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#SpaceWatchGL Column: Dongfang Hour China Aerospace News Roundup 15 – 21 November

As part of the partnership between SpaceWatch.Global and Orbital Gateway Consulting we have been granted permission to publish selected articles and texts. We are pleased to present “Dongfang Hour China Aerospace News Roundup 15-21 November 2021”. Hello and welcome to another episode of the Dongfang Hour China Aero/Space News Roundup! A special shout-out to our friends at SpaceWatch.Global,

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ESA members define space “accelerators” and “inspirators”

The member states of the European Space Agency (ESA) want to “accelerate the use of space in Europe to tackle the urgent and unprecedented societal, economic and security challenges faced by Europe and its citizens,” ESA said after a meeting of the countries´ ministers in charge of space in Matosinhos, Portugal.

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Sierra raises $1.4 billion, valuing it at $4.5 billion

The launch company Sierra Space raised $1.4 billion in a Series A capital round, bringing its valuation to $4.5 billion, the Colorado-based builder of the winged and reusable Dream Chaser launcher said. The round is led by General Atlantic, Coatue and Moore Strategic Ventures, with participation from funds and accounts managed by BlackRock Private Equity Partners, AE Industrial Partners,

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SES orders two large Astra GEO satellites from Thales

SES ordered two large geostationary (GEO) Ku-band satellites for TV distribution over Europe from Thales Alenia Space, the company said. The two satellites, Astra 1P and Astra 1Q, will replace two current Astra satellites at SES’s prime orbital neighborhood of 19.2 degrees East, which serves 118 million TV households across Europe, SES said.

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Astra reaches orbit with U.S. Space Force test payload

Thumbs up: Astra Space launched its 13.1 meter rocket LV0007 with a test payload from the U.S. Space Force from the Pacific Spaceport Complex in Kodiak, Alaska successfully into orbit on Saturday. LV0007 was Astra´s fourth attempt to reach its 500 kilometers low Earth orbit (LEO), after it failed in December 2020 and in August 2021.

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NASA picks Intuitive Machines to study lunar swirls

NASA selected Intuitive Machines for scientific Moon missions and will pay the Houston-based company $77.5 million, the agency said. The agency picked Intuitive Machines to deliver Moon research, science investigations and a technology demonstration in 2024, NASA said. The commercial delivery is part of NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CPLS) initiative and the Artemis program.

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RFA and Morpheus to jointly push new propulsion technologies

The propulsion systems supplier Morpheus Space and the launch service provider Rocket Factory Augsburg (RFA) want to cooperate in the field of future propulsion technologies, the companies said. RFA intends to integrate Morpheus propulsion systems into the orbital stage of its RFA One launch vehicle system to improve its overall performance and sustainability, the Augsburg-based company said.

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Starship to launch in early 2022

SpaceX can have Starship’s first orbital flight as early as January, pending regulatory approvals, CEO Elon Musk said at a joint meeting of the National Academies’ Space Studies Board and Board on Physics and Astronomy.  According to Musk, the company is in the final preparations of both the vehicle and their new launch site in Boca Chica, Texas.

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Space Café WebTalk with Prof Pascale Ehrenfreund Live from Bremen: No ivory tower in sight

During this week’s live Space Café hosted in Bremen, Northern Germany, SpaceWatch.Global Publisher Torsten Kriening spoke with Professor Pascale Ehrenfreund, the President of both the International Space University and the International Astronautical Federation and Research Professor of Space Policy and International Affairs at George Washington University’s Space Policy Institute.

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