Today’s Deep Space Extra

November 5th, 2018

In Today’s Deep Space Extra… NASA’s Exploration Mission-1 (EM-1) Orion Capsule will receive its European service module this week, a milestone in efforts to prepare the spacecraft and the Space Launch System (SLS) for their inaugural joint test flight, an mission that will send Orion and the service module around the Moon and back to Earth without crew.

Human Space Exploration

Orion’s European propulsion module bound for Kennedy Space Center

Florida Today (11/2): The European Service Module for the first joint test flight of NASA’s Orion crew capsule and the Space Launch System (SLS) is due to arrive at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida early this week. The module was produced by Airbus in Bremen, Germany as part of a partnership between the European Space Agency (ESA) and NASA. The service module provides propulsion, solar power, oxygen and water for Orion. Exploration Mission-1 (EM-1), which will send Orion and the service module around the Moon and back to Earth is planned by mid-2020.

Moon Direct: Mars maverick lays out his low-cost plan to set up lunar bases (11/3): Mars Society president Robert Zubrin, who championed a strategy called Mars Direct for reaching Mars with human explorers three decades ago that didn’t materialize, has a new focus, the lunar surface. Zubrin would bypass NASA’s plans for a human tended, lunar orbiting Gateway and aim for the surface using commercial launch vehicles.


Space Science

Hubble has been busy since coming back online

Science News (11/2): The Hubble Space Telescope has been back in action with science observations since October 26, when it overcame several weeks of gyroscope difficulties. The latest observations include galactic collisions and the antics of red dwarf stars.

NASA’S OSIRIS-REx spacecraft zooms in on Bennu

NASA/Goddard (11/2): Osiris-Rex, the spacecraft assigned to NASA’s first ever mission to gather a sample of an asteroid and return the material to Earth, is adjusting its speed to set up a December 3 rendezvous with its target, Bennu, a primitive asteroid that may hold clues to the formation of the planets. Bennu also poses a small threat to collide with the Earth in the distant future. The spacecraft launched in September 2016.

Tiny lakes once pooled on ancient Mars, only to fade away (11/2): Scientists have detected traces of three long ago lake style formations on Mars. Now cold and dry, Mars continues to hint at a warmer and wetter past, according to a new study published in the journal Astrobiology.


Other News

Lockheed Martin extends additive manufacturing to key spacecraft components

Coalition Member in the News – Lockheed Martin (11/1): Lockheed Martin’s Additive Design and Manufacturing Center in Sunnyvale, California, is the first of its kind to receive a UL certification. The facility opened in September for the production of military, commercial and civil space technology.

Field widens to chair House science panel

Politico (11/2): The U.S. House, Science, Space and Technology Committee is in line for a new chairman in 2019, and U.S. Rep. Frank Lewis, of Oklahoma, the current vice chair, is ready to step up. Among his priorities, accurate weather prediction.

Soyuz-2.1b carrier rocket with Glonass-M satellite launched from Plesetsk Cosmodrome

TASS of Russia (11/4): A Russian soyuz 2-1b rocket placed an addition to Russia’s Glonass satellite global navigation system in orbit on Saturday. The launch was conducted from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome.

China focus: High-orbit BeiDou-3 satellite boosts China’s global navigation system

Xinhuanet of China (11/2): The successful launch last Thursday of a Long March 3B rocket added another satellite to China’s Beidou satellite global navigation system. It joins 16 of the satellites in the network already orbiting the Earth.


Major Space Related Activities for the Week

Major space related activities for the week of November 4-10, 2018 (11/4): Activities this week include a meeting Wednesday/Thursday of the National Academy of Sciences’ Space Studies Board from Irvine, California. Japan’s latest cargo mission to the International Space Station (ISS) departs on Wednesday and will host a small cargo return experiment before the freighter makes a destructive re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere. Austin, Texas, hosts a two day New Worlds Conference beginning Friday.

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