July 10, 2017

As the World Embraces Space, 50 Year Old Outer Space Treaty Needs Adaptation (Source: The Conversation)
The Outer Space Treaty (OST) is the framework multilateral treaty that establishes the principal rules regulating the exploration and use of outer space. Established in 1967, it celebrates its 50th anniversary this year.

But now we need an update. While the fundamental principles set out in the treaty are vitally important to the peaceful and orderly use of outer space, the pace of development of space-related technology – which allows for activities far beyond the contemplation of those that put the treaty together – means that some activities in space may fall between the cracks. Click here. (7/10) 

Another Suspect of Embezzlement at Vostochny Cosmodrome Arrested (Source: Russian Construction)
A former director general of the Main Military Works Department №9, Mikhail Kalinin, suspected in receiving a bribe during the construction of Vostochny Cosmodrome has been arrested in the Krasnoyarsk region.

According to local media, the ex-director of the construction enterprise is accused of receiving a bribe in the amount of 10 million rubles at the space port construction carried out the Amur region, Russia. A court ruled to take him into custody.

Investigation believe that Kalinin demanded from a businessman in the city of Krasnoyarsk 4 million rubles for the assistance in concluding a subcontract for construction work at the Vostochny Cosmodrome. The second criminal case against Kalinin is related to the embezzlement of 10 million rubles for the spaceport’s construction. (7/10)

In Support of a Forming a US Space Corps Now (Source: Space Review)
The House is scheduled to take up this week a defense authorization bill that includes language establishing a Space Corps within the US Air Force. Mike Snead discusses why it’s important to create a Space Corps now, leading to a full-fledged Space Force, to protect national interests in space. Click here. (7/10)
Seeking Private Funding for Space Science (Source: Space Review)
As private space capabilities grow, it opens up new possibilities for doing science missions outside of government agencies. Jeff Foust reports on a recent conference that examined the prospects of, the challenges facing, privately-funded space science missions. Click here. (7/10)
The Last Astronaut Class? (Source: Space Review)
NASA announced its newest astronaut class last month with a considerable degree of fanfare. A.J. Mackenzie wonders if that was the case because won’t have much need for hiring more astronauts in the years to come. Click here. (7/10)
The Common Burden of “Spacemankind” (Source: Space Review)
Companies planning space resources ventures, and the countries backing them, are running into conflict with countries who see such resources as belonging to all humanity. Kamil Muzyka explores some possible solutions to this argument that can benefit companies and countries alike. Click here. (7/10)

Chinese Students Enter Space Station Simulation for Life Support Tech (Source: Reuters)
Chinese students sealed themselves into a simulated space station Sunday to test life support technologies. The four students from the Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics will spend 200 days in the LunarPalace-1 lab in a demonstration of closed-loop life support systems. The test is part of Chinese plans for eventual human missions to the moon by the mid-2030s. (7/10)

Six Volunteer 'Astronauts' to Lock Themselves Inside a Simulated Mars Colony (Source: Business Insider)
Atop a forested ridge in southern Poland, a mission on the surfaces of both Mars and the moon is about to launch. The two-week mission is just a simulation, of course, since no entity on Earth is prepared to inhabit deep space. But the experiment — called the Poland Mars Analogue Simulation 2017 — will study a group of six volunteer "analogue" astronauts as they work through a realistic schedule of space exploration, then provide those findings to anyone who's drawing up crewed missions beyond Earth.

The project's central feature is a four-armed, domed habitat in the countryside of Rzepiennik Biskupi, Poland (and near the Queen Jadwiga Astronomical Observatory, no less). To build the habitat, PMAS rounded up material donations and money from corporate sponsors, and raised tens of thousands of dollars through crowdfunding sites. (7/10)

Israel, China Agree on Space Cooperation (Source: SpaceWatch Middle East)
Israel and India signed three space-cooperation agreements during a meeting of the countries' leaders last week. The agreements, signed during Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's trip to Israel to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, cover areas of space technology cooperation, including atomic clocks used in navigation satellites. One such clock system has failed in an Indian navigation satellite, requiring the upcoming launch of a replacement. Other agreements cover work on electric propulsion and optical communications links. (7/10)

Lockheed Martin Supporting Scottish Spaceport (Source: The Scotsman)
A consortium that includes an American aerospace company wants to develop a spaceport in the Scottish Highlands. The consortium, which includes the U.K. division of Lockheed Martin, wants to develop a launch site on the A'Mhoine peninsula in northern Scotland for launches of vehicles carrying small satellites. The consortium has met with local officials and submitted a proposal to the U.K. Space Agency, with a goal of having the facility operational by 2020. (7/10)

Intelsat Refinances Debt (Source: Space News)
Intelsat refinanced more than 10 percent of the company's debt last week at a higher interest rate. The company completed a debt swap July 5 that replaces $1.5 billion in senior notes due in 2019, at an interest rate of 7.25 percent, with notes due in 2025 at an interest rate of 9.75 percent. The deal, an analyst says, helps "de-risk" part of the company's $14.5 billion in debt in anticipation of declining transponder pricing and increasing interest rates. Intelsat had hoped to eliminate part of its debt through a merger with OneWeb and investment by Softbank, but that fell through when Intelsat could not work out terms with bondholders. (7/10)

Soyuz Launching Smallsats (Source: Space News)
A Soyuz rocket will launch 72 smallsats, including spacecraft for four U.S. companies planning constellations, on Friday. The smallsats will fly as secondary payloads on the mission, whose primary payload is the Kanopus-V-IK remote-sensing satellite. Among the secondary payloads are 48 satellites for Planet, which will complete that company's initial constellation. Also on board are eight satellites for Spire, three for GeoOptics and two for Astro Digital. (7/10)

What the Heck Do We Do on the Moon? (source: Space of Innovation)
Being on the Moon is a bit like staying at your mother in-law’s house. An unknown environment, harsh conditions but you still want to know what it is like and how you can benefit from it. But seriously, the Moon has always been and remains to be of great interest for both science enthusiasts and space stakeholders alike. Now, what do we do with this? Is the Moon a favorable place to exploit research and business opportunities? Does the Moon offer enough useful resources to establish a Moon Village?

The concept of a Moon Village is widely talked about, and surely is one of the major topics addressed by global space players, often in the context of Space 4.0. While the objectives of Space 4.0 are evident, the Moon Village and a return to the Moon in general are yet to be given a clear prospect, and hence a defined purpose. Therefore, this article highlights possibilities and impulses discussed in the space sector to give prospective participants of the Space Exploration Masters an idea what their business cases could deal with. (7/10)

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