June 4, 2016

Final Frontier Come to Costa Rica's National Stadium (Source: Costa Rican Times)
An exhibition at the National Stadium called "Space: The Final Frontier" will contain a giant sample of both originals and replicas that take us on a journey through the history of space exploration. One station is dedicated to Costa Rica's part of the story, including plasma engine design and the manufacture of the first Central American satellite. (6/2)

Just in Time for Hurricane Season: NOAA Takes Control of Jason Satellite (Source: NOAA)
This week, NOAA officially assumed control of the Jason-3 satellite, the latest in a series of spacecraft that measure the surface height of the global ocean, monitor the rate of sea-level rise and help NOAA’s National Weather Service more accurately forecast the strength of tropical cyclones that threaten America’s coasts.

During this year’s hurricane season, Jason-3, and its predecessor Jason-2, will provide NOAA with twice the amount of satellite data, including vital ocean temperature information, used to predict if — and when — a storm will strengthen. The satellites will begin flying alternating orbits by October. Launched on January 17, and successfully completing a six-month phase to test the instruments in orbit, Jason-3 is flying in a low orbit, 830 miles above the Earth. (6/3)

Luxembourg Invests to Become the ‘Silicon Valley of Space Resource Mining’ (Source: Space News)
The Luxembourg government on June 3 reaffirmed and strengthened its backing for a homegrown space-mining industry, saying it would invest more than $200 million in research, technology demonstration and in the direct purchase of equity in companies relocating to Luxembourg.

In a demonstration of the depth of the political backing the spaceresources.lu project now enjoys, Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel and Deputy Prime Minister Etienne Schneider addressed a press briefing following the initiative’s first board meeting. The project has attracted two U.S. companies – Deep Space Industries and Planetary Resources – to Luxembourg to create their European operations. Planetary Resources has not yet signed the formal documents establishing itself in Luxembourg but is expected to do so soon.

Schneider said the government has set aside an initial 200 million euros ($225 million) to cover early costs associated with the space-mining venture. In statements that could have come from a private-equity company, he said Luxembourg would not limit itself to supporting research and development. He stressed that the 200-million-euro budget was only the start of the government’s financial support for space mining. (6/3)

Blue Origin Clearing Land for Massive Florida Rocket Factory (Source: Florida Today)
Bulldozers and excavators this week continued clearing land at Kennedy Space Center’s Exploration Park where Blue Origin will build a rocket factory rivaling the area's largest spaceflight facilities. The 475,000 square foot manufacturing center, which will stand eight stories tall and stretch longer than two football fields, is expected to be in place as soon as the end of next year or early 2018. (6/3)

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