Today’s Deep Space Extra

November 14th, 2018

In Today’s Deep Space Extra… NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine visits Canada to discuss a role in plans for a U.S. lunar orbiting, human tended Gateway. Science activities aboard the International Space Station (ISS) have not stalled in response to an October 11 Russian soyuz launch abort that has limited the crew to three into early December. The U.S. Congress has much to address before the current session ends in early January.

Human Space Exploration

NASA boss in Ottawa, fuels speculation about new Canadian space station role

Windsor Star of Canada (11/13): NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine is in Ottawa, Canada for a two day visit this week, with speculation mounting Canada will join with NASA for the assembly of a lunar orbiting, human tended Gateway in the 2020s. “We want Canada to be a part of it, in a big way,” said Bridenstine. As a partner in the International Space Station (ISS), Canada provided the robot arm, and a mechanical extension that have proven key in assembly, maintenance and external science activities.

ISS science not affected by smaller crew

Coalition Member in the News – Northrop Grumman

Science News (11/13): During a news briefing Tuesday, on Thursday’s Northrop Grumman cargo mission launch to the International Space Station (ISS), a NASA executive said the October 11 Russian soyuz launch abort with two NASA and Russian Space Station bound crew members has not stalled science activities aboard the multi-national orbiting science lab. The mishap leveled staffing of the Space Station at three men and women until early December instead of the usual six crew members.

China developing new launch vehicle for human spaceflight, future Moon missions (11/13): Last week, China displayed a model of a heavy lift launch vehicle concept to support future human exploration beyond low Earth orbit. The venue was the 12th China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition in southern China.


Space Science

Top 5 Mars mysteries yet to be solved

National Geographic (11/13): Season 2 of National Geographic’s Mars got under way this week, emphasizing some of the top questions confronting future human explorers. Does water flow on the Red Planet? Does the fourth planet from the sun host life? Those are two of the mysteries that NASA latest mission, Mars Insight, will attempt to help solve after it touches down on November 26.

Direct observations of a planet orbiting a star 63 light-years away

Universe Today (11/13): It’s rare that a planet beyond the solar system is observed and studied directly. Beta Pictoris b, a “super Jupiter” discovered in 2008, is an exception.


Other News

Space policy, funding legislation still on the Congressional to do list (11/13): Much remains for the 115th Congress to complete before its term expires on January 3, including 2019 appropriations measures for NASA and NOAA and action on an authorization measure affecting the International Space Station (ISS). The White House would like to transition NASA’s human exploration focus from low Earth orbit to deep space, specifically by turning supervision of the Space Station or an alternate facility over to the commercial sector by 2025. Influential Senate lawmakers favor 2030, their House counterparts agree with the White House, though there is a separate House measure that favors 2030. Funding for much of the federal government, including NASA and NOAA, is currently under a budget continuing resolution that expires December 7.

FCC to seek comment on revised orbital debris guidelines (11/13): The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is to vote this week on possible changes to orbital debris regulations, the first adjustments since 2004. The consideration comes in concert with plans by commercial satellite operators to launch low altitude small satellite constellations primarily for commercial communications, rather than larger, more expensive satellites to higher altitudes.

Roscosmos shows image of future nuclear-powered spacecraft

TASS of Russia (11/13): Russia hints at the prospect of a future nuclear powered spacecraft.

President Xi Jinping promotes wider international collaboration in outer space

China Global Television Network (11/14): Chinese President Xi Jinping called for greater global cooperation in the exploration of space while marking the 10th anniversary of the Asia-Pacific Space Cooperation Organization. “China has consistently advocated the rational exploitation and utilization of space resources, space environment protection, and hopes the space industry could bring more benefits to mankind,” he stressed.

Executive: Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex (KSCVC) now top-ranked attraction over Orlando’s Disney World

Florida Today (11/13): On Florida’s Space Coast, there’s Walt Disney World, then there is NASA’s Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex (KSCVC). KSCVC has surged ahead in popularity among tourists, according to social media reviews.

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