Today’s Deep Space Extra

March 6th, 2018

In Today’s Deep Space Extra… NASA named its first spaceflight commander, Eileen Collins, 20 years ago this week.  In Europe, a public/private partnership emerges for possible future International Space Station commercial activities. Scientists sound concerns over growing cosmic ray presence. NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson, twice commander of the International Space Station, recently joined with New York youngsters for a Mars discussion.

Human Space Exploration

‘Trying to do her job’: 20 years since the first female shuttle commander was assigned

America Space (3/4): It was 20 years ago this week that two time NASA space shuttle pilot Eileen Collins was named the first woman to command a U.S. space flight. The announcement, hosted by then President and First Lady Bill and Hillary Clinton, led to the launch of the shuttle Columbia with Collins and four others plus the Chandra X-ray Observatory in July 1999.

Bartolomeo: the new European challenge for boosting commercial activities on the International Space Station

The Space Review (3/5): The European Space Agency and Aerobus Defence and Space have signed a public/private partnership agreement for the assembly, launch and operations of Bartolomeo a payload hosting platform to be fastened to the outside of the International Space Station’s Columbus module. The platform can host a dozen external payloads to help address a growing commercial interest in the ISS.


Space Science

The worsening cosmic ray situation (3/5): Cosmic rays are hazardous and the levels are growing and accelerating in their growth, according a University of New Hampshire researcher. An instrument aboard NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter is tracking the changes that have reached a Space Age pinnacle.

Massive space structures have surprising connection to quantum mechanics math (3/5): Cal Tech scientists believe they have found a new way of assessing how galaxies evolve using the Schrodinger equation.


Other News

‘So you want to go to Mars’: Astronaut Peggy Whitson and scientists inspire NYC kids (3/5): NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson, who holds the U.S. record for most time accumulated in space over a career, was flanked by three aerospace engineers as she spoke with a youthful New York City audience on the challenges and opportunities of human space exploration.  “You see billions and billions of stars and recognize that you know some of those have planets, too, and maybe there’s life out there, and this is just one of billions of galaxies… and so it gives you this huge perspective of how far we potentially have to go for real exploration,” she told youngsters gathered at the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum.  Twice commander of the International Space Station, Whitson has logged 665 days in space over three missions.

Commerce Department pressing ahead with commercial space regulatory reform

Space News (3/5): With reforms urged by the new National Space Council, U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said his organization will become a “one stop shop” for the regulation of most commercial space activities. Ross was interviewed March 1.

Why it’s a bad idea to weaken the Moon Treaty

The Space Review (3/5): Recognized property rights are an essential part of a sustained space economy, writes Dennis O’Brien, a space legal expert.  O’Brien argues for changes to the Moon Treaty and Outer Space Treaty that would remove a common heritage provision that blocks investors from profits in their quests find and develop resources beyond the Earth.

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