Today’s Deep Space Extra

August 10th, 2017

In Today’s Deep Space Extra… The initial upper stage for NASA’s Space Launch System rocket has emerged from check out and testing at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. During the initial SLS launch, Interim Cyrogenic Propulsion Stage is to steer an uncrewed Orion capsule around the moon.

Human Space Exploration

NASA mega-rocket passes first test

WESH-TV of Orlando, Florida (8/9): The Interim Cryogenic Propulsion Stage, or upper stage, for the initial version of NASA’s Space Launch System has emerged from the check out and testing phase of pre-launch preparations at the Kennedy Space Center. The milestone is part of preparations for the first SLS launch, whose date is under review. The three week test flight is to propel an uncrewed Orion capsule around the moon and back to Earth for a parachute descent and ocean recovery. Astronaut missions are to follow.

China eyes manned lunar landing by 2036

Spaceflight (8/9): In an assortment of recent remarks, Chinese officials point to efforts to reach the moon with their astronauts by 2036. First, though, comes an independent Earth orbiting space station, whose first module is slated for launch in 2019 with assembly complete three years later.


Space Science

NASA debunks Perseid meteor shower rumor (8/9): The annual Perseid meteor shower on August 12 will not meet some rumored forecasts — that it will be the most intense ever and that some shooting stars will be visible in daylight, according to NASA experts.

NASA’s Cassini spacecraft begins final five orbits around Saturn before the September 15 finale

Pasadena Star News of California (8/9): Five orbits remain in the “Grand Finale” phase of the long running NASA-led Cassini mission at Saturn. Each of the orbits features a dive between Saturn and its inner most ring. The first of the final five on Sunday night will take Cassini at just over 1,000 miles above the planet’s cloud tops. Launched in 1997, Cassini has been circling Saturn since 2004. Cassini’s mission is to end on Sept. 15 with a spacecraft breakup in the atmosphere of Saturn in order to avoid possible contamination of the moons Titan and Enceladus, which may host environments suitable for biological activity.

What are gas giants?

Universe Today (8/9): By name they are Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. Unlike the rocky planets that orbit closer to the sun, these giants are large and comprised mostly of gases like methane and ammonia but also silicate and iron. Water is present in these cold realms as a solid and a liquid.


Other News

Senator Nelson: Space Coast is ‘coming alive’ thanks to Blue Origin, OneWeb, others

Florida Today (8/9): During a visit to the Cape Canaveral, Florida, area on Wednesday U.S. Senator Bill Nelson, of Florida, predicts a spiraling growth in commercial space thanks to investments by a range of commercial space companies, including United Launch Alliance, Blue Origin and others.

Smallsat market forecast to exceed $30 billion in coming decade

Space News (8/9): Econsult, of France, forecasts that 6,200 small satellites will be launched in the next decade, with a market value potentially reaching $30.1 billion. The commercial sector will have the largest influence

Smallsat industry seen as robust enough to survive any bubble

Space News (8/9): Support for growth in the emerging small satellite market is likely to be sustained, according to a panel of experts assembled this week in Logan, Utah for 31st Annual Conference on Small Satellites.

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