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Jeff Bezos v Elon Musk: the rivalry fuelling the modern space race

jeff bezos v elon musk: the rivalry fuelling the modern space race

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The stairway to the heavens starts in Texas. In 2003 a young Elon Musk was scouting for a suitable location to fulfil his dream of becoming a space pioneer. He had started Space Exploration Technologies Corp — SpaceX for short — with the aim of building rockets and one day sending humans to the moon, or even Mars. First, though, he had to find somewhere to carry out the noisy and dangerous job of rocket testing. The wide open spaces of free-wheeling Texas, where folk are more relaxed about firearms and explosives, provided the perfect solution. There, amid the rattlesnakes and fire ants and searing heat, Musk set to work.At the same time, 500 miles across the state, another American entrepreneur was looking for

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NASA begins assembly of Artemis Space Launch System rocket set to return astronauts to the Moon

nasa begins assembly of artemis space launch system rocket set to return astronauts to the moon

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The rocket will carry the first woman and the next man to the lunar surface in 2024.

MERRITT ISLAND, Fla. — Things are stacking up for the build of the Artemis Space Launch System rocket ahead of its 2024 launch to the Moon– quite literally. 

The rocket set to launch the first woman and next man to the Moon began assembly this week at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. 

Why so soon? Well, the rocket has a series of “increasingly complex” missions that will enable future exploration of the Moon and Mars, including the Artemis I launch next year.

“Artemis I will be an uncrewed flight to test the SLS rocket and Orion spacecraft as an integrated system ahead of crewed flights to the Moon with the Artemis program,” NASA wrote.

The remaining nine pieces for the twin solid rocket boosters that will power the first flight of NASA’s new deep-space rocket along with remaining rocket pieces and the Orion spacecraft will be added over the next several weeks. 

But the build is no small feat. 

Once fully stacked the SLS rocket will stand taller than the Statue of Liberty with boosters each approximately half the length of a football field. According to NASA, …

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AACAL reports 100% acceptance rate for juniors who applied for prestigious NASA 2020 program

aacal reports 100% acceptance rate for juniors who applied for prestigious nasa 2020 program

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At the entrance of the Amarillo Area Center for Advanced Learning (AACAL), there is a sign which reads “All Who Enter Will Learn.” It was recently announced that a record number of students will take that knowledge and ability and apply it during a prestigious High School Aerospace Scholars’ Program through the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, or NASA. Eleven juniors at AACAL who applied for the program this year were all accepted, the most which have been accepted at one time from the school. According to a news release, the program gives students the chance to learn about space exploration, earth science, technology and aeronautics and learn directly from NASA engineers and scientists. At the end of the program, some participants will be invited to a five-day virtual experience and a visit to the Johnson Space Center in Houston, according to the release. Wendy Parker, an aerospace engineering teacher at AACAL, said she usually advertises this opportunity to her juniors, letting them hear from AACAL alumni who previously participated in the program. “I talk with them, and usually what I have, I had a kid in the past that’s done it, and they will come and talk with …

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Powering through challenges of the Selene II lunar analog mission — Commander’s report: Lunar day 7

powering through challenges of the selene ii lunar analog mission — commander’s report: lunar day 7

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Dr. Michaela Musilova is the director of Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation (HI-SEAS) program, which conducts analog missions to the moon and Mars for scientific research at a habitat on the volcano Mauna Loa. Currently, she is in command of the two-week Selene II mission and contributed this report to Space.com’s Expert Voices: Op-Ed & Insights.Commander’s Report for the Selene II Mission at HI-SEASLunar Mission Day 7 (Nov. 24, 2020)”There’s no hope on the horizon”— those are definitely the gloomiest words that I have ever spoken during a mission. Looking out of one of the two windows in our habitat did not bring me any solace. All we could see are thick, grey clouds. The Selene II crew has been confined to the inside of the HI-SEAS analog space station for over five days in a row due to so called “lunar dust storms” (rain storms or thick fog). Our habitat is located at 8,200 feet in altitude on Mons Hadley, the Moon (a.k.a on the volcano Mauna Loa in Hawaii). At this altitude, the storms can linger for days on end. We can’t leave our habitat during these storms, as we would risk getting injured and our …

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With the Chang’e 5 launch, China takes a giant leap forward in the

with the chang’e 5 launch, china takes a giant leap forward in the

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The Chang’e-5 lunar sample return mission has roared into space atop a Long March 5 rocket. If all goes well, it will touch down at the Mons Rumker part of the Oceanus Procellarum or Ocean of Storms, a volcanic plain on the near side of the moon. The Ocean of Storms was previously visited by the Apollo 12 mission about 50 years ago. The target area consists of rock and soil that is just 1.2 billion years old, thanks to a volcanic event that took place then.The Chang’e-5 mission is the most complex that China has attempted. The lander portion will attempt to take samples with both a scoop and a drill and store them in an ascent vehicle. The ascent vehicle will blast off and then rendezvous and dock with another vehicle in lunar orbit The samples will then be transferred into an Earth return module, which will take them back to China for study.ADVERTISEMENTIf China is successful, it will have acquired the first geological samples from the moon since the Soviet Luna 24 mission in 1976. The Chang’e-5 mission has to accomplish a series of tasks in a relatively short period of time. Unlike the Chang’e-3 and Chang’ …

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Canada developing lunar rover and science payloads

canada developing lunar rover and science payloads

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WASHINGTON — The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) is moving ahead on efforts to develop lunar science payloads and a small rover that could fly to the moon on a NASA-sponsored lander mission.
The CSA announced Nov. 27 it awarded six contracts with a total value of $2.9 million Canadian ($2.2 million) to five companies and universities for initial “Phase 0” studies of lunar science instruments. The instruments range from spectrometers and particle telescopes to an “agriculture feasibility” payload.
The contracts, with individual values ranging between $300,000 and $600,000, are intended to study the feasibility of the proposed instruments and how they will support lunar science. The contracts are expected to last for up to nine months.
The contracts are part of CSA’s Lunar Exploration Accelerator Program (LEAP), an initiative that the Canadian government unveiled in February 2019 at the same time as it announced it would provide a robotic arm for the NASA-led lunar Gateway. The program, with a planned budget of $150 million over five years, is intended to support a wide range of science and technology initiatives associated with lunar exploration.
In addition to the science awards, CSA issued contracts worth $3.3 million Oct. 29 to two companies, Canadensys Aerospace Corporation and NGC Aerospace Ltd., for development of …

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Cooperation, Not Competition in Space

cooperation, not competition in space

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Today’s International Space Station (ISS) is a greater achievement in space than the Moon landings a half-century ago. Competition and fear fueled the space race to the Moon; cooperation created the ISS. The United States will achieve future greatness in space through cooperation.

The 2020 Defense Space Strategy (DSS) calls for the U.S. to advance space power in order to compete, deter, and win any conflicts that extend into the space domain. Though at the moment the U.S. is not seeking to weaponize space, the aggressive language and tone of the DSS sends adversaries, like China and Russia, a different message. To prevent avoidable conflicts in space, the U.S. needs to adjust both language and tone in the DSS from one of hostility to cooperation.
Now is the time for a new wave of international space cooperation. Our strategy should be a framework for space operations based on the principles of security, stability, and accessibility.
Changing the DSS from antagonism to cooperation will prevent unnecessary fear and competition and prevent a space arms race. Adversaries like China and Russia see the use of strong language as a provocation. Authoritarian governments will see language calling for “space superiority” …

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NASA Astronaut Discusses the Future of Commercial Space Missions

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NEW YORK – NASA and SPACE-X are collaborating tomorrow to launch a commercial crew program considered to be the start of a new era of space exploration.This will be the first fully crewed and operational commercial mission to the international space station.
We spoke with Nicole Jordan, the manager of the mission and Loral O’Hara, a NASA astronaut who told us details about tomorrow and what it means for the future.
“We’ll wake the crew up early tomorrow morning; they’ll get suited and go out to the launch pad. I’ll be in a back room in mission control here and we will launch them into orbit. And they’ll take about a little more than 24 hours to get to the space station,” said Nicole Jordan, the Crew-1 mission manager. “And so, I hope that we are now ushering in a new era where we will have regular launches from Florida to go to the space station, and eventually to the moon and beyond.”
The four astronauts on board will spend six months on the international space station. After high winds canceled today’s launch, it’s now scheduled for Sunday at 7:27 p.m.
NY1 will have special live coverage beginning tomorrow …

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Sally C. Morton tabbed to lead ASU’s Knowledge Enterprise

sally c. morton tabbed to lead asu’s knowledge enterprise

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(Virginia Tech Photo)

PHOENIX — Arizona State University announced on Monday that statistician Sally C. Morton will become the first woman to lead ASU’s Knowledge Enterprise.
Morton, who has spent much of her life working as a statistician focused on combining statistics and data science in health care, will head an organization that spends $640 million researching various topics such as space exploration and food systems, according to a press release.
She comes to Tempe after serving as the dean of Virginia Tech’s College of Science and has served as the chair of biostatistics at the University of Pittsburgh as well.
Morton called joining ASU’s research arm a perfect fit, given her background in biostatstics and educational research.

“I’m tremendously honored and excited to be joining ASU,” Morton said. “There is no more important time than now given the issues facing the world to conduct research of importance to our society.
“We need to do so using transdisciplinary approaches, integrated into our educational mission, and in partnership with industry and our communities. ASU Knowledge Enterprise is the place to make this difference.”
Morton earned her bachelor’s in statistics from Stanford University, before achieving a master’s in …

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China’s Chang’e 5 enters lunar orbit for historic attempt to return moon samples

china’s chang’e 5 enters lunar orbit for historic attempt to return moon samples

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China’s Chang’e 5 spacecraft has entered orbit around the moon ahead of an historic attempt to collect samples from the moon and return to Earth.The 18,100-lb. (8,200 kilograms) Chang’e 5 launched on a Long March 5 rocket on Monday (Nov. 23) from the country’s Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site on Hainan Island and reached the moon today (Nov. 28) after an 112-hour journey. The Chang’e 5 orbiter module fired its main engine at 7:58 a.m. EST (1258 UTC; 8:58 p.m. Beijing time) when 249 miles (400 kilometers) away from the moon, the China Lunar Exploration Program announced just under an hour later.  In pictures: China on the moon! A History of Chinese lunar missions An artist’s illustration of China’s Chang’e 5 moon orbiter entering lunar orbit for the country’s first moon sample-return mission. (Image credit: China Lunar Exploration Project)The spacecraft fired its 3,000-Newton engine for around 17 minutes. This slowed the spacecraft down enough to allow it to be captured by the moon’s gravity. The maneuver is a major step in the 23-day Chang’e mission that aims to deliver fresh lunar samples to Earth in mid-December. No such mission has been attempted since the Soviet Union’s Luna 24 mission in 1976.During its journey to the moon radio enthusiasts have been tracking the …

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