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Building on the achievements of Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy, SpaceX is working on a next generation of fully reusable launch vehicles that will be the most powerful ever built, capable of carrying humans to Mars and other destinations in the solar system.

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GITAI Autonomous Robotic Arm Arrives at Space Station to Conduct ISAM External Tech-Demo

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🏢 Organizations: GITAI, SpaceX

GITAI USA Inc. (GITAI), the world’s leading space robotics startup, is pleased to announce that its 1.5-meter-long autonomous dual robotic arm system (S2) has successfully arrived at the International Space Station (ISS) aboard the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket (NG-20) to conduct an external demonstration of in-space servicing, assembly, and manufacturing (ISAM) while onboard the ISS. The success of the S2 tech-demo will be a major milestone for GITAI, confirming the feasibility of this technology as a fully operational system in space.

Read more at PR Newswire

John Deere, Meet Elon Musk: SpaceX Satellites to Link Farm Giant’s Equipment

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✍️ Authors: Bob Tita, Micah Maidenberg

🔖 Topics: Partnership

🏢 Organizations: John Deere, SpaceX

Deere said it would tap SpaceX’s satellite fleet to propel the tractor maker’s digital farming push and help automate planting and harvesting in remote locations. The world’s largest farm machinery manufacturer signed a deal with SpaceX’s Starlink business to connect tractors, seed planters, crop sprayers and other equipment in areas that lack adequate internet service, allowing them to use Deere’s digital products.

Read more at Wall Street Journal

🚀🏭 SpaceX successfully launches world’s first 'space factory'

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✍️ Author: Kristin Houser

🏢 Organizations: Varda Space, SpaceX

In 2019, pharma giant Merck revealed that an experiment on the International Space Station had shown how to make its blockbuster cancer drug Keytruda more stable. That meant it could now be administered via a shot rather than through an IV infusion. The key to the discovery was the fact that particles behave differently when freed from the force of gravity — seeing how its drug crystalized in microgravity helped Merck figure out how to tweak its manufacturing process on Earth to produce the more stable version.

During the satellite’s first week in space, Varda will focus on testing its systems to make sure everything works as hoped. The second week will be dedicated to heating and cooling the old HIV-AIDS drug ritonavir repeatedly to study how its particles crystalize in microgravity. After about a month in space, Varda will attempt to bring its first space factory back to Earth, sending it through the atmosphere at hypersonic speeds and then using a parachute system to safely land at the Department of Defense’s Utah Test and Training Range.

“Pharmaceuticals are the most valuable chemicals per unit mass,” Bruey told CNN. “And they also have a large market on Earth.”

Read more at Freethink

SpaceX is now building a Raptor engine a day, NASA says

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🏢 Organizations: SpaceX, NASA

NASA selected SpaceX and Starship for its Human Landing System in April 2021. In some ways, this was the riskiest choice of NASA’s options because Starship is a very large and technically advanced vehicle. However, because of the company’s self-investment of billions of dollars into the project, SpaceX submitted the lowest bid, and from its previous work with SpaceX, NASA had confidence that the company would ultimately deliver.

Two of NASA’s biggest technological development concerns were the new Raptor rocket engine and the transfer and storage of liquid oxygen and methane propellant in orbit, said Mark Kirasich, NASA’s deputy associate administrator who oversees the development of Artemis missions to the Moon. During a subcommittee meeting of NASA’s Advisory Council on Monday, however, Kirasich said SpaceX has made substantial progress in both areas.

Read more at Ars Technica

Elon Musk Explains SpaceX's Raptor Engine!