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This Week in Launch: China to launch mission to collect samples from the far side of the Moon

This week SpaceX will attempt another three launch week, with two of those mission scheduled from the West Coast. The headline mission for the week will actually come out of China, a Long March 5 rocket is scheduled to liftoff Friday with the country’s next lunar sample return mission, this time from the far side of the Moon.

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This Week in Launch: Super Thursday? Rocket Lab, SpaceX, Russia, and China prepare for launches on the same day

On Thursday of this week we have a total of four planned launches from around the world from the biggest players in the space launch market. They include Rocket Lab’s first LC-2 mission in 2024, a crew rotation to the ISS by Russia, and a cargo resupply mission to the ISS by SpaceX.

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This Week in Launch: Another week of more SpaceX and Chinese launches

After a few weeks of featuring at least one big name launch that makes writing these articles easy, we’re back to more standard communication satellites. Two launches from SpaceX are on the schedule with a third possible over the weekend. China, not to be left out is also scheduled for a Long March 5 with an unknown payload on top.

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This Week in Launch: Electron returns to flight and final Falcon Heavy of the year

spacex falcon heavy ussf-67 liftoff

Another packed week between SpaceX and China launching almost every day this week. The expected Falcon Heavy launch from this weekend is now today (Monday) but that’s not the only RTLS mission this week. This Friday a Falcon 9 will fly and have its booster return to LZ-1 as well.

Hidden in the bunch will be the return to flight of Rocket Lab‘s Electron rocket!

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China launches youngest-ever crew of taikonauts to advance space ambitions

China has embarked on a new era in its space exploration endeavors by launching the youngest-ever crew of astronauts, known as taikonauts, to its Tiangong space station, intended to cement the country’s position in the global space race. Shenzhou-17 or “divine vessel” took off October 26 with three crew members atop a Long March 2F rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China.

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Even NASA doesn’t want to work with China, is that wrong?

Since 2011, NASA has been barred from using any government funds (which, as a government-funded agency, is pretty much all of it) to cooperate with China. The agency’s Administrator agrees to continue this. So for an agency whose goal is to explore space and be as apolitical as possible, should they try to begin working with China?

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If you hate Starlink, you’re not going to like that China is working on its own mega constellation

In 2019, SpaceX launched its first batch of 60 Starlink satellites. Since then, there have been two sides of the mega constellation debate: those that support and fear them. While I wish I could answer which of those sides is correct, I can only provide the latter more to worry about because China is entering stage right.

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China denies rocket on collision-course with Moon is theirs

We’ve been following a rocket upper stage that is headed for a crash landing on the Moon for nearly a month now. While the object has been observed from Earth, and its collision time has been estimated at around 7:30 a.m. on March 4, the actual identity of the rocket stage has come into question. Now a spokesperson for China has denied that the object is one of the country’s rocket upper stages.

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US or China: Whose rocket is about to hit the Moon?

News sites around the world, including us, reported on a Falcon 9 upper stage that was on a collision course with the Moon, with an impact expected on March 4. Except… new evidence (or rather, reobserving old evidence) points to the fact that this rocket stage is not actually the Falcon 9 upper stage from the DSCOVR mission, but instead a rocket stage from the Long March 3C that launched China’s Chang’e 5-T1 mission.

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