Today’s Deep Space Extra

June 6th, 2018

In Today’s Deep Space Extra… U.S., Russian and European astronauts begin six month International Space Station journey. NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine envisions lunar fuel depot for deep space exploration. FTC approves Northrop Grumman acquisition of Orbital ATK.


Human Space Exploration

Trio of astronauts blast off to International Space Station

Associated Press (6/6) U.S., Russian and European astronauts Dr. Serena Aunon-Chancellor, Sergey Prokopyev and Alexander Gerst lifted off early Wednesday from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan in their Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft to begin a two day trip to the International Space Station. Their Soyuz capsule is to dock with the Station on Friday at 9:07 a.m., EDT, where they will be greeted by Expedition 56 crew members Drew Feustel, Ricky Arnold and cosmonaut Oleg Artemyev to begin a six month stay.

NASA wants space fuel station around Moon

Epoch Times (6/4): As NASA resumes human deep space exploration with the assembly of a human tended Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway (LOPG), it hopes to establish an orbiting fuel depot with liquid hydrogen and oxygen rocket propellants made from ice deposits gathered from the Moon, Jim Bridenstine, the agency’s Administrator, explained during an June 3 appearance on the Cats Roundtable, an East Coast radio program hosted by John Catsimatidis. The strategy could facilitate efforts to move human exploration beyond the moon to Mars and other destinations. To hear click here: original broadcast


Space Science

New Horizons Pluto probe wakes up, on course for New Year’s Day flyby

CBS News (6/5): NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft, famous for its July 2015 first ever flyby of Pluto, ended a six month electronic slumber on Tuesday. The spacecraft, launched on January 19, 2006, is nearing a new flyby destination, the Kuiper Belt object MU69, recently nicknamed Ultima Thule, which is a fragment from the early solar system. The flyby is slated for January 1, 2019.

Having multiple suns doesn’t doom a planet to an early death (6/5): A vast computer simulation suggests planets like Tatoonine, fictional in the Star Wars saga, may exist for real around dual star systems. The simulations suggest the dual star systems could offer a lengthy stable home for their planets.


Other News

Acquisition of Orbital ATK approved, company renamed Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems

Coalition Members in the News – Northrop Grumman and Orbital ATK

Space News (6/5): On Tuesday, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission announced that it has approved the Northrup Grumman’s $7.8 billion purchase of Orbital ATK.  Orbital’s new name will be Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems.

Rogozin gets down to work as new head of Roscosmos (6/5): Dmitry Rogozin, Russia’s former deputy prime minister and a controversial figure, now heads Roscosmos, the Russian federal space agency.

SpaceX Falcon Heavy with Block 5 boosters targeted for fall launch from KSC

Florida Today (6/5): SpaceX’s second Falcon Heavy is expected to launch from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida no earlier than late October. The primary payload is the U.S. Air Force Space Technology Program-2 package. NASA’s Deep Space Atomic Clock is among the potentially diverse payload as well.

Long March 3A rocket launches Fengyun-2H meteorological satellite

Space News (6/5): China successfully launched a Fengyun-2H weather satellite atop a Long March 3A rocket, the last in a series of eight geostationary spacecraft.

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