 2021. – OHB wants to launch with Rocket Factory Augsburg (RFA) in 2024 and 2025, the company said. OHB Cosmos and the Luxembourg-based OHB affiliate LuxSpace signed a contract for a dedicated launch with RFA for upcoming missions scheduled for mid-2024 and 2025, OHB said.

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FCC accepts to modify SpaceX’s Starlink license

Luxembourg, 28 April 2021. – The Federal Communication Commission (FCC) in the U.S. accepted to modify SpaceX’s Starlink license in the low Earth orbit (LEO), the commission said. Subject to a couple of conditions, the FCC granted SpaceX to change the primary operational altitude for 2814 satellites from the original 1100 to 1300 kilometer range to the new 540 to 570 kilometer range.

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Date set for the European STM Conference for 7 July 2021

At its fourth meeting on 21 April 2021, the preparatory group for the European Space Traffic Management (STM) Conference set 7 July 2021 as the date for this event in virtual format. “With the progress we made at the hearing in March and the mapping we conducted at our preparatory group meeting this week, we are well prepared for an early July date” said Kai-Uwe Schrogl,

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#SpaceWatchGL Column: The Integrated Review and UK Spacepower: A Mental Shift?

In March 2021 the UK Ministry of Defence published its Defence Command Paper, ‘Defence in a Competitive Age’ referred to as the DCP, dovetailing the UK Government’s ‘Global Britain in a Competitive Age: the Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy’ referred to as the IR. To much less fanfare a Defence and Security Industrial Strategy,

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Experts wary of space debris while SpaceX denies “close call” with OneWeb

Paris, 21 April 2021. – European space experts call for a better control of space debris and regulation of space traffic, the Financial Times (FT) reports. The launch of thousands of new satellites in ‘mega-constellations’ to improve global internet access will exacerbate the growing problem of space debris, the FT quoted experts from a conference of the European Space Agency (ESA) yesterday.

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Major consultation with prospective users of EU GOVSATCOM services is under way

A European-wide survey aimed at identifying user needs and use cases for future EU GOVSATCOM services will be carried out by EU Member States and EU agencies within the ENTRUSTED project. The survey is addressed to governmental and institutional users managing security-critical missions, operations and infrastructures. Information will be collected between April and June.

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