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Inside Space (Nov 14th, 2017)

Start-up rocket ship builder Xcor Aerospace has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The company reported assets estimated between $1 million and $10 million with more than 100 creditors. Founded in 1999, Xcor launched an ambitious plan in 2008 to have an operational Lynx rocketplane within two years, to one day send tourists into space. The target date changed several times before Xcor leaders in 2016 declined to offer a new date. In 2012, the company had 175 presold flights — at $95,000 each — for Lynx. In a letter to shareholders, Xcor Chief Executive Michael Blum and Chairman Tom Burbage said a new group of investors expressed interest, but “did not have the financial capabilities initially portrayed to us." — LA TIMES

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The second of a two-part PBS and TIME series documenting astronaut Scott Kelly’s 12-month stay on the International Space Station is set to air Nov. 15. "Beyond a Year in Space" shows what life was like for Kelly upon his return to Earth after spending 340 days in space. In the program, Kelly shares that he has residual health problems after returning. “Gravity definitely gives you a beat down when you get back. My feet still bother me some — I didn’t walk on them for a year," Kelly said in the program. — MASHABLE

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Autonomous space shuttle Dream Chaser had a successful test flight on Saturday, spaceflight company Sierra Nevada said. The test focused on the spacecraft's landing gear abilities, and was conducted at Edwards Air Force Base in Southern California. Sierra Nevada is contracted through NASA to deliver cargo shipments to the International Space Station beginning in 2020. The company originally planned for its spacecraft to carry astronauts, but that changed in 2014. This weekend's test was the second conducted; the first, in 2013, saw the vehicle's landing gear fail — THE VERGE

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Virtual nation Asgardia launched itself into space this weekend while on board the Cygnus spacecraft. Created last year by Russian scientist Igor Ashurbeyli, the virtual nation has 300,000 registrants and created a constitution. On board the satellite — dubbed Asgardia-1 — includes personally selected data from each of the people who registered, plus the nation's constitution and national symbols. "Asgardia-1 may look like many other satellites orbiting Earth, but it is the only one in the whole world which represents a new territory," Ashurbeyli said. Cygnus launched as part of a mission to resupply the International Space Station. Following its mission, the spacecraft will de-dock, fly higher into space and deploy Asgardia-1 into orbit. — ENGADGET

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Loft Orbital announced Monday its plans to lease space on satellites it buys. "We want to make the experience of accessing space as easy as buying cloud services from Amazon Web Services. Instead of building or buying a satellite for your sensor, just lease space onboard one of our satellites and fly with us." The company said it has raised $3.2 million in a recent seed funding round. It plans to fly 12 to 15 satellites that are said to be "washing machine-sized." The company plans to launch its first satellite in 2019. — CNBC

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Venus and Jupiter shared a moment Monday morning.

The two planets passed each other within 17 arc minutes (or 0.28 degrees). And, they did it again Tuesday morning (just not as close as they were Monday).

In a statement, NASA said the two planets formed "what looks like a brilliant double star." In millennial speak, that's when both people swipe right on a dating app.

If Venus and Jupiter canoodling wasn't enough, we'll be able to see an intergalactic rendezvous between Saturn and Mercury on Nov. 24 and 28.

You must be my lucky sta... planet.

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