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North America

Virgin Orbit’s VOX Space Wins US$35M US Space Force Launch Contract

VOX Space, the Virgin Orbit subsidiary which provides responsive and affordable launch services for the U.S. national security community, has been selected to launch three dedicated missions for the U.S. Space Force (USSF), delivering multiple spacecraft to orbit for the Department of Defense (DoD) Space Test Program-S28 (STP-S28). This launch …

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#SpaceWatchGL Perspective On US Space Resources Executive Order: Peter Marquez On The Need For The EO

On 6 April 2020, US President Donald J. Trump signed an Executive Order (EO) on Encouraging International Support for the Recovery and Use of Space Resources. This order addresses US policy regarding the recovery and use of resources in outer space, including the Moon and other celestial bodies. Starting today, …

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Iconic Space Technology Firm Returns To Canadian Control As Sale Of MDA To Northern Private Capital Closes

Effective 8 April 2020, the sale transaction of MDA by Maxar Technologies to a consortium led by Toronto-based investment firm Northern Private Capital has officially closed. This marks the return of MDA to Canadian control as a private, independent company headquartered in Canada. Founded in 1969, MDA is Canada’s largest …

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Rhea Space Activity Advances US Ability To Gather Intelligence In Cislunar Space

The rapidly growing new space startup Rhea Space Activity (RSA), headquartered in Washington DC and with operations in Colorado Springs, has been tapped by the United States Air Force (USAF) to develop a wholly new field of intelligence to surveil “cislunar” space – that is, the volume of space between …

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Masten Space Systems Will Deliver NASA and Commercial Payloads to the Lunar Surface in 2022

NASA and Masten Space Systems announced on 8 April 2020 that the Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) Project Office has selected Masten to deliver a suite of NASA-sponsored scientific instruments to the lunar surface by December 2022. In addition to commercial payloads, Masten’s XL-1 lunar lander will deliver nine science …

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Trump Administration Issues Executive Order On Encouraging International Support for the Recovery and Use of Space Resources

On 6 April 2020, US President Donald J. Trump signed an Executive Order on Encouraging International Support for the Recovery and Use of Space Resources. This order addresses U.S. policy regarding the recovery and use of resources in outer space, including the Moon and other celestial bodies. Dr. Scott Pace, …

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Historic RapidEye Constellation Captures Last Light

As announced at the beginning of the year, Planet Labs has now confirmed that the RapidEye constellation has retired, capturing its last magnificent images, which Planet Labs shared on 2 April 2020. “While RapidEye satellites will no longer collect imagery for commercial or noncommercial use, their archive of impressive data …

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Thousands Apply To Join NASA’s Artemis Generation, #BeAnAstronaut

More than 12,000 people have applied to join NASA’s next class of astronauts, demonstrating strong national interest to take part in America’s plans to explore the Moon and take humanity’s next giant leap – human missions to Mars. Applications were received from every U.S. state, the District of Columbia, and …

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Space Dynamics Lab Awarded Patents For Cold Atom Research To Improve Time Accuracy

The United States Patent and Trademark Office recently issued three patents to the Space Dynamics Laboratory for innovative inventions used in researching cold atoms—a pivotal element to precise space-based timing. SDL’s Elemental Alkali-Metal Dispenser, and two types of Grating Magneto Optical Traps will enable scientists and engineers to design and …

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