In Today’s Deep Space Extra… As the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 nears, talk of future as well as past lunar voyages grows. NASA names three companies selected to deliver science payloads to the lunar surface. Astronomers ponder volcanism on Pluto.
In Today’s Deep Space Extra… NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine expresses confidence that bipartisan support from Congress will support efforts to accelerate a human return to the Moon. He spoke as congressional auditors warned that NASA’s major programs are facing cost and schedule challenges. NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) completes pre-launch thermal vacuum testing. Japan advances efforts to collect a second sample from the asteroid Ryugu.
In Today’s Deep Space Extra… NASA is striving for an Artemis-1 launch by the end of 2020, the first joint launch of the Space Launch System (SLS) and Orion capsule on an uncrewed test flight around the Moon. Russia celebrates the first ever spacewalk by Alexey Leonov. NASA auditors express concerns for planned missions to Europa, the ice and ocean covered moon of Jupiter. China preps a Mars rover for a mid-2020 launch.
In Today’s Deep Space Extra… The landers and ascent vehicles required by NASA to accelerate a human return to the Moon from 2028 to 2024 could be among the biggest challenges for the new Artemis initiative. The effort to make a sustainable return to the Moon promises to be inspirational for a new generation of young woman and men, according to NASA executive and former astronaut Janet Kavandi. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin tells a student audience in Moscow that cosmonauts could be on the Moon by 2030.
In Today’s Deep Space Extra… President Trump predicts a growing cooperation in human space exploration between the U.S. and Japan, one leading to the Moon and Mars. Thruster tests help prepare Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner for upcoming flight tests. U.S. House appropriators ready to invest in nuclear thermal propulsion testing.
In Today’s Deep Space Extra… NASA selects Maxar to develop the first element of a lunar orbiting, human tended Gateway, a key element of agency’s Artemis initiative to return humans to the surface of the Moon. New science findings address sources of water on the Moon and Mars.
In Today’s Deep Space Extra… NASA to announce award for first Gateway component today at 1:00 pm EDT. The U.S. House backs a boost in NASA’s science and educational initiatives but offers nothing more to accelerate a human return to the surface of the Moon. In order to focus of the exploration of the Moon, policymakers are considering a transition of operations in low Earth orbit to the private sector.
In Today’s Deep Space Extra… NASA execs provided a independent advisory council on science with more details on plans to return to the lunar surface with human explorers by 2024. Space policy experts caution NASA’s Artemis initiative to return humans to the Moon must be adequately funded and backed by broad bipartisan support. China’s regulation of launch services is lax, posing a threat to the country’s general population and environment, one U.S. expert in the field warns.
In Today’s Deep Space Extra… More details emerge regarding NASA’s plans for a sustained return to the Moon with astronauts. Japan prepares to participate in the assembly of NASA’s lunar orbiting Gateway.
In Today’s Deep Space Extra… A strategy to accelerate a return of human explorers to the surface of the Moon from 2028 to 2024 continue to emerge. A congressional consensus, however, awaits. NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine receives praise from the National Space Society (NSS) for backing NEOCam, a space infrared telescope mission to help identify Near Earth Objects posing an impact threat to Earth.