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#SpaceWatchGL Column: Dongfang Hour China Aerospace News Roundup 31 January – 6 February 2022

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 31 January – 6 February 2022. Welcome to another episode of the Dongfang Hour China Space Updates! I’m Jean Deville, joined as always by my co-host Blaine Curcio.

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NASA and SpaceX provide update on Crew-4 mission

NASA and SpaceX provided an update on the preparations of the Crew-4 mission to the International Space Station (ISS) with NASA astronauts Kjell Lindgren, Robert Hines, Jessica Watkins, and ESA astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti. Lindgren will serve as spacecraft commander, Hines will be the pilot, while Watkins and Cristoforetti are assigned as mission specialists.

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Iceye raises US $136 million in funding round

SAR data provider and expert in NatCat solutions, Iceye, announced the closing of a US $136 million series D funding round, led by investor Seraphim Space. New strategic investors include BAE Systems and Kajima Ventures among others. Molten Ventures, Services Group of America, Space Capital, Promus Ventures and many more have also participated in the funding round.

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US rejects accusation of Starlink endangering China’s space station

The United States has refuted China’s diplomatic accusation that SpaceX’s Starlink satellites have endangered its crewed space station, in an official note verbale to the UN Office of Outer Space Affairs in Vienna. Beijing issued their note verbale in December to the same UN office.

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Turion Space and NanoAvionics on reconnaissance mission

Turion Space has selected NanoAvionics’ small satellite bus MP42 as the basis for its ‘Droid-1’ spacecraft. Droid-1 is designed for reconnaissance missions in low Earth orbit (LEO) and is to launch in Q1 2023. The satellite will be capable of taking extremely accurate measurements of space objects using its onboard sensors.

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Rocket Lab opens new Colorado space systems complex opens

Rocket Lab USA announced it will open a new space systems complex in Littleton, Colorado to support growing customer demand for flight software, mission simulation, and Guidance, Navigation and Control (GNC) services. Rocket Lab set its foot in Colorado in October last year when it acquired aerospace engineering firm, Advanced Solutions (ASI).

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UK investing £1.4 billion in space defence

The UK government announced it will invest approximately £1.4 billion to reinforce their national interests in space, as part of the first Defence Space Strategy (DSS). The DSS outlines the methods of protecting the UK’s national interests in space, stimulating growth of the sector and supporting highly skilled jobs.

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China releases five-year space program

The State Council Information Office of China issued its fifth white paper, titled "China's Space Program: A 2021 Perspective," on the country's space program. The paper introduces China's principles, policies, measures, and mindset while also summarizing its achievements in space science, technology and application. Major achievements include improvement in space infrastructure, the BeiDou

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