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Today’s Deep Space Extra

June 5th, 2019

In Today’s Deep Space Extra… Studies of a candidate Northrop Grumman habitat for a lunar orbiting human tended NASA Gateway conclude. Lawmakers consider measures to protect the Apollo 11 landing site on the Moon. An experimental supercomputer returns to Earth from the International Space Station (ISS) to undergo evaluation.

Human Space Exploration

Gateway to the Moon: NASA testing mock-up for lunar-orbiting habitat prototype
Coalition Member in the News – Northrop Grumman
Space.com (6/4): NASA and Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems have concluded a ground assessment of a habitat mock up for a lunar orbiting, human tended Gateway. Assessed in facilities at NASA’s Johnson Space Center (JSC), the mock-up includes a pair of habitat modules and an airlock/tunnel. The concept, developed under a NASA NextSTEP-2 agreement, is based on the Northrop Grumman Cygnus module that has flown NASA contracted cargo missions to the International Space Station (ISS).

Space Act calls for protection of Apollo 11 landing site
Space.com (6/4): Legislation introduced in the U.S. Senate in late May, the One Small Step to Protect Human Heritage in Space Act, seeks to protect NASA’s Apollo 11 landing site at the Sea of Tranquility on the Moon and others lunar sites marking humanity’s first voyages off the Earth from intrusion by other countries and commercial interests.

Smithsonian unveils statue of Neil Armstrong’s spacesuit at ballpark
Collectspace.com (6/4): Major League Baseball’s Washington Nationals on Tuesday became the first team and stadium to display a Smithsonian-created, interactive statue of astronaut Neil Armstrong’s Apollo 11 spacesuit.  “Apollo at the Park” is a Smithsonian Institution creation. In all, 15 MLB parks will host the displays commemorating the July 20th, 50th anniversary of the first Moon landing by Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin.

Space Science

New telescope to investigate mysterious light flashes on the Moon
CNET (6/3): Based in Spain, a new observatory under the watch of a German astronomer will attempt to unravel the mystery surrounding occasional flashes on the lunar surface. They’ve been attributed to volcanoes, meteor strikes, even UFOs.

Five things to know about NASA’s Deep Space Atomic Clock
NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory (6/4): JPL’s Deep Space Atomic Clock will launch June 22 from Cape Canaveral, Florida, atop a SpaceX Falcon Heavy for a yearlong test flight in Earth orbit. Someday, the precision of the atomic clock, which loses 1 second every nine million years, could help to navigate human deep space missions.

Supercomputer to undergo rigorous exam after returning to Earth from the space station
The Verge (6/4): Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s experimental space supercomputer returned to Earth on Monday aboard a NASA contracted SpaceX Dragon cargo mission completing its 17th round trip with cargo to and from the International Space Station (ISS). The Spaceborne Computer will be disassembled and examined to access whether it can operate in space as effectively as on Earth.

Other News

Advisory committee seeks significant changes in proposed commercial remote sensing regulations
SpaceNews.com (6/5): Members of the Advisory Committee on Commercial Remote Sensing are urging the U.S. Commerce Department to make more than the currently proposed regulatory changes, the first to be considered since 2006 and intended to streamline licensing. Some believe the current proposal could inject unwanted complexity.

China conducts first sea launch mission with Long March 11 launch of seven satellites
NASASpaceflight.com (6/5): China conducted its first orbital launch this morning, with a Long March 11 rocket lifting off from a floating platform in the Yellow Sea off the eastern province of Shandong. This launch was named ‘LM-11 WEY’ after a strategic partnership between WEY, a premium SUV marque of Great Wall Motor China Space Foundation and China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology (CALT) that founded a joint technology innovation hub on April 24, 2019, which is going to help the SUV maker achieve breakthroughs in R&D and manufacturing areas.

Proposed Nova Scotia spaceport gets conditional environmental approval
CTV News Atlantic of Canada (6/4): More regulatory assessment awaits, but the Maritime Launch Services company is moving ahead with efforts to establish a launch complex in Canso, Nova Scotia, for commercial rockets carrying near-earth imaging, communications and scientific experiments.

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