In Today’s Deep Space Extra… NASA assigns eight astronauts to the first crewed missions of Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner and SpaceX Dragon 2, a milestone in the nation’s efforts to restore a human space launch capability. Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin staffs up for production of the New Glenn rocket.
In Today’s Deep Space Extra… New dates emerge for the first uncrewed and crewed test flights of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program partners, Boeing and its CST-100 Starliner and SpaceX and its Dragon 2. NASA is to announce astronaut flight crew assignments today.
In Today’s Deep Space Extra… U.S. Senate and White House urge support for space exploration, with the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee supporting sustained NASA involvement in the International Space Station to 2030 and the Trump Administration listing space exploration as a top budget priority. Poll suggests Americans consider Earth science and planetary protection as priorities. Boeing offers new planning dates for uncrewed and crewed CST-100 Starliner test flights.
In Today’s Deep Space Extra… Plans for the future human exploration of Mars may well require the research capabilities of a functioning International Space Station beyond 2025, policy makers suggest.
In Today’s Deep Space Extra… New government audits challenge a NASA transition away from the International Space Station by 2025, while suggesting it may be too soon for the agency’s Commercial Crew Program to set initial launch dates for the Boeing CST-100 Starliner and SpaceX Dragon 2 with astronauts aboard. Mars dazzles, even shrouded by a global dust storm.
In Today’s Deep Space Extra… NASA’s Commercial Crew Program is close to restoring U.S. human spacecraft launches. Flight assignments are to be announced on Friday. NASA’s recently launched Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellites (TESS) has started its search for extra solar planets around the nearest stars.
In Today’s Deep Space Extra… U.S. Senate hearing focuses on challenges and enthusiasm for the human exploration of Mars as well as a return to the moon. Northrop Grumman, NASA confer on a plan to suspend contract profits until the technically challenging James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) has launched and demonstrated its observational capabilities.
In Today’s Deep Space Extra… NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine will announce astronaut assignments for NASA Commercial Crew Program test flights next week. Congress takes steps to re-authorize the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) as it overcomes cost and schedule issues. European scientists announce evidence for a pool of briny liquid water beneath the Martian south pole.
In Today’s Deep Space Extra… Former NASA shuttle commander Chris Ferguson named to launch aboard first Boeing CST-100 Starliner test mission with astronauts. NASA’s Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST) faces further budget scrutiny. Launch of NASA’s Solar Parker Probe delayed for further inspections.
In Today’s Deep Space Extra… The so far only flown version of the NASA/Lockheed Martin Orion crew capsule graced the White House lawn on Monday as part of the “Made in America” showcase. NASA faces a funding challenge and it completes launch preparations for the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST).