Today’s Deep Space Extra

August 9th, 2018

In Today’s Deep Space Extra… NASA announced investments in new low Earth orbit and deep space technologies on Wednesday, public/private agreements to expand human as well as robotic activities. NASA preps the Parker Solar Probe mission for a launch early Saturday.

Human Space Exploration

NASA picks 13 companies to envision the future of orbital human spaceflight

Coalition Members in the News – Astrobotic, Paragon and United Launch Alliance (8/8): NASA on Wednesday signed up aerospace companies, old and new, for guidance in developing a strategy for expanded human activities in low Earth orbit, including those now conducted aboard the International Space Station. The agency will invest about $11 million in the four month effort involving 13 firms. The White House 2019 budget request for NASA calls on the agency to transition its human exploration focus from low Earth orbit to deep space by 2025.


Space Science

Red-hot voyage to sun will bring us closer to our star

Coalition Member in the News – United Launch Alliance

Associated Press via New York Time (8/8): Early Saturday, NASA plans to launch the Parker Solar Probe, a $1.6 billion, seven year mission for close up studies of the sun, including the genesis of the solar wind, powerful magnetic field and radioactivity. The spacecraft is to orbit the sun on a course shaped by gravity assists from a series of Venus flybys. Launch is set for 3:33 am EDT atop a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Delta 4 Heavy from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.

Hayabusa 2 snaps the closest-ever shot of asteroid Ryugu’s surface

The Mainichi of Japan (8/8): New images from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency Hyabusa 2 probe at the asteroid Ryugu reveal a rocky landscape. Hyabusa 2 is to gather samples of the asteroid’s surface and return them to Earth.

U.S. plans for Mars should include more than sample return, report warns

Science (8/7): In a midterm evaluation of NASA’s planetary science priorities between 2013-22, the Congressionally chartered National Academy of Sciences (NAS) urges NASA to upgrade an aging communications relay and reconnaissance satellite infrastructure in orbit around Mars.

Jupiter’s largest moon Ganymede produces powerful plasma waves (8/8): German scientists are characterizing energetic plasma waves emanating from Jupiter’s largest moon, Ganymede.


Other News

Made In Space proposes printing large solar arrays for small satellites

Coalition Member in the News – Made In Space, Inc. (8/8): Made In Space, Inc., of Silicon Valley, is working with its Archinaut 3-D in space manufacturing and robotics technologies to equip small satellites with capabilities to manufacture and deploy power generating solar panels once they are deployed.

Today’s tidbits for August 8, 2018 (8/8): NASA on Wednesday announced a $44 million investment in “tipping point,” or promising technologies under development by U.S. private aerospace companies. The funds, distributed across 10 competitively selected projects from six companies, are intended to advanced NASA’s human and robotic space ambitions as well as advance commercial space capabilities.

New thruster aims to help microsats bust out of the kiddy pool (8/8): Stellar Exploration, of San Luis Obispo, California, has a new small thruster fueled by hypergolic propellants and designed to give small satellites large satellite propulsion capabilities.

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