Today’s Deep Space Extra

July 31st, 2017

In Today’s Deep Space Extra… NASA’s Space Launch System promises to advance human deep space exploration, while advancing astronomy and astrophysics as well as planetary science missions deep into the solar system.

Human Space Exploration

Where will the Space Launch System take us? Preparing for the most powerful rocket ever built

Universe Today (7/31): NASA’s Space Launch System will surpass the launch capability of the mighty Saturn 5, of the Apollo era. In addition to capabilities to launch humans into lunar orbit and start them toward Mars, the SLS will hustle space habitats, space telescopes, planetary science spacecraft, including surface landers and rovers deep into the solar system in the decades ahead.

Notes from Mars 160: Settling into Mars on Earth (7/28): Camped out in the Canadian north, the Mars Society is hosting a lengthy Mars mission simulation.  Participant Paul Knightly offers a vivid description of the challenges and the interactions with fellow simulation crew members.

Apollo astronauts talk space travel in reunion

WXIA-TV, of Atlanta (7/29): Gathered at Oshkosh, Wis., on Friday for the EAA Air Venture Show, astronauts from NASA’s Apollo era speculated on the nation’s future in human space exploration during a reunion.  Apollo 8 and 13 veteran Jim Lovell, speculated that the moon will figure prominently in efforts to reach Mars with human explorers.

New crew arrives at Space Station after speedy 6-hour trip (7/28): NASA’s Randy Bresnik, European Space Agency astronaut Paulo Nespoli and cosmonaut Sergey Ryazanskiy floated aboard the International Space Station late Friday after their Soyuz MS-05 spacecraft docked with the Russian segment. The trio joined Station commander Fyodor Yurchikhin and NASA’s Peggy Whitson and Jack Fischer to restore six person operations for the first time since early June. Bresnik, Nespoli, Whitson and Fischer will occupy the Station’s U.S. segment.

NASA, ESA understand major setback inevitable if cooperation stops

Sputnik International of Russia (7/29): Successful international cooperation underpins the individual successes in space of NASA, the European Space Agency and Roscosmos, the Russian space agency, according to Igor Komarov, Roscosmos’ director general.  Komarov cautioned against “hasty decisions” that could lead to joint setbacks.


Space Science

 Opportunity starts historic descent of tantalizing Martian gully to find out how it was carved

Universe Today (7/27): NASA’s 13-year-old Opportunity rover on Mars has started a descent into Perseverance Valley, a depression either shaped by water, wind or some other means. Planetary scientists have discussed which of nature’s forces produced the valley. Opportunity’s goal is to settle the debate.

How prepared are we for an asteroid impact? NASA is conducting a test to find out

San Francisco Chronicle (7/28): October’s close pass of the asteroid 2012 TC4 will serve as an opportunity for observatories, universities and laboratories from around the world to assess how well they are prepared for a possible impact.


Other News

NASA soars past goal for Kickstarter to restore Mission Control

KTRK-TV of Houston (7/28): Nonprofit Space Center Houston, the official visitor center for NASA’s Johnson Space Center, has surpassed a $250,000 fund raising goal for the restoration of the Mission Control facilities that supported the Apollo 11 mission in July 1969.

Neil Armstrong’s gold Apollo lunar module model stolen from Ohio museum (7/29):  A five inch high, 18 karat gold replica of the lunar module commanded by Apollo 11’s Neil Armstrong was stolen Friday from the Armstrong Air and Space Museum in Wapakoneta, Ohio. The replica was presented to Armstrong, the first person to step to the surface of another planetary body on July 20, 1969, post mission.

Japan venture ends rocket launch after communications glitch

Associated Press (7/30): Interstellar Technologies’ suborbital rocket launch fails. The Japanese startup hopes to graduate from small satellite launches to launching passenger capable rockets.


Featured Coalition Member

Futuramic Tool and Engineering (FTE) (7/31): The world is always changing. Many people say that the world is getting smaller every day, but not at Futuramic Tool and Engineering (FTE), or any of the other companies who are partnered in support of public and private space exploration and enterprise. FTE was founded over 60 years ago as a small, privately-held, tooling shop supporting the automotive industry. Fast forward to 2017, FTE is still privately-held by the founding family and has grown to include three major facilities on three separate campuses with over 250 employees.

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