In Today’s Deep Space Extra… Support emerges for continued International Space Station operations. Japanese experts urge participation in future U.S. led lunar orbiting Deep Space Gateway (DSG). U.K. to take on space weather role. SpaceX set for Tuesday launch of Falcon Heavy. Congress faces Thursday budget deadline, possibility of another government shutdown.
Human Space Exploration
Spaceflightinsider.com (2/4): Any plan to end NASA’s role in International Space Station operations would be premature before a plan is in place to transition oversight to the private section, according to the op-ed. The U.S. is still struggling to stand up a replacement for the space shuttle nearly seven year after the fleet was retired, and similarly the Apollo program ended years before the first shuttle missions were launched.
Houston Chronicle (2/3): In a letter to the editor, U.S. Rep. John Culbertson vows to oppose any effort to end International Space Station operations prematurely. The Houston lawmaker serves on the U. S. House Appropriations Committee and chairs its Commerce, Justice and Science Subcommittee, which has jurisdiction over NASA’s budget.
Japan News (2/2): Astronauts join other Japanese experts in explaining why their country should join with the U.S. and other partners in planning for future missions to the moon through participation in NASA’s proposed Deep Space Gateway (DSG). Primary themes include inspirational, diplomatic, scientific and technological advantages.
Associated Press via ABC News (2/2): A spacewalk Friday by two cosmonauts outside the International Space Station stretched to a Russian record 8 hours, 13 minutes. Alexander Misurkin and Anton Schkaplerov replaced an electronics box for a broadband satellite antenna outside the Zvezda service module. The antenna snagged as it was redeployed in response to commands from Russian ground controllers, extending the space walk.
Gov.UK (2/2): Airbus U.K. will lead the development of a new European space mission to monitor potentially disruptive solar activity. The European Space Agency is to settle on a final mission design in about 18 months.
Washington Post (2/3): Jupiter, Mars, Saturn appear in the early morning skies this month where conditions are clear. Bright Venus appears after sunset.
Space News (2/3): The license from the FAA’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation, issued February 2, was a final regulatory milestone for the launch of SpaceX’s new Falcon Heavy. The launch from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center is planned for February 6, between 1:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m., EST. The large rocket’s payload is to be launched beyond Mars in a sun centric orbit.
Space News (2/2): Those nonbinding norms address common concerns such as space debris and proximity operations. Frank Rose, chief of government relations at the Aerospace Corporation and a former assistant secretary of state and deputy assistant secretary for space and defense policy in the Obama Administration, expressed optimism that a voluntary sentiment can prevail during the Trump Administration.
Santa Fe New Mexican (2/2): A budget making its way through New Mexico’s state legislature includes an increase in operating expenses for Spaceport America and funding for a new hangar, a reverse from discussions of prior years that might have led to a sale of the space operations facility.
NHK (2/3): Japan has launched a rocket developed for small satellite launches. The mission launched Saturday featured a small sat that is to image the Earth.
The Diplomat (2/1): In Asia, India’s space program is surging and drawing launch services customers from Europe, Japan, South Korea as well as the U.S. “India’s new prominence in space has its consequences, especially for Pakistan. India’s rise as a space power will come at the cost of Pakistan’s interests,” according to the report.
Major Space Related Activities for the Week
Spacepolicyonline.com (2/4): In Washington, Congress again faces a deadline of Thursday at midnight to pass another federal budget continuing resolution or face a government shutdown. The 2018 fiscal year began October 1, 2017 without a budget. A fourth continuing resolution was passed on January 22 after a three day government shutdown.
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