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Chinese satellite got whacked by hunk of Russian rocket in March
Created for blog@iirsg.org |  Web Version
August 17, 2021
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The Launchpad
Mars helicopter Ingenuity soars through challenging 12th flight on Red Planet
(NASA/JPL-Caltech)
NASA's Mars helicopter Ingenuity made its 12th Red Planet flight on Monday (Aug. 16), during which the little chopper served as eyes in the sky for its larger companion, the Perseverance rover.
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Will collaboration or competition define international space science and exploration in the 21st century? The answer could come down to how two spaceflight superpowers, the U.S. and China, choose to engage with each other in the next few years.

 
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Spaceflight
Space junk collision: Chinese satellite got whacked by hunk of Russian rocket in March
(NASA)
In March, the U.S. Space Force's 18th Space Control Squadron (18SPCS) reported the breakup of Yunhai 1-02, a Chinese military satellite that launched in September 2019. It was unclear at the time whether the spacecraft had suffered some sort of failure — an explosion in its propulsion system, perhaps — or if it had collided with something in orbit. We now know that the latter explanation is correct.
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Arianespace launched the Pléiades Neo 4 Earth observation satellite and a quartet of cubesats from the Guiana Space Center in Kourou, French Guiana in South America last night (Aug. 16) at 9:47 p.m. EDT (0147 Aug. 17 GMT).
Full Story: Space (8/15) 
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Science & Astronomy
Multiple supernovas may have implanted our solar system with the seeds of planets
(ESO)
A wave of exploding stars may have provided the conditions required to build the solar system. New research probing a nearby star-forming region examines conditions that may have been similar to those found in the early solar system to try to solve the outstanding mystery of how radioactive elements essential to planet formation arrived in the environment around the sun.
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In a stunning demonstration of one of Einstein's most famous equations, physicists are claiming to have created matter from pure light for the very first time.
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SpaceX
Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin sues NASA over denied moon lander contract
(SpaceX)
Blue Origin is now suing NASA in its latest attempt to push back against the agency's decision to award SpaceX its moon lander contract.
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Technology
Crowds surge on Afghanistan airport in satellite photos
(Maxar Technologies)
Crowds surging on an Afghanistan airport were so massive that they showed up in satellite photos taken from space. Maxar Technologies collected the satellite photos Monday (Aug. 16) at 10:36 a.m. local time (1:36 a.m. EDT; 0536 GMT) at Kabul's Hamid Karzai International Airport, during attempted mass evacuations from the city.
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A deadly 7.2-magnitude earthquake that struck Haiti Saturday (Aug. 14) pancaked buildings so badly that the damage was visible from orbit. Maxar Technologies satellite imagery showed the earthquake devastation in two of the hardest-hit cities in Haiti: Les Cayes in southwest Haiti and Jérémie in northwest Haiti.
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