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Rocket Lab to launch NASA smallsat using SBIR award

Rocket Lab will launch a NASA technology demonstration satellite under an unconventional arrangement as the agency works on a more standardized approach for launching smallsats.

Rocket Lab announced Oct. 6 that NASA selected the company to launch the Advanced Composite Solar Sail System (ACS3) spacecraft on an Electron rocket. The 12-unit cubesat will test the deployment of a solar sail using composite booms seven meters long. Those booms, which will unspool over the course of 20 to 30 minutes, are designed to be lighter that traditional metallic booms while also being less susceptible to thermal distortion.

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Why a Labrador crater is the perfect training ground for future moon explorers

One of the most iconic moments of the 20th century was the first step by a human on the surface of another planetary body. That first footprint was, of course, made by Neil Armstrong on the moon on July 21, 1969. Like many of you, I was not alive to witness this historic event, and so have spent much of my career dreaming of the time when humans will once again venture beyond the protection of low Earth orbit, back to the moon, and then on to Mars. That day is getting tantalizingly close with the launch of NASA’s Artemis Program. 

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Soyuz delivers cosmonaut and film crew to ISS

A Soyuz spacecraft arrived at the International Space Station Oct. 5 carrying a cosmonaut as well as an actress and director who will film scenes for a Russian movie. A Soyuz-2 rocket lifted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 4:55 a.m. Eastern and placed the Soyuz MS-19 spacecraft into orbit. The Soyuz docked with the Rassvet module of the ISS at 8:22 a.m. Eastern after a two-orbit approach. The spacecraft’s commander, Anton Shkaplerov, had to perform a manual docking after a problem with the automated Kurs docking system.

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Automation a Key Enabler of the Future Space Economy

Robotics and automation are playing a huge role across the rapidly evolving new space economy and value chains adjacent to space. The new space economy is being driven by more than billionaires and tourists wishing to go to the great beyond, or governments seeking to commercialize space missions. 

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Posted on August 22, 2021 SpaceX Thinks it can Send Humans to the Moon Sooner Than 2024

It’s no secret that a new Space Race has been brewing over the past few years. This time, rather than being a competition between two federal space agencies, the race has more competitors and is more complicated. In addition to more state competitors, there are also commercial space entities vying for positions and lucrative contracts. Add to that a network of public-private partnerships, and you have Space Race 2.0!

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