Today’s Deep Space Extra

March 14th, 2017

In Today’s Deep Space Extra… Bill Nye, the Planetary Society’s CEO, urges the Trump White House to maintain a focus on the human exploration of Mars.


Human Deep Space Exploration

Bill Nye has a few tips for President Trump on how to manage NASA

The Verge (3/14): In a video message, the Planetary Society’s CEO Bill Nye, aka the Science Guy, recommends that the Trump administration continue to pursue the human exploration of Mars, support other science objectives while pursuing close ties with the commercial space industry. Additional funding would be wise as well, counsels Nye.


Space Science

NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope mission invades SXSW 2017 (3/12): NASA, Northrop Grumman and the Space Telescope Science Institute are showcasing the James Webb Space Telescope this week at the South by Southwest gathering in Austin, Texas. Scheduled to launch in late 2018, the JWST is the designated successor to the Hubble Space Telescope. Astronomers expect to learn more about the earliest star systems and scan the atmospheres of planets orbiting distant stars for signs of biological activity.

NASA just found an orbiter that’s been missing around the moon for 8 years

Washington Post (3/13): In August 2009, the Indian Space Research Organization’s Chandrayaan-1 lunar orbiter went silent less than a year into a two year mission. Recently, the orbiting spacecraft was located thanks to a radar observation campaign organized by experts at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Budweiser aims to brew first beer on Mars, plans Space Station experiments (3/13): Budweiser backs a plan to brew beer on Mars, including experiments ahead possibly to be carried out aboard the International Space Station. A Bud on Mars panel discussion was hosted by the brewer and the South by Southwest festival. “This takes the Budweiser experience to the future, where colonization and socialization might go,” notes Valerie Toothman, Anheuser-Busch’s Vice President of Marketing Innovation.


Low Earth Orbit

 Satellites track huge snow storm’s approach to U.S. East Coast (video) (3/13): Weather satellites watched on Monday as water vapor and cold temperatures merged to create a major winter storm over the U.S. East Coast on Tuesday. NOAA’s Goes 16 satellite was among those keeping an eye on the blizzard’s approach.

North Korea poses unique challenges to space, experts say

Space News (3/9): North Korea, and perhaps other rogue nations, poses a common threat to the global space environment, more than peer level adversaries like Russia and China, according to the report. North Korea, for instance, has never pledged to refrain from testing nuclear weapons in space.

Tianzhou-1: Long March 7 rocket delivered to Wenchang

GB Times of Finland (3/9): China is preparing for the launch of its first re-supply mission to the uncrewed orbiting Tiangong-2 space station module. China’s Tianzhou-1 freighter, launched atop a Long March 7 rocket, is to demonstrate the ability to deliver and transfer propellant. The launch is planned for late April. The outcome will demonstrate Beijing’s ability to support the future crewed Chinese Space Station, whose core module is to launch next year.


Commercial to Low Earth Orbit

High winds keep Falcon 9 rocket grounded (3/14): High winds forced SpaceX to call off plans for the launch of a Falcon 9 rocket with an EchoStar communications satellite early Tuesday from Launch Pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center.



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