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North America

Astroscale U.S. Appoints Carolyn Belle as Director, Advanced Systems, and Rob Staples as Program Manager

Astroscale U.S. Inc., (“Astroscale U.S.”), the U.S. unit of Astroscale Holdings Inc., the market leader in securing long-term orbital sustainability, announced that Carolyn Belle and Rob Staples have joined Astroscale U.S. Belle is serving as Director, Advanced Systems as of July 2020, and Staples is serving as Program Manager as …

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VIPER Rover to use Thales Alenia Space tech for Earth comms

Thales Alenia Space, a joint venture between Thales (67%) and Leonardo (33%), signed a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Johnson Space Center (JSC) for the delivery of the X-Band Transceiver and X-Band Diplexer. These critical systems will ensure communications for the Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover …

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Space Force makes history with all-female 2nd SOPS crew

The Air Force has been providing precise position, navigation and timing for more than 25 years, however a first-of-its-kind crew assumed command and control of its newest satellite this week. Schriever’s 2nd Space Operations Squadron, the providers of GPS signals to billions of users worldwide, made history July 23 when a …

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#SpaceWatchGL Feature: Survey on space norms highlights issues

By Jessica West and Gilles Doucet Specialists in space security constantly call for more responsible norms of behavior in outer space. As the number of users and uses of space grows, the calls get louder and more urgent. Meanwhile, many states claim to want the same thing. Canada’s national defense …

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E2MC Update On Space Financing Rounds In July 2020

By Raphael Roettgen With approximately US$56 million of space-related funding rounds, July was slightly stronger than June 2020, but still on the weak side, and lacking any large rounds (except as noted below). On the positive side, the monthly rounds represent a good cross-section of geographies and subsectors. SpaceX is …

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Rocket Lab to resume Electron launches in August

Rocket Lab has received approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to resume launches this month, after identifying an anomalous electrical connection as the cause of an in-flight failure on July 4, 2020. With corrective measures underway, the next Electron launch has been scheduled for August from Launch Complex 1. …

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#SpaceWatchGL Opinion: The Future of EO Satellite Operations

by Thys Cronje Over the next decade, Earth Observation (EO) satellites will stop streaming simple image data to the earth. Instead, the instruments onboard the EO satellites will tell us more detailed information about what is happening below. In addition, these satellites will be able to take control of their …

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#SpaceWatchGL Opinion: How to bridge the legal-voluntary divide in space security

By Daniel A Porras* The US and Russia just met in Vienna for the Space Security Exchange, a bilateral discussion between two of the world’s biggest space-military powers, to discuss what might be done about growing space-security threats. This comes amid considerable turmoil in space politics, as the US and …

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#SpaceWatchGL Opinion: Space Law at the Crossroads: Contextualizing the Artemis Accords and the Space Resources Executive Order

by Kiran Mohan Vazhapully Last month, based on a Reuters report, Chris Borgen wrote in Opinio Juris about the White House chalking out details of a United States (US) sponsored international framework dubbed “Artemis Accords”,  to facilitate commercial mining on the Moon. They are conceived as inter-agency bilateral agreements similar …

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ispace reveals final design for HAKUTO-R Lunar Lander

Lunar services company ispace, revealed the final design of its lunar lander that will be used in the first mission of the company’s HAKUTO-R program, a multinational commercial lunar exploration program. HAKUTO-R’s ‘Mission 1’ also reached the final hardware design phase, known as the Critical Design Review (CDR). The HAKUTO-R …

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