Today’s Deep Space Extra

August 2nd, 2017

In Today’s Deep Space Extra… Experts weigh options for preservation of the Apollo mission landing sites on the moon.

Human Space Exploration

U.S. made history on the moon – but how do we preserve it?

Houston Chronicle (8/1): Experts disagree on whether and how the NASA Apollo mission landing sites on the moon, especially Apollo 11’s Tranquility Base, could be declared National Historic Landmarks.

China to select latest batch of astronauts this year

GB Times of Finland (7/27): China expects to select 10 to 12 new astronauts by the end of this year, two of them women. The selections will be pilots and engineers, personnel with skills to operate a planned Earth orbiting space station, whose assembly is to be complete in 2022.


Space Science

Spaceport schedule conflict could delay JWST launch

Space News (8/1): An emerging launch conflict at the European Space Agency’s launch complex in French Guiana could delay plans to launch the James Webb Space Telescope in October 2018.  A joint effort of NASA, the Canadian Space Agency and ESA, the JWST is the designated successor to the Hubble Space Telescope. NASA’s Bepo Columbo Mercury mission is set to launch in the same time frame.

Europa’s future: A runaway greenhouse

Ars Technica (8/1): Establishing conditions for life on distant planetary bodies may be more complex than how far the planet is from its star, according to findings published in the journal Nature Geoscience. Other factors include the nature of the star, light reflected from the surface of the planet, cloud makeup and the presence of greenhouse gases.

Evidence mounts for an ocean on early Venus

Science News (8/1): Venus may be overwhelmingly torrid now, but scientists believe there is evidence the second planet from the sun was once host to major oceans. Findings were published in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets.

August 2017 brings Perseid meteor shower, and a lunar and total solar eclipse (8/1): The rare Aug. 21 total solar eclipse has made big news, but there is more to observe in the night skies of August. The Perseid meteor shower, which peaks Aug. 12, is among them.

Scientists will soar for total solar eclipse study of the sun and Mercury (7/30): In order to observe the Aug. 21 rare total solar eclipse, NASA will escort scientists into the skies aboard WB-57F jets for high altitude studies. Planet Mercury is among the study targets.


Other News

Vega launcher achieves on-target deployment of Earth-imaging satellites (8/2): An Arianespace launched Vega rocket placed Italian military reconnaissance and French/Israeli environmental monitoring satellites in orbit late Tuesday after lifting off from a European Space Agency launch complex in French Guiana.

Awards taken from museum where gold lunar module was stolen

Associated Press via New York Times (8/1): Authorities investigated the weekend theft from the Armstrong Air and Space Museum of a gold Apollo 11 lunar module replica presented to mission commander Neil Armstrong. Further investigation revealed additional losses of mission medals and coins from the Wapakoneta, Ohio museum.


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