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crystal 0056

Rendering showing regolith sample extraction using the SAMPLR robotic arm, also showing the CrystalSpace cameras.
Author: Dr. Mihkel Pajusalu, Tartu Observatory, University of Tartu, based on data from the NASA VTAD and LROC digital terrain model. License: CC-BY


Tallinn, Estonia, January 11, 2021 – Estonian company Crystalspace, partnered with the University of Tartu's Tartu Observatory and Krakul, has been selected by Maxar Technologies, a trusted partner and innovator in Earth Intelligence and Space Infrastructure, to build two cameras that will act as a stereo pair to monitor the operations of a robotic arm that will collect regolith samples from the Moon.

The Crystalspace cameras will be part of Maxar's robotic arm called Sample Acquisition, Morphology Filtering, and Probing of Lunar Regolith (SAMPLR).



Saint Mary's guard Leemet Böckler was named the West Coast Conference Freshman of the Week for December 7, after helping the St. Mary's Gaels go 2-0 at home.

Böckler had a perfect shooting night against Nicholls in the Gaels' first game of the week going 2-for-2 from 3-point range, as well as 2-for-2 from the free throw line for eight points in 12 minutes off the bench.

Estonian PM Resigns Bringing Down Coalition Government

Estonia’s prime minister Jüri Ratas resigned in the early hours of Wednesday January 13, after corruption allegations involving his left-leaning Centre party related to a €39-million loan to the Porto Franco real estate development in Tallinn were made public the day before.


One of many fundraising kalendrid published by animal shelters (loomade turva/kodud) in Eesti. This one features whiskered kaane/tüdruk (cover girl) Maali. She is a triibik – with triibud (stripes), having the tabby stripe pattern coat type.


Head uut aastat lovers of kitties aka kiisud!


If you haven't yet visited the websites of animal shelters in Estonia, I suggest you do. (Web addresses listed at the end.)

Legislation signed into law at the end of 2020 included several items relevant to the Baltic countries and the broader region. 


The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021 (NDAA) and the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (FY21 Omnibus) had provisions for funding and policy that support Baltic and European security and democracy.

Most significant was the Baltic Security Initiative (BSI) in the NDAA, which consists of just under $169 million in International Security Cooperation Programs for Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania.

Restoration of Henrik Visnapuu Award

At its annual meeting in November, the Estonian American National Council decided to restore the Henrik Visnapuu Literature and Culture Award, founded in the U.S. in 1952 after Visnapuu's death on Long Island and discontinued due to the loss of organizing parties in 2007.


Visnapuu was a well-known patriotic poet and dramatist.


"Tartu the Christmas City", is the university city's other, current claim to fame. Its Town Hall Square is full of glass pavilions, including one from which writers broadcast poetry online and another housing happy chickens that lay Christmas eggs. But the crowning glory of this year's Village of Light is the skating rink, built around the "Kissing students" fountain. See and on Facebook.
Photo: Krister Rajandu/ Tartu Facebook page

This year will be a Christmas like no other.


Families will be apart, we won’t be in church, or visiting with friends, but it will still be Christmas.


Dr. Fauci has confirmed that Jõuluvana, being a magical being, is immune to corona virus and will have no problem traveling.


Päkapikud are also immune, so keep an eye out for them running about.


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