20 Years Of Human Research On The International Space Station

As the world celebrates two decades of humans in orbit around Earth on the International Space Station, this month’s science summary will look back not at four weeks of European research in space, but 20 years – with a focus on human research, naturally.

In November 2000 the first human entered the two-module International Space Station and ESA ran its first experiment just three months later.

Read more at: ESA

As a Candidate, Biden Said Little About Space. Here’s What He Might Do as President

Charlie Bolden likes to tell the story about the time he and Joe Biden composed a sort of a song. It was back in 2010, when the former Vice President was overseeing the Obama White House push to pass a NASA budget authorization bringing private sector players like SpaceX and Boeing into the business of launching crew and cargo to the International Space Station (ISS). Bolden, then head of NASA, was championing the plan and he and Biden huddled to discuss how best to sell it to skeptical lawmakers on Capitol Hill.

“I remember when we were really having trouble getting funding out of Congress,” Bolden said at a press conference this past May, shortly before SpaceX launched its first crew to the ISS.

Read more at: TIME


Planned Satellite Constellation Poses A Collision Threat, NASA Says: Reports

NASA has voiced “substantial concerns” about a planned constellation of broadband satellites, saying the commercial spacecraft would increase the risk of collisions in an important slice of Earth orbit.

On Oct. 30, NASA submitted an official comment letter to the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regarding a request by Texas-based company AST & Science to operate a network of up to 243 satellites about 450 miles (720 kilometers) above Earth’s surface, as Ars Technica’s Eric Berger reported earlier this week.

Read more at:

The “Complicated” Complexity of Solar Storms

The damaging effects of storms, from flooding caused by heavy rain or storm surges to strong winds knocking trees to the ground, are familiar to most people. Fewer, however, are aware of the hazards of solar storms, though these events can disrupt radio communications, knock out electrical power, and damage satellites. With our increasing reliance on technology, solar storm damage is now a greater threat than ever before.

In a new study, Jones et al. turned to crowdsourced science to help protect against this hazard by identifying potential patterns in coronal mass ejections (CMEs), vast eruptions of plasma and magnetic field flung from the Sun.

Read more at: EOS


Large Launch Companies Cast Doubt On Viability Of Small Launch Vehicle Market

Executives of major launch companies said they doubted there was sufficient demand for more than a few small launch vehicle developers, citing their own efforts to provide rideshare launch services for smallsats.

During a panel discussion at Euroconsult’s World Satellite Business Week Virtual Edition conference Nov. 9, Tory Bruno, chief executive and president of United Launch Alliance, said a year ago he was tracking more than 120 ventures in the small launch vehicle or “microlauncher” market.

Read more at: Spacenews

Introducing China’s New Commercial Rocket, Ceres-1

China’s latest commercial rocket, the Ceres-1 (Gushenxing-1) launch vehicle, has conducted its maiden launch this weekend, orbiting the Tianqi-11 satellite.

Chinese company Galactic Energy conducted the launch on Saturday morning at 07:12 UTC from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center.

The Galactic Energy, also designated Beijing Xinghe Dongli Space Technology Co. Ltd., is one of several private Chinese companies that is developing orbital launch vehicles – of small or medium cargo capacity – for the Chinese domestic and international launch markets.

Read more at: NASA spaceflight

Firefly Closes In On Debut Flight With Rocket Delivery To Vandenberg Launch Site

Across the world, several startup launch providers such as Relativity Space, Astra, Virgin Orbit, and others are currently in fierce competition with one another to bring their in-development rockets into operation and obtain a share of the ever-growing small satellite launch market.

One of those companies – Texas-based Firefly Aerospace – has taken a substantial step in these efforts with the shipment of their first flight-ready vehicle to its launch site at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.

Read more at: NASA spaceflight

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