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Copernical Team

Copernical Team

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Credit: Pixabay/CC0 Public Domain

The EU launched Tuesday a billion-euro fund to support startups in the space sector with the hope it will be a "game changer" and attract private investors into the key sector.

Named the Cassini fund after the Italian astronomer, it was launched as part of the European Investment Fund (EIF) which provides risk financing to small and medium-sized businesses across Europe.

"Many of our startups cannot get sizeable equity investment in the EU once they need to scale up," said Thierry Breton, the EU's internal market commissioner, at a gathering for the European space industry in Brussels.

He said the firms are thus forced to turn to non-EU investors.

"This is a major loss for Europe. The Cassini Fund will be a game changer," he added.

The head of the EIF, Alain Godard, said that each euro the fund invests typically attracts three or four euros of private investment from firms that otherwise would have found the project too risky.

A complementary mechanism will provide access to lending to space startups.

The European sector is estimated to account for about 10 percent of the overall economy, and is expected to see its revenues double over the coming decade.

Tuesday, 25 January 2022 15:00

Astronaut hearing test | Cosmic Kiss

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Video: 00:02:14

The International Space Station can be a noisy place. ESA astronaut Matthias Maurer is putting his hearing (and headphone untangling skills) to the test in an experiment called Acoustic Diagnostics.

Acoustic Diagnostics is an Italian Space Agency (ASI) experiment, developed in cooperation with the University of Rome Tor Vergata, to study the effects of microgravity on the hearing of astronauts. The study began during ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano’s mission and monitors what are known as optoacoustic emissions (OAEs).

OAEs are caused when hairs in the inner ear move in response to auditory stimulation. That means the measurement is passive.

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Solar Orbiter’s view of Comet Leonard in ultraviolet

For the second time in its mission so far, the ESA/NASA Solar Orbiter spacecraft has flown through the tail of a comet. Predicted in advance by astronomers at University College London, UK, the spacecraft collected a wealth of science data that now awaits full analysis.

Tuesday, 25 January 2022 09:21

The beauty of the Sun seen from space

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The beauty of the Sun seen from space Image: The beauty of the Sun seen from space
Tuesday, 25 January 2022 06:43

Sols 3362-3363: Sedimentologist's Delight

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Pasadena CA (JPL) Jan 21, 2022
After a few sols of challenges that prevented us from getting close-up MAHLI imaging of this dark outcrop in front of us, today we were finally able to plan the contact science that we were hoping for. Yesterday there was a small rock under the right rear rover wheel, so we had to kick that rock to the curb to get into a stable position for using the rover arm. This morning's downlink data
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Washington DC (UPI) Jan 24, 2021
A SpaceX Dragon capsule that had transported supplies and experiments to the International Space Station splashed down along the coast of Florida on Monday afternoon. The capsule's four main parachutes were deployed shortly after 4 p.m. EST, and splashdown was confirmed two minutes later, the company said. The freighter delivered some 4,900 pounds of science experiments and stati
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London, UK (SPX) Jan 21, 2022
OneWeb, the low Earth orbit satellite communications company, and Hughes Network Systems LLC has announced a strategic six-year Distribution Partner agreement to provide low Earth orbit (LEO) connectivity services across India. The arrangement between OneWeb and Hughes Communications India Private Ltd. (HCIPL), a joint venture between Hughes and Bharti Airtel Limited, follows the Memorandum of U
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Washington (AFP) Jan 24, 2022
The James Webb Space Telescope has arrived at its cosmic parking spot a million miles away, bringing it a step closer to its mission to unravel the mysteries of the Universe, NASA said Monday. At around 2:00 pm Eastern Time (1900 GMT), the observatory fired its thrusters for five minutes to reach the so-called second Lagrange point, or L2, where it will have access to nearly half the sky at
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Baltimore MD (SPX) Jan 25, 2022
At 2 pm EST Monday, Webb fired its onboard thrusters for nearly five minutes (297 seconds) to complete the final postlaunch course correction to Webb's trajectory. This mid-course correction burn inserted Webb toward its final orbit around the second Sun-Earth Lagrange point, or L2, nearly 1 million miles away from the Earth. The final mid-course burn added only about 3.6 miles per hour (1
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Medford MA (SPX) Jan 21, 2022
Asteroids fly through our solar system all the time, but it's rare for us to take notice of them. But that's changed this week, as an asteroid passes within 1,231,184 miles of Earth on January 18. The asteroid, dubbed 7482 (1994 PC1), was first seen in 1994 and is about two-thirds of a mile wide. One likely reason Americans are paying more attention is because many millions have watched th
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