Today’s Deep Space Extra

March 14th, 2018

In Today’s Deep Space Extra… President Trump speaks of Mars and a possible U.S. military space corps, while addressing U.S. Marines in California on Tuesday. Theoretical physicist, author, lecturer Stephen Hawking dies.

Human Space Exploration

Trump talks Mars, rockets, space force but not the moon (3/13): While in California to promote the construction of a wall on the U.S. southern border, President Donald Trump said the nation would be going to Mars soon as part of a national leadership strategy. The president also raised the prospect of establishing a military Space Corps while speaking at the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Miramar at San Diego. It’s an idea that has come and gone within Congress previously.

7% of Scott Kelly’s genes changed after a year in space

Universe Today (3/13): NASA’s “Twin’s Study” was undertaken in 2015-16 with astronauts Scott and Mark Kelly as subjects. Scott spent 340 days in Earth orbit aboard the International Space Station with Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko as subjects in a wide range of physical and mental health studies to help determine the challenges of future human deep space exploration. Scott and Mark, then a retired NASA astronaut, however, were subjects in a separate study to assess how spaceflight might alter their shared genetics. Seven percent of Scott’s genes were altered during his long flight and did not return to their pre-flight state.


Space Science

Stephen Hawking, famed physicist, dies at 76

Washington Post (3/14): Stephen Hawking’s contributions to gravity and quantum theory reached from classrooms to popular entertainment. Personally, the British scholar, author and lecturer, overcame ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease, diagnosed while he was at a young age, to reach 76. Hawking died at his home in Cambridge, according to a family statement.

Quantum physicists doubled the information speed limit of the universe (3/13): Quantum physicists suggest it may be possible to send more information at light speed than thought previously.


Other News

NASA says a design error is behind the failure of a 2015 SpaceX mission

Quartz (3/12): NASA is providing its conclusions from an investigation into a SpaceX Falcon 9 Florida launch mishap that occurred on June 28, 2015 with cargo for the International Space Station. The losses included a NASA docking module intended to support future commercial crew launch operations at the Space Station. The cause of the explosion was traced to a strut within the rocket’s propulsion system. NASA released the material to help preserve a historical record of the incident.

Bezos says he’ll spend ‘Amazon lottery winnings’ on space travel

Bloomberg Technology (3/12): Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos was honored over the weekend in New York as recipient of the Explorers Club’s Buzz Aldrin Space Exploration Award. Bezos told the gathering he intends to invest a considerable amount of his fortune in space technologies.

Mysteries surrounding July 14 Soyuz flight solved? Not quite

Space News (3/12): The launch occurred last July 14 and featured the deployment of 73 satellites, many of them small sats. Problems experienced by several of the small spacecraft have been attributed to the Fregat upper stage.

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