Opinion No.18: A German scientist will lead the European Space Agency for the next four years

http://tinyurl.com/qyymd6y

A few days ago, on December 18, 2014, the Council of the European Space Agency (ESA) announced the appointment of Prof. Dr. Ing. Johann-Dietrich (Jan) Wörner as the next Director General of ESA, for a period of four years starting on July 1, 2015[1]. The event was not at all a ‚front page news’ for […]

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Opinion No.16: Ups and downs in NASA’s programs for human space exploration beyond low-Earth orbit

http://tinyurl.com/q294cls

A few days ago, on December 10, 2014, reporting on the project of SLS rocket (one of the trio of NASA’s related programs for human space exploration beyond low-Earth orbit), an article published by Washington Post cited the Republican congressman Dana Rohrabacher who declared „it could cost at least $10 billion to develop this ‘monstrous rocket […]

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Opinion No.11: Space debris is boosting tensions between Russia and the West

http://tinyurl.com/kkoqzth

„Russia may be testing a satellite capable of chasing down other orbiting spacecraft”, Paul Rincon wrote for BBC on November 20, 2014[1]. This grim evaluation is connected to a story which started some months earlier. On May 23, 2014, a Rockot booster lifted off from Plesetsk cosmodrome (the main military cosmodrome of Russia), carrying three […]

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Policy Brief No.56: Rosetta mission reaffirms EU’s power potential

http://tinyurl.com/lrz6xpp

On November 12, 2014, the Rosetta space mission of the European Space Agency (ESA) succeeded the first soft landing in the history of humanity on a comet. Previously, the mission succeeded another big “first”: it was the first to rendezvous with, and then orbit, a comet. Beyond the ‘space archeology’ allowed by the mission (comets […]

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Opinion No.7: Anti-Satellite Systems versus the UN

http://tinyurl.com/mggp2tc

Russia’s Foreign Ministry said for ITAR-TASS on November 4, 2014, that a quite recent Russian initiative – a United Nations General Assembly draft resolution for no-first placement of weapons in the outer space – “is supported by an overwhelming majority of UN member-states”[1]. From a total number of 193 UN member-states, 126 (which means some […]

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Opinion No.6: Some meanings and consequences of the recent explosion of a NASA-contracted rocket

nasa

An Antares-130 unmanned rocket owned by Orbital Sciences Corporation (a US private space company), carrying 30 different payloads[1], exploded on September 28, 2014, about 10 seconds after lifting off from a commercial space facility in Wallops Island, Virginia. A Cygnus spacecraft was the main payload of the rocket and it was carrying in 2.293 kg […]

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Policy Paper No.6: Visa problems for Russian and Chinese officials at the 65th annual meeting of the International Astronautical Congress (IAC)

http://tinyurl.com/ms2agpj

Representatives from two of the world’s major space agencies, the Russian and the Chinese ones, were absent due to visa problems from “the world’s premier space event”[1], the International Astronautical Congress (IAC), whose 65th annual meeting took place in Toronto, Canada from September 29 to October 3, 2014. Russians said that space exploration is excessively politicized […]

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