Today’s Deep Space Extra

April 12th, 2018

In Today’s Deep Space Extra… POLITICO Space kicks off their new publication with an event this morning at the St. Regis in Washington, D.C. NASA confident efforts to prepare the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) for a May 2020 launch without a major cost impact. Prominent features on Pluto imaged by NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft receive names from the International Astronomical Union.

Human Spaceflight

POLITICO is hosting a kickoff event today in Washington D.C. for their new weekly publication POLITICO Space

Coalition President and CEO in the News – Dr. Mary Lynne Dittmar

Politico (4/12): Doors open at 9:30 a.m. ET and the event kicks off at 9:55 a.m. ET with remarks from National Space Council Executive Secretary Scott Pace, followed at 11:30 a.m. ET by a panel featuring Coalition for Deep Space Exploration President and CEO Mary Lynne Dittmar and House of Representatives members Ami Bera and Randy Hultgren. The event tops off with an interview with Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenberg. The discussion will be wide-ranging and include topics relevant to human spaceflight.  Registration is here and for those who cannot be there in person, the event will be live-streamed here.


Space Science

Hertz seeks to calm worries about impact of potential JWST overrun (4/11): Paul Hertz leads NASA’s astrophysics division, which is eager to begin observations with the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). An independent review panel to assess the status and cost of the space observatory was established recently after NASA delayed the much anticipated launch from the Spring of 2019 to May of 2020. Appearing before NASA’s Astrophysics Advisory Council, Hertz said the JWST could reach for operations funding beyond the $8 billion development cost cap, if necessary, to sustain launch plans and the start of operations of the JWST.

Golden mirror: Inside the golden space telescope of NASA

Spaceflight New (4/10): A look at the large complex workings of the NASA led James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), which is undergoing pre-launch testing and integration ahead of a May 2020 liftoff and a five to 10 year primary mission.

Pluto’s largest moon just got a bunch of nerdy names for its craters, mountains

Mashable (4/11): Prominent features on the surface of distant Pluto imaged by NASA’s New Horizons mission spacecraft have been named by the International Astronomical Union. Among them, a mountain has been named for filmmaker Stanley Kubrick and a prominent crater for Captain Nemo, a fictional character.

Why NASA is sending a spacecraft to a metal asteroid called ‘Psyche’ (4/11): Set for launch in 2022, NASA’s Psyche mission spacecraft will head for a large asteroid named Psyche to survey for the presence of metals, not unlike those believed to have formed the Earth’s core billions of years ago. The 124 mile wide asteroid may offer a glimpse of how the Earth’s core formed as well as its composition.

Weekly space hangout: April 11, 2018 Emily Lakdawallas’s “The Design and Engineering of Curiosity: How the Mars Rover Performs its Job (4/11): The Design and Engineering of Curiosity, written by the Planetary Society’s Emily Lawkdawalla, is set for publication May 14. NASA’s Curiosity rover landed on the Martian surface in 2012 and has been exploring Mars’ Gale Crater for habitable environments ever since.


Other News

Baikonur Cosmodrome can support polar launches with Proton Medium, ILS says

Space News (4/11): Russia is modifying its Proton launch vehicle, a staple for decades. The new version will be capable of lofting payloads into polar orbits from the Baikonur Cosmodrome of Kazakhstan.

Gerald Dial: Alabama Space Authority working to ID location for new space port

Alabama Today (4/11): State officials in Alabama have begun efforts to identify the site for an Alabama spaceport, with horizontal as well as vertical launch capabilities. The FAA has licensed 10 spaceports in seven states so far.

India’s PSLV-XL rocket launches IRNSS-11

NASA (4/11): The launch Thursday provided a new addition to the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS-11). It replaces a companion spacecraft lost last August in a launch failure.

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