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Today’s Deep Space Extra

January 7th, 2019

In Today’s Deep Space Extra… NASA rescinds an invitation to Dmitry Rogozin, Russia’s space agency chief, to visit the U.S. Limited NASA Space Launch System (SLS) development activities proceed despite a partial U.S. government shutdown. Japan refines its Hayabusa 2 landing strategy at the asteroid Ryugu.

Human Space Exploration

NASA administrator rescinds invitation to Russian counterpart after backlash on Capitol Hill

Washington Post (1/5): In response to congressional critics, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine was withdrawn an invitation issued in October to Dmitry Rogozin, the head of Roscosmos, the Russian federal space agency, to visit the U.S. Rogozin, Russia’s former deputy prime minister, was placed on a U.S. sanctions list in 2014, after Russia annexed strategic parts of Crimea. Bridenstine issued the invitation to maintain ties with Russia, a major partner in the International Space Station (ISS). Rogozin once threatened to stop launching U.S. astronauts to the Space Station. NASA has not had an independent means of launching astronauts since it retired the shuttle fleet in 2011. In an interview with the Post, Bridenstine said he wanted to honor the objections raised by several lawmakers over the invitation.

Third SLS STA headed to Marshall as limited work continues during NASA shutdown

NASAspaceflight.com (1/4): Despite an ongoing U.S. government shutdown affecting some civilian agencies, including NASA, work is continuing at the Marshall Space Flight Center on the development of the Space Launch System (SLS), including production of the first SLS core stage, other critical path hardware and structural test assemblies. Major hardware was moving between NASA’s Michoud Test Assembly in New Orleans and Marshall.

SpaceX crew capsule, Falcon 9 rocket roll out to pad 39A in Florida for tests

Coalition Member in the News – Boeing

Spaceflightnow.com (1/3): SpaceX has moved the crewed version of its Dragon spacecraft and a Falcon 9 rocket to the Kennedy Space Center’s (KSC) Launch Complex 39A for a series of fit checks. The activities are underway ahead of a planned uncrewed test flight of the spacecraft early this year. Boeing and SpaceX are partnered with NASA through the agency’s Commercial Crew Program to resume launching astronauts from U.S. soil for the first time since NASA’s shuttle fleet was retired in 2011. Uncrewed test flights are to be followed by crew test flights this year.

 

Space Science

Milky Way to face a one-two punch of galaxy collisions

Ars Technica (1/5): British researchers intrigued by some unusual qualities in the Milky Way are warning the neighboring Large Magellanic Cloud, also a galaxy, is on a course to collide or merge with the Milky Way in slightly less than 3 billion years.

JAXA says landing-site selection for Hayabusa2’s touchdown on Ryugu asteroid is in the final stage

Japan Times (1/6): The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency continues to refine its landing strategy for the Hayabusa 2 sample return mission at the asteroid Ryugu. A landing and attempt to collect surface material could some as soon as late this month. The landing and sample gathering activities were delayed in late 2018 after the mission team found the surface of Bennu more boulder strewn than assumed. Launched in December 2014, Hayabusa 2 is to depart Ryugu in in December 2019 and return to Earth in December 2020 with samples. On New Year’s Eve, NASA’s Osiris-Rex mission maneuvered into orbit around the asteroid Bennu, where it is to gather samples in mid-2020 and return them to Earth in September 2023.

NASA’s Mars 2020 rover is unique. And so is its paint job

Space.com (1/4): Preparing NASA’s Mars 2020 rover for its mid-2020 launch and a February 2021 landing on the Red Planet is a complex task, even the paint job.

Milky Way to face a one-two punch of galaxy collisions

Ars Technica (1/5): British researchers intrigued by some unusual qualities in the Milky Way are warning the neighboring Large Magellanic Cloud, also a galaxy, is on a course to collide or merge with the Milky Way in slightly less than 3 billion years.

 

Major Space Related Activities for the Week

Major space related activities for the week of January 6-20, 2019

Spacepolicyonline.com (1/6): A partial U.S. government shutdown affecting civilian agencies across seven Congressional appropriations accounts, among them NASA and NOAA, has entered its third week. Thousands of federal workers are furloughed and NASA participation in a handful of science conferences this week has been curtailed. Plans for a U.S. national security mission space launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, are under review. The AIAA SciTech 2019 Forum and Exposition gets underway Monday in San Diego. The House and Senate are in session.

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