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Signals in space: NT rockets, rethinking the Outer Space Treaty and sweeping up space junk

Bringing you the most recent space-related news in this weekly feature.

Plan to launch rockets in NT being 'seriously' considered, Chief Minister Michael Gunner says

Australia has had some more exciting news regarding its space industry. Chief Minister of the Northern Territory Michael Gunner has revealed that discussions are taking place to use the NT as a site to launch rockets in the future. The Northern Territory has been deemed an optimal launch site due to its remoteness and proximity to the equator. Brett Biddington, Chair of the Space Industry Association of Australia (SIAA) has said there’s a “very good chance” of this happening.

As the world embraces space, the 50 year old Outer Space Treaty needs adaption

The Outer Space Treaty (OST) is an important treaty that establishes the rules around the exploration and use of outer space. And while the foundations of the OST still ring true — that space should be used in a peaceful and orderly manner — space-related technology is moving at a remarkable pace, leaving us in serious need of updating and adapting the OST to the changing times.

Space debris removal startup Astroscale raises $25 million

Did you know space junk is a serious problem? With so many ‘dead’ satellites and spent rockets - as well as debris from their fragments - orbiting Earth, organizations are starting to look into ways of cleaning up space. Cue Astroscale, a company that has gained substantial financial traction for their innovative technology and ideas. (If you’re curious to read more about space debris, check out this NASA info and this article too.)

One giant leap for the UK

The United Kingdom has recently pledged over 100 million pounds to strengthen their space industry. Key to this investment will be the creation of a National Satellite Testing Facility in Oxfordshire and a space propulsion facility in Buckinghamshire which will be used to test space engines. It is hoped that this investment will help the UK reach their goal of launching thousands of satellites by 2025 and having 10% of the global space market by 2030.

Compiled and written by: Markos Hasiotis

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