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#SpaceWatchGL Column: E2MC Update On Space-Financing Rounds in December 2021

2021 finished strong, with another SPAC merger with a space-related (albeit not originally a space) company (Tomorrow.io), more fundraising by SpaceX, a few major private rounds, a couple of investments by Virgin Orbit (and hence yet further examples of a de-SPAC’d company deploying part of its cash towards investments) and even a small IPO (Sidus).

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Elon Musk plans to fly people to Mars in 5-10 years

Elon Musk said during an interview on the Lex Fridman podcast that SpaceX could be transporting people to Mars in five years. According to the SpaceX CEO, the worst case scenario is that the Starship rocket is ready for taking humans to the planet in 10 years.  Starship, “the most complex and advanced rocket” as per Musk, has already undergone static fire tests.

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U.S. extends ISS commitment through 2030

The U.S. committed to extend the operations of the International Space Station (ISS) through 2030, NASA Administrator Bill Nelson announced. The Biden-Harris Administration wants to continue to work with its international partners “to enable continuation of the groundbreaking research being conducted in this unique orbiting laboratory through the rest of this decade”.

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Space Café Radio: TOP-10 MOST IMPORTANT EVENTS IN SPACE IN 2021

In this Space Café Radio – TOP-10 MOST IMPORTANT EVENTS IN SPACE IN 2021, contributing editor Dr. Emma Gatti talks about her thoughts on the previous year. 2021 has been an intense year for the Space sector. From breakthrough scientific achievements to thorny diplomatic accidents, the industry seems almost to be not keeping pace with itself.

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#SpaceWatchGL Share: Chinese Space Station and Starlink Conjunctions: A Closer Look

So what DID happen? How do we know what happened? Was it appropriate for China to invoke Article V of the United Nations Outer Space Treaty? What level of oversight should the US have with commercial space activities? What level of transparency is appropriate? These are just a few of the questions prompted by China's 3 December 2021 note verbale to the United Nations.

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#SpaceWatchGL Opinion: About Space Traffic Management

The recent note verbale on two encounters between the Chinese space station and Starlink satellites has triggered a broader discussion on Space Traffic Management. But what do we actually mean by Space Traffic Management and what do we actually need? For many (including me), Space Traffic Management has a short-term and a long-term dimension.

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Firefly pauses next Alpha launch after government concerns over foreign ownership

Firefly Aerospace paused preparations for its next Alpha rocket launch originally planned for early 2022, due to the U.S. government making its largest shareholder to divest its stake for national security reasons, SpaceNews reported. Noosphere Venture Partners will sell its interest in Firefly at the request of the Committee

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FAA delays Starship environmental review

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced it needed two more months to complete the environmental review of SpaceX Starship orbital launches from the Boca Chica facility in Texas. The FAA was unable to meet the original deadline of 31st December due to the high volume of comments submitted.

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JWST crosses Moon’s orbit after course-correction burn

The US $10B space observatory has flown beyond the orbit of the Moon after completing the second of the three required mid-course correction burns, NASA reported. The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) launched on Christmas Day to begin its 29-day deployment process. About half an hour later, it automatically deployed its solar panel to start generating its own power.

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