NASA Receives Special Cosmic Delivery of Asteroid Sample from Japan

A Hayabusa2 sample canister containing sample fragments of the asteroid Ryugu is transferred from JAXA to NASA. (Credits: NASA/Robert Markowitz)

HOUSTON (NASA PR) — Just as fossils hold clues to the history of life, asteroids hold clues to the history of the solar system. Rare samples collected from the surface of an asteroid by NASA and its international partners are helping to decipher these clues.

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ESA Spurs 5G Digital Connectivity

Credit: ESA

PARIS (ESA PR) — Efforts to enable seamless connectivity and reduce the digital divide by using telecommunications satellites to enhance terrestrial 5G services have leapt forward.

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This Week in Launches: Japanese Tourist, New Shepard, NASA Laser Experiment, X-ray Satellite & More

Soyuz MS-20 crew members Yozo Hirano, Alexander Misurkin and Yusaku Maezawa. (Credit: Roscosmos)

Schedule subject to change without notice.

December 7

Launch Vehicle: Atlas 5
Payloads: STP-6 and several rideshares
Launch Window: 4:04-6:04 a.m. EST (0904-1104 UTC)
Launch Site: Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Fla.
Webcast: www.nasa.gov

The U.S. Space Force mission will launch the STPSat 6 satellite and several secondary payloads. STPSat 6 hosts NASA’s Laser Communications Relay Demonstration payload and the Space and Atmospheric Burst Reporting System-3 for the National Nuclear Security Administration.

December 8

Launch Vehicle: Soyuz-2.1a
Payload: Soyuz MS-20
Launch Time: 2:38 a.m. EST (0738 UTC)
Launch Site: Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan
Webcast: www.roscosmos.com

Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin will fly Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa and his assistant, Yozo Hirano, to the International Space Station on a 12-day mission.

Launch Vehicle: Electron
Payloads: BlackSky 14 & 15 Earth observation satellites
Launch Time: 6:45 p.m. EST (2345 UTC)
Launch Site: Mahia Peninsula, New Zealand
Webcast: www.rocketlab.com

December 9

Launch Vehicle: Falcon 9
Payload: Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer
Launch Window: 1:00-2:30 a.m. EST (0600-0730 UTC)
Launch Site: Kennedy Space Center, Florida
Webcast: www.nasa.gov

Launch Vehicle: New Shepard
Payload: New Shepard
Launch Time: TBA
Launch Site: Corn Ranch, Texas
Webcast: www.blueorigin.com

Laura Shepard Churchley will fly aboard a suborbital craft named in honor of her late father, NASA astronaut Alan Shepard, who became the first American in space 60 years ago and walked on the moon a decade later. She will be joined by: Good Morning America co-host Michael Strahan; Voyager Space chairman and CEO Dylan Taylor; Lance Bess, principal and founder of Bess Ventures and Advisory; Lance’s son Cameron Bess; and Evan Dick, managing member of Dick Holdings. This will be the 19th launch of the New Shepard system.

December 12

Launch Vehicle: Proton
Payloads: Express AMU3 & Express AMU7 communications satellites
Launch Time: 7:09 a.m. EST (1209 UTC)
Launch Site: Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan
Webcast: www.roscosmos.com

Preparations Continue at Baikonur for Japanese Billionaire’s Launch to International Space Station

Spaceflight participant Yozo Hiro, Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin and spaceflight participant Yusaku Maezawa. (Credit: Roscosmos)

BAIKONUR COSMODROME, Kazakhstan (Roscosmos PR) — Baikonur Cosmodrome continues preparations for launching the Soyuz-2.1a carrier rocket with the Soyuz MS-20 crewed spacecraft. On the previous day, the Soyuz-2.1a/Soyuz MS-20 rocket was rolled out to the Site 31 launchpad (‘Vostok’), after which Roscosmos specialists conducted work on the L-3 day schedule, no issues were revealed.

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dMY Technology Group Stockholders Approve Plan to Take Planet Labs Public

SAN FRANCISCO (Planet Labs PR) — Planet Labs Inc. (“Planet”), a leading provider of daily data and insights about earth, today announced that its proposed business combination with dMY Technology Group, Inc. IV (NYSE:DMYQ) (“dMY IV”), a special purpose acquisition company, was approved by dMY IV’s stockholders at its special meeting held on December 3, 2021.

Approximately 99% of the votes cast at the meeting on the business combination proposal voted to approve the transaction.

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NASA Selects New Astronaut Recruits to Train for Future Missions

NASA announced its 2021 Astronaut Candidate Class on Dec. 6, 2021. The 10 candidates, pictured here at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston are: U.S. Air Force Maj. Nichole Ayers, Christopher Williams, U.S. Marine Corps Maj. (retired.) Luke Delaney, U.S. Navy Lt. Cmdr. Jessica Wittner, U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Anil Menon, U.S. Air Force Maj. Marcos Berríos, U.S. Navy Cmdr. Jack Hathaway, Christina Birch, U.S. Navy Lt. Deniz Burnham, and Andre Douglas. (Credits: NASA)

HOUSTON (NASA PR) — NASA has chosen 10 new astronaut candidates from a field of more than 12,000 applicants to represent the United States and work for humanity’s benefit in space.

NASA Administrator Bill Nelson introduced the members of the 2021 astronaut class, the first new class in four years, during a Monday, Dec. 6 event at Ellington Field near NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.

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Terran Orbital Delivers Small Satellite into Operational Orbit for EchoStar

Tyvak nanosatellite (Credit: Terran Orbital)

BOCA RATON, Fla. and ENGLEWOOD, Colo. December 6, 2021 (Terran Orbital PR) – Terran Orbital Corporation (Terran Orbital), a global leader and pioneer in the development, innovation and operation of small satellites and earth observation solutions, announced today the successful stationing of the EchoStar Global 3 small satellite into its final operational orbit. Tyvak Nano-Satellite Systems, Inc. (Tyvak), a subsidiary of Terran Orbital, designed, manufactured, and operates the satellite on behalf of EchoStar Corporation (Nasdaq: SATS), a premier global provider of satellite communication solutions.

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Astra to Conduct First Launch From Cape Canaveral in January

Rocket 3 lifts off from Kodiak Island. (Credit: Astra Space webcast)

Astra to begin operating out of second US spaceport

ALAMEDA, California. December 6, 2021 (Astra Space PR) – Astra Space, Inc. (“Astra”) (Nasdaq: ASTR) today announced that it plans to deploy its first satellite in orbit for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in January 2022. The launch from Cape Canaveral will be conducted out of Space Launch Complex 46 (SLC-46) and will be Astra’s first launch out of Cape Canaveral.

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This Week on The Space Show

This week on The Space Show with Dr. David Livingston:

Tuesday, November 07 — 7 PM PST (9 PM CST; 10 PM EST): We welcome back BOB ZIMMERMAN for his 2021 summary program with a look ahead for all space news and more.

Wednesday, December 08 — Hotel Mars pre-recorded. See the Upcoming Show Menu at www.thespaceshow.com for details.

Friday, December 10 — 9:30-11 AM PST; 11:30 AM- 1 PM CST; 12:30-2 PM EST: We welcome back DR. MALCOLM LeCOMPTE regarding the possible asteroid strike in the Near East several thousand years ago. Malcolm was a recent Hotel Mars guest.

Sunday, December 05 — 12-1:30 PM PST, (3-4:30 PM EST, 2-3:30 PM CST): Welcome to the last OPEN LINES program for 2021. Make sure we hear from you. All callers welcome. 1-866-687-7223

ESA Moves Forward with Your Ideas for 11 Pioneering Missions

Depictions of some of mission ideas submitted to ESA. (Credit: ESA)

PARIS (ESA PR) — You spoke, we listened. Last September, we asked for your ideas for future space missions. Our goal was to tap into the insight, expertise and creativity of European citizens, companies and academia to help us plan for the future. Based on over 200 ideas, ESA Discovery & Preparation is now launching 11 new activities over the course of the coming year, that will together shape the future of space.

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Phase Four Reveals Next Generation RF Thruster Performance

Three Maxwell Block 1 engines nearing final assembly during Phase Four’s most recent production run. (Credit: Phase Four)

EL SEGUNDO, Calif., Dec. 1, 2021 (Phase Four PR) — Phase Four, the creator of the radio-frequency thruster for satellite propulsion, announced today that its second generation thruster offers significant performance improvements over its first generation thruster.  The new thruster, which will be at the core of the Maxwell Block 2 engine, has demonstrated more than 13 mN of thrust and over 700 s of specific impulse (Isp) at 500 Watts of input power.  This represents an overall 85%+ performance improvement from the company’s first generation thruster.

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SIA, AIAA Respond to National Space Council Meeting

Satellite Industry Association Applauds Inaugural Meeting of National Space Council Chaired by Vice President Harris

Washington, D.C. – The Satellite Industry Association (SIA) today applauded the inaugural meeting of the National Space Council chaired by United States Vice President Kamala Harris that took place at the U.S. Institute of Peace in Washington, DC. Earlier in the day, the White House issued a copy of the executive order authorizing the National Space Council and set forth the Council’s membership, duties and responsibilities. It also released a document titled, “United States Space Priorities Framework” which outlines the Administration’s plans to, “develop and implement national space policy and strategy going forward.”

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Space BD Signed First contract for 13 Experiments for High-quality Protein Crystal Growth Service

TOKYO (Space BD) — Space BD announces that it has signed contracts for a total of 13 space experiments with two domestic and international companies and one research center for high-quality protein crystal growth experiments utilizing the International Space Station (ISS) Japanese Experiment Module Kibo. Space BD has been appointed as the sole partner by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) for its “Selection of Private business partner in the High-Quality Protein Crystal Growth Experiment Service” in May 2021.

In this experiment, Space BD and the three users agreed to load samples for drug discovery research on new coronaviruses and agricultural drug discovery research.

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