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      Rocket Report: A mysterious explosion in China; Firefly tests new engine

      news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Friday, 1 December - 12:00

    Imagery from Europe's Sentinel-2 satellite shows the aftermath of an explosion on a test stand at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in China.

    Enlarge / Imagery from Europe's Sentinel-2 satellite shows the aftermath of an explosion on a test stand at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in China. (credit: Sentinel Hub EO Browser/CC BY 4.0 )

    Welcome to Edition 6.21 of the Rocket Report!

    Someone is always watching, and it's more difficult than ever to hide bad news. This is one of my mantras as a reporter who will always come down on the side of transparency. We've seen space companies and government agencies in the United States try to downplay setbacks, which, let's face it, are inevitable in the space business. In China, it looks like a recent test-firing of a rocket motor didn't go well. Unsurprisingly, Chinese officials haven't said a thing.

    As always, we welcome reader submissions , and if you don't want to miss an issue, please subscribe using the box below (the form will not appear on AMP-enabled versions of the site). Each report will include information on small-, medium-, and heavy-lift rockets, as well as a quick look ahead at the next three launches on the calendar.

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      How Huawei made a cutting-edge chip in China and surprised the US

      news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Thursday, 30 November - 14:37

    montage of logos and chips

    Enlarge (credit: FT)

    In late 2020, Huawei was fighting for its survival as a mobile phone maker.

    A few months earlier, the Trump administration had hit the Chinese company with crippling sanctions, cutting it off from global semiconductor supply chains.

    The sanctions prevented anyone without a permit from making the chips Huawei designed, and the company was struggling to procure new chips to launch more advanced handsets.

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      2023 has been another year with a record number of orbital launches

      news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Wednesday, 29 November - 23:18

    A solid-fueled Ceres 1 rocket, developed by the Chinese company Galactic Energy, fires away from an ocean-going launch platform in the Yellow Sea on September 5.

    Enlarge / A solid-fueled Ceres 1 rocket, developed by the Chinese company Galactic Energy, fires away from an ocean-going launch platform in the Yellow Sea on September 5. (credit: Chen Xiao/VCG via Getty Images )

    Led by SpaceX and China, the world's launch providers have put more rockets and payloads into orbit so far in 2023 than in any prior year, continuing an upward trend in launch activity over the last five years.

    On Sunday, the Transportation Security Administration reported that it screened more than 2.9 million airline passengers making their way through US airports after Thanksgiving. It was the busiest day in history for US airports.

    A few days earlier, the world's spaceports set a new record with the launch of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida, with another batch of Starlink Internet satellites from Florida. This launch on November 22 was the 180th launch of 2023 to put its payload into orbit, eclipsing the mark of 179 successful orbital launches from last year.

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      Nvidia CEO: US chip independence may take 20 years to achieve

      news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Wednesday, 29 November - 22:35

    Founder and CEO of NVIDIA Jensen Huang speaks during the New York Times annual DealBook summit on November 29, 2023, in New York City.

    Enlarge / Founder and CEO of NVIDIA Jensen Huang speaks during the New York Times annual DealBook summit on November 29, 2023, in New York City. (credit: Michael M. Santiago / Staff | Getty Images North America )

    The US could be up to two decades away from maintaining its own domestic chips supply chain, Nvidia Corp.'s CEO, Jensen Huang, told an audience gathered in New York for the New York Times’s DealBook conference.

    Nvidia is a giant in the semiconductor industry, and Huang said his company's success depends on "myriad components that come from different parts of the world," Bloomberg reported. "Not just Taiwan," Huang said, where Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing company makes the world's most advanced semiconductor technology .

    “We are somewhere between a decade and two decades away from supply chain independence,” Huang said. “It’s not a really practical thing for a decade or two.”

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      For the first time, we’re seeing views of China’s entire space station

      news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Wednesday, 29 November - 14:10

    China released new pictures of its Tiangong space station Tuesday as Chinese astronauts and space officials made a public relations visit to Hong Kong. These images, taken about a month ago, show the Tiangong complex in its fully assembled configuration with three modules staffed by three crew members.

    A departing crew of three astronauts captured the new panoramic views of the Tiangong station in low-Earth orbit October 30, shortly after departing the outpost to head for Earth at the end of a six-month mission. These are the first views showing the Tiangong station after China completed assembling its three main modules last year.

    The Tianhe core module is at the center of the complex. It launched in April 2021 with crew accommodations and life support systems for astronauts. Two experiment modules, named Wentian and Mengtian, launched in 2022. The first team of Chinese astronauts arrived at the station in June 2021, and Tiangong has been permanently staffed by rotating three-person crews since June 2022.

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      “Mystery” pneumonia in China is mix of common respiratory germs, WHO says

      news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Monday, 27 November - 23:03 · 1 minute

    Parents with children who are suffering from respiratory diseases are lining up at a children's hospital in Chongqing, China, on November 23, 2023.

    Enlarge / Parents with children who are suffering from respiratory diseases are lining up at a children's hospital in Chongqing, China, on November 23, 2023. (credit: Getty | Costfoto/NurPhoto )

    Last week, news stories and a posting on an infectious disease surveillance system raised fears that another novel respiratory pathogen with pandemic potential was mushrooming in northern areas of China—namely Beijing and Liaoning province. The reports referenced " undiagnosed pneumonia " in " clusters " of children, hospitals that were "overwhelmed," and parents who were questioning whether "authorities were covering up the epidemic."

    But, rather than a sequel to the COVID-19 pandemic, the situation appears to be merely a side effect of it. According to independent experts and the World Health Organization, it's most likely that China is now experiencing a roaring comeback of a mix of common respiratory infections that were muted during the global health crisis. Many other countries experienced the same surges in the past year or two, including the US. As with the other countries, the wave of infection in China is mostly affecting children, who were less exposed to all sorts of pathogens amid the health restrictions, leaving them more vulnerable to infections now.

    The global explosion of COVID-19 transmission and subsequent pandemic health measures severely disrupted common cycles of many infectious diseases worldwide, knocking seasonal respiratory infections like adenoviruses and RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) off their annual cycles. In the US, the 2020-2021 flu season was virtually nonexistent, for instance. But, as the novel coronavirus abated and restrictions lifted, those pathogens vigorously returned. (The US also experienced early and intense peaks of RSV and flu last year.)

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      Rocket Report: Japan launches Moon mission; Ariane 6 fires up in Kourou

      news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Friday, 8 September - 11:00 · 1 minute

    A Japanese H-IIA rocket lifts off from the Tanegashima Space Center with an X-ray astronomy satellite and a robotic Moon lander.

    Enlarge / A Japanese H-IIA rocket lifts off from the Tanegashima Space Center with an X-ray astronomy satellite and a robotic Moon lander. (credit: Photo by STR/JIJI Press/AFP via Getty Images )

    Welcome to Edition 6.10 of the Rocket Report! A Japanese spacecraft has joined the international flock of missions traveling to the Moon this year, but you'll need to practice patience on this one. It will take about four months for Japan's small lander to get into lunar orbit, then more weeks to align with the mission's target landing site. We're crossing our fingers this lander will see the same success as India's Chandrayaan 3 mission.

    As always, we welcome reader submissions , and if you don't want to miss an issue, please subscribe using the box below (the form will not appear on AMP-enabled versions of the site). Each report will include information on small-, medium-, and heavy-lift rockets, as well as a quick look ahead at the next three launches on the calendar.

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    India launches its first solar research satellite . Less than two weeks after landing its first mission on the Moon, India launched a solar observatory on September 2 toward an orbit nearly a million miles (1.5 million kilometers) from Earth around the L1 Lagrange point. This mission, named Aditya-L1, lifted off on India's workhorse Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle and entered orbit around the Earth, where the spacecraft is expected to perform five maneuvers to escape Earth's gravity and head to its distant observation post.

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      How China gets free intel on tech companies’ vulnerabilities

      news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Thursday, 7 September - 13:14

    image related to hacking and China

    Enlarge (credit: Wired staff; Getty Images)

    For state-sponsored hacking operations, unpatched vulnerabilities are valuable ammunition. Intelligence agencies and militaries seize on hackable bugs when they're revealed—exploiting them to carry out their campaigns of espionage or cyberwar—or spend millions to dig up new ones or to buy them in secret from the hacker gray market.

    But for the past two years, China has added another approach to obtaining information about those vulnerabilities: a law that simply demands that any network technology business operating in the country hand it over. When tech companies learn of a hackable flaw in their products, they’re now required to tell a Chinese government agency—which, in some cases, then shares that information with China's state-sponsored hackers, according to a new investigation. And some evidence suggests foreign firms with China-based operations are complying with the law, indirectly giving Chinese authorities hints about potential new ways to hack their own customers.

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      Montana’s best defense of TikTok ban is deeply flawed, experts say

      news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Tuesday, 22 August, 2023 - 21:32

    Montana’s best defense of TikTok ban is deeply flawed, experts say

    Enlarge (credit: SOPA Images / Contributor | LightRocket )

    Over the next few months, Montana must prove that it has the power to do what the federal government has so far only tried and failed to do: ban TikTok.

    While TikTok and several state-based app users have claimed that the state's TikTok ban is unconstitutional and improperly attempts to regulate US-China foreign relations, Montana recently raised its best arguments to uphold the ban. In a court filing last week, Montana sought to convince a US district court to reject TikTok's motion to delay the statewide ban from taking effect on January 1, 2024, until the federal case is resolved. Beyond disputing the relevance of constitutional concerns, Montana took a seemingly hostile stance, calling out TikTok for alleged "hypocrisy" and evasiveness of US authorities attempting to protect Americans' data from foreign spying.

    "TikTok’s apparent position is it cannot be regulated—by anyone," Montana argued, accusing TikTok of playing "fast and loose" with courts and improperly shifting away from an argument that TikTok made that got Donald Trump's ban overturned.

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