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The Morning Briefing: Space and satellites

Posting in Government

"The Morning Briefing" is SmartPlanet's daily roundup of must-reads from the web. This morning we're reading about space exploration and satellite technology.

1.) Private space travel to make giant leaps in 2013. Private companies building new spaceships to soar through orbital and suborbital space are looking forward to an action-packed year in 2013, with new flight tests, launches, wind tunnel tests and rocket technology trials all planned during the new year.

2.) U.S. urged to relax satellite export restrictions. The Chinese Ministry of Commerce expressed concern after the United States kept a tight rein on the export of satellites and related items to China, and a senior China-U.S. trade expert urged Washington to drop its Cold War mindset and lift the barriers to benefit both countries.

3.) China planning to perform another test of their anti-satellite weaponry, creating tons of new space junk. China appears to be getting ready to do further testing of its anti-satellite weaponry. The last test that they performed, the destruction of an old weather satellite, was very controversial because of the huge quantity of new space junk that it created.

4.) Astronaut tweets photos from space station. A Canadian astronaut has tweeted a series of photos while orbiting the Earth in the International Space Station.

5.) Studying space travel with fruit flies. One year from now, in a lab far, far away, a group of fruit flies could unknowingly be helping to make long-term space travel safer.

Image credit: Steve Jurvetson

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— By on January 6, 2013, 4:41 PM PST

Charlie Osborne

Contributing Editor

Charlie Osborne is a freelance journalist and photographer based in London. In addition to SmartPlanet, she also writes for business technology website ZDNet and consumer technology site CNET. She holds a degree in medical anthropology from the University of Kent. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure