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Space Missions

ESA’s Self-Driving Spacecraft Set For Planetary Defence Expedition

Engineers designing ESA’s Hera planetary defence mission to the Didymos asteroid pair are developing advanced technology to let the spacecraft steer itself through space, taking a similar approach to self-driving cars. “If you think self-driving cars are the future on Earth, then Hera is the pioneer of autonomy in deep …

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Israeli Moon Lander Beresheet Successfully Enters Lunar Orbit

The Beresheet lunar lander built and operated by Israeli not-for-profit company SpaceIL and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), and launched by SpaceX from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on 22 February 2019, has successfully arrived in Lunar orbit. Known as ‘Lunar capture’, the elliptical orbit brings Beresheet within 500 kilometres of the Moon’s …

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ESA Becomes CubeSat Central For Smaller Space Missions From Europe

The European Space Agency (ESA) has set up a dedicated unit to work on the standardised nanosatellites called ‘CubeSats’, teaming up with European companies to develop low-cost technology-testing missions. Missions in preparation include a double CubeSat to test rendezvous and docking techniques, and one to explore near-Earth asteroids. A fast-growing …

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European Space Agency And NASA Partner For Lunar Science

ESA Director of Human and Robotic Exploration, David Parker, and Associate Administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Thomas Zurbuchen, signed a Statement of Intent to coordinate joint science research about the Moon and identify opportunities for lunar mission cooperation. Signed during the National Academies’ Space Science Week in Washington DC, …

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France And China Step Up Space Exploration Cooperation After Xi State Visit

On the occasion of the state visit to France of the President of the People’s Republic of China, the French national space agency, the Centre national d’études spatiales (CNES), and the China National Space Administration (CNSA) have stepped up their cooperation in the fields of planetary exploration and climate action. …

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UAE Space Agency Signs MoU With Virgin Galactic For Al Ain Operations

Dr. Mohammed Al Ahbabi, Director General of the UAE Space Agency, and George Whitesides, CEO of Virgin Galactic and The Spaceship Company (TSC), signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that outlines cooperation across a range of areas including plans to bring Virgin Galactic spaceflights to the UAE for education, science …

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Pakistan’s SUPARCO Said To Be In Talks With UAE On Space Cooperation

Pakistan’s space agency, the Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO), is believed to be in talks with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on developing an agenda for possible space cooperation, according to a senior SUPARCO official quoted in the UAE newspaper Khaleej Times. SUPARCO were in the UAE last …

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UK to Play Main Role in New Space Weather Mission

UK Science Minister, Chris Skidmore,  has announced that new national space funding worth £7 million will ensure UK scientists play a leading role in a new space weather mission. The Solar wind Magnetosphere Ionosphere Link Explorer (SMILE) mission will study how the solar wind interacts with the Earth’s magnetosphere, which …

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UAE Outlines National Space Strategy to 2030

The UAE Cabinet, chaired by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, has adopted the National Space Strategy 2030 during its meeting at the Presidential Palace in Abu Dhabi. The Cabinet meeting was attended by H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al …

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