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Shenzhou-12 astronauts return to Earth

Three Chinese astronauts safely returned to Earth near Dongfeng in the Gobi Desert, Inner Mongolia, at around 1:34 am ET on 17th September. Nie Haisheng, Liu Boming and Tang Hongbo touched down after completing the first crewed mission of Tianhe space station. The 1,200 square metre main parachute opened 10 kilometres above the surface, then after landing, search and rescue teams

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Italy supports GPS and Galileo tests on the Moon

The Italian Space Agency (ASI) cooperates with Quascom and NASA to launch project NEIL to experiment satellite-based positioning on the lunar surface, ASI reports. Project NEIL (Navigation Early Investigation on Lunar surface) is linked to NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload Service mission.

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#SpaceWatchGL Opinion: Space Applications for Military: Eyes Beyond the Sky

For decades, space has been one of the critical assets for military operations. In fact, space technology is a product of defense industry that needed an upgrade in technological capabilities for various military operations since the early 1940s. The transition of Geospatial Intelligence (GEOINT) application from aerial photography to satellite imagery

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Mars rover Perseverance collected first rock sample

NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover has collected the first sample of Martian rock, a core from Jezero Crater slightly thicker than a pencil, NASA reported. The core is currently awaiting retrieval in an airtight titanium sample tube with serial number 266. The rover had failed to collect samples on its first try just last month.

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NASA selects five US firms for lunar lander studies

NASA announced it will grant US $146 million to five US companies to conduct studies for future lunar lander concepts. This will enable a “steady pace of crewed trips to the lunar surface under the Artemis program,” NASA said. The five companies and their awards are Blue Origin: US $25.6M, Dynetics: US $40.8M, Lockheed Martin: US $35.2M, Northrop Grumman: US $34.8M and SpaceX: US $9.4M.

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Hungarian government adopts ambitious space strategy

The Hungarian government announced that it accepted a document identifying the cornerstones that set out the country’s opportunities and future development directions in the field of space. The aim is to make Hungary an active player in space exploration and space activities. The government’s vision is for the country to play a regional leading role in certain development areas.

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JAXA and ESA spacewalkers carry out system upgrades on ISS

Astronauts Akihiko Hoshide of JAXA and Thomas Pesquet of ESA conducted the first spacewalk by two international partner astronauts without a NASA astronaut on Sunday, 8:15 a.m. ET, NASA reported. The event happened just three days after the Russian spacewalk. This was Hoshide’s fourth and Pasquet’s sixth extravehicular activity (EVA) and the 12th spacewalk of the year.

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DARPA increases Lockheed Martin’s Blackjack contract

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) increased Lockheed Martin’s contract for the Blackjack program by US $25.3 million, the agency announced. The Blackjack project is aimed at validating high-speed military communication, navigation and missile warning capabilities of small satellites.

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