Joint Korean/Australian Project Targets China’s Rare Earth Control

A joint South Korean/Australian mineral processing research project is showing potential to eat into China’s dominance of the high-value and strategically-important rare earth industry.

While in its early days the Ziron Tech project has successfully produced two of the most important metals in the rare earth family; praseodymium and neodymium which are used to make the permanent magnets used in electric cars and renewable energy systems.

As well as producing samples of the metals weighing up to 18.5 pounds an agreement to construct a commercial plant producing up to 550 pounds a day was signed last week.

A long-time in planning the key to the Ziron Tech process is a unique orebody located near the city of Dubbo in the Australian State of New South Wales.

If the work in Korea leads to full-scale commercial rare

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India back in action with launch of Earth observation satellite, nine rideshare small sats

HELSINKI — The Indian Space Research Organisation successfully carried out its first launch since the COVID-19 outbreak Saturday sending the EOS-1 Earth observation satellite and nine smaller payloads into orbit.

Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle-C49 (PSLV-C49) lifted off from the Satish Dhawan Space Center on the Indian island of Sriharikota at 4:42 a.m. Eastern Nov. 7 after a short weather delay. The PSLV-DL variant used for the mission includes two side boosters.

The launch was scheduled for late 2019 but became ISRO’s first launch of 2020 due in part to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The EOS-01 Earth observation satellite was successfully injected into a 575-kilometer circular orbit around 16 minutes later.

The roughly 628-kilogram EOS-01 is a synthetic aperture radar satellite with all-weather and day-and-night observation capability. It is part of ISRO’s RISAT series of SAR satellites and originally named RISAT-2BR2 but was changed to EOS-1 as per new naming criteria.


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SpaceX is on a stunning streak with Starlink, Elon Musk’s plan to bathe Earth in high-speed internet. But the scheme isn’t without big snags.

a sunset over a body of water: SpaceX founder Elon Musk has called Starlink user terminals, which are designed to connect to the internet via a fleet of orbiting satellites, "UFOs on a stick." Ashish Sharma/SpaceX

© Ashish Sharma/SpaceX
SpaceX founder Elon Musk has called Starlink user terminals, which are designed to connect to the internet via a fleet of orbiting satellites, “UFOs on a stick.” Ashish Sharma/SpaceX

  • SpaceX has rocketed nearly 900 Starlink satellites into orbit to build a high-speed internet service.
  • Elon Musk, the company’s founder, says Starlink will soon open for a public beta, followed by paid US service shortly thereafter.
  • Early results are promising, with high speeds and low latencies. SpaceX even gave Starlink terminals to Washington State emergency responders and the Hoh Tribe, which both lauded the technology.
  • Starlink also got FCC approval to bid for $20.4 billion in subsidies, is close to being licensed in Canada and Australia, and has won multiple US military contracts.
  • But Starlink faces significant challenges in terms of the network’s capacity, effects on astronomy, and creation of space debris. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more
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NASA astronaut wears face mask on ISS to prepare for life back on Earth


NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy is getting used to wearing a mask before he comes back to Earth.

For the most up-to-date news and information about the coronavirus pandemic, visit the WHO website.

NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy left this planet and traveled to the International Space Station back in early April. The coronavirus pandemic has only gotten worse in the US since then, so he figured he should start practicing for the hard realities of coming home.

Cassidy and two Russian cosmonaut crew mates are scheduled to return to Earth this week after their six-month stint on the ISS.   

On Monday, Cassidy tweeted photos of himself wearing a face mask on the ISS. “Training myself for my new reality when I get home on Wednesday,” he wrote

Cassidy, along with Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan

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