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  • Planetary quarantine (#2)
  • Soyuz seat after SpaceX (#13)
  • China plans space station (#6)
  • NASA’s ventilator (#21)


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Teslarati

According to NASA, a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket (or another commercial heavy-lift launch vehicle) could potentially launch the bulk of a new Moon-orbiting space station in a single go, saving money and reducing risk.


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Stanford University

In Michael Crichton’s 1969 novel The Andromeda Strain, a deadly alien microbe hitches a ride to Earth aboard a downed military satellite and scientists must race to contain it. While fictional, the plot explores a very real and longstanding concern shared by NASA and world governments: that spacefaring humans, or our robotic emissaries, may unwittingly contaminate Earth with extraterrestrial life or else biologically pollute other planets we visit.


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The ongoing COVID crisis has highlighted the risks of spreading microbes, and scientists are now more wary of fears about it. Here Ker Than interviews a formed NASA director and finds out the ways in which we could protect other planets from contamination.

Nikkei

TOKYO/SINGAPORE — Interstellar Technologies, a Japanese startup, was primed to test-launch its demonstration rocket on May 2. But less than four days before the countdown, the project was abruptly blocked by a town in Hokkaido, northern Japan, which cited coronavirus concerns.


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University of Arkansas

Giant elliptical galaxies are not as likely as previously thought to be cradles of technological civilizations such as our own, according to a recent paper by a University of Arkansas astrophysicist.


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CNN

When the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s Hayabusa2 spacecraft briefly touched down on near-Earth asteroid Ryugu, scientists noticed two different colors of material on the asteroid’s surface.


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Xinhua Net

China’s new large carrier rocket Long March-5B made its maiden flight on Tuesday, sending the trial version of China’s new-generation manned spaceship and a cargo return capsule for test into space.


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Vice

The new discovery adds to a growing pile of evidence that Mars may have been more hospitable to life in the distant past.


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UC Berkeley

Michael Wong is an astronomer, but he spends his days tracking storm systems and lightning flashes on Jupiter like some Earth-bound meteorologist looking for harbingers of bad weather.


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The Verge

The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a sledgehammer to the economy — and the space industry is no exception. While some major space companies are still in operation, considered essential by the US government, smaller startups are grappling with how to move forward as once-reliable funding sources evaporate.


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China Daily

China has conducted its first 3D printing experiment in space in a newly launched spacecraft, according to the China Academy of Space Technology.


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Spaceflight Now

Virgin Orbit could attempt its first orbital test launch later this month over the Pacific Ocean southwest of Los Angeles, capping a development program for an air-launched small satellite carrier that began in earnest eight years ago.


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Earth Sky

Fast Radio Bursts (FRBs) are short, intense bursts of radio waves lasting perhaps a thousandth of a second, coming from all over the sky and of unknown origin. In a shock discovery that could help to solve one of astronomy’s greatest mysteries – on April 28, 2020 – astronomers used an Astronomer’s Telegram to announce a Fast Radio Burst originating from inside our Milky Way galaxy.


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In recent weeks, there has been a lot of excitement around mysterious radio waves coming from the Milky Way. The mystery might just have been solved, Andy Briggs reports for Earth Sky.

Teslarati

Currently, NASA is in talks to purchase one more seat on a Russian Soyuz that would fly this fall. As it stands now, Chris Cassidy is the sole NASA astronaut on station, joined by two Russian colleagues. However, that leaves the station understaffed. Simply maintaining the orbital outpost is more than one crew member can handle. (A full space station crew is six.)


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Emirates News Agency

The Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) has received 4,305 applications for the second batch of the UAE Astronaut Programme, up by more than 7 percent from the first batch. The second batch of the Programme is aimed at finding the next two Emirati astronauts who will join the UAE’s astronaut corps and further the country’s ambition for crewed space exploration. The registrations for the second batch of the Programme were officially closed on 1 May.


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Tech Crunch

Virgin Galactic today revealed a new partnership with NASA, in pursuit of the goal of developing a high-speed vehicle for point-to-point travel across Earth.


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Columbia Journalism Review

In the summer of 1996, John Greenewald, fifteen years old and fascinated by UFOs, was living at his parents’ house, in the San Fernando Valley. Like his dad, an ex-Marine who worked as a welder on the space shuttle and Mars landers, Greenewald liked looking up at the stars.


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Universe Today

In 2015, Elon Musk announced that his company, SpaceX, would be deploying satellites to orbit that would provide high-speed broadband internet access to the entire world. Known as Starlink, SpaceX began deploying this constellation in May of 2019 with the launch of the first 60 satellites. As of April 22nd, a total of 422 satellites have been added to the Starlink constellation, and the response hasn’t been entirely positive.


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The Conversation

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted several sectors and meteorology is no exception. The quality and quantity of the observational data that feed into weather forecasting models could well be affected by the pandemic, according to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).


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UPI

The second meteor shower in as many weeks will dazzle stargazers around the globe, but the light show late Monday will battle against the glow of a nearly full moon when it reaches its peak.


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RAND

Our recent RAND report on the global heavy lift launch market highlights the potential for a near term (2022–2025) shortage of launch vehicles needed to lift U.S. defense and intelligence satellites to orbit. These satellites are the eyes, ears, networks and timekeepers of U.S. armed services, and an inability to launch them in times of need could compromise national security.


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Digital Trends

It started with a chance meeting in the Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL) cafeteria.


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Space.com

A spacecraft that died in 2017 is still providing insights about Saturn, the planet it studied up close for 13 years.


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The Cassini spacecraft has been dead for the past three years. However, it still continues to provide vital insights into the atmosphere of Saturn, including information about the role of auroras and heat on everyone’s favorite ringed planet.

Innovation Origins

Prescriptions per telephone and telemedicine consultations for initial diagnoses have been skyrocketing in recent weeks. Fear of infection with SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus at medical practices is deterring more and more people from visiting a doctor in person. But even doctors themselves are restricting personal contact with their patients to a bare minimum.


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The Harvard Crimson

Over the past few months, I’ve written a half-dozen columns examining the ethics and rationale behind a variety of space initiatives. But there’s one central question that I have yet to tackle: Why should we care about space exploration in the first place?


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Deadline

EXCLUSIVE: I’m hearing that Tom Cruise and Elon Musk’s Space X are working on a project with NASA that would be the first narrative feature film – an action adventure – to be shot in outer space. It’s not a Mission: Impossible film and no studio is in the mix at this stage but look for more news as I get it. But this is real, albeit in the early stages of liftoff.


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