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Space News and Facts Newsletter - June 13 - June 19, 2021

Space News and Facts Newsletter
Space News and Facts Newsletter - June 13 - June 19, 2021
By Paul Fulford • Issue #5 • View online
Here are several articles posted to the SN&F website and social media pages this past week. There are many more. Click here for Facebook. The website also embeds space agency videos from YouTube. View everything in one place. Click here for the website.

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Amid the achievements of China and the US on Mars and with their space stations, and talk of Russia making a self-managed return to prominence in space, not quite enough attention (IMHO) is being paid to the Indian Space Research Organization (#ISRO), India’s space agency. This article gives a good overview of their plans, the “Gaganyaan” spacecraft, and explains why activities have been stunted recently (hint: Covid-19). There are a couple of embedded videos showing some Indian space technologies.
India's human spaceflight plans coming together despite delays | Space
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This fascinating article itemizes 30 esoteric facts about our Moon. Did you know … the Moon was created from the debris of a collision between Earth and another planet called Theia? The dark spots on the Moon are cooled magma from ancient volcanic activity. The Moon is moving away from Earth every year (okay, only 3.8 cm). Why are shadows darker on the Moon? Why doesn’t the Moon rotate? (We always see the same side.) There are human remains on the Moon. (I did not know that!) And more.
30 Moon Facts That Are Out of This World | Best Life
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A spectacular set of 20 photos from the #ISS. Washing hair, juggling fruit, and panoramas of space and Earth. Worth a look.
A NASA image released on February 24, 2014 shows a photo taken by the Expedition 38 crew aboard the International Space Station (ISS) on January 30, 2014 of the night view of the Korean Peninsula, and North Korea in the middle is almost completely dark compared to neighboring South Korea (bottom right) and China (top left) - Photogallery
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The big news today, Thursday June 17, is this morning China sent 3 astronauts onboard a Long March 2F rocket to its #Tiangong space station. They will be there for ~3 months. (FYI: Launched from China’s Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center which is located in the Gobi Desert.) I posted about the construction of Tiangong on April 29th, and further to that, the goal of these 3 astronauts is to test construction and life-support technologies. The astronauts names are Nie Haisheng, Liu Boming and Tang Hongbo.
China launches first astronauts to its space station
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NASA is well underway working on its #Artemis mission, the goal being to establish a sustainable presence on our Moon circa 2024. One aspect of that is the development of its “Space Launch System” (aka #SLS) rocket. Rather than experiment with humans on the first flight, NASA will be using a manikin … or, rather, a “moonikin.” Looking for name suggestions, but concerned that people might not take it seriously (surely not!), NASA has pre-selected these names as possibilities: Ace, Wargo, Delos, Duhart, Campos, Shackleton, Montgomery and Rigel. Starting today until June 28th, you can search for NASA’s post on social media if you want to cast a vote.
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As many of you are aware, billionaire #Jeff_Bezo of Amazon, also the founder of aerospace manufacturer and sub-orbital spaceflight services company #Blue_Origin, plans on flying into space (albeit in a low orbit) on July 20th. If you want to prevent his return to Earth, you can sign this petition …
Petition · Do not allow Jeff Bezos to return to Earth · Change.org
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A good analysis of the expected outcome between US President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin when they meet on Wednesday, June 16 in Geneva - at least as far as space cooperation is concerned. Despite disagreements in many areas, when it comes to space research and exploration, both countries have a lot to gain from continued cooperation. Some recent speculation has implied that Russia may stop supporting the #ISS, but as the article points out (and I agree) this is highly unlikely. A more interesting aspect is Russia’s increasing cooperation with China - such as their lunar space station plans - and how the US will approach that relationship. The heads of both NASA, Bill Nelson, and ROSCOSMOS, Dmitry Rogozin, are also meeting at GLEX (I posted GLEX yesterday) in St. Petersburg. Time will tell.
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This article is about research from MIT’s “Space Exploration Initiative,” a partnership with Jeff Bezo’s #Blue_Origin LLC. Amongst those experiments are zero-gravity flight simulations in a Boeing 727 making parabolic arks. Ariel Ekblaw, head of the #MIT Initiative, comments on the need for “space artists, space designers, space lawyers” as the industry expands. Some interesting details about space industry investment from the private sector are quoted, such as #Morgan_Stanley‘s prediction of $1 trillion in revenues by 2040.
Space industry will need artists, designers, lawyers: MIT Space Exploration Initiative director
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Our Sun has atmospheric layers. One of those layers is the #heliosphere, “a bubble created by the solar wind, a stream of mostly protons, electrons, and alpha particles that extends from the Sun into interstellar space and protects the Earth from harmful interstellar radiation.” Previously only theorized about, it has now been mapped using NASA’s Interstellar Boundary Explorer (#IBEX). (FYI: IBEX is a satellite placed in Earth’s orbit in October 2008 with the goal of examining interactions and boundaries between planetary space and interstellar space. Still going strong.)
Boundary of heliosphere mapped for the first time
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This article from the website foreignbrief.com looks at the annual Global Space Exploration Conference (GLEX), being held this year in Moscow starting today June 14, 2021. GLEX is pretty much a conference for collaboration - or those looking for the same - and includes not only country space agencies but also private venture firms. As you may know (?) China and Russia have agreed (in principle, at least) to some collaboration on a shared lunar research station. Obviously (again, ?) this is to counter NASA’s #Artemis program which plans on similar lunar stations (tentatively scheduled for around 2024). So … much of the discussion at GLEX will be about getting smaller countries and companies to join one or the other mission.
Global space exploration conference to begin in St. Petersburg | Foreign Brief
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Paul Fulford

Every week on I publish a newsletter containing space-related articles that I have found interesting.

I read a lot of material on the space industry. There's a lot going on out there other than NASA and SpaceX (although I am not excluding those sources). It is my hope that this newsletter will bring these interesting articles and insights to your attention, and that you, too, will gain a broader appreciation for the vastness of space.

Most of these articles are curated from my own social media posts. Each issue contains links directly to the article that has caught my attention. The article links are not affiliate links - I don't make money from them. They're just what I have discovered and want to share.

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