Today’s Deep Space Extra

November 6th, 2017

In Today’s Deep Space Extra… China, Russia plan far reaching space cooperation. NASA wraps up global Near Earth Object tracking exercise. Satellite Earth observation market soars. Senate Commerce Committee to vote Wednesday on Bridenstine nomination to lead NASA.  The House Science, Space and Technology Committee plans a hearing Thursday on space exploration systems development.

Human Space Exploration

China, Russia agree cooperation on lunar and deep space exploration, other sectors

GB Times of Finland (11/2): Chinese and Russian leaders agree to cooperation in six areas of space exploration, including lunar and deep space


Space Science

Astronomers complete first international asteroid tracking exercise

NASA JPL (11/3): NASA’s Planetary Defense Coordination Office has completed its leadership role in a global Near Earth Object tracking exercise that got underway earlier this year with the asteroid 2012 TC4. Representatives from the U.S., Canada, Colombia, Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Russia and South Africa all tracked the asteroid with ground and space-based telescopes to evaluate its orbit, shape, rotation and composition as it passed within 27,200 miles of the Earth on October 12.

Europa Clipper’s launch date dependent on SLS Mobile Launcher readiness (11/3): While a cornerstone of NASA’s strategy to resume human deep space exploration, the Space Launch System (SLS) will also serve as a launch vehicle for planetary science missions, and the first is to be the Europa Clipper mission, a Jupiter orbiter that will make a series of close passes by the ice and ocean covered moon Europa. The soonest launch date is 2022, one that depends on the readiness of a Mobile Launch Platform at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center and the SLS Exploration Upper Stage.

Check out NASA’s new instrument that will look for life on Enceladus

Universe Today (11/3): Like Jupiter’s moon Europa, Saturn’s moon Enceladus appears to have a warm water ocean that produces geyser like sprays, suggesting a habitable environment thanks to findings from the recently concluded NASA led Cassini mission. With interest growing in further study of Enceladus, scientists at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center are at work on a future mission instrument, SELFI, that would better assess the chemistry of the geyser sprays and other factors that would define possible habitability.

Geomagnetic storm predicted (11/5): Possible geomagnetic storms are anticipated Tuesday and Wednesday due to electrical currents rippling through interplanetary space and interactions with a fast moving stream of solar wind. Polar aurora are expected.


Other News

Earth observation data & services market in 2026: $8.5 billion, with potential to reach $15 billion

Euroconsult (10/26): The satellite commercial Earth observation data and services market could reach $8.5 billion by 2026, and possibly much more.

Blue Origin’s KSC rocket factory coming together ahead of December opening

Florida Today (11/3): At 750,000 square feet, the new blue and white structure near Exploration Park at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center will be used to assemble Blue Origin’s New Glenn rocket.

Mojave company partners with NASA on lunar cargo deliveries

Coalition Member in the News (Astrobotic Technology, Inc.) (11/3): NASA and Mojave, Calif., based Masten Space Systems have extended by two years a three-year-old agreement to develop lunar landing technologies under the space agency’s Lunar Cargo Transportation and Landing by Soft Touchdown (Lunar CATALYST) initiative. The same arrangement was extended for Moon Express, of Cape Canaveral, Florida, and Astrobotic Technology, Inc., of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

China returns Long March 3B rocket to service after June failure (11/5): China launched a pair of Beidou navigation system satellites on Sunday atop a Long March 3 rocket. It was the first mission for the launch vehicle since a June failure. The June incident marked the latest in a string of four Long March 3 and 5 mishaps within a year.


Major Space Related Activities for the Week

Major space related activities for the week of November 6-11, 2017 (11/5): The U.S. Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee plans to vote Wednesday on President Trump’s nomination of Jim Bridenstine to become NASA administrator. The House Science, Space and Technology Committee plans a hearing Thursday on space exploration systems development. Friday, a federal holiday, is to mark the United Launch Alliance launch of the NOAA/NASA Joint Polar Satellite System-1 weather satellite from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, Orbital ATK is scheduled to launch its eighth NASA contracted International Space Station re-supply mission from Wallops Island, Virginia, early Saturday.

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