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Starlink Screenshot

Two years after the close approach of a Starlink satellite with a European Space Agency satellite alarmed some in the space industry, SpaceX says it’s working closely with a wide range of satellite operators to ensure safe space operations.

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L3Harris Technologies on Sept. 16 opened a classified facility in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where the company will assemble and test satellites for U.S. missile-defense programs. 

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First all-civilian crew space mission
Graphic on the four all-civilian passengers on SpaceX's mission to orbit around the Earth, lauched September 15 from Florida.

SpaceX's all-civilian Inspiration4 crew are "healthy, happy and resting comfortably," the company said Thursday in its first update since the pioneering mission blasted off from Cape Canaveral the night before.

The four American space tourists "traveled 5.5 times around Earth, completed their first round of scientific research, and enjoyed a couple of meals" before going to bed, Elon Musk's company said.

Musk tweeted that he had personally spoken with the crew and "all is well."

After waking up, they will get their first look out of the Dragon ship's cupola—a large observation dome that has been fitted onto the vessel for the first time, in place of a docking mechanism.

Billionaire Jared Isaacman, physician assistant Hayley Arceneaux, geoscientist Sian Proctor and aerospace data engineer Chris Sembroski are orbiting the globe at an altitude that at times reaches 590 kilometers (367 miles).

Satellite operators need more accurate SSA data

Thursday, 16 September 2021 19:29
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Space situational awareness data used by satellite operators isn’t accurate enough to support the decisions they need to make on whether and how to maneuver their spacecraft to avoid potential collisions.

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Under a new agreement with U.S. defense contractor Peraton, OneWeb’s satellite communications services will be more widely available to military users in hard-to-reach areas, including ships at sea. 

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European facility prepares for haul of samples returning from planetary bodies
An example of extra-terrestrial material that will be analyzed in SAL: the little glass vial is containing about 45 mg of lunar soil (regolith) returned to Earth in 1976 by the robotic soviet mission to the Moon Luna 24. Credit: DLR

The Institute of Planetary Research at DLR (German Aerospace Center) is starting construction of a new Sample Analysis Laboratory (SAL) dedicated to the study of rock and dust samples from planetary bodies such as asteroids and the Moon. The first phase will be operational by the end of 2022, on time to welcome samples collected by the Hayabusa2 mission, and fully ready by 2023.

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RS1 first stage

Small launch vehicle developer ABL Space Systems has won a contract to launch a NASA technology demonstration spacecraft in 2023.

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Tokyo, Japan (SPX) Sep 15, 2021
As the global climate continues to change and extreme weather events increasingly threaten regions all over the world, accurate weather forecasting is becoming more important than ever. In a new study published in Scientific Reports, a research team led by Institute of Industrial Science, The University of Tokyo reports that weather forecast accuracy can be improved by several percentage p

Rapid increase in global light pollution

Thursday, 16 September 2021 14:00
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Exeter UK (SPX) Sep 15, 2021
Global light pollution has increased by at least 49% over 25 years, new research shows. This figure only includes light visible via satellites, and scientists estimate the true increase may be significantly higher - up to 270% globally, and 400% in some regions. The study, led by the University of Exeter, examined light emissions from 1992 to 2017. The findings show differing r
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Los Angeles CA (SPX) Sep 15, 2021
Xplore Inc., a commercial space company providing Space as a Service has announced a collaboration with the W. M. Keck Observatory in Waimea, Hawai'i. The Keck Observatory, the world's leading optical/infrared observatory, will assist Xplore in concept development and science case definition for the company's family of Xplore Space Telescopes (XST). The XST series of commercial space teles
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Washington DC (UPI) Sep 15, 2021
The SpaceX mission Inspiration4 - the first all-private orbital spaceflight - lifted off from Florida on Wednesday night, carrying four civilians led by philanthropist and pilot Jared Isaacman. The Falcon 9 rocket carried the Crew Dragon capsule into a mostly clear night sky as planned at 8:02 p.m. EDT from Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center. "The Inspiration 4 have lif
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Beijing (AFP) Sept 16, 2021
Three Chinese astronauts have completed the country's longest crewed mission and started their journey home on Thursday after 90 days at the Tiangong space station conducting spacewalks and scientific experiments. "The Shenzhou-12 manned spacecraft has successfully separated from the space station's core module," state broadcaster CCTV said Thursday. The mission was part of China's heavi
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Moffett Field CA (SPX) Sep 15, 2021
Drowsy driving accounts for a large proportion of car crashes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. So, you might think self-driving cars would fix that. After all, computers just don't get sleepy. But today's vehicles are only partially automated, requiring the human driver to stay alert, monitor the road, and take over at a moment's notice. A new study conduct
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Plainsboro NJ (SPX) Sep 15, 2021
The novel design for a next-generation diamond sensor with capabilities that range from producing magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of single molecules to detecting slight anomalies in the Earth's magnetic field to guide aircraft that lack access to global positioning systems (GPS) will be developed by a collaboration of scientists led by the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Princeton Plasma Phy
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Manchester UK (SPX) Sep 14, 2021
Transporting a single brick to Mars can cost more than a million British pounds - making the future construction of a Martian colony seem prohibitively expensive. Scientists at The University of Manchester have now developed a way to potentially overcome this problem, by creating a concrete-like material made of extra-terrestrial dust along with the blood, sweat and tears of astronauts. In
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