Today’s Deep Space Extra

January 10th, 2018

In Today’s Deep Space Extra… National Space Council deadline for nominations today. Why American needs an upper stage rocket. Europe’s Arianespace anticipates record number of launches in 2018.

Human Space Exploration

Last chance for citizens to nominate National Space Council advisory members (1/9): Wednesday marks the deadline for the nomination of U.S. citizens as prospective members of a White House National Space Council advisory panel. President Trump re-established the cabinet level council last year to help shape U.S. space policy. The Users’ Advisory Group was established by NASA as part of the process and will advise the council on a range of aerospace topics. The entire user’s group is to consist of from 15 to 30 members in all, some of them from government.

Japanese astronaut apologizes for ‘fake news’ of height increase

Reuters (1/9): Japanese astronaut Norishige Kanai, a member of the International Space Station crew, apparently raised concerns with a social media comment that he’d grown nearly 3 1/2 inches since arriving at the Space Station in December. That’s what happens to many astronauts once they are weightless. The stretching of his spine was more like an inch, he later clarified.


Space Science

Camera focus shift won’t affect TESS mission

Space News (1/9): NASA’s next extra solar planet hunter, the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, due to launch no earlier than March 20, will not be affected by a focus issue that surfaced last year, MIT’s George Ricker, the mission’s principal investigator, told a Maryland meeting of the American Astronomical Society on Tuesday.

NASA prepares to buy Earth science data from small satellite constellations

Space News (1/9): Sole source contracts for the acquisition of data from commercial companies operating constellations of small satellites for Earth observations are expected in March. The move is part of a pilot project by NASA to determine whether the private sector can furnish the data to agency researchers.


Other News

Why America needs an upper stage rocket

Coalition Members in the News: Aerojet Rocketdyne, Orbital ATK, United Launch Alliance

The National Interest (1/8): A high performance second stage should not be ignored in deliberations by the Pentagon, national security interests and their contractors to develop a strategy to eliminate U.S. dependence on Russian core stage rocket engines, according to an assessment from the Lexington Institutes’ Daniel Goure.

ISRO cancels contract for private Moonshot mission with Bangalore start-up Team Indus

India Today (1/10): Failed efforts by Team Indus to raise capital have prompted the India Space Research Organization to cancel a contract for a robotic moon mission that was scheduled for a December launch but postponed until March. Team Indus was part of the Google Lunar X-Prize competition.

European satellite launch firm Arianespace expects record number of launches for 2018

Reuters (1/9): Arianespace, the European joint venture of Airbus and Safran, expects to carry out a record number of satellite mission launches in 2018, helping it to compete with U.S. rivals Blue Origin and SpaceX in the coming years. Fourteen launches are anticipated, three more than in 2017.

China opens 2018 with Long March 2D flight of two SuperView-1 satellites (1/9): A Chinese Long March 2D launch vehicle placed a pair of secretive SuperView-1 satellites in orbit on Tuesday. The mission was originally planned for December 25.

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