In Today’s Deep Space Extra… SpaceX presses closer to a NASA Commercial Crew Program milestone. Organic molecules have been detected in ice grains erupting from Saturn’s moon Enceladus. Cotton seeds sprout at the Moon.
In Today’s Deep Space Extra… Russia’s Soyuz MS-12 landed safely Thursday morning, safely returning three crew members to Earth. Astrobotic’s cubeover program is awarded $2 million NASA contract. NASA testing a shape-shifting robot that could explore Saturn’s moon.
In Today’s Deep Space Extra… NASA discusses with Russia the purchase of more seats on Soyuz spacecraft to transport astronauts to and from the International Space Station (ISS) as efforts to by the agency to certify Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner and SpaceX’s Crew Dragon move ahead. Assessing the best ways to explore space require an open mind.
In Today’s Deep Space Extra… NASA issued a final call on Monday for commercial lunar lander proposals in order to accelerate a return to the surface of the Moon with human explorers in 2024. The agency announces a familiar face will be the new lead for solar system exploration at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). Russia plans to increase funding for its space program, including space research.
In Today’s Deep Space Extra… A Japanese re-supply mission reaches the International Space Station (ISS). A Space Launch System (SLS) core stage mock-up reaches NASA’s Kennedy Space Center (KSC) for critical fit checks and to serve as a training aid. Elon Musk updates Starship and Super Heavy development and flight test plans.
In Today’s Deep Space Extra… The U.S. Senate has joined with the House in passing a budget continuing resolution (CR) for the 2020 fiscal year, which begins October 1. The Senate Appropriations Committee has also passed a NASA 2020 spending measure. India’s Chandrayaan-2 Vikram lunar lander continues to elude efforts by NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) to spot the spacecraft, which is assumed to have landed hard.
In Today’s Deep Space Extra… NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine is campaigning hard to return human explorers to the lunar surface in 2024. A Senate bill offers an increase over 2019 levels as Congress works toward a final NASA budget. An international crew made up of U.S., Russian and United Arab Emirates (UAE) astronauts has launched to the International Space Station (ISS) this morning.
In Today’s Deep Space Extra… NASA and Lockheed Martin reach agreement for the long term production of the Orion capsules that are to lead to a sustainable human presence at the Moon to prepare for future expeditions to Mars. NASA and the Japanese space agency JAXA issue statement of joint commitment to their ongoing collaboration. NASA embraces a mid-2020s mission to launch a space telescope for the detection of asteroid impact threats to the Earth.
In Today’s Deep Space Extra… Trump hails Mars as NASA’s next target. Australia Plans to join with NASA in the exploration of the Moon and beyond. Hope for restoring communications with India’s Chandrayaan-2 Moon lander fade.
In Today’s Deep Space Extra… Looming negotiations among members of the U.S. House and Senate over a budget continuing resolution to avoid a federal government shutdown with the October 1 start of the 2020 fiscal year could jeopardize efforts by NASA to accelerate a human return to the surface of the Moon in 2024. Deadlines in space are a part of the success formula, as JFK’s “We choose to go to the Moon….” speech reminds us. NASA’s many missions inspire, fuel STEM.