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Four Wheels to the Moon!

Russia/Saudi Arabia Joint Space Mission

Beginning with a country that has been extremely active lately in the space economy, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak recently revealed in a government statement that they are planning a joint space mission with Saudi Arabia and are currently training Saudi Arabian astronauts.
 
The two countries have developed a relationship through the years as major oil exporters and are looking to further that relationship with a joint manned space mission.
 
Abdullah Alswaha, the chairman of the board of directors of the Saudi Space Authority, is confident about the partnership, stating: “The objectives of the strategy will be in line with the goals and targets of Vision 2030, which underlined the importance and vitality of the space sector, with the aim of taking advantage of the promising opportunities to build a knowledge economy based on the latest technologies and innovations.”
 
Space Channel reported earlier this year about Saudi Arabia’s burgeoning space program and a new National Space Strategy… and this seems to be their next step into the expanse.
 
The announcement also comes at a time when tensions are heightening between Russia and other countries, including the United States. Russia recently revealed that they are stepping back from involvement in the International Space Station with plans to launch their own space station into orbit by 2030, likely ending more than 20 years of close collaboration in space exploration with the United States.
 
We’ll continue to update you on this story as well as all the latest international space developments, so be sure to stay tuned to Space Channel. 
 

3D Printing for Space

In the rapidly developing world of commercial space exploration, 3D printing is getting bigger… literally.
 
Launcher, an American space technology company, has recently acquired AMCM’s M 4K AM system.
 
According to AMCM, the M 4K AM system is a large-scale, high productivity system for demanding additive manufacturing, or AM, applications that can build objects up to 1 meter in height.
 
Launcher’s goal in obtaining the machine is to enhance its high-performance orbital launch vehicle strategy. The M 4K AM system gives them the ability to produce the largest single-part 3D printed copper alloy combustor in the world.
 
Up until now, most companies have been limited by the size of 3D printers when they build and design liquid rocket engines. AMCM’s machine has unparalleled part construction volume and supports copper alloy, the most advanced material used in the production of liquid rocket engine combustion chambers.
 
Launcher plans to manufacture the entire 10 ton-force E-2 rocket engine in Hawthorne, California and plans to use it to send small satellites into low Earth orbit.
 
New Lunar Buggy
 
And speaking of collaborations, Lockheed Martin and General Motors have announced a partnership to develop a new lunar buggy for NASA’s Artemis missions.
 
“Surface mobility is critical to enable and sustain long-term exploration of the lunar surface. These next-generation rovers will dramatically extend the range of astronauts,” said Lockheed Martin executive vice president Rick Ambrose.
 
Lockheed Martin has worked closely with NASA in all aerospace aspects for decades, and General Motors is no stranger to moon missions either. Over 50 years ago, GM was the major subcontractor that aided Boeing in creating NASA’s Lunar Roving Vehicle during the Apollo missions.
 
This partnership answers NASA’s call for “a human-class rover that will extend the exploration range of” astronauts during the Artemis missions.
 
We at Space Channel are continually excited to see advancements like this continue to take place at such a rapid pace in this new age of space exploration and human spaceflight.
 
Make sure to subscribe to our Flight Crew Newsletter for future updates.
 
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