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#spacewatchgl Opinion: How Africa and Europe May be Compromising Private Sector Participation in the African Space Industry

Africa, much like the US, Europe, and China, has demonstrated its interest in using space as a means to a societal end. In Africa’s case, the continent has awakened to how space, specifically space science and technology, can assist in addressing Africa’s social and economic challenges. The way the African Space Strategy puts it, Africa needs “an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in the global arena." The rapid global development of spatial activities is a nifty representation of the fact that the same awakening happened in other parts of the world way before Africa. This may mean that Africa is late to the party, but perhaps it's more encouraging to see it as Africa being able to learn the best model for space development from other more advanced spacefaring nations.

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POLARIS successfully tests spaceplane engine

Firing of Polaris engine. Credit Polaris

Polaris, a German aerospace start-up, successfully ignited their AS-1 engine on the 22nd of November. This Hot Fire Test was the first time the engine had been ignited. The test took place on an airfield at a former airport in northern Germany. The main material of the engine is Inconel and this engine is a heavy ground test version, with lighter versions of the engine for in-flight testing. 

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Kayrros to launch global methane map at COP28

Kayrros to launch global methane map at COP28. Credit Kayrros

Kayrros, an environmental intelligence company, launched a free version of their Methane Map at COP28. It is an open-access, live map which draws insights from Kayrros’ Methane Watch product. With the new Methane Map, Kayrros aims to make climate data more accessible, and give governments, institutions, investors, insurers and individuals to gain insights at every level, from regional overviews to specific facilities. 

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CAMoes 2023 – Interview with Dr Pedro Marques-Quinteiro

The day after the team left the cave, they gave lectures in the local schools. During the session in a full seated alma mater in the school with over 200 kids and teachers, Torsten Kriening spoke with Dr Pedro Marques-Quinteiro. Pedro is an Organisational Psychologist with over 10 years of experience working with people in high reliability organisations and extreme work environments. In March 2018 and February 2020, he led two scientific expeditions to King George (Antarctica) to study teamwork in isolated, confined, and extreme environments. He supports CAMões human performance and behaviour research.

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CAMoes 2023 – Interview with Dr Aidyl Gonzalez-Serricchio

In an interview directly after the end of the mission, Dr Aidyl Gonzalez-Serricchio, member of CAMoes Crew Zero, gave Torsten Kriening an interview near her home in the cave. Aidyl is a research scientist experienced in space research analogs focusing on astrobiology. She earned her Doctorate in Molecular Genetics at California Institute of Technology and went on to complete postdoctoral work on myotonic dystrophy at the Institute of Genetic Medicine at the University of California, where she gained valuable experience in translational research. She will support CAMões molecular genetics, soil health, and microbiologic research.

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CAMoes 2023 – Interview with Dr Pedro Caetano

Shortly before the analogue astronauts left the cave, our Torsten Kriening spoke with Dr Pedro Caetano CAMoes Mission Medical Doctor. Pedro is co-founder of a medical company, PLANET EXPLORERS, that since 2017 has offered medical support for extreme environments (expeditions, travels, scientific, leisure, etc). He has experience in different environments from the North Pole, to Patagonia, to high mountains. He supports Mission Control and CAMões human performance and space medical research.

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CAMoes 2023 – Interview with Paulo Barcelos

During the CAMoes project, our CEO Torsten Kriening spoke with Paulo Barcelos from CAMoes Mission Control. Paulo is the Chairman of the Board of our lead Azores host organisation, Associação Os Montanheiros, and manages the Natal Cave. Has over 25 years as a speleologist exploring lava tubes and caves across the Azores islands. He teaches speleology and safety in caves and facilitates Azores and Angra host government engagement, permits, and environmental approvals for the mission.

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CAMoes 2023 – First Impression by Torsten Kriening

The goal of this first analog mission is to prove the use of Azorean volcanic caves as a scientific and research space analog context for multisectoral and long-term investigations. Here some facts about the mission. This seven-day space research analog will take place in the Natal Cave on Terceira Island. Seven crew members will spend six nights and seven days in this lava tube cave, the first people to overnight in this environment.

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