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Boeing Starliner accomplishes first crewed launch to ISS

Boeing's Starliner spacecraft launches from Cape Canaveral on June 5.

Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft launched from Cape Canaveral with astronauts onboard for the first time. With this success, Starliner is poised to be only the second commercial crewed vehicle that is certified to bring astronauts to the ISS.

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China returns to Moon’s far side with Chang’e 6 mission

The Chang'e 6 spacecraft in orbit above the Moon's surface. Credit: China Global Television Network.

Five years after achieving humanity’s first soft landing on the far side of the Moon, China is back — but this time the spacecraft is bringing presents home. The China…

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Japan completes world’s first wooden satellite

A closeup image of Lignosat, the first woodsen satellite

A Japanese university and lumber company are working together to send the first wooden satellite to the International Space station later this year.

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SpaceX reaches 50 launches at its fastest pace in three years

The 50th SpaceX Falcon 9 mission of the year launched successfully May 14 from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California. The launch makes 2024 the third consecutive year the space company has achieved at least 50 annual launches.

The 50th SpaceX Falcon 9 mission of the year launched successfully May 14 from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California. The launch makes 2024 the third consecutive year the space company has achieved at least 50 annual launches.

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Rocket Lab launches NASA solar sail test, South Korean observation satellite

A graphic of NASA’s Advanced Composite Solar Sail System spacecraft in orbit. Credit: NASA.

Rocket Lab launched two satellites on April 24. One is an Earth observation satellites for a Korea university and the other is a solar sail technology demonstration.

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As launch failures grow, satellite operators are more resilient to risk

Rocket Lab launched the final pair of TROPICS satellites for NASA on May 26, 2023, after the first two were lost in an Astra rocket failure. Even with this setback, NASA was able to begin mission operations for the 2023 Atlantic hurricane season after launching the remaining four satellites in the constellation. Credit: Rocket Lab

Increasing annual launches and new players in the launch market have led to several notable payload delivery failures over the past few years.

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U.S. private sector space employment shows steady growth

A Blue Origin New Glenn launch vehicle rolls out for testing ahead of a planned 2024 maiden flight. The firm had 1,574 job openings posted in March. Credit: Blue Origin

Monitoring trends in this workforce across private, civil, and national security sectors and examining changes in wages and location of employment provides insight into broader space industry dynamics.

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2 U.S. spaceports gain funds amid huge upswing in launch pace

A SpaceX Falcon-9 rocket lifts off at Vandenberg Space Force Base in September. The mission carried the Space Development Agency’s second round of satellites.

In the last decade, Cape Canaveral Space Force Station (the Cape) in Florida and Vandenberg Space Force Base in California have supported more launches than other U.S. launch facilities.

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SNAPSHOT: Global space economy

Top 3 commercial space sectors, 2015-2022

The global space economy totaled $546 billion in 2022, 8% higher than 2021 — and it could reach $772 billion by 2027, according to Space Foundation analysis.

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2020s is the busiest decade for Moon landings in 50 years

The Intuitive Machines Odysseus lander captured this image from the surface of the Moon during its approach to the landing site. Credit: Intuitive Machines

In the span of six months from 2023 to 2024, three countries landed spacecraft on the Moon, and many more are in the works.

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