...the who's who,
and the what's what 
of the space industry

Copernical Team

Copernical Team

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Credit: CC0 Public Domain

Just because you were in space doesn't mean you get the wings of an astronaut.

The Federal Aviation Administration set new rules concerning the Commercial Space Astronaut Wings Program and the criteria used to award those commanding, piloting or working on privately funded spacecraft with the Commercial Space Astronaut Wings badge.

The order was issued on July 20, the same day billionaire and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and his Blue Origin rocket crew made history by blasting off from the West Texas desert, reaching and returning to Earth.

NASA, the Air Force, the Federal Aviation Administration and some astrophysicists consider the boundary between the atmosphere and space to begin 50 miles up. Bezos actually met the requirement by going 62 miles above sea level.

To earn the wings, the FAA now states that passengers must have "demonstrated activities during flight that were essential to , or contributed to human space flight safety." Given the automation of Blue Origin, Bezos doesn't meet this criteria.

New Shepard, a 60-foot rocket and capsule, was designed primarily for space tourism thanks to fully automated flight systems, meaning nobody was piloting the craft nor contributing to "human space flight safety.

Monday, 26 July 2021 17:25

Large meteor lights up skies in Norway

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Large meteor lights up skies in Norway
In this photo released by the Norwegian Meteor Network, a view of an unusually large meteor visible in Oslo, Sunday, July 25, 2021, giving a powerful flash of light over Eastern Norway. The Norwegian Meteor Network said that it had analyzed and reviewed the unusually large meteor that visible over large parts of southern Scandinavia and illuminated southeast Norway with a powerful flash of light on Sunday.Credit: Norwegian Meteor Network / NTB via AP
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The Galileo Project was announced a month after the Pentagon released a report about unidentified aerial phenomena, which stated
The Galileo Project was announced a month after the Pentagon released a report about unidentified aerial phenomena, which stated that their nature was unclear.

An international team of scientists led by a prominent Harvard astronomer announced a new initiative Monday to look for evidence of technology built by extraterrestrial civilizations.

Called the Galileo Project, it envisages the creation of a global network of medium-sized telescopes, cameras and computers to investigate unidentified flying objects, and has so far been funded with $1.75 million from private donors.

Given recent research showing the prevalence of Earth-like planets throughout the galaxy, "We can no longer ignore the possibility that technological civilizations predated us," Professor Avi Loeb told reporters at a news conference.

"The impact of any discovery of extraterrestrial technology on science, our technology, and on our entire world view, would be enormous," he added in a statement.

Monday, 26 July 2021 13:57

We are going

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We are going Image: We are going
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The Eutelsat Quantum satellite in the radio-frequency test facility Image: The Eutelsat Quantum satellite in the radio-frequency test facility
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One of the last glimpses of the Eutelsat Quantum satellite

A European telecommunications satellite that can be completely repurposed while in orbit has been placed on board a rocket ready for launch on 30 July.

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San Francisco (AFP) July 23, 2021
Google's parent Alphabet unveiled a new "moonshot" project to develop software for robotics which could be used in a wide range of industries. The new unit, dubbed Intrinsic, will "become an independent Alphabet company," and seek industrial partners to advance their work helping to make everything from solar panels to cars, the new unit's chief, Wendy Tan-White, said in a blog post. "In
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Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany (SPX) Jul 24, 2021
At 11:58 CEST, the command lines on the screen lit up green: 'COMPLETED_SUCCESS'. The software specialists at the German Space Operations Center (GSOC) had been working towards this satellite signal for months. On 22 July 2021, Space Operations at the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum fur Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) succeeded in commanding a satellite using the 'European Ground Segment -
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Washington DC (SPX) Jul 24, 2021
A group of researchers is using artificial intelligence techniques to calibrate some of NASA's images of the Sun, helping improve the data that scientists use for solar research. The new technique was published in the journal Astronomy and Astrophysics on April 13, 2021. A solar telescope has a tough job. Staring at the Sun takes a harsh toll, with a constant bombardment by a never-ending
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Baltimore MD (SPX) Jul 24, 2021
The center of this image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope is framed by the tell-tale arcs that result from strong gravitational lensing, a striking astronomical phenomenon which can warp, magnify, or even duplicate the appearance of distant galaxies. Gravitational lensing occurs when light from a distant galaxy is subtly distorted by the gravitational pull of an intervening astrono
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