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Space Missions

DARPA Selects 14 Companies for LunA-10 Capability Study

Europe's

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has selected 14 companies for the 10-Year Lunar Architecture (LunA-10) Capability Study, which aims to catalyze the setup of a future civil lunar framework for peaceful U.S. and international use. LunA-10 seeks to study the rapid development of technology concepts for a series of shareable, scalable systems that can operate jointly, creating monetizable services for future lunar users.

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China launches satellite for Egypt 

A Long March 2C rocket carrying MISRSAT-2 and two other satellites lifts off from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center on Dec. 4, 2023. Credit Ourspace

China launched a remote-sensing satellite for Egypt on the 4th of December marking a new feat in space cooperation between these countries, according to the China National Space Administration. The Egyptian MISRSAT-2 satellite was launched on a Long March 2C carrier rocket which set off from the Jiuqan Satellite Launch Center in the Gobi Desert. The satellite was designed and built by Aerosapce Dongfanhong, a subsidiary of the China Academy of Space Technology.

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The Space Café Podcast #95: Sounds of Mars: Planetary Scientist Naomi Murdoch Unveils Martian Mysteries

Join us in this episode of Space Cafe as Markus Mooslechner talks with University Toulouse astrophysicist Dr Naomi Murdoch about the fascinating sonic environment of Mars. As a planetary scientist and space engineer, Murdoch provides an in-depth look at the sounds recorded by the Perseverance rover and what they tell us about the Red Planet. From the first audio recordings on Mars to the insights gained about Martian wind and dust devils, Murdoch's discussion offers a profound understanding of Mars' unique acoustic landscape.

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#SpaceWatchGL Geopolitics: Give a chance to the Ariane 6 Launcher Task Force

The Ariane 6 Launcher Task Force held an eagerly expected media briefing on 30 November 2023. It provided credible reassurances and a reasonably optimistic way forward for the beleaguered program. The Task Force is crucial in guiding Ariane 6 toward the intended summer 2024 maiden launch. A replay is available here  and a brief ESA update here. This briefing was as much interesting for what was clearly indicated, as it was for what remained unsaid. Let’s review the facts.

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Iran aims to test astronaut-ready space capsules by March

Iranian Space Agency completed conceptual design of manned spacecraft. Credit Iranian Space Agency

Iran is aiming to launch astronauts into space using domestically developed technology by the end of 2029 Eisa Zarepour, Communication Minister stated in a post on the Iran Virasty social media site on Sunday. "In line with the implementation of the ten-year document of the country's space industry, the 'Life in Space' program has been revived and soon, God willing, the suborbital tests of the new generation 'bio-capsule' will be completely Iranian," he said.

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Airbus Begins Galileo Second Generation Satellite Production

Full production has begun on the six Galileo Second Generation (G2) satellites at Airbus’ site in Friedrichshafen, Germany, with the arrival of the first satellite Flight Model structure from Beyond Gravity in Zurich. After initial preparation, the panels will travel to other Airbus sites before final integration and testing at Friedrichshafen. Furthermore, the Galileo G2 satellites are scheduled for launch in the coming years to support the initial deployment and validation of the G2 System.

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Neumann Space Completes Initial Propulsion Tests

Neumann Space has announced the successful completion of the first series of on-orbit tests of its propulsion system, the Neumann Drive®. Neumann Space has consequently become one of the first commercial entities to fire a thruster in space that utilizes Molybdenum as a solid metallic propellant, and the Company considers it a world-first use of a safe, storable, abundant propellant for electric propulsion.

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DARC Trilateral Initiative Signed by the US, UK, and Australia

Airbus

The United States, United Kingdom, and Australia have announced the Deep Space Advanced Radar Capability (DARC) trilateral initiative to provide 24/7, all-weather capabilities. The capabilities will subsequently increase the ability to detect, track, identify and characterize objects in deep space. The memorandum of understanding between the three countries will last 22 years.

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Angola Becomes Third African Signatory to Artemis Accords

Angola Artemis

Angola has become the 33rd country and third African country, after Nigeria and Rwanda, to sign the Artemis Accords and join the Artemis program. President João Manuel Gonçalves Lourenço of Angola officially signed the Artemis Accord on behalf of his nation, solidifying Angola’s commitment to deep space exploration and international collaboration. 

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South Korea Launches First Military Spy Satellite

SpaceX has successfully launched its first military spy satellite to better monitor North Korea. The launch happened at California’s Vandenberg Space Force Base using SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket. Furthermore, it is the first of five spy satellites South Korea contracted with SpaceX to launch into space by 2025. The satellite is an electrooptical and infrared device, while the four remaining satellites will feature synthetic aperture radar, which can "see" through cloud cover and at night.

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