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Space Missions

#SpaceWatchGL Column: Dongfang Hour China Space News Roundup, 2021 Top Trends and Events

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 Space News Roundup, 2021 Top Trends and Events”.

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SpaceX kicks off 2022 with more Starlink satellites

SpaceX is aiming to start the new year with a Falcon 9 rocket flight this Thursday deploying the company’s next cluster of Starlink satellites. The company’s 34th dedicated Starlink launch is carrying an undisclosed number of flat-panel satellites into orbit. The quarter-ton spacecraft use their krypton-fueled ion thrusters to maneuver to their operating orbits 540 km above Earth.

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Iran launches rocket with three devices into space

Amid ongoing negotiations in Vienna over the country’s nuclear deal, Iran announced that it launched a Simorgh rocket with three research devices into space. It was not specified what the devices were or what they would be used for. Ahmad Hosseini, spokesperson for the Iranian Defense Ministry said that the devices were sent up to a 470 km altitude.

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Elon Musk plans to fly people to Mars in 5-10 years

Elon Musk said during an interview on the Lex Fridman podcast that SpaceX could be transporting people to Mars in five years. According to the SpaceX CEO, the worst case scenario is that the Starship rocket is ready for taking humans to the planet in 10 years.  Starship, “the most complex and advanced rocket” as per Musk, has already undergone static fire tests.

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U.S. extends ISS commitment through 2030

The U.S. committed to extend the operations of the International Space Station (ISS) through 2030, NASA Administrator Bill Nelson announced. The Biden-Harris Administration wants to continue to work with its international partners “to enable continuation of the groundbreaking research being conducted in this unique orbiting laboratory through the rest of this decade”.

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Firefly pauses next Alpha launch after government concerns over foreign ownership

Firefly Aerospace paused preparations for its next Alpha rocket launch originally planned for early 2022, due to the U.S. government making its largest shareholder to divest its stake for national security reasons, SpaceNews reported. Noosphere Venture Partners will sell its interest in Firefly at the request of the Committee

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Space Café Radio: Review 2021 – Troy McCann

In this Space Café Radio – our Review 2021 series, SpaceWatch.Global publisher Torsten Kriening spoke with Troy McCann, Entrepreneur, Space engineer, advisor, investor and founder and CEO of Moonshot Space in Sydney about his space highlights in 2021, what's up in Australia and what to watch out for the upcoming year in space.

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