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Space

Landspace comes up with $175 million for the Zhuque-2 dispatch vehicle

The Chinese agency Landspace has come up with $175 million in sequence C+ round financing for the advancement of Zhuque-2 series of the methane-liquid oxygen dispatch vehicles. The round was mutually officiated by Sequoia Capital China, Cornerstone Capital, Matrix Partners China and Country Garden Venture Capital. Further financing came from National SME Development Fund as well as others.

The new financing shall be utilized for the advancement of Zhuque-2 (Vermillion Bird-2) series of dispatch cars made for taking satellites to Low Earth Orbit and Sun-synchronous orbits. The financing comes 14 days after Chinese competitor dispatch agency iSpace acquired $173 million in the Series B financing. Landspace’s fresh round equals that of Expace, a dispatch service provider owned by giant state-managed business as well as Defense contractor CASIC.

The Landspace is working towards an opening dispatch of the Zhuque-2 for 2021 around June. The 49.5- meter-tall, two-stage Zhuque-2 shall be proficient enough to deliver a 4,000-kilogram cargo capacity to a 200-kilometre Low Earth Orbit. Then again, ZQ-2 can be able to loft 2,000 kilograms to 500-kilometres SSO, as per Landspace. Renewed figures on the agency website showcase versions —probably using side boosters —proficient enough to send 6,000 as well as 4,000 kilograms to LEO and the SSO correspondingly.

Landspace concluded three gimbaling fire experiments of SkyLark (Tianque-12) 80t-shove-level cryogenic methane and the liquid oxygen rocket engine in early-mid May. Tianque-11, a tinier, 10-ton fluid methane motor, exceeded 2,000 seconds of experimenting on 5th June. The foremost dispatch shall be dispensable. Nonetheless, future Zhuque-2 dispatches shall use deep mutable abilities to try vertical take-off, vertical landings [VTVL], and permit reuse of the foremost stage.

Ideas for bigger Zhuque-2 series three-stage space shuttle proficient enough to convey 32,000 kilograms to 200-kilometers Low Earth Orbit were brought up during the past. Zhuque-1, a light-lift solid spacecraft, failed, was unlucky on its attempt to get to the orbit in its solitary airlift in 2018 around October. It was the foremost orbital dispatch endeavour by a supposedly private Chinese space agency. The agency has a main intelligent manufacturing base station in Huzhou, east China, alongside research and advancement areas in Beijing and Xi’an.

A 2019 publication from the IDA Science and the Technology Policy Institute recognized 78 commercial firms within China, alongside 21 parts of the dispatch sector. Many of them were started since 2014, ensuing from a government policy choice, referred to as “Document 60,” to open parts of the space division to private capital.

An armed forces-civilian union national plan, permitting the production of very sensitive, double-use technologies to happen in the non-governmental sector, whereas further policies backing and directing commercial space sector have fully been delivered.

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Energy

The electric vehicle manufacturer Lucid rolls out a model that will challenge Tesla

The EV manufacturer Lucid is parading its Air sedan as a better performing vehicle than Tesla’s Model S. The chief executive of Lucid, Peter Rawlinson, who engineered the car’s development, stated that this car is a milestone that they have been working on for the longest time. He added that the electric model is the best in terms of both the battery and technical design. 

Rawlinson explained that the top-notch model of the Air sedan surpasses Tesla’s cars by close to 20% since it has a big mileage range and hosts few energy cells. Lucid appears to have adjusted the Air model they launched four years ago by increasing the side mirrors and curving the model’s internal screens. 

The car can cover a distance of 520 miles before the next recharge. Tests revealed that this mileage exceeds the 402 miles for Tesla’s frontier in the electric vehicle models, Model S. Rawlinson explained that this model has a higher horsepower than the Tesla models making the Air Sedan the rival for Tesla’s technology. 

Lucid reported that the Air sedan could charge a voltage to carry it through 300 miles in the third hour. The company has announced that the face value of the Air sedan will range from $80000 to $169000. The higher price is for the grand model, while the lower price is for this car’s standard sedan model. 

Lucid revealed its intention of making the model in three colors: gold, white, and black. The more expensive models will enter the electric vehicle market mid next year, while the cheaper models will grace the market in 2022.

Lucid’s senior executive for design, Derek Jenkins, explained that these cars’ price determining factor is the interior design. He submitted that the interior reveals a range of technologically advanced features like a touchscreen dashboard. 

Rawlinson revealed that the Air sedan is the introducing model for its line of electric vehicles under development. One of the other models still under construction is an SUV called Gravity. The executive explained that the different models would be developed to meet customers’ rising demands after evaluating the performance of the Air sedan. 

Lucid also revealed its ongoing plan of installing recharging facilities at homes and in business apartments. This sector is where Tesla beats Lucid since Tesla is developing its public charging stations. 

To sum up, it is good to witness growing competition for Tesla, especially from startups like Lucid. Lucid will inform a competitive approach towards battery development technology for the electric vehicles, thereby expanding the electric vehicle industry’s scope.  

Categories
Space

NASA plans to purchase lunar samples collected by a commercial lander

NASA seeks to buy moon samples collected by lunar-lander cooperations for a token sum to assess the conditions precedent for formulating space resource regulations and policies on the moon. On September 10, NASA issued a solicitation that requested space exploration corporations to make quotations for selling 50 to 500 grams of moon rocks and lunar regolith. After the company obtains the lunar samples and shows proof of conducting the extraction, NASA plans to take custody of the pieces and process payment. The space exploration company does not perform a return mission to Earth, meaning that NASA takes control of future missions for obtaining the lunar samples. After successful extraction, the pieces’ primary purpose is to facilitate the formulation of moon resource transfer regulations instead of scientific experiments and research.

Jim Bridenstine, the director of NASA, said that agency plans to purchase soil from the moon to illustrate that the mission is possible. Jim made the statement on September 10 during the Secure World Foundation’s Summit intended to foster Space Sustainability. Although NASA’s request for company quotations never specified the amount allocated for the purchase, Jim stated the agency plans to spend $15,000 to $25,000 for the samples.

Mike Gold, acting associate director of International and Inter-agency Relations, announced an estimated $50,000 to fund it. However, the allocation is insignificant compared to the costs involved in conducting the launch mission and extraction of lunar material.

Bridenstine stated that NASA plans to set ground rules for launch missions to the moon and lunar resource extractions, adhering to the Outer Space Treaty. The program seeks to develop both state laws and policies within the space industry. The Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act of 2015 gave many cooperations the privilege to own samples extracted from the moon and other space bodies. In April, an executive directive stated the need for space agencies and companies to seek international support in maintaining the position.

In May, NASA announced the Artemis Accords that incorporated the principles and capabilities for extraction and utilization of lunar resources. The Outer Space Treaty prohibits nations from setting territorial claims on any space body such as the moon. The capacity to utilize lunar resources is crucial for the long-term sustainability of the Artemis Moon exploration program. 

In summary, the space missions and scientific research studies conducted on lunar materials draw humankind closer to achieving humanity’s habitation on the moon. Many space agencies and corporations continue to initiate lunar exploration programs that plan to establish man’s stay on the moon. 

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Energy

Telangana grants special market access to enhance the production of Electric Vehicles

Global initiatives continue to encourage nations all over the planet to switch to cleaner energy to power their transportation sector. Many countries are formulating and endorsing policies seeking to promote their citizens to replace their fossil-fuel-powered vehicles for electric-powered vehicles. Some governments take it a notch higher by developing the necessary infrastructure to facilitate electric mobility adoption. 

The Telangana government endorsed the Electric Vehicle and Energy Storage Solutions Policy to enhance EVs’ uptake, attracting investors’ interests within the green mobility. The policy provides privileged market access for electric vehicle automakers based in Telangana.

Jayesh Ranjan, Principal Secretary of IT, Industry, and Commerce, stated that EV companies receive preferential consumer market access to set-up manufacturing units within Telangana. Jayesh’s announcement came during a conference on the Integration of Energy Storage and Mobility conducted by the Indian Chamber of Commerce. Ranjan explained that Telangana’s EV policy offers different incentives to enhance EVs’ transition and attract investors looking to fund projects within the green mobility initiative. The state government identified the need for e-vehicle owners to access EV fast-charging stations and plans to develop the charging infrastructure to serve future consumer demand. 

Anil Srivastava, the Mobility Mission Director at NITI Aayog, said that India plans to enact policies and plans that facilitate the implementation of sufficient energy storage and the country’s mobility. There is an increasing emphasis on initiatives such as the recycling of lithium-ion batteries to satisfy the growing demand for EVs. NITI Aayog plans to invite funding for EV manufacturing units and proposed direct incentives to the automakers. India’s car businesses and transportation industry are preparing to shift towards EVs, opening up tremendous growth potential.

Mayank Jalan, the ICC director, stated that the Indian government continues to create momentum for EV adoption by endorsing favorable policies and strategies. Most notably is the scheme on raw materials and supporting business sites for energy storage and e-vehicle manufacturing. The Indian government focuses on enlarging the country’s capacity to process materials supplied to advanced production ecosystems. The plan is to concentrate on government-based initiatives that address the industry’s challenges and implement solutions.

In conclusion, green mobility is the future of transportation for any nation seeking to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and achieve a cleaner and safer environment for the next generations. The transition rate to initiatives such as adopting zero-emission EVs entirely depends on how much state governments, private companies in the automotive industry, and the general public invest and implement policies and schemes that favor electric vehicles’ adoption. 

Categories
Energy

Africa shifts focus on off-grid technology

Africa is finally transcending into off-grid renewables to ensure that electricity is available to its vast population. The deviation from policies to devolution of electricity is now the new trend gracing the electricity suppliers. Initially, the challenge of venturing solar power was the high prices of installing the facilities and the low quality of this technology’s equipment to take effect. But currently, the materials’ costs are low, and the technology to proceed with the installation process is ready for the generation of off-grid renewable energy.

The need to counter global warming and the health advantages for this process are steering the quick advancement in renewables’ venture. Off-grid in African countries refers to solar energy ranging from devolved units to powering significant towns.

The market for renewables is growing significantly in East Africa, where over 2 million solar products have been sold. Reports indicate that people who have replaced their systems with renewables enjoy a better life with clean air and no power outages. Initially, people would complain of blackouts in the best part of the evenings when they return from work since there was a surge in the number of users plugging into the grid. Currently, people can use electricity from renewables for profitable activities. In Africa, people need to tune in to the off-grid renewable energy and avoid kerosene and other fuels since they are hazardous.

The IEA estimates that Africa can surpass the previous renewable energy capacity from 6 GW last year to 15 GW. This growth will be visible in the next two decades, provided the countries continue to pursue the transition to renewables. Nonetheless, investors in the private sector will run for these profitable projects to gain from the venture while it is still anew.

There are over 100 million African homes without electricity. This statistic proves that supplying renewable energy in these homes would require both the government and the private sector’s persistent efforts to enable them to realize zero-emissions and urbanization of all countries. Additionally, the investors would feel the burden of supplying power to rural areas where it is less profitable than in urban areas where high demand leads to high profitability.

Although there is some progress in installing renewable energy facilities, the current challenge of the pandemic is impeding the financial growth of solar energy firms. The firms have to invest financially in the projects and paying employees to propel them to resume operations. 

To conclude, African countries must focus on deploying renewable energy technology to propel electricity’s accessibility to rural areas. Mountainous regions can develop mini-grid power systems to supply electricity to residents and businesses dwelling in those places.

Categories
Energy

Honda’s electric vehicle marketing programs will fail to accelerate sales if the firm remains indecisive

Honda E‘s first sight exemplified a revolution in the EV industry that we would have loved to experience. The love emoticons bracing the car showcased a pure sense of creativity. This product should have rocked the automotive industry because of its spectacular artistry. 

It was evident that this car would be the face of electric vehicles after pacing up with the new trendy design. There was hope that this vehicle would inspire the uptake of electric vehicles by the general public globally. This car is the only model that displays a unique design that surpasses the copy-and-paste models in the current diverse EV market. 

Nevertheless, the Honda E launch plummeted the anticipated anxiety that this product would perform spectacularly on the market. The campaign team for this electric car model did a disservice to the brand. When they should be enthusiastic about the brand, they faintly advertised and marketed the car, lowering consumers’ desire to purchase the vehicle. Additionally, this model’s advertisements are insensitive to the car’s animated features, maybe for fear of competition. 

To other matters, The EV uptake is growing sluggishly in some countries, while in others, it is accelerating at the highest speed. Charging stations and their technology are under development with countries like the UK projecting charge points in sidewalks where most citizens love parking their cars. 

The increased tax incentives and environmental regulations are also catalyzing the speedy uptake of electric vehicles globally. It is no longer an issue of discussion as it was in the past. Governments are placing grace periods on the ICE cars to ensure that they buy Evs instead of these pollutive cars. 

Not long ago, electric vehicles were future projects. But it appears that we are in that future with many automakers and gas suppliers implementing strategies that will ensure they remain relevant in the future transportation industry integrated with electric vehicles. 

Gas companies like BP and Shell are strategically buying into renewables to meet their profit levels and remain in business. Otherwise, they face the danger of being shut down indefinitely because of their pollutive products. 

Tesla remains the leading manufacturer and car seller because they have invested in futuristic technology. Tesla is bold enough to replace its ICE cars with their subsequent EV models to attract the future market. 

In conclusion, Honda must make a bold decision to transition into the EV market and advertise its Honda E model violently to revitalize the initial desire that consumers had for this car. The fear of competition will only result in the product erasure while they have not explored its full potential. Making the right decision will help the firm focus its undivided attention on technology and product variation to attract the consumer market. 

Categories
Energy

Price is not the main factor that prevents people from purchasing electric vehicles

Some themes emerge when you bring in the discussion about electric cars. The majority of people say that EVs cannot cope with the national system since they suddenly catch fire. They go for 50 miles during winter. They are made of unique minerals extracted by children from Congo, and the electricity used to charge those EVs originates from coal and many other excuses. They have admitted that the cost of the EVs is not the big hate. There appears to be a specific turn off.  

The high cost of EVs is something one cannot deny because most EVs cost $13,000, which is more costly than internal combustion engine (ICE) models. That only is a considerable disincentive for buying an EV, despite many offers in some countries like France. However, the strong resistance against you see on social media is filled with politics, resistance against crucial changes, lack of electric vehicle choice for other brands, and not mainly the cost. 

Rupert Mitchell, Chief Strategy Officer at Chinese EV maker WM Motor, said that there is reluctance in the purchase of EVs because the current makers refuse to vend electric vehicles. He added that it is not a surprise that many main associates in the EVs field are not qualified, but stubborn entities like Tesla. As much as electric vehicle costs surge faster, for example, up to 175% year-on-year in the U.K by July this year, they are still affordable in Britain. The majority of current EVs show that 95% of their sales are still in ICE. That means there are few EVs to enable the creation of electric platforms.

Having 95% of vehicles still using the Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) mode, we will have to focus mainly on developing the electric vehicle platform instead of placing more funds on starting new electric cars.  Also, problems encountering workers in the carmaker industry, whereby their powerful unions are afraid of losing their occupations. 

The workforce can be retrained; however, the making of electric vehicles only needs a smaller number of crews. China appears to be less affected since the ICE vehicle industry was impoverished instead of the U.S or Europe. As a result, China has more hopes in electric vehicles to be used for domestic purposes. The majority of China’s carmaker industry bases mainly on cooperative ventures, some of them being VW. So, in China, the EV drive is on consumer startup, and not on incumbents. 

Categories
Energy

GM is transferring its Corvette engineers to the electric and independent electric vehicle project

GM is shifting its technical team in the Chevrolet Corvette section of the firm to its electric vehicle program, detaching as an independent service to explore the EV technology. These engineers will venture into the possibilities of advancing the EV battery technology and the EV components. 

GM’s vice executive for global product development, sales, and supply link, Doug Parks, stated this statement in a memo to the engineering team that they will be changing departments to go and give their support to the electric vehicle program under the leadership of Ken Morris. This transfer becomes effective at the beginning of this month. 

Morris stated that GM’s commitment to transitioning to an all-electric company involves transferring these engineers into the department. The advantage of having these engineers in the EV team is to propagate the team’s skills that refined the Corvette into the electric vehicle systems and technology. GM hopes that the engineers can venture deep into the electric vehicles’ potential to develop their technology and models that their customers can fancy and easily buy because of the value they are offering. 

These engineers have what it takes to stir up the interest pf customers since they developed the current bestseller Chevrolet Corvette. Nevertheless, the Corvette will continue to advance since the senior chief engineer Tadge Juechter will remain in his position to spearhead new products in this line of cars. 

The Corvette chief engineer Ed Piatek will lead future services and programs and be submissive to Tadge. Piatek will become the EV future program facilitator making Josh Holder take over his position as chief engineer of Global Corvette. 

These strategic changes came after various communications and investments in EV technology. The carmaker invests its funds in electric trucks, sedans, and automatic vehicles that can auto-drive itself. The firm also intends to invest in spare parts and tools that will be useful in creating electric vehicles. 

GM plans to develop electric pickup trucks and develop them through next year. The next project that will follow is Cruise Origin, which auto-drives itself. GM submitted that they would be developing over 20 electric vehicle models in the coming three years using the Ultium technology. 

To conclude, GM is also developing a factory that will be developing battery cells and packs that will run the EVs for long mileage. The automaker said that they would be collaborating with the likes of LGChem to develop the battery technology. 

Categories
Space

Research reveals a new insufficiency in the code of conduct in space

The Center for Strategic and International Studies submitted its report yesterday, advising the formulation of a code of conduct in space which every nation planning to venture outer space must adhere to uphold. The agency added that since commercials and government operations have the determination to advance their superiority in space, there is a need for the generally accepted norms and regulations that every country will adhere to for a peaceful stay and venture in space. 

The CSIS report focuses on three aspects that need quick resolution internationally, which might become problematic if left unsolved. The agency’s researcher Kaitlyn Johnson outlines that the globe needs to resolve the challenge of orbital debris, stipulate space meetings, emergency resolution campaigns, and finally, the insurance details for internationally accredited companies. 

Johnson explains that the global stand on space debris management, meetings, and emergency space operations, together with insurance for the companies venturing space, is a gray area in which the international community must come to terms as a whole. This move will inform a general reduction in the accumulation of debris in space orbits, which might obstruct satellites and spacecraft. Additionally, the international community will solve arising space military issues before countries resort to space war. 

Johnson reiterates that the international community must agree that countries that go overboard on space interference matters by adding more space debris can be dealt with amicably. Moreover, other nations can help developing governments launch their spacecraft to space and evade fatalities due to unauthorized and unverified crewed missions. 

Some of the keynotes that need an immediate consensus are the formulation of a code of conduct in space to solve space traffic, which maxes out the risk of accidental collisions in space. This problem can shut out a company that lacks enough resources to relaunch a replacement satellite. 

Next, we have the challenge of debris accumulation in space. The international community must agree on the proper mechanisms to ensure that the failed launch missions and the deorbiting satellites do not leave debris in space to allow other nations to maneuver peacefully to their orbits. 

Additionally, the global community must agree on the plausible dates when they can be holding rendezvous concerning the arising challenges in space. This move will curtail the unexpected conflicts over exploration missions to places like Mars and the moon. 

To conclude, insurance in space will help prevent the unqualified and unverified spacecraft from venturing space and cause accidents. Insurance companies will leverage for the startups, which will have to meet the specified regulations before embarking on space missions or commit to expanding first before exploring space and other systems. 

Categories
Space

$28 million raised by Japanese lunar lander organization, ispace

WASHINGTON- A Japanese firm strategizing a string of moon lander operations has been able to raise $28 million expected to permit it to finish the development of its first mission. ispace, based in Tokyo, declared on August 20 that it funded the Series B round coming from various stakeholders, headed by Incubate Fund, which is an investment capital fund from Japan and has also backed the firm ever since its seed round. Another shareholder is Space Frontier Fund, a new space-focused investment fund founded in May by various Japanese firms, counting Toyota.  

Two corporate partners of ispace also took part in the round, and Takasago Thermal Engineering Company is building up a water electrolysis research that will be included in the forthcoming ispace lander mission. At the same time, Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Co. is building an insurance invention for commercial moon projects. The firm has since from December 2017 raised $125 million, incorporating a Series A round, which is currently valued at $95 million. The previous round was the Japanese biggest Series A round startup and among the biggest in any space startup. 

The Series B round offers ispace with adequate money to finish the development of its original Hakuto-R Lander. Jumpei Nozaki, who is ispace principal financial officer, confirmed during an online meeting regarding the new funding that the $28 million Series B round will plaster the finishing of Mission 1 development set for 2022.  A subsequent lander operation will second that initial operation in the year 2023. The two missions will use an improved Hakuto-R lander design that the firm declared in July, lessening the rocket’s general mass and size while upholding a payload capability of about 30 kilograms. 

Nozaki stated that fro Mission 2 expansions, they still need to keep the money to finish the mission, and it would come from the payload and supplementary sales income and additional financing.  Takahiro Nakamura, who is ispace principal operating executive, stated that the two operations represent the firm’s business plan’s initial phase. He added that a subsequent stage would engage “high-frequency delivery” of payloads to the lunar surface and acquisition of sales and data, and the third phase will center on utilizing moon resources.  

Takeshi Hakamada, who is ispace founder and the chief executive officer, stated that ispace plans on boosting its Lander’s size, beginning with the third operation to contain heavier payloads. He added that the shipment capacity could enhance from 100 to 150 kilograms, depending on the constraints of probable customers.