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Armenia Becomes 43rd SIgnatory to the Artemis Accords

NASA and Armenia

Armenia has become the newest signatory to the Artemis Accords, signing the instrument during a ceremony with the U.S. State Department at NASA Headquarters in Washington. Armenia consequently joins 42 other countries in a commitment to advancing principles for the safe, transparent, and responsible exploration of the Moon, Mars and beyond.

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SOMA Package on Space Biology is Now Publicly Available

SOMA

The Space Omics and Medical Atlas (SOMA) package of manuscripts, data, protocols, and code has been publicly released. The package represents the largest-ever compendium of data for aerospace medicine and space biology with more than 100 institutions from over 25 countries working together for a coordinated 2024 release of molecular, cellular, physiological, phenotypic, and spaceflight data. 

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China Partners Egypt and Bahrain Towards Chang’e-7 Mission

China

China has signed a cooperation agreement with the Egyptian Space Agency (EgSA), Bahrain’s National Space Science Agency, and the Changchun Institute of Optics, Fine Mechanics and Physics towards its upcoming Chang'e 7 lunar mission. The parties signed a Scientific and Technical Cooperation Contract for the joint development of a Hyperspectral Imager of the Lunar Surface Material on Chang'e-7. The camera will subsequently image and analyze lunar surface materials from orbit, including the moon’s polar regions. 

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Chang’e-6 Completes Lunar Rendezvous in Time for Home Trip

The Chang'e-6 moon probe's ascender module has completed its rendezvous and subsequently docked with the orbiter and returner assembly in the lunar orbit. The lunar samples then transferred to the returner module in preparation for its journey back to the Earth. On June 2, the Chang'e-6 lander and ascender assembly, with the support of the Queqiao-2 relay satellite, successfully landed in the landing area in the South Pole-Aitken Basin on the moon's South Pole.

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MDA Space Joins Starlab as Strategic Partner and Equity Owner

voyager space

Starlab Space LLC (Starlab Space), the global joint venture between Voyager Space, Airbus, and Mitsubishi Corporation, has welcomed MDA Space Ltd., a trusted mission partner to the rapidly expanding global space industry, as a strategic partner and equity owner in Starlab Space. The Starlab US-led partnership continues to expand, extending the joint venture's global reach into Canada.

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NTT DOCOMO and Space Compass Invest USD$100 million in AALTO

Airbus

A consortium of Japanese businesses led by NTT DOCOMO, Inc. and Space Compass Corporation, together with Mizuho Bank Limited and the Development Bank of Japan Inc., has committed to invest USD$100m in AALTO HAPS Limited ("AALTO"), which manufactures and operates the stratospheric, solar-powered Zephyr High Altitude Platform Station (HAPS). The investment will happen through the Japanese Consortium’s investment vehicle, HAPS JAPAN Corporation.

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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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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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