The next giant leaps: The UK missions getting us to the Moon – BBC Focus Magazine

In the middle of 2021, a small robotic spider may be taking its first tentative steps on the Moon. Its not exactly The Spiders From Mars, but the late David Bowie will have played a part in getting it there.

Pavlo Tanasyuk, CEO and founder of the British company Spacebit, remembers once listening to David Bowies The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars and wondering about one day building rovers with legs rather than wheels.

The idea lay dormant until Tanasyuk was visiting a friend at the Japan Aerospace Agency (JAXA), and mentioned his long-held idea of a spider robot on Mars or the Moon. The friend responded immediately with the Japanese proverb of the asagumo, the morning spider who brings fortune.

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Thats when it clicked and I decided that we actually should be doing this rover, says Tanasyuk.

He incorporated the UK company Spacebit to begin developing the asagumo spider robot. Launch is now scheduled for July 2021, onboard the Peregrine lander that has been developed by the private American company Astrobotic. Peregrine will be flown on a Vulcan Centaur rocket, and if all goes to plan, asagumo will be the UKs first lunar lander.

Walking on the Moon is tricky because of the regolith, which is the layer of rock fragments and dust that covers the lunar surface. For a walking rover the dangers are two-fold.

The asagumo spider robot will walk across the lunar surface to investigate lava tubes Spacebit

First, the legs can sink into this layer, impeding the movement. Second, the dust and fragments can get into the articulated parts of the legs and the motors, causing them to cease up.

To overcome the first problem, Spacebit is designing the legs to look more like ski poles, which have pads on the end to stop them disappearing beneath the surface. As for the second, it is a risk that the team are willing to take because they dont want their rover to walk on the surface indefinitely, just long enough to get to their real target: a lunar lava tube.

A lava tube is a natural tunnel formed by rivers of lava flowing away from a volcano. The top of the flow is exposed to the cooling air, and gradually hardens to solid rock, forming a roof over the lava flow.

When the lava has all drained away it leaves an empty lava tube. Since the Moon was once volcanically active, there are thought to be an abundance of lava tubes there.

Inside a lava tube, there is much less dust but more rocks, so legs are actually better suited to clambering over obstacles.

We already did tests in the lava tubes of Mount Fuji in Japan. I went inside the lava tube with the rover, and we tested how it walks. Basically we can see that the legs are better suited for the lava tubes than wheels [as legs let the robot clamber over obstacles], says Tanasyuk.

There are some lava tubes in the vicinity of the Peregrine landers touchdown area, and one of these will be the first target for the asagumo. The reason for the interest in lava tubes is that human bases may one day be constructed inside these natural rock formations.

While Spacebit may be sending the UKs first Moon lander, it is far from the only UK space mission that is currently in development. Indeed, it is just the tip of the lunar iceberg

The UKs lunar expertise has been built up since the days of NASAs Apollo missions, which took astronauts to the Moon in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Planetary scientists Grenville Turner and Colin Pillinger were two pioneers of UK space science. They were held in such high esteem that they were granted access to the lunar rocks that the American Apollo astronauts brought back to Earth.

In this graphic of asagumo, you can see the feet on the end of the legs, which should stop the robot from sinking into the regolith Spacebit

This was an accolade in itself. You had to be the best of the field to actually get access to these samples, says Sue Horne, head of space exploration at the UK Space Agency. She adds that Pillinger and Turner were wizards at instrumentation.

Together, the pair established the UKs excellence in the area of cosmochemistry, analysing samples not just from the Moon but from meteorites, some of which are now thought to have come from Mars. They also trained many students over the years who themselves have gone on to successful science careers, training more people in the process.

We are world-leading in the area of cosmochemistry, says Horne. As a result, the UK now routinely supplies key instruments for various science missions carried out by the European Space Agency (ESA).

These include the comet-chasing mission Rosetta, the recently launched Solar Orbiter, and the forthcoming JUpiter ICy moons Explorer (JUICE). By supplying instruments and expertise, the UKs scientists gain full access to the mission. By working with Europe, we can do a lot more than we can afford individually, says Horne.

Pavlo Tanasyuk, CEO and founder of British company Spacebit, and the man behind the spider bots Spacebit

The collaboration is set to continue in the future. For example, the Open University is developing a miniature chemical analysis laboratory for ESA. Called ProSPA, the lab will fly on the joint Russian-ESA Lunar Resource Lander mission (Luna 27) in 2025.

The company MDA UK is also working on the same mission, building a vital component of the autonomous landing system, a LiDAR to measure the distance to the ground.

And the UKs ambitions do not stop there.

Beyond science, Horne and her colleagues have identified an emerging need in space exploration: deep space communications. This may not sound glamorous, but it is going to become increasingly important as more and more people send spacecraft to the Moon.

In the past, virtually every lunar mission has had to carry a transmitter powerful enough to beam signals back to Earth. Now, however, the UK is building a dedicated communications satellite to orbit the Moon.

Called the Lunar Pathfinder, it will relay signals back to Earth, meaning that landers, rovers and other orbiters no longer need to carry the expensive, bulky pieces of kit that were once needed.

The ESA-funded Lunar Pathfinder is being built by Guildford-based Surrey Satellite Technology Limited. It will orbit the Moon, relaying signals from lunar landers, rovers and orbiters back to Earth SSTL

ESA has funded the Pathfinder, which is being made by Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL), in Guildford. ESA will also be the Pathfinders first customer.

Pathfinder is scheduled for launch in 2023. Once its up and running, the next step being considered by ESA is a constellation of satellites around the Moon that can also provide the lunar equivalent of GPS.

The idea is to have a number of satellites that will allow enhanced communications coverage of the Moon and high reliability navigation services, says Nelly Offord, the business line manager for exploration and head of lunar services at SSTL.

Of course, its all well and good providing a satellite that can beam messages back from the Moon, but you then need a ground station to receive them. This is where the once defunct Goonhilly Satellite Earth Station in Cornwall comes in.

Situated on the Lizard peninsula on the southern coast of Cornwall, Goonhilly was established in 1962 to receive signals from the experimental telecommunications satellite Telstar. Over the ensuing decades, the site grew into the worlds largest satellite ground station before gradually becoming obsolete.

In 2011, the rebirth began when a private company named Goonhilly Earth Station Limited leased the site from British Telecom and began to refurbish the antennas.

Now, almost a decade later, the site has attracted money from the Cornwall Local Enterprise Partnership fund and from ESA to help with the upgrading of the antennas, which were in a rather sorry state.

The Goonhilly Satellite Earth Station in Cornwall was established in 1962 before becoming defunct. Its now been brought back to life and upgraded to aid with ESA missions Goonhilly Earth Station Ltd/Nathanial Bradford

One antenna had a tree growing through it, says Matthew Cosby, Goonhillys director of space engineering.

Now, Goonhilly is poised to provide additional coverage for ESAs deep-space tracking system, called ESTRACK. In particular, the Cornish site will be receiving data from some of ESAs older missions, such as Integral, Gaia and Mars Express. It will also be the ground station for SSTLs Lunar Pathfinder.

Beyond ESA, there could also be another big customer on the horizon. It is no secret that the US is pushing hard to get back to the lunar surface. With the Artemis programme, the White House has set NASA a deadline of 2024 to have boots on the Moon.

This represents a considerable acceleration of the more realistic goal to land by 2028, and it is clear that not even NASA has the money or the workforce to make it happen by itself. While NASA is turning to US industry for help, particularly in building lunar landers, the space agency is going to have to turn to international partnerships to get other things done.

Offord thinks that providing reliable high-quality communications is one area in which ESA and the UK could help. NASA is very interested in using our services, and ESA is right now talking to them about which missions we could support, says Offord.

Sue Horne develops the UKs strategy for space exploration at the UK Space Agency

To stay ahead of this particular curve, Cosby is the UKs representative on the Consultative Committee for Space Data Systems (CCSDS). This is where the standards for spaceflight communications are discussed and agreed, including the communications protocols for NASAs 2024 lunar landing.

Everything he learns is implemented at Goonhilly and across the UK, so that if the call comes, they will be ready to jump straight in and relay those historic images just as Goonhilly was used back in the 1970s to relay images and data from the original Apollo Moon landings.

Although NASA and ESA are the only real customers in town at the moment, it may not be long before private companies are looking to buy communications services too.

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Take Tanasyuks Spacebit: next years mission with the spider robot is just the first of a rolling programme of increasingly complex missions for the asagumo. Depending on where they touch down, the first mission may or may not reach a lava tube.

Instead, the asagumo will be used to demonstrate the spider robot technology. It will take selfies, do some science and distribute the data to schools and universities for free, says Tanasyuk.

It is a time-limited mission, however. Asagumo is solar-powered and when the Sun sets on the Moon, it takes a fortnight to reappear. In that time, the tiny asagumo, which can fit into the palm of a hand, will have frozen forever. So the first mission will only last about one week.

For their second mission, Spacebit is designing a carrier, into which a number of asagumo will be able to climb. The mothership will be much larger and able to sustain the spider robots for the duration of the lunar night. At dawn, they will crawl back outside and continue their exploration.

If all goes well, for Spacebits third mission, the carrier will be taken from orbit to the lunar surface on a lander of the companys own making. And this is really where Spacebits future lies.

We are the only company not only in the UK, but in the whole European region to be designing and working on a lunar lander, says Tanasyuk. The idea is to corner at least part of the lunar transportation market.

The ProSPA chemical analysis lab is being developed by the Open University and will travel to the Moon in 2025 ESA

There can be no doubt that through the coordination of the UK Space Agency, companies and organisations across the UK are positioning themselves to play key roles in returning humans to the Moon. And as exciting as that is, Horne makes it clear it is also a dress rehearsal for something much larger: human missions to Mars.

The long term objective is to take humans to Mars. But to do that, we need to use the Moon as a testbed. We need to test out technologies and capabilities, says Horne.

In the 1960s, the UK flirted with the idea of becoming a space-faring country. It built the Black Arrow rocket and launched the Prospero satellite into low-Earth orbit. Then the country turned its back on the endeavour.

Now it appears that there is a renaissance of interest in space in the UK. And with companies like Spacebit, SSTL and Goonhilly Earth Station Limited, it seems there is no shortage of individuals and organisations ready to accept the challenge.

The new exploration of the Moon is a test of techniques and technology for the larger international endeavour of going to Mars.

While it is difficult to put absolute timescales on this endeavour because budgets are being worked out as each country goes along, it is possible to say roughly what the stages will be before humankind is ready to launch a Mars mission.

Illustration showing the five stages of missions from the Moon to Mars Acute Graphics

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The next giant leaps: The UK missions getting us to the Moon - BBC Focus Magazine

ITER, The Worlds Largest Nuclear Fusion Project: A Big Step Forward – Forbes

A picture shows the winding facility for the construction of poloidal field coils which will be ... [+] part of the magnetic system that will contribute to confine and model plasma during the launch of the assembly stage of nuclear fusion machine "Tokamak" of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) in Saint-Paul-les-Durance, southeastern France, on July 28, 2020. - Thirty-five nations are collaborating in the ITER energy project aimed at mastering energy production from hydrogen fusion, as in the heart of the sun, a potential new source of carbon-free and non-polluting energy. (Photo by CLEMENT MAHOUDEAU / AFP) (Photo by CLEMENT MAHOUDEAU/AFP via Getty Images)

ITER the worlds largest nuclear fusion project reached a construction milestone last week as the final components of the reactor arrived on the build site in southeastern France. The $25 billion endeavor, which aims to produce sustainable fusion energy on a commercial scale, is financed by seven of the worlds largest energy powerhouses: the European Union, United Kingdom China, India, Russia, Japan, South Korea and the United States.

The origins of the ambitious project go back to the Reagan-Gorbachev negotiations of the 1980s that envisioned equal participation by the Soviet Union, the United States, Japan and Europe. After decades of delays, the International Thermal Experimental Reactor was born. ITER began in earnest in 2010 and is now celebrating the commencement of the assembly phase wherein the reactors components can now start being put into place.

With millions of components manufactured from around the world, weighing in at 23,000 tons, and standing several stories high, ITER may be the most complicated engineering project in human history. The reactor will contain some 3,000 tons of superconducting magnets which will be linked by 160 miles of superconducting cables, all kept at -269C by the largest cryogenic plant in the world.

A picture shows a general view of the assembly hall during the launch of the assembly stage of ... [+] nuclear fusion machine "Tokamak" of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) in Saint-Paul-les-Durance, southeastern France, on July 28, 2020. - Thirty-five nations are collaborating in the ITER energy project aimed at mastering energy production from hydrogen fusion, as in the heart of the sun, a potential new source of carbon-free and non-polluting energy. (Photo by CLEMENT MAHOUDEAU / AFP) (Photo by CLEMENT MAHOUDEAU/AFP via Getty Images)

The fusion process is the same one that powers our sun: you can think of a star as one gigantic fusion reactor. Hydrogen atoms forced together under immense heat and pressure break their atomic bonds, fusing into a new heavier element, helium. Some mass is lost in the process, and great amounts of energy are released as a result. This is what Einstein's famous formulaE=mc describes: the tiny bit of lost mass (m), multiplied by the square of the speed of light (c), results in a very large figure (E), which is the amount of energy created by a fusion reaction.

The catch is that these reactions generate very hot and very unstable globs of plasma (in excess of 100 million Kelvin/500 million degrees Fahrenheit) which require tremendous amounts of energy to maintain. To date, the longest recorded sustained plasma operation is just overone minutelong. Enormous magnets are required to keep the plasma in a doughnut-shaped vacuum chamber, which is called a tokamak. ITER is far and away the largest tokamak reactor in existence.

Like conventional nuclear (fission) reactions, the fusion process does not emit carbon dioxide, but unlike a nuclear plant, a fusion reactor cannot melt down. Fusion plants can be fueled by the hydrogen found in just a few ounces of seawater and dont rely on radioactive materials. As a result the process produces virtually no waste, making it a climate friendly, safe, and reliable source of near unlimited power if we can get one to work.

ITER is supposed to become the worlds first reactor capable of self-burning plasma and would ideally generate up to 10 times the amount of heat that it consumes. The components of the reactor include a 100ft-diameter cryostat, a device manufactured by India that is intended to surround the reactor and keep its vital components from overheating. US-manufactured central solenoid magnets responsible for inducing and stabilizing the superheated plasma make the backbone of the reactor. When at full power, these super magnets they will have the capacity to lift an aircraft carrier.

Technicians work in the winding facility for the construction of poloidal field coils which will be ... [+] part of the magnetic system that will contribute to confine and model plasma during the launch of the assembly stage of nuclear fusion machine "Tokamak" of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) in Saint-Paul-les-Durance, southeastern France, on July 28, 2020. - Thirty-five nations are collaborating in the ITER energy project aimed at mastering energy production from hydrogen fusion, as in the heart of the sun, a potential new source of carbon-free and non-polluting energy. (Photo by CLEMENT MAHOUDEAU / AFP) (Photo by CLEMENT MAHOUDEAU/AFP via Getty Images)

Large-scale international cooperation on such a complex project is an example how scientific research knows no geographic borders. This model was and should be adopted in other areas of science, such as space exploration. Yet, the ITER project appears to be both bulky and expensive, and has inspired many smaller enterprises to develop their versions of fusion generation technology.

These include UK-based Tokamak Energy, which has already raised over $130 million in investment. Similarly, California-based Tri Alpha Energy, which is backed by Microsoft MSFT co-founder Paul Allen and Google GOOGL has attracted some $500 million in investment for its unique particle accelerator technology. Canadas General Fusion uses a vortex of molten lead and lithium for its plasma containment design which has attracted the support of Amazon AMZN s Jeff Bezos, as well as Britains First Light Fusion. Americas Lockheed Martin LMT is in the midst of developing a secretive compact fusion reactor no bigger than a truck that it claims will be ready for testing by 2028.

The start of the assembly stage of this colossal international project, though remarkable, does not mean that the project is yet near the finish line. ITER plans for all the core parts of the reactor to be installed, fully integrated, and ready to produce its first plasma by November 2025 (the 40 year anniversary of of Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachevs historic U.S.-Soviet Geneva summit). If successful, the reactor will draw 50 megawatts (MW) of electricity to ignite the fusion process and produce stable plasma. This plasma would then put out some 500MW of power (in short bursts), thereby generating a whopping 10x energy return.

Despite numerous delays over the years, ITER is aiming to achieve full plasma generation by 2030. While this may be consistent with a common adage in the power industry: Fusion power is always just 10 years away, progress in harnessing fusion is unquestionable, and, if commercial fusion is achieved, the current generation is likely to see a total revolution in energy in their lifetimes.

With Assistance from Bogdan Puchkov

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ITER, The Worlds Largest Nuclear Fusion Project: A Big Step Forward - Forbes

Exploring applications of ultraviolet disinfection technology – Health Europa

UVC light energy in the germicidal wavelength range between 200nm and 280nm has an array of applications throughout the field of infection prevention and control, particularly but not limited to within the healthcare sector.

HEQ explores some of the use cases where UV disinfection has proved beneficial.

A 2019 study conducted in Houston, Texas found that automated UVC infection control was able to significantly reduce the spread of hospital acquired infections (HAIs) spread through high-touch computer workstation surfaces. The review investigated the cleanliness of computers at nurses stations, on mobile carts and in patient rooms; and reported: [These workstations] are rarely manually wiped down or disinfected and there is seldom training or documented procedures around cleaning of computer workstations. Housekeeping, nursing and IT dispute over who is responsible for the computer workstation cleaning, making computer workstations one of the dirtiest places in healthcare, contributing to the prevalence of healthcare associated infections (HAIs) that lead to morbidity, mortality and excess healthcare expenditure.

The study compared keyboard cultures from 52 high-use workstations at HCA Houston Healthcare Southeast before and after the installation of no-touch UVC disinfection technology. All post-disinfection samples showed 0% presence of all pathogens for which they were tested.

Ultraviolet radiation has long been used to eliminate harmful microorganisms from fruits, vegetables and water, with UV treatment deployed to disinfect water supplies in Marseille, France, in 1908 and UV-irradiated milk introduced to the US in 1928. In agrifood, UV radiation is frequently used to destroy surface pathogens on fruits and vegetables.

In early 2020, researchers at Cornell AgriTech, New York, teamed with Norways SAGA Robotics to develop an autonomous robot capable of applying UV treatment to wine grapes, in order to defend them from harmful powdery and downy mildew fungi. The mildew spores evolve swiftly and can develop immunity to antifungal sprays over the course of a single season but they are particularly vulnerable to light radiation. The UV robot, named Thorvald, is programmed to apply equal doses UV radiation to each vine; though the Cornell researchers are working in partnership with academics at Carnegie Mellon University to develop imaging technology which will enable Thorvald to identify and target vines affected by mildew.

Floor-scrubbing robots at Pittsburgh International Airport have been retrofitted with UVC technology to eliminate coronavirus from floor surfaces, in the first such test case in the US. If the pilot programme, developed with the assistance of Pittsburgh robotics firm Carnegie Robotics, is effective, researchers predict it could be rolled out across the USAs 149 international airports.

Allegheny County Airport Authority CEO Christina Cassotis praised the contributions of Pittsburghs flourishing robotics industry to the wider community during the unprecedented crisis od COVID-19, saying: We have a whole innovation culture that is looking for ways to do things better, especially in the pandemic; and one of the things that we recognised immediately is that while we have to manage the crisis day to day we have to keep a line of sight into the future, to help inspire confidence in travel again.

In the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, the availability of personal protective equipment (PPE) became an exceptionally pressing issue for healthcare staff. Recognising the need to enable the reuse of PPE without compromising the safety of workers, a cross-disciplinary team of engineers from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York fast-tracked the development and production of a disinfection system which deploys UV radiation to sterilise protective face masks in large quantities.

Deepak Vashishth, Director of the RPI Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies, said: Normally these things take a very long period of time, but given the national situation, I think there is an understanding at all levels that we need to look for solutions which are stable, good, and safe, and are delivered quickly. I think this is an example of where we came together to deliver a solution, and hopefully, this is going to be useful to the healthcare professionals and frontline workers.

As long form space missions become a closer possibility, many researchers have begun to focus on systems which will enable space travellers to eat and drink safely and cleanly while away from Earth for growing periods of time. One such project is the Biocontamination Integrated cOntrol of Wet sYstems for Space Exploration (BIOWYSE) project, supported by the EUs Horizon 2020 programme, which aims to address the issue of clean drinking water in space.

Astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS) are able to receive regular deliveries of food and water directly from Earth, with cargo spacecraft able to travel to the ISS in around six hours. For longer journeys, however, BIOWYSE is investigating ways to store and monitor water for contamination in real time. The project has developed a fully automated water dispenser which monitors water quality and automatically decontaminates it using UV radiation.

BIOWYSE co-ordinator Dr Emmanouil Detsis said: We wanted a system where you take it from A to Z, from storing the water to making it available for someone to drink. That means you store the water, you are able to monitor the biocontamination, you are able to disinfect if you have to, and finally you deliver to the cup for drinking. When someone wants to drink water, you press the button its like a water cooler.

In addition to producing potable drinking water, Detsis said, the machine is able to monitor and disinfect surfaces within the spacecraft which may be wet or damp from spillages or condensation, and which therefore may pose a potential contamination risk: Inside the closed habitat, you start having the humidity build up and you may have corners or areas where they are not clean, so we developed something that could check these areas in a fast way. The system is designed with future habitats in mind: a space station around the moon, or a field laboratory on Mars in decades to come. These are places where the water may have been sitting there some time before the crew arrives.

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Exploring applications of ultraviolet disinfection technology - Health Europa

View from Brussels: Out of the space race? – E&T Magazine

The US made another leap forward in extra-planetary exploration last week with the return of SpaceXs demo crewed launch. It is looking more and more as if Europe will be consigned to being an enthusiastic bit-player, rather than a fully-fledged runner in the space race.

Watching last weekends crowd-less edition of the British Formula One Grand Prix at Silverstone, your columnist was struck by the parallel between motorsports premier racing series and the international competition to put humans into space.

Mercedes-Benz has dominated the proceedings for nearly a decade, while the likes of Ferrari and Red Bull have only managed to launch half-hearted challenges to the German manufacturer during the same period. Victories here and there but never the top prize.

That state of affairs is much like Russia and China, which have only infrequently competed with the United States when it comes to space policy.

Then you have the F1 midfield runners, the likes of McLaren and Renault, which have promised a lot given their pedigree but almost always flattered to deceive. Their racing efforts are the equivalent of Europes forays into orbit.

Last week, the European Space Agency lauded the fact that one of its astronauts - veteran French spaceman Thomas Pesquet - will be aboard SpaceXs second full launch in the first half of next year.

I am thrilled to be the first European to fly on the new generation of US crewed spacecraft, Pesquet said once the ink was dry on the contract. He will be part of a four-person mission alongside two Nasa personnel and a Japanese astronaut.

It reflects the hierarchy in the space race, where the big spenders reign supreme and the rest of the field have to make do with crumbs. Europe, after all, has to rely on Russia and now the US, again, to reach the heavens.

That dependence is likely to last at least another decade, if not longer, as Europes next-gen rocket, the Ariane 6, is not configured for crewed launches. Ithas still yet to make its debut flight, as coronavirus-based delays have moved the first launch back to early 2021.

Ariane 6 is purely geared towards upping Europes capacity to put hardware into orbit, a segment of the sector where the Old Continent admittedly leads the field. When it comes to GPS and Earth observation satellites, Europe can mix it with the best.

But the rockets lack of capacity to carry human capsules and even its one-shot-only capabilities - SpaceXs vehicles are reusable after all - has led many to question whether Europe is already out of the space exploration race and is settling for the riches offered by space exploitation.

Things are poised on a knife-edge. The ESAs member states granted the agency a beefed-up budget in late 2019, which should help fund projects as exciting as a new space station or even a lunar mission.

But the EU, which also contributes billions to the ESAs coffers, last month settled on a long-term budget that fails to provide the agency with any extra firepower compared to its last offering.That was despite widespread calls for the bloc to pump an extra 3-5 billion into the mix.

There are ambitious plans coming out of Brussels regardless. The EUs executive branch, the Commission, has spun off space policy into its own separate department along with defence matters, and the French official in charge, Thierry Breton, intends to boost its standing.

Space is one of Europes strong points, and were giving ourselves the means to speed up, the Commissioner said in late June, just before EU leaders shaved 3bn off the proposed budget.

SpaceX has redefined the standards for launchers, so Ariane 6 is a necessary step, but not the ultimate aim: we must start thinking now about Ariane 7, the former head of IT giant Atos added.

Giving Europe independent access to space for crewed missionsis likely to be a question of politics rather than money at the end of the day. The ESAs members would have to instruct the agency to make it a priority, which would then lead to a race between firms to provide the service.

Another thing that SpaceX has shown is that costs can be reduced when competition is added to the mix. Given Europe's vast resources of technical know-how dotted across the continent, the untapped potential is gigantic, despite the inability to match Nasa's huge budget.

Arianespace, the French company that designs the Ariane rocket family, says thata launcher with crewed capacityis not a question of technical feasibility. For the firms CEO, Stphane Isral nothing is impossible and all he would need is the green light.

The American manned space programme started again in 2012. Eight years later, there was this SpaceX manned flight. If Europe made the same choice, by the end of the decade, it would be possible, he said in June.

Things are moving fast. Elon Musks company carried out a successful test of its Starship this week, the latest step towards a first Moon mission since 1972 and even a crewed launch to Mars.

As ever, the EU - and by extension Europe - does not lack the ambition of other big players. But the slow pace at which politics can move and an at times frustrating unwillingness to take the first step, looks like relegating Europes astronauts to the back of the grid.

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View from Brussels: Out of the space race? - E&T Magazine

I-Connect007 Editor’s Choice: 5 Must-Reads for the Week – I-Connect007

Its hard not to get our hopes up that were entering into a brand-new golden age of space exploration, led this time by private enterprise. The innovation demonstrated by nimble, non-traditional, civilian companies in developing and deploying reliable, reusable lift vehicles, along with more affordable payload prices, has re-invigorated the Space Age. And dont forget that the man responsible for SpaceShipOnewhich, arguably, triggered all this private enterprise space developmentwas the IPC APEX EXPO keynote speaker this past January. (Read our exclusive interview with Burt Rutan here, as well as coverage of his keynote presentation here.)

My top 5 picks this week include the SpaceX Dragon splashdown, the Mars 2020 missions Ingenuity helicopterfeaturing an interview with the carbon fiber company that built the helicopters landing gearand the U.S. Air Forces efforts to secure space systems with the help of volunteer hackers. Readers also responded to news from IPC and iNEMI, and blockchain turned out to be hugely popular.

NASA Astronauts Safely Splash Down After First Commercial Crew Flight to Space StationPublished August 3

With a nearly flawless, safe and precise landing, and the potential for quick turnaround and reuse, SpaceX is delivering on those promises made by the Space Shuttle program back in the 1970s. The news coverage we published was popular with readers, not to mention technologically and historically significant.

Goodwinds Composites: Putting a Helicopter on MarsPublished July 31

Simultaneous to the SpaceX manned re-entry news buildup, NASA launched the Mars 2020 mission. Weve featured the Goodwinds team before, so it was exciting for us when they could finally talk about their work on the Ingenuity helicopter. Our exclusive, day-of-the-launch audio interview caught readers attention.

IPC and iNEMI Sign MOU With Focus on Future of Electronics ManufacturingPublished August 3

In this quote from the press release, IPC and iNEMI will collaborate and share information on developing technology roadmaps, organizing forums, establishing new programs, and identifying additional industry needs and projects for the mutual benefit of the membership of both organizations. By pooling resources and perspectives, these two industry associations will help us all to see the future directions and challenges more clearly.

This Month in SMT007 MagazineIBM: Supply Chain BlockchainPublished August 4

When we set out to interview IBMs Michelle Lam and Christophe Begue for the August issue of SMT007 Magazine, our intent was to gain clarity on exactly what blockchain is and how it would function in the manufacturing supply chain. When we featured this article in the newsletter, readers gobbled it up!

Electronics Manufacturing Industry Calls on Congress to Pass New COVID-19 Recovery BillPublished August 4

The global economies continue to carefully navigate their respective ways through the COVID-19 effects toward recovery. IPC continues to advocate for appropriate U.S. government legislation to maintain our momentum during these times. Not only is this news item important, but it was also of interest to readers.

Bonus pick:

U.S. Defense, Air Force Invite Hackers to Re-Imagine How Space Systems Are SecuredPublished August 3

Completing our space tech hat trick is the satellite hack event. This quote from Will Roper, assistant secretary of the U.S. Air Force, says it all: Space is an increasingly important contributor to global economies and security. Letting experts hack an orbiting satellite will teach us how to build more secure systems in the future.

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I-Connect007 Editor's Choice: 5 Must-Reads for the Week - I-Connect007

Deep Space Exploration and Technology Market: Competitive Dynamics & Global Out – News by aeresearch

The Deep Space Exploration and Technology market report highlights the significant growth drivers, opportunities, and challenges that are slated to define the growth trajectory of this business space in the ensuing years.

According to the document, the market is projected to register XX% CAGR over the analysis timeframe (2020-2025) and is slated to witness substantial gains by the end of analysis period.

With the market going up and down amidst the coronavirus outbreak, uncertainty dominates the day. Apart from short-term revenue concerns, some industries are projected to face complications even once the economy emerges from the pandemic.

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Almost all the businesses in various sectors have planned their budget to regain profit trajectory for the approaching years. Our assessment of this industry vertical can assist your action plan for managing market uncertainties and help you fabricate robust contingency plans.

The research report offers an extensive analysis of the various market segmentations along with the existing market trends to facilitate better understanding of the revenue projections.

Key inclusions of the Deep Space Exploration and Technology market report:

Deep Space Exploration and Technology Market segments covered in the report:

Regional landscape: North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, South America, Middle East & Africa, South East Asia

Product types: Rockets, Landers, Robots, Satellites and Orbiters

Applications spectrum: Moon Exploration, Transportation, Orbital Infrastructure, Mars Exploration and Others

Competitive outlook: Airbus S.A.S, MAXAR Technologies Inc., Bradford, Astrobotic, Masten Space Systems, Axiom Space, Northrop Grumman Corporation, Lockheed Martin Corporation, Blue Origin, Nanoracks LLC, The Boeing Company, Planetary Resources, Thales Group, Sierra Nevada Corporation and Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX

Market segmentation

The Deep Space Exploration and Technology market is split by Type and by Application. For the period 2020-2025, the growth among segments provides accurate calculations and forecasts for sales by Type and by Application in terms of volume and value. This analysis can help you expand your business by targeting qualified niche markets.

Research Objective:

Why to Select This Report:

Key questions answered in the report:


Chapter 1 Industry Overview

Chapter 2 Production Market Analysis

Chapter 3 Sales Market Analysis

Chapter 4 Consumption Market Analysis

Chapter 5 Production, Sales and Consumption Market Comparison Analysis

Chapter 6 Major Manufacturers Production and Sales Market Comparison Analysis

Chapter 7 Major Product Analysis

Chapter 8 Major Application Analysis

Chapter 9 Industry Chain Analysis

Chapter 10 Global and Regional Market Forecast

Chapter 11 Major Manufacturers Analysis

Chapter 12 New Project Investment Feasibility Analysis

Chapter 13 Conclusions

Chapter 14 Appendix

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Deep Space Exploration and Technology Market: Competitive Dynamics & Global Out - News by aeresearch

Flashback Friday: Possibilities of space exploration in 1980 –

Earlier this week, NASA launched another mission to mars. A week after the Apollo 11 moon landing celebrated its 51st anniversary.

In this weeks Flashback Friday, we take you back to 1980, where an Astronaut from Apollo 17, turned U.S senator spoke on the technological possibilities of space exploration.

New Mexico senator Harrison Schmitt is not unfamiliar with scientific exploration on a grandiose scale. It was Schmitt, the geologist and astronaut who explored the lunar surface in Americas latest Apollo 17 moonshot. As a senator, Schmitt is still preaching space technology, now pushing the formation of a Earth resource information satellite corporation. Which would collect and distribute satellite information on a worldwide scale. Information Schmitt says could help U.S. ag prices by using satellite pictures to predict world crop production. Information also to curb the energy crunch through satellite energy exploration. Its acceptance, Schmitt says, is Americans technology test, which will spell prosperity or the lack of it for the future.

Our problem is most of the leadership in the major agencies of government, like the department of the interior, literally dont want us to develop energy in this country, and domestic energy. Theyre afraid of what it does to the environment, theyre afraid of what it does to the atmosphere, and so forth. And so the regulatory and taxation restrictions on doing anything are so formidable. Plus the bureaucratic inertia that comes in budget cycles, that it is almost impossible to get these kinds of things off the ground right now.

Schmitt worries that America will miss out on economic advantages if other countries develop the system first. So do many of these scientists. But according to Schmitt, not the government, which harbors a coolness to towards the system which Schmitt describes as enough to frost a chili pepper.

Bill Overman, KELOLAND News.

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SpaceX Took a First Small Step to Mars. That’s Great News for Space Investors. – Barron’s

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SpaceX is back in the news, creating hope for aspiring astronauts with a test of part of its Starship system, meant to eventually take crews to the moon, to Mars, and beyond.

The trial liftoff and landing also has the potential to fuel investors dreams of finding the next big thing. Space investing and the low-earth-orbit economy are still in the early stages of development.

In April, NASA selected SpaceXalong with two other teamsto develop landing vehicles for the 2024 Artemis moon missions. SpaceX is developing a reusable systemnamed Starshipthat integrates a powerful rocket and lander. Tuesdays test was an early milestone in Starships development.

During the test, part of the craft lifted off, rose 150 meters, and landed safely. It was another feather in the cap of SpaceX, whose 2020 achievements have been, frankly, breathtaking.

This past Sunday, the company completed a two-month mission qualifying it to ferry astronauts to and from the International Space Station. Its also delivered many satellites to low earth orbit, which will enable the company to eventually offer high-speed, space-based internet access to earthlings.

SpaceX is no small player. The company is valued at $30 to $40 billion in private markets, but some people see the potential for much more.

Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas for starters thinks the company, headed by Tesla (TSLA) CEO Elon Musk, could be worth up to $150 billion, although that value is mainly dependent on a successful internet business. He doesnt have much value assigned to deep space exploration.

Our views around deep space exploration are largely qualitative at this point, wrote Jonas in a July research report.

There arent a lot of business opportunities in deep space yet, but that is changing. There was the Starship test. NASA is also spending money. Aerojet Rocketdyne (AJRD), for instance, makes the rocket engines for the huge NASA space launch systemor SLSwhich is the backbone of the agencys plans for deep space exploration. SLS will be the most powerful rocket NASA has built.

The SLS is slated to launch for the first time in late 2021. Early missions will deliver cargoes to the moon. Space craft traveling that far have to be accelerated to 24,500 miles an hour to break out of low earth orbit.

Jonas, of course, doesnt cover SpaceX. He does cover the space tourism company Virgin Galactic (SPCE). He rates those shares at Buy and has a target of $24 for the stock price.

Aerojet Rocketdyne shares are down about 7% year to date, a little worse than comparable returns of the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average. Virgin Galactic shares have soared 70%.

Tesla has done better than both, up more than 250%. There is no connection between Tesla and SpaceX beyond Musk. But Musk matters. SpaceX generates a lot of free advertising for the electric- vehicle maker, saving the car maker billions of dollars each year.

Write to Al Root at

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SpaceX Took a First Small Step to Mars. That's Great News for Space Investors. - Barron's

VIPER Rover to use Thales Alenia Space tech for Earth comms – SpaceWatch.Global

Artists impression of VIPER rover; Credits: NASA

Thales Alenia Space, a joint venture between Thales (67%) and Leonardo (33%), signed a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Johnson Space Center (JSC) for the delivery of the X-Band Transceiver and X-Band Diplexer. These critical systems will ensure communications for the Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover (VIPER).

A critical step to human space explorationNASAs lunar rover will explore the South Pole of the Moon in search for water ice and other potential resources by means of its three instruments and a 1-meter (3.28-foot) drill. The data collected by the rover will show where the Moons water ice is most likely to be found and easiest to access. The first water maps of the Moon will mark a critical step forward in NASAs Artemis program to establish a sustainable human presence on the surface of the Moon later this decade.

Furthermore, the exploration of lunar resources to produce oxygen and propellants could enable new mission architectures to human space exploration. The VIPER rover will be delivered to the Moon as part of NASAs Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS). With a launch foreseen in late 2023, the mission will have a duration of 100 Earth days, covering 3 cycles of lunar day and night.

Direct-to-Earth communications from the Moon surfaceThales Alenia Space in Spain will design, manufacture, test and deliver the X-Band Transceiver and X-Band Diplexer, which are responsible for the rover communications with direct links between the lunar rover and Earth over NASAs Deep Space Network.

We are thrilled to collaborate with NASA on the VIPER mission, which will search for water on the Moon, a critical element to future human exploration endeavors, said Eduardo Bellido, CEO of Thales Alenia Space in Spain.This contract with NASA reflects our leadership in space communication systems and our competitiveness in delivering state-of-the-art communication equipment for all type of space missions to customers around the world.

VIPER is the fourth mission to the Moon in which Thales Alenia Space in Spain provides key communication equipment. Starting back in 2003 with SMART-1, the first mission to the Moon of the European Space Agency (ESA), the company also contributes to the Korea Pathfinder Lunar Orbiter (KPLO), the first step of the Korean Lunar Exploration Program, as well as to the NOVA-C lunar lander being developed by Intuitive Machines to compete for NASA CLPS awards.

Building on its comprehensive heritage in the development of space communications equipment for all type of space missions, Thales Alenia Space in Spain has contributed to 600 satellites, space probes and cargo vehicles from Low Earth Orbit (LEO) to the L2 Lagrangian point at 1.5 million kilometers from the Earth.

Key partner and supplier to NASA missionsThales Alenia Space has a long standing presence in the USA space market as key partner and supplier to commercial and institutional missions. A world leader in space communications, the company has contributed communication equipment to numerous NASA programs such as PACE, WFIRST, IBEX, OCO, Cygnus, JUNO, ICON or JWST.

Thales Alenia Space is also an experienced provider of pressurized elements for human space exploration, including multiple modules of the International Space Station. These include Node 2 & 3, Columbus (pressurized part), the Multi-Purpose Logistics Module (MPLM), the Permanent Logistic Module (PPM), the Cupola and the ATV and Cygnus resupply cargo vehicle.

Moreover, the companys long-standing capabilities in oceanography and altimetry are born with the Topex-Poseidon joint NASA/CNES (French Space Agency) program, to be followed by the Jason oceanographic satellites series. Thales Alenia Space is now teaming up with the French space agency and NASA/JPL on SWOT, a very ambitious American-French program that will shape the future of space-based oceanography.

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Where no man has gone before: The problematic way we portray space exploration – The Big Smoke Australia

The way we portray space exploration is less about the destination, and more about the white men who conquer it. The Neil Armstrong biopic is merely the latest example.

I have a confession. Or, rather, I should just say that I have something to tell you because I dont feel ashamed or in need of absolution. I wanted to write about First Man, but I fell asleep.

Exhaustion set in with the first sequence, as the film moved from the familiar (but no less effective) stress of near-disaster aboard a shaky rocket-powered plane to a heart-dropping descent into the banal. But I didnt actually fall asleep until the Apollo 11 launch scene. I remember waking briefly during the countdown and struggling with each number to keep my eyelids open, thinking,Shit, youre supposed to watch this part!Even if I hadnt fallen asleep, I dont know how much Id have to say about the movie: a dweeby daredevils ascent to space captain filmed as aMad Menspin-off.

The space biopic is a relatively puny genre, and the patriotic tedium of watching a bunch of men lob technicalities back and forth speaks to the lack of actual inspiration. 1983sThe Right Stuffwas panned by the public but received eight knee-jerk Oscar nominations (and won four, a formality), and it has since been declared a film of great import. Space films that do please dont necessarily skimp on patriotism, but they do have to insert aliens and asteroids and nuclear payloads to make it interesting.

The tedium of rocket science obscures the historical knot of empiricism and empire. A different kind of first man, Galileo has a different sort of biopic, too. A play titledLife of Galileo was written by Bertolt Brecht, the Marxist dreamer of modern theatre, and attempts to portray the scientist as rebel visionary. The plot dwells too much in the discovery narrative typical of Galileos glorification as a man of science. But Brecht also touches on the sinister uses of knowledge and the difficulties of producing knowledge for a greater good. Galileo scoffs at the supposed privilege of freedom of research, and he makes clear that it is of no use without freedom of time.

Today, space research is funded by the military and by venture capital because the worlds resources are organized in such a way that nobody else can afford it. When told that he needs to make his scientific research more commercially lucrative, Brechts Galileo responds, Free trade, free research. Free trading in research, eh? hinting at the cynical drive for profit that hides behind invocations of research for the greater good. These are questions often left out when Americans consider the benefits of space research and space travel. InFirst Man, the brute show of scientific prowess Neil Armstrongs famous walk is understood as a social good rather than an invocation of military might.

Biopics are overwrought not just in their cold attempts at sentimentality (having to wring emotion from tight-lipped white men who work too much is an uncomfortable rub) but also in their propaganda. Beyond the nationalist backslapping of these Cold War victory fantasies, a larger narrative animates it all, a hubristic story that people tell of space travel. There is, in fact, an internal contradiction to space aesthetics: outer space is meant to both humble us before the great mystery and inflates us with pride at overcoming the void. In First Man, the technological sublime awe invoked not through landscape but man-made interventions on landscape eclipses the space sublime. It is a feeling perhaps first intimated in the eyepiece of Galileos telescope.

And now, a brief detour to the well-worn tale of the dawn of empiricism. In 1543, Nicolaus Copernicus published his heliocentric model of the solar system. The sun, he said, was the immovable centre around which all the planets, including Earth, rotated. It is often misunderstood that the sin for which Galileo, following the Copernican heliocentric model, was persecuted was removing Earth from some esteemed position in the centre of the universe. But for church officials in the 16th and 17th centuries, that centre was a pit. Earth was the sordid habitance of fallen man. To posit that the Earth was a celestial body implied that it was not the heavy globe of sin Catholic theology imagined it was. In The Great Copernican Clich, published in the American Journal of Physics,Dennis Danielson traces how, from Aristotelian to Ptolemaic models, the center meant the filthy, bogged-down base. Galileo offended not because he dethroned the Earth but rather because he had dared suggest our home world sung with the heavenly spheres in their melodic transit around the sun.

One way in which Galileo proved the Copernican model of the solar system was through his observation of the moon, which appeared through his telescope as something completely different from the perfectly rounded sphere that theology-inflected science had described and expected of the heavens. The Roman Inquisition tried Galileo for heresy in 1633, and he spent the rest of his life under house arrest. The actual glorification of man inherent to the Copernican Revolution is that humanity might know and understand the heavens, proven in part by Galileos ability to pierce the mystery with his telescope. InFirst Man, much is made of mans technical triumph over the cosmos. It harps on that Armstrong is anengineer, not just some meathead Marine.

What kind of story of humanity is being told in the line we wait the whole ofFirst Manto hear? One small step . . . Who is the mankind who takes the giant leap? And to where? The idea that all of mankind jumps forward in Armstrongs step suggests that the mankind of the future and of progress is a scaled-up collective of strapping, square, straight martyrs. Their race and gender default to the obvious. In an ironic moment of self-critique in the movie, Gil Scott-Herons song-poem Whitey on the Moon plays during a montage that serves as the sole nod to a social world outside Armstrongs life: The man jus upped my rent las night / (cause Whiteys on the moon.) / No hot water, no toilets, no lights / (but Whiteys on the moon.) Scott-Herons words deserve a much better context than this sequence, which is only a kind of floating index for the unrest and resistance movements that occurred while the military mission for the moon was working toward a much different future for humanity.

The Apollo program embodies a particularly American hubris, one integral to a story our democracy tells about itself. It is also connected to a long history of how outer space, in particular the moon, has appeared to the explorer, the capitalist adventurer,the space dad: all versions of sovereign white manhood. Outer space has been a backdrop for a Western man to define himself as protagonist since Galileo, who claimed the Earth was of the heavens and that the heavens were knowable by a man with the right stuff.

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NASA Awards STTR Research Grant To Geisel Software And UNLV For Robot Simulation Platform for Source Search and Mapping – PRNewswire

The research is critically important to solving problems such as mapping, localization, atmospheric transmission spectroscopy, electromagnetic radiation detection of all kinds, seismic and other planetary sensing, and more. Woosoon Yim, Ph.D. and professor of mechanical engineering in UNLV's Howard R. Hughes College of Engineering, will serve as principal investigator and his team at UNLV will work in tandem with Geisel Software's engineers to address the complex issues inherent in swarming applications.

"Geisel Software is honored to be selected for this Phase I STTR in cooperation with UNLV," commented Brian Geisel, Chief Executive Officer at Geisel Software. "We're excited to be working with such a well-regarded university that's committed to serving minority and underrepresented students. This STTR will give students an opportunity to grow not only in the initial phase as students, but also through the eventual productization phase as engineers."

"Space is a challenging experimentation environment and developing a realistic simulation platform for studyingcoordination and control of swarms of the ground and aerial vehicles is integral to safe space exploration," said Yim. "Geisel Software has technical expertise in solving complex software challenges and experience building custom solutions for government organizations. This partnership builds off our combined strengths to help NASA achieve their exploration goals."

The STTR program is a highly competitive three-phase program that reserves a specific percentage of federal research and development funding to award to small businesses in partnership with nonprofit research institutions to move ideas from the laboratory to the marketplace, to foster high-tech economic development, and to address the technological needs of the federal government.

About Geisel Software, Inc.Founded in 2011, Geisel Software, Inc. ( is a Massachusetts-based custom software development firm. Geisel's highly trained, innovative team creates elegantly designed, world-class web / cloud, mobile apps and embedded software for some of the most visionary hardware, software and security companies in the medical and robotics industries. Geisel Software is committed to understanding our customer's business and clearly defining project parameters to deliver powerful, unique solutions that allow them to innovate, create and succeed. We serve federal and state government and commercial enterprises across the United States.

About UNLVUNLV is a doctoral-degree-granting institution of more than 31,000 students and 3,900 faculty and staff that has earned the nation's highest recognition for both research and community engagement from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. UNLV offers a broad range of respected academic programs and is committed to recruiting and retaining top students and faculty, educating the region's diverse population and workforce, driving economic activity, and creating an academic health center for Southern Nevada. Learn more at

SOURCE Geisel Software, Inc.

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Why are ASEAN nations joining the space race? – ASEAN TODAY

As NASA launches its most detailed mission yet toMars, Southeast Asian nations are also working on space programmes, albeit on amuch smaller scale. What is in it for them and how are they making it work?

By John Pennington

As NASA looks for signs oflife on Mars, it seems an odd time for Myanmar to focus on sendingsatellites into space while civil conflicts rage on the ground and thenation battles the coronavirus pandemic.

However, the country is not interested in exploring newfrontiers or entering a space race to prove its technological prowess. Itsspace programme, developed in collaboration with experts at Hokkaido Universityand Tohuku University in Japan, aims to improve connectivity, mitigate theimpacts of natural disasters and boost crop production.

Myanmar first stepped up its space plans in 2017 when itset up a steering committee to develop its own satellite system. In August2019, it launched Myanmar-sat2 todeliver improved broadband and video distribution services.

As Myanmar aims to get 95% of its population online by 2022, the new satellite means they no longer have to pay upwards of US$10 million per year to rent satellite channels from China, Thailand, the US and Vietnam. The savings will go towards covering some of the US$155.7 million Myanmar spent on its launch.

One of the reasons that Myanmar wants to build and launch itsown satellites is to save money. Seven engineers from the Myanmar AerospaceEngineering University were due to go to Japan in March to begin their trainingwith a view to designing, building and launching twosatellites in the next five years.

These will be microsatellites weighing no more than 50kilogrammes and measuring around 50 centimetres per side. They will enablescientists in Myanmar to monitor weather systems, crops and land usagefromurbanisation to spotting illegal activity such as logging and mining.

COVID-19 delayed the engineers departure but the cost of theprogrammefunded by Myanmars governmentwill be US$16million, a fraction of what it would cost to build and launch thetype of large satellites that Southeast Asian nations cannot afford.

Its simply less expensive if we build our own satellite, said KyiThwin, the aerospace universitys rector, adding that the programme could alsoboost Myanmars economy. It is a plausible claim: every dollar the US has spentin space has delivered, according to estimates, anything from US$7-40 ineconomic returns.

However, it all depends on COVID-19if borders do notreopen then the scientists will not be able to travel to Japan andthey will likely miss the initial launch date, scheduled for 2021.

Despite their size and weight, these microsatellites possessadvanced imaging technology. They can send back detailed pictures of widetracts of land regularly, allowing those interpreting the data to trackchanges.

For example, they can show farmers what is happening in fieldsthat may be hard to reach, leading to fewer wasted trips to check on crops. Thesame Japanese universities collaborating with Myanmar helped the Philippineslaunch a satellite in 2016 that proved instrumental in detectingdisease in bananas.

The instruments could alert authorities to changes in areasthat would otherwise go unnoticed, perhaps enabling them to move in and preventillegal practices such as logging or mining before too much damage is done tothe local environment.

Primarily, however, the satellites will monitorweather systems such as typhoons and detect seismic activity.Early detection of severe weather patterns will enable authorities to movepeople and livestock away from danger, saving lives and money. In the aftermathof disasters, the satellites will show scientists how quickly areas arerecovering.

It is not just a matter of launching a satellite and takingan image, but our goal is to bring truly practical outcomes by analysing thedata acquired through the latest technology and observation methods, explainedProfessor Yukihiro Takahashi, director of Hokkaido Universitys Space MissionCenter.

These ties with established space programmes are crucial for initiativesin places like Myanmar. Like many countries, it lacks the resources andtechnology to design and launch satellites itself, meaning it must work withothers.

To this end, it has joined a nine-strong super-constellation ofAsian nations, also including Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam, to launchand monitor microsatellites. Malaysia and Thailand will also eventually come onboard.

Furthermore, Myanmar is part of an Asian micro-satelliteconsortium founded in 2016 which committed to sharing technology andobservational data. In this way, ASEAN nations can move forward with spaceprogrammes that would otherwise be out of reach. The more satellites there aresending back pictures of the region, the better, particularly if all membershave access to the data.

Indonesia has the most advanced space programme within ASEAN,being the first in the region to send geosynchronous satellites into space whenNASA launched them in 1976.Vietnams Pham Tun becamethe first Southeast Asian to go into space in 1980.

However, China, India and Japan have dominated the history ofAsian space exploration. Like NASA, all three have launched missions to both Marsand the moon, with more planned, leading to some predictions thatAsia might win the next space race.

ASEANs role in more advanced space exploration attempts willbe limited. While an astronaut from the region may one day return to space oreven set foot on another planet, it would be as part of another countrysprogramme. For now, Southeast Asias space race has smaller but no lessimportant goals: ensuring natural resources are not wasted and averting potentialdisasters here on earth.


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Why are ASEAN nations joining the space race? - ASEAN TODAY

The first interplanetary helicopter is on its way to Mars –

The first helicopter designed to fly on another planet is now on its way to Mars.

NASA's Mars helicopter, called Ingenuity, is hitching a ride to the Red Planet with the agency's Mars 2020 Perseverance rover, which lifted off on an Atlas V rocket from Florida's Cape Canaveral Air Force Station today (July 30).

Tucked beneath the rover's belly, Ingenuity will spend the next six months en route to Mars. The mission is scheduled to land on Mars on Feb. 18, 2021, and within the next few months the rotorcraft will attempt the first-ever flight through another planet's atmosphere.

Related: Meet Ingenuity: Alabama teen names NASA's Mars helicopterLive Updates: NASA's Mars rover Perseverance mission in real time

"We as human beings have never flown or rotorcraft outside of our own Earth's atmosphere, so this will actually be a very much a Wright Brothers moment, except on another planet," Mimi Aung, NASA's Ingenuity Mars Helicopter project manager, said in a news conference on Tuesday (July 28).

While NASA and other space agencies around the world have sent landers, orbiters and rovers to the Red Planet, no one has attempted to fly an aircraft on another planet before. On Mars the atmosphere is much thinner than it is on Earth, which means there's less air to generate lift and more technical challenges in designing a craft that will stay aloft.

"Flying a rotorcraft at Mars is very difficult. First and foremost, the atmosphere there is very thin, about 1% compared to the Earth's atmospheric density here," Aung said. "To build a vehicle that can fly at Mars, it has to be very light and be able to spin very fast."

In photos: NASA's Mars Perseverance rover mission to the Red Planet

Ingenuity weighs about 4 lbs. (1.8 kilograms) and has two counter-rotating blades that measure about 4 feet (1.2 meters) long. Those blades should spin at a rate of about 2,400 revolutions per minute, NASA said in Ingenuity's mission description.To test the helicopter, NASA simulated the Martian atmosphere in a testing chamber at the agency's Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena, California.

While Ingenuity is only an experimental mission its primary objective is to test powered flight on Mars a successful flight could shape the future of exploration on Mars.

For robotic missions like the Perseverance rover, helicopters could scout the Martian terrain and help plan driving routes. With that same aerial view, rotorcraft could also be used to study the planet's geology from a different perspective, and they could even help astronauts explore Mars someday, NASA said.

"This Mars helicopter Ingenuity could lead to the opening up of a whole new way to explore space" and to take "exploration missions to the aerial dimension," Aung said.

Email Hanneke Weitering at or follow her @hannekescience. Follow us on Twitter@Spacedotcom and onFacebook.

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SpaceX: Crew Dragon is returning to Earth heres when to hold your breath – The Conversation UK

The Crew Dragon spacecraft, produced by private company SpaceX, is scheduled to return from the International Space Station (ISS) and splash down in the Atlantic ocean on August 2. Contingent on a favourable weather forecast and a successful final week at the ISS, NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley will begin the undocking procedure on August 1, and re-enter Earths atmosphere the next day a total of 64 days since lift off.

The historic launch took place on May 30 from NASAs Kennedy Space Center in Florida, marking the first time a commercial space company has carried humans into orbit around Earth. But while the launch was a nail-biting experience to watch, reentry will be even more risky presenting a tense moment for mission control. SpaceX founder Elon Musk said that the reentry is indeed his biggest concern.

The joint SpaceX and NASA mission was successful in docking with the ISS, so that astronauts could complete scientific and maintenance work, including four spacewalks.

Importantly, the missions primary purpose is to test and demonstrate the vehicles capability to safely carry crew to and from Earth orbit, as the first step in the plan of commencing regular ISS missions and commercial space flights.

The extreme velocities and temperatures the vehicle must endure present a major challenge to engineers and makes reentry the most perilous part of a mission.

The danger starts with finding the right angle of the trajectory as the spacecraft enters the upper atmosphere. If it is too steep, the astronauts will experience potentially fatal g-forces, and the friction of the air drag could cause the spacecraft to explode. If it is too shallow, the capsule will instead catastrophically skip off the atmosphere and back into Earth orbit.

The spacecraft will enter the upper atmosphere at 27,000km/hour. That is 7.5km/second, or more than 20 times the speed of sound. In whichever units you prefer this is fast. At these velocities, a very strong shock wave forms around the front of the vehicle, compressing and superheating the air. Managing the immense thermal load is a huge reentry engineering challenge.

At the most extreme stage, the temperature of the air in the shock layer exceeds 7,000C. By comparison, the temperature at the surface of the Sun is around 5,500C. This makes the vehicles heat shield so hot that it starts to glow a process called incandescence. SpaceXs new and advanced PICA-X material heat shield has managed to protect the capsule in test flights, later being recovered in a very charred state.

The air molecules around the vehicle also break down into positively charged atoms and free electrons a so-called plasma. When some of the molecules recombine, excess energy is released as photons (light particles) giving the air around the vehicle an amber glow.

This plasma layer may be beautiful, but it can cause radio blackouts. When an electron travels along a conductive wire, we have electricity. Similarly, when free electrons move through the plasma around the vehicle, we have an electric field. If the electric field becomes too strong, it can reflect and attenuate the radiowaves trying to reach the spacecraft.

Blackout not only leads to a loss of connection to on-board crew and flight data, it can also make remote control and guidance impossible. The Apollo missions, the Mars Pathfinder and the recent, failed 2018 Soyuz rocket launch all incurred communications blackout on the order of minutes. NASA mission control are anticipating a nervous six minutes of blackout during the peak heating phase of Crew Dragons return if anything goes wrong during this time, its in the hands of the astronauts.

Another risky stage is the parachute-assisted landing. The Crew Dragon will deploy four parachutes upon the final stage of reentry, as the vehicle descends toward a gentle splashdown in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Florida. This manoeuvre has been tested by SpaceX 27 times prior to next weeks crewed landing, so it should work.

A successful landing will have huge implications lowering the cost of space exploration through the use of reusable rockets and enabling private space exploration. While SpaceX engineered the Crew Dragon vehicle under contract to NASA, the company is free to use the spacecraft for commercial flights without NASA involvement after operational certification.

SpaceX has a partnership with commercial aerospace company Axiom Space, which has the ultimate goal of building the worlds first commercial space station. The proposed commercial activities for the station are broad: from in-space research and manufacturing to space exploration support.

Then there is space tourism. Private citizens are already queuing for their ticket to space, and with a successful Crew Dragon splashdown, they wont be waiting long. American space tourism company, Space Adventures (partnered with SpaceX), are planning to offer zero-gravity atmospheric flights, orbital flights with a spacewalk option and laps of the Moon by late 2021.

Read more: Elon Musks Starship may be more moral catastrophe than bold step in space exploration

Whether the costs, environmental impact and dangers of spaceflight is justified for space tourism is debatable. As this articles shows, the required safety briefing for Space Adventure ticket holders will be much more comprehensive than your regular please take a moment to read the safety card in the seat pocket in front of you.

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‘On our way to Mars’: NASA rover to look for signs of life – The Daily Times

A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket lifts off from pad 41 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Thursday, July 30, 2020, in Cape Canaveral, Fla. The mission will send a Mars rover to the Red Planet to search for signs of life, explore the planet's geology and much more. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. The biggest, most sophisticated Mars rover ever built a car-size vehicle bristling with cameras, microphones, drills and lasers blasted off for the red planet Thursday as part of an ambitious, long-range project to bring the first Martian rock samples back to Earth to be analyzed for evidence of ancient life.

NASAs Perseverance rode a mighty Atlas V rocket into a clear morning sky in the worlds third and final Mars launch of the summer. China and the United Arab Emirates got a head start last week, but all three missions should reach their destination in February after a journey of seven months and 300 million miles.

The plutonium-powered, six-wheeled rover will drill down and collect tiny geological specimens that will be brought home in about 2031 in a sort of interplanetary relay race involving multiple spacecraft and countries. The overall cost: more than $8 billion.

NASAs science mission chief, Thomas Zurbuchen, pronounced the launch the start of humanitys first round trip to another planet.

Oh, I loved it, punching a hole in the sky, right? Getting off the cosmic shore of our Earth, wading out there in the cosmic ocean, he said. Every time, it gets me.

In addition to potentially answering one of the most profound questions of science, religion and philosophy Is there or has there ever been life beyond Earth? the mission will yield lessons that could pave the way for the arrival of astronauts as early as the 2030s.

Theres a reason we call the robot Perseverance. Because going to Mars is hard, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said just before liftoff. In this case, its harder than ever before because were doing it in the midst of a pandemic.

Shortly after liftoff, Perseverance unexpectedly went into safe mode, a sort of protective hibernation, after a temperature reading triggered an alarm. But deputy project manager Matt Wallace later said that the spacecraft appeared to be in good shape, with its temperatures back within proper limits, and that NASA will probably switch it back to its normal cruise state within a day or so.

Everything is pointing toward a healthy spacecraft ready to go to Mars and do its mission, he said.

NASAs deep-space tracking stations also had some difficulty locking onto signals from Perseverance early in the flight but eventually established a solid communication link, Wallace said.

The U.S., the only country to safely put a spacecraft on Mars, is seeking its ninth successful landing on the planet, which has proved to be the Bermuda Triangle of space exploration, with more than half of the worlds missions there burning up, crashing or otherwise ending in failure.

China is sending both a rover an orbiter. The UAE, a newcomer to outer space, has an orbiter en route.

Its the biggest stampede to Mars in spacefaring history. The opportunity to fly between Earth and Mars comes around only once every 26 months when the planets are on the same side of the sun and about as close as they can get.

The launch went off on time at 7:50 a.m. despite a 4.2-magnitude earthquake 20 minutes before liftoff that shook NASAs Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California, which is overseeing the rover.

Launch controllers at Cape Canaveral wore masks and sat spaced apart because of the coronavirus outbreak, which kept hundreds of scientists and other team members away from Perseverances liftoff.

That was overwhelming. Overall, just wow! said Alex Mather, the 13-year-old Virginia schoolboy who proposed the name Perseverance in a NASA competition and watched the launch in person with his parents.

About an hour into the flight, controllers applauded, pumped their fists, exchanged air hugs and pantomimed high-fives when the rocket left Earths orbit and began hurtling toward Mars.

We have left the building. We are on our way to Mars, Perseverances chief engineer, Adam Steltzner, said from JPL.

If all goes well, the rover will descend to the Martian surface on Feb. 18, 2021, in what NASA calls seven minutes of terror, during which the craft will go from 12,000 mph to a complete stop. It is carrying 25 cameras and a pair of microphones that will enable Earthlings to vicariously tag along.

Perseverance will aim for Jezero Crater, a treacherous, unexplored expanse of boulders, cliffs, dunes and possibly rocks bearing the chemical signature of microbes from what was a lake more than 3 billion years ago. The rover will store half-ounce rock samples in dozens of super-sterilized titanium tubes.

It also will release a mini helicopter that will attempt the first powered flight on another planet, and test out other technology to prepare the way for future astronauts. That includes equipment for extracting oxygen from Mars thin carbon-dioxide atmosphere.

The plan is for NASA and the European Space Agency to launch a dune buggy in 2026 to fetch the rock samples, plus a rocket ship that will put the specimens into orbit around Mars. Then another spacecraft will capture the orbiting samples and bring them home.

Samples taken straight from Mars, not drawn from meteorites discovered on Earth, have long been considered the Holy Grail of Mars science, according to NASAs now-retired Mars czar, Scott Hubbard.

To definitively answer the life-beyond-Earth question, the samples must be analyzed by the best electron microscopes and other instruments, far too big to fit on a spacecraft, he said.

Ive wanted to know if there was life elsewhere in the universe since I was 9 years old. That was more than 60 years ago, Hubbard said from his Northern California cabin. But just maybe, Ill live to see the fingerprints of life come back from Mars in one of those rock samples.

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'On our way to Mars': NASA rover to look for signs of life - The Daily Times

KOTG: Mass testing at McCrossan Boys Ranch, FBI phone scam and cooler weather in the forecast –

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KOTG: Mass testing at McCrossan Boys Ranch, FBI phone scam and cooler weather in the forecast -

Global space economy grows to $423.8 billion in 2019 – Geospatial World

Combined Activity in Government Spending and Commercial Revenue has Jumped 73% in the Last Decade, According to Newest Analysis from Space Foundation

The global space economy in 2019 grew more than $9 billion over the previous year, reaching $423.8 billion, according to new findings published by Space Foundations 2020 second-quarter issue ofThe Space Report.

Economic analysis also found:

For more than a decade,The Space Reporthas been widely recognized as the definitive body of information about the global space industry. It contains worldwide space research and data relating to the industrys economy, infrastructure, and workforce, and also details the diverse benefits of space exploration. The report is a resource for government and business leaders, educators, financial analysts, students, space-related companies, and media.

Among the other findings released inThe Space Report 2020, Q2issue:

Space Foundations Research & Analysis team producesThe Space Reportquarterly to provide regular updates on global space activity.

This is the account of the Newsdesk team at Geospatial Media. Reach us at newsdesk [@] or call us on +91-120-4612500

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Global space economy grows to $423.8 billion in 2019 - Geospatial World

Report proposes actions to strengthen US space industry and military capabilities – SpaceNews

One of the narratives in the report is that the United States is at risk of being displaced by China as the world's space superpower.

WASHINGTON A group of more than 120 experts from the U.S. military, government space agencies and the private sector issued a report July 28 calling for investments in technology and education to ensure the United States remains the dominant space power.

The 86-page report, State of the Space Industrial Base 2020: A Time for Action to Sustain U.S. Economic & Military Leadership in Space, summarizes the results of a May conference led by the Defense Innovation Unit, the Air Force Research Laboratory, the U.S. Space Force and NewSpace New Mexico.

One of the narratives in the report is that the United States is at risk of being displaced by China as the worlds leader in space exploration and use of space for economic development. It suggests the U.S. could meet that challenge by increasing its support of the commercial space industry and giving the military a bigger role in protecting civilian and private sector space assets.

China is committed and credible in its pledge to become the leading, global superpower, to include space, by 2049 marking the 100 th anniversary of the Peoples Republic, the report says. A key component of Chinas strategy is to displace the U.S. as the leading power in space and lure U.S. allies and partners away from US-led space initiatives.

A central recommendation in the report is for the U.S. to develop a guiding national vision for space industrialization and national space development.

Other recommendations:

Expand role of U.S. Space Force The report recommends a broader role for the U.S. Space Force protecting U.S. commercial and civil space capabilities, commerce and civil infrastructure in the space domain, similarly to how the U.S. Navy protects the global maritime commerce. Clarity on this issue will drive commercial confidence for a more rapid expansion of U.S. space entrepreneurial activity, says the report.

The Space Force also could help support Americas return to the moon by providing safety of navigation services in cislunar space. The Space Force should articulate its role in planetary defense, the report says. Such a role could accelerate Americas edge in asteroid mining and in-space transportation. In this context, the Space Force would be like the Army Corps of Engineers, helping accelerate the development of critical infrastructure.

Support domestic space industry The industry has been financially damaged by the COVID-19 pandemic and the full extent of the crisis is still unclear. The U.S. government could encourage investments in the space industry in the form of bonds, a space commodities exchange and a government commitment to procure products and services through such an exchange.

Include allies and partners in space development efforts China is trying to lure U.S. allies through offers of joint participation in the development of global platforms and international infrastructure and wealth, including space development. In response, the U.S. should deepen ties with allies and partners in space development projects.

Increase investment in STEM education The U.S. government should provide incentives to fill the demand for talent. One suggestion could be a STEM ROTC with targeted undergraduate scholarships for U.S. citizens in return for working in STEM in the United States after graduation. NASAs Artemis program will require an additional 10,000 STEM graduates for civil needs alone, with more needed to support the Space Force.

Suggestions to the private sector:

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Report proposes actions to strengthen US space industry and military capabilities - SpaceNews

Love the US Space & Rocket Center? #SaveSpaceCamp now – Bham Now

Sunset over an old Space Shuttle in Huntsville. Photo via the U.S. Space & Rocket Centers Facebook page

Never in a million years would I have imagined the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville and its beloved Space Camp programs could be a casualty of COVID-19. But unless they raise $1.5 million dollars, both will have to close permanently in October. We reached out to people here in Birmingham to find out how Space Camp shaped them and why we all need to do our part to save the U.S. Space & Rocket Center, an irreplaceable national treasure. #SaveSpaceCamp now.

Long story short, according to Ben Chandler, Chairman of the U.S. Space & Rocket Center Foundation and a Space Camp alum:

the coronavirus pandemic has devastated our revenue stream, and without your support, were on a trajectory to have to close the doors of the U.S. Space & Rocket Center museum, Space Camp and its sister programs sometime in October of this year. Our organization, our beloved Space Camp, and the U.S. Space & Rocket Center museum does not qualify for federal, state or local relief. Its up to us. We have to save Space Camp. We have to raise $1.5 million by October to ensure that the museum stays operational and so that Space Camp can reopen in the Spring of 2021.

Go to to give now.

We reached out to Dennis Leonard of Birmingham-based EDPA (Economic Development Partnership of Alabama) to find out what more about the impact of the U.S. Space & Rocket Center on the state. Heres what he said:

The U.S. Space and Rocket is Center is a shining jewel brilliantly highlighting Alabamas leadership in winning the first Space Race and in rocketing towards winning the second.

Dr. Wernher Von Braun led 400,000 engineers from Huntsville, in building NASAs Apollo program, which led to the greatest innovation in the 20thCentury, the Apollo 11 Moonshot and landing.

The US Space and Rocket Center pays homage to this otherworldly accomplishment while remaining a symbol of American ingenuity and investment, all solely centered in our great state.

The capital investment made alone in the more than 300 aerospace and defense contractors, the countrys second largest research park, Redstone Arsenal, NASA, and now Blue Origin, Dynetics, and United Launch Alliance is an economic development juggernaut unseen in the rest of the country.

Heres how John Nerger, Chair of the Alabama Space Science Exhibit Commission, which is the board that oversees the U.S. Space & Rocket Center, opened todays press conference:

The coronavirus pandemic has created a dire situation at our beloved Space & Rocket Center and we are now struggling for our very survival.

We closed in mid-March to comply with state health orders. Our museum opened in late May with limited attendance. Space Camp resumed in late-June at a mere 20% of capacity to abide by safe distancing requirements.

Low attendance has meant a 2/3 reduction in revenue, an amount that means we are not financially viable.

Space Camp will have to close its week-long programs again in September due to the lack of enrollment from our international students and our school groups.

We continue to seek local, state and federal assistance, but we realize their ability to help is limited. We just cannot afford to wait for someone wearing a cape to swoop in and rescue us.

Therefore, we are doing a couple of things that are essential for protecting the Center, for protecting Space Camp, and making it possible for both to reopen and rise again in 2021.

First, we are cutting costs, drastically. Sadly, this means letting go over 90% of our valued personnel.

Second, we are turning to the public and the communitywhether local, in our state, across the country and even overseasfor help, immediate help.Thats why we are launching our Save Space Camp campaign today. The campaign to Save Space Camp must raise a minimum of $1.5m to keep the U.S. Space & Rocket Center open past October, which is when we run out of money, and allow us to reopen Space Camp next April.

The program here is far too important to both young and old, but especially our young people. Anyone who sees how vital space, science, engineering and education are to the future of this country and even the future of humanity, we simply must save Space Camp. There is no other option.

Other impacts of a potential closure, according participants at the press conference, include:

Do you know people whove been to Space Camp? With one million alums across the globe, its likely that you do. As for me, Ive never heard anyone say it was anything less than life changing. In fact, its the sort of program my husband and I have talked about wanting to send our own kids to one day.

Dennis Leonard of EDPA said this about the importance of Space Camp to our state:

Space Camp is certainly an economic development attraction and tourism destination. There is only one Space Camp in the US and two others in the world. We attract space campers from all 50 states and 150 countries around the world who are intrigued by space, are motivated by STEM and STEAM education, and who themselves want to be space explorers. If the US Space and Rocket Center, along with Space Camp, were to close, we would lose this youthful engagement, the allure of future students wanting to attend Alabama colleges and universities, and the likelihood of talent attraction for our multidimensional workforce.

I reached out to two Birmingham-area leaders who are both space camp alums to find out what it means to them, and here is what they said.

The Space and Rocket Center is more to me than a tourist destination. It IS the reason I became a meteorologist. As a middle school student I attended The Space Academy in Huntsville where my eyes were opened to the world of space.

I fell in love with science because of Space Camp. From there, I decided I would like to study earths atmosphere and become a meteorologist. Literally, if it wasnt for Space Camp, Im not sure I would be where I am today.

I have vivid memories of my missions, my experiences, and my role as CAPCOM (Capsule Communicator) at Space Camp.

I dream of the day when my kids can attend. At space camp, kids are inspired, taught, challenged, and build lasting friendships. Its a world class program focused on growing our next generation of leaders, scientists, engineers, and innovators.

In a state that doesnt have the best reputation for being ahead of the curve academically, having NASA, and the Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville has been a huge source of pride.

It has given us a means to put our best foot forwardone of science, innovation, and exploration to share with the rest of the world through tourism and Space Camp, inviting commerce and investment in our state.

As incredible new innovations are in progress even here in Birmingham, how often we hear the term moonshot. This will be our moonshot. That turn of phrase carries with it an expectation that science is still important in Alabamathat inspiring our businesses, entrepreneurs, andchildrento reach for the moon and beyond really matters.

In one incredible place in Alabama children can be inspired, practice teamwork, be exposed to people from around the globe and all the good that entails, and truly experience how math and science apply in daily life. Its incredible, and its RIGHT HERE in our back yard. We should be EXPANDING on that, not contemplating eliminating it.

Who doesnt have memories of going to the U.S. Space & Rocket Center when they were a kid? What parent doesnt love watching their own kids hop into lunar modules, eat lunch underneath a Space Shuttle, or enjoy the outdoor rides among real rockets?

Heres why we need to help save it:

Alabamas US Space and Rocket Center is theonlyfacility like it in the US, and it was Dr. Von Brauns brainchild to challenge young, visiting minds with the center.

We must make a multi-year investment in saving the US Space and Rocket Center to preserve history, immerse visitors and campers in the infinite challenges of space exploration, and retain Alabamas singular leadership role in leading the space race which now includes the protection of our telecommunications systems, global defense, and scientific achievement.



Love the US Space & Rocket Center? #SaveSpaceCamp now - Bham Now

Space Photonics Opportunities Abound As NASA Renews Moon And Planetary Exploration Market: Future Scenarios and Business Opportunity Analysis COVID-19…

Report Highlights

The recentramp-up by NASAas it revitalizes its commitment to the Moon, Mars and other planetary exploration is providing new opportunities for companies involved in optics and photonics. This report examines the new technical challenges in space photonics and optics, and the spillover to manufactured products, which is both exciting and well recognized.

Reports Includes:

An overview of spacephotonics opportunities at NASAfor revitalizing Moon, Mars and other planetary exploration initiatives Coverage of pre-Artemis Moon scientific missions and photonics Comparative study on space-made vs. earth-made optical fibres Knowledge about Lunar Crater Observing and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS), the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) and the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE).


Request for Report Sample:

The recent ramp-up by NASA as it revitalizes its commitment to the Moon, Mars and other planetary exploration initiatives is providing new opportunities for companies involved in optics and photonics. Astronomy and optics go all the way back to Galileos telescope, and instruments including the spectrometer date back to the first days of the NASA space program. The potential spin-off effects of these activities are the stuff of marketing dreams. Who among us is not delighted by the transition from room-sized valve driven mainframe computers to semiconductors? Or memory foam mattresses, infrared thermometers, freeze dried ice cream, solar cells, Bowflex exercising and water filtration recycling systems? In optics, the tracking system for LASIK eye surgery owes a debt to velocity and range imaging LADAR first used for docking spacecraft.

Unlike the outcomes of the programs leading to the first Moon mission, Mercury-Gemini-Apollo, the program here is far longer lasting and the scope is far greater. NASAs intent is not just to land on the Moon, but to develop the Moon as a launching pad where water and rocket fuelamong other things can be mined indigenously, and space exploration to Mars and beyond can occur.

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Space Photonics Opportunities Abound As NASA Renews Moon And Planetary Exploration Market: Future Scenarios and Business Opportunity Analysis COVID-19...