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Space Missions

Indian Space Exploration: Chandrayaan-2 Lunar Mission Launch Expected In April 2019

India’s second lunar mission, Chandrayaan-2, will be attempted in mid-April 2019, a senior Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) official said on 11 January 2019. Chandrayaan-2 will comprise a lander and a lunar rover. “We are targeting mid-April to launch Chandrayaan-2 as there were certain tests which could not be done …

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India’s Gaganyaan Mission: ISRO’s Human Spaceflight Plans Starting To Take Shape

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is aiming for the first crewed Gaganyaan human spaceflight mission to take place in December 2021. Following the Indian government’s recent allocation of U.S.$1.4 billion for the Gaganyaan mission, ISRO has revealed how much of this budget boost will be spent in achieving an …

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#SpaceWatchGL Op’Ed: Privateering the Solar System – A Long View of Commercial Space and National Security

By Dr. John B. Sheldon The role of commercial space in today’s national security environments is known well enough. There are useful policy debates to be had over what national security space systems a state should absolutely provide for to ensure sovereign decision making in war versus where commercial entities …

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Success for China’s historic Chang’e 4 Mission to the lunar ‘far side’

Human space exploration has received another significant boost with the successful landing of a Chinese probe on the far side of the moon – a feat that has never before been accomplished. Chinese state media confirmed that the spacecraft had performed a ‘soft landing’ at 10.26am (2.26am GMT) on January …

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Indian Human Spaceflight: Gaganyaan Mission In 2022 To Orbit Three Astronauts, Cost $1.4 Billion

The Indian government announced on 28 December 2018 that its Gaganyaan human spaceflight mission expected to take place in 2022 will consist of three crew members, last for five to seven days in orbit, and is budgeted for the equivalent of U.S.$1.43 billion, according to Indian media reports. Announced in …

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#SpaceWatchGL Interview: Dr. Christina Giannopapa, Head of Political Affairs Office At The European Space Agency

The European Space Agency’s (ESA) Political Affairs Office plays an integral and varied role in the organisation. Torsten Kriening was lucky enough to spend some time with Christina Giannopapa, Head of Political Affairs Office, Office Strategy Department, Director General’s Services, ESA, to find out more about her role and the …

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Israel’s SpaceIL And IAI Complete Beresheet Lunar Lander; Launch Expected February 2019

Israeli not-for-profit SpaceIL and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) completed the construction of the SpaceIL lunar lander and, in a ceremony at IAI facilities prior to being shipped to Cape Canaveral, placed a time capsule on board the spacecraft that will stay on the Moon indefinitely. The spacecraft, recently named Beresheet …

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Singapore’s Astroscale Meets With GK Launch Services To Discuss ELSA-d Launch

GK Launch Services, a subsidiary of Glavkosmos, Lavochkin Association, and Astroscale Japan Inc. held a kick-off meeting in Moscow on 12 December 2018 under the agreement on launch services for the Astroscale End-of-Life Services by Astroscale-demonstration (ELSA-d) satellite. ELSA-d will be orbited within a Soyuz-2 cluster mission that is scheduled …

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China And France’s CNES Discuss Climate Science And Space Cooperation

The President of the Centre national d’études spatiales (CNES), the French national space agency, spoke with Chinese counterparts on 10 December 2018 about Sino-French cooperation in space-based climate change monitoring, oceanography, environmental monitoring, space exploration, and space science. Jean-Yves Le Gall addressed the preparatory meeting of the French-Chinese joint science …

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