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  • ExoMars mission hit by coronavirus
  • Ukraine and the space race?
  • SpaceX targets $30 billion annually
  • Researchers solve comet mystery
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The New York Times
A European-Russian mission to put a rover on Mars and look for signs of life there has been postponed, to 2022.

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Horizon Magazine
If you want to build or fix something in space, you might think you’d need a human to do it. But what if you didn’t? What if robotic spacecraft could be used to refuel satellites in orbit, add new instruments to outdated machinery and even build entire structures while in space?

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BBC
By 1998, after 12 years in orbit, Russian space station Mir was showing its age. Power cuts were frequent, the computers unreliable and the climate control system was leaking. But when the crew began a study to assess the types of microbes they were sharing their living space with, even they were surprised at what they found.

Editor’s Note: The worry on everyone’s mind during the coronavirus outbreak is how to stay healthy and keep things clean. Here Richard Hollingham reports for the BBC about research into microbes that live aboard the ISS and how space agencies handle them.

The Hill
Last December, around the time that Congress passed and President Trump signed into law the legislation that created the United States Space Force, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk tweeted, “Starfleet begins.”

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CBS News
The powerful Space Launch System rocket being built for NASA’s Artemis moon program by Boeing, using solid-propellant boosters from Northrop Grumman and main engines from Aerojet Rocketdyne, will have cost more than $18 billion by the time it blasts off on its maiden flight in 2021, NASA’s Office of Inspector General reported Tuesday.

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Gizmodo
As astronomers eagerly await the opening of the Vera C. Rubin Observatory in Chile, anxious operators have run tests to see how well the system might work when low Earth orbit is cluttered with satellite megaconstellations, similar to the one being built by SpaceX. Unsurprisingly, the results were not good.

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The Conversation
In the five decades since we first started sending spacecraft to Mars, exploration of the red planet has had a poor record of success. It is only in the last few years that we have come to expect that the number of successes greatly outweighs the failures.

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NASA
This summer, the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft will undertake NASA’s first-ever attempt to touch the surface of an asteroid, collect a sample of it, and safely back away.

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Spaceflight Now
The launch of 60 Starlink Internet satellites aboard a Falcon 9 rocket Sunday from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida will mark SpaceX’s first mission to fly a Falcon first stage for a fifth time, and the second to launch with a reused payload fairing.

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Ozy
For a man with big space dreams, serial entrepreneur Max Polyakov is unusually focused on Earth. The co-founder of U.S. startup Firefly Aerospace is in no rush to get to Mars.

Editor’s Note: The number of countries that are taking part in the space race continues to increase by the day. Here, Dan Peleschuk looks at another example, Ukraine, where a native son is hoping to preserve what’s left in the city of Dnipro from the USSR days.

Times of India
US astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson shares his thoughts about the Chandrayaan-2 mission.

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NASA
NASA has selected the first two scientific investigations to fly aboard the Gateway, an orbital outpost that will support Artemis lunar operations while demonstrating the technologies necessary to conduct a historic human mission to Mars. The instruments selected for Gateway will observe space weather and monitor the Sun’s radiation environment.

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Business Insider
The biggest asteroid of the year – half the size of Mount Everest – is set to zip past the planet in April.

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Space News
WASHINGTON – Since the beginning of the year, space insurance underwriter Assure Space is no longer offering policies covering collision risk for satellites operating in low Earth orbit, Richard Parker, Assure Space managing director, said at the Satellite 2020 conference.

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Spaceflight Now
The head of Italian rocket-maker Avio said Thursday that preparations are proceeding without interruption for the launch of a Vega rocket later this month in French Guiana, but officials have adjusted work schedules at the company’s Vega manufacturing plant near Rome in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

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The Independent
The experiment is an attempt to grow human tissue by sending adult human stem cells into space, and allowing them to grow in space.

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Mashable
Earth’s only natural satellite, the Moon has been theorized to have formed by the collision of another planet-size body with the blue planet. Scientists have now found evidence that the composition of oxygen on our planet and satellite are ‘distinct’, supporting the giant-impact hypothesis.

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Reuters
LONDON — Air pollution over northern Italy fell after the government introduced a nationwide lockdown to combat coronavirus, satellite imagery showed on Friday, in a new example of the pandemic’s potential impact on emissions.

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Space.com
Researchers have identified nitrogen previously thought to be “missing” in comets, helping to solve a longstanding mystery about the icy space rocks.

Editor’s Note: Scientists have always wondered why comets have lesser amounts of nitrogen than the Sun. Chelsea Gohd reports how researchers from the French National Centre for Scientific Research have resolved this mystery by creating fake comets.

WCCF Tech
As opposed to the decades-old approach pioneered by the National Aeronautics and Space Agency (NASA) and its subcontractors in the defense industry, Elon Musk and SpaceX have managed to inject fresh optimism and enthusiasm in the space industry.

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Space News
WASHINGTON — If launch startups want to win business from Spaceflight, they should focus on schedule, reliability and price, not how interesting their technology is, a company representative said March 10.

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ANI
NASA, European Space Agency (ESA) and South Korea have joined their hands to set up a ‘virtual constellation’ of space instruments that will track global air quality each hour.

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Bloomberg
While others worry about economies slipping into recession and markets melting down, Elon Musk’s biggest concern is that his rocket company SpaceX may fail to accomplish its foundational mission — getting to Mars — before he dies.

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Spaceflight Now
NASA is modifying plans to send astronauts back to the moon in 2024 by taking the Gateway — a mini-space station to be assembled in lunar orbit — out of the critical path in favor of a simplified architecture, according to the agency’s chief of human spaceflight.

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Times of India
NEW DELHI/BENGALURU: India may be tom-tomming its maiden human spaceflight mission “Gaganyaan”, which is planned for 2022, but is yet to provide the four selected fighter pilots, currently undergoing training in Russia, with the requisite documentation and authorisation due to persisting bureaucratic bottlenecks.

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