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Between 2000 and 2013, a network of sensors that monitors Earth around the clock listening for the infrasound signature of nuclear detonations detected 26 explosions on Earth ranging in energy from 1-600 kilotons – all caused not by nuclear explosions, but rather by asteroid impacts. To put this data in perspective, the atomic bomb that destroyed Hiroshima in 1945 exploded with an energy impact of 15 kilotons.

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The Sentinel-1A satellite has delivered the first radar images of the Earth, since it was launched from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana.

This first image showing Belgium was captured on 12 April, just one day after the satellite was put into its operational attitude, and demonstrates the potential of Sentinel-1A’s radar vision, offering a tantalising glimpse of the kind of operational imagery that this new mission will provide for Europe’s ambitious Copernicus environmental monitoring programme.

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The ability of European citizens, policymakers and service providers to access key environmental data on a routine basis will take a major step forward following the launch of ESA’s Sentinel-1A satellite. The 2.3 tonne satellite lifted off on a Soyuz rocket from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana at 21:02 GMT (23:02 CEST). The first stage separated 118 sec later, followed by the fairing (209 sec), stage 2 (287 sec) and the upper assembly (526 sec).

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Given the fact that the Earth's resources are limited and that most of resources such as gold, cobalt, nickel, platinum and other rare metals came from asteroids that had hit Earth's crust immediately after its cooling, space mining is an obvious solution to enable us to continue to benefit from the technological applications that we have today.

The asteroids and the Moon are the first targets identified by private companies, which plan to start space mining activities in 10 to 20 years' time. Although we have the necessary technologies owing to the scientific missions which were developed by governmental agencies, this initiative still raises financial problems. Moreover, there are debates on topics such as Space Law, on the right of companies to extract resources from celestial bodies and then to market them, but also on the conservation of these celestial bodies for scientific research.

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Between 9 and 10 January 2014, the President and CEO of the Romanian Space Agency (ROSA), Marius-Ioan Piso presented Romania's strategy and position on space exploration at the Heads of Space Agencies Summit (HOSA), organized by the International Academy of Astronautics in Washington. Together with the Minister Delegate for Higher Education, Scientific Research and Technological Development, Mihnea Costoiu, the CEO of ROSA attended the International Space Exploration Forum (ISEF), organized by the Government of the United States. At the event, Marius-Ioan Piso expressed Romania’s interest to develop research and space exploration projects through bilateral and multilateral cooperation that will contribute to the national development of Romania.

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