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  • Retreat from the red planet? (#1)
  • Middle East enters race (#11)
  • Robo-therapists (#4)
  • Ukraine’s space agency (#25)
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Scientific American
Proposed cuts could end decades of U.S. leadership in exploring that world.

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UC Berkeley
Most graduating seniors expect to write a final thesis, or perhaps co-author a paper or present a poster or talk at an academic conference. By the time Paul Köttering graduates from the University of California, Berkeley, in 2021, he and his team hope to have launched a satellite.

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Time
NASA rendering of a return to the moon. The lander in the background is imagined and generic — showing no favoritism to any of the three contending companies.

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Digital Trends
Returning to Earth after long periods of time in space on the International Space Station can be a strange experience for astronauts. After months in microgravity, even an act as simple as walking may be accompanied by feelings of dizziness, nausea, and vertigo.

Editor’s Note: Ever wondered whether astronauts feel lonely after returning from their space pursuits? Well, they do. Luke Dormehl analyses a new solution that could help them in dealing with isolation problems – robo-therapists.

Associated Press
NASA and SpaceX on Friday urged everyone to stay home for the first home launch of astronauts in nearly a decade because of the coronavirus pandemic.

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Spaceflight Now
SpaceX completed Friday the last drop test of the Dragon crew capsule’s parachutes before the first launch of astronauts on the human-rated ship May 27, while technicians at Cape Canaveral have mated the spacecraft’s crew module with its unpressurized trunk section.

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Universe Today
This weekend, SpaceX’s fourth Starship prototype (SN4) achieved a major milestone by passing the crucial cryogenic load test. This consisted of the prototype’s liquid oxygen and liquid methane tanks being filled with liquid nitrogen to see how they hold up when fully-pressurized. This test was vital since the three previous prototypes suffered structural failures and were lost during this exact same procedure.

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Spaceflight Now
SpaceX’s proposal to land astronauts on the moon using the company’s reusable Starship vehicle could be “game-changing” for space exploration, but comes with risks and complexity that “threaten the schedule viability” to achieve NASA’s goal of returning crews moon by the end of 2024, agency officials said.

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CBC
If it were not for the fact that the Hubble Space Telescope was designed to be repaired and upgraded while in orbit, it would not have reached its 30th anniversary this month. After shaky beginnings that almost doomed the project, it was saved by astronaut servicing missions that repaired and replaced components that enabled it to run for three decades.

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NASA
A bustling stellar nursery in the picturesque Orion Nebula will be a subject of study for NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, scheduled to launch in 2021. A team led by Mark McCaughrean, the Webb Interdisciplinary Scientist for Star Formation, will survey an inner region of the nebula called the Trapezium Cluster. This cluster is home to a thousand or so young stars, all crammed into a space only 4 light-years across — about the distance from our Sun to Alpha Centauri.

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Jewish News Syndicate
Israel is currently leading in the Middle East “space race,” but several countries in the region are quickly catching up; Iran, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Egypt are all developing their own space programs.

Editor’s Note: The space race is no longer confined to the West. Dr Shaul Shay states that a new space race is underway – in the Middle East.

The Hill
In the recent movie “Midway,” Vice Admiral William “Bull” Halsey, played by Dennis Quaid, calls Lt. Col. James Doolittle “maybe the best pilot in the world.” On April 18, 1942, Doolittle’s Raiders launched their B-25 bombers off the flight deck of the carrier Hornet on a daring raid to bomb Tokyo. Most people thought launching a bomber from a carrier was impossible, but Doolittle was a world-famous test pilot and innovative engineer known for aggressively advancing the art of flight.

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Tech Times
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) announced that in a few weeks, they would resume the operations for the construction of the Space Launch System (SLS) after assembly activities were stopped due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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Defense News
In a few months, the U.S. Air Force will choose two of the four competing space companies to provide five years of launches in the National Security Space Launch (NSSL) program. One of the core objectives for this program is to increase affordability by leveraging the technologies and business models of the commercial launch industry.

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Forbes
Throughout the history of astronomy, every advance we’ve ever made has come about because of fundamental improvements in how we view the Universe. What drives how well we understand whatever phenomenon we’re studying? It’s the quality of the data that we collect. No observatory has demonstrated this better than the Hubble Space Telescope, currently celebrating its 30th anniversary, from its perch 550 kilometers above the Earth’s surface.

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Syfy
On 27 April 2020, the U.S. Department of Defense officially released three unclassified videos, footage taken on Navy fighter jets. These videos, leaked to the public in 2007 and 2017, appear to show three unidentified flying objects moving in weird and unexpected ways. The Navy had already acknowledged the videos were real, but pointedly did not say what they show.

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The Globe and Mail
hen three astronauts returned from the International Space Station earlier this month, it was to a very different world than the one they left.

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Spaceflight Now
Launches of interplanetary missions can only depart Earth when the positions of the planets are just right, and officials managing the development of probes set for launch in 2021 and 2022 to explore asteroids and Jupiter says construction milestones and reviews are proceeding to keep the projects on schedule despite the coronavirus pandemic.

Editor’s Note: The ongoing COVID-19 crisis has had minimal impact on space missions. Stephen Clark reports that scientists are optimistic about things remaining this way for probes.

Teslarati
SpaceX’s newly-announced Moon Starship is a fairly radical departure from the Mars-focused, fully-reusable vehicle the company has been pursuing for years. Unintuitively, that may be the perfect half-step towards truly reusable Mars rockets.

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Space.com
Around the planet, a loosely knit but closely woven band of amateurs monitor the whereabouts of satellites — be they secretive spacecraft, robotic space drones, rocket stages, orbital debris or lost-in-space planetary probes.

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Vice
Just a few weeks ago, scientists from the European Space Agency (ESA) discovered the largest hole in the ozone layer ever in the Arctic — a hole that covered an area roughly three times the area of Greenland. But scientists at the Copernicus’ Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS), who were monitoring the progress of the hole, have now declared that this hole has closed up — just as suddenly as it had appeared.

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Space.com
“That’s no moon, it’s a space station…” Actually Obi Wan, that IS a moon, it’s Saturn’s moon Mimas. It simply resembles the “Death Star” from Star Wars. (Or that’s what the Sith Lord would have us believe.)

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CNN
A high-pressure ventilator prototype developed by NASA engineers to help coronavirus patients was approved by the Food and Drug Administration on Thursday, according to NASA.

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The Atlantic
Like many employers around the country, NASA has kept most of its workforce home during the coronavirus pandemic. But the agency is still pressing ahead on future missions, including Artemis, the effort to return Americans to the moon for the first time since the Apollo program ended, and it held a press conference yesterday to announce the companies that had been chosen to design the systems that would land the astronauts on the lunar surface.

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Kyiv Post
Volodymyr Usov, the head of Ukraine’s State Space Agency, keeps a bust of the 35th U. S.  President John F. Kennedy at his former office in Odesa. “I got it from the JFK museum in Dallas,” he says. “I’m a Kennedy fan, and I begged the museum to sell me that sculpture. They refused. But then I told them JFK had inspired me to work in the space industry in my country, and they gifted it to me, for free.”

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