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Today’s Deep Space Extra

August 2nd, 2019

In Today’s Deep Space Extra… NASA’s plans to accelerate a human return to the surface of the Moon in 2024 will not diminish its commitment to R & D aboard the International Space Station (ISS), according to Administrator Jim Bridenstine. The U.S. Senate has joined the House in recess for August, with work on a 2020 budget remaining for September. Using the Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers have discovered the hottest extra solar planet yet.

Human Space Exploration

NASA Chief says Moon 2024 plans won’t rob funds from Space Station
Space.com (8/1): NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine offered assurances Wednesday that NASA will not diminish investments in science and technology development aboard the International Space Station (ISS) as it accelerates a return to the Moon with human explorers to 2024. Bridenstine spoke before the International Space Station (ISS) Research and Development (R&D) Conference in Atlanta.

NASA seeks “industrialization” of low Earth orbit with ISS commercialization strategy 
SpaceNews.com (8/1): NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine urged growing commercial use of the International Space Station (ISS) as a step toward the industrialization of low Earth orbit in remarks this week before the International Space Station Research and Development Conference in Atlanta. The overall national economy will benefit, he said.

Senate passes budget/debt limit deal, heads out for recess
Spacepolicyonline.com (8/2): Passage Thursday by the U.S. Senate of a measure raising U.S. budget and debt limits imposed in 2011 represents a step towards reaching an agreement on a 2020 budget by October 1, the start of the next fiscal year. However, the Senate has now joined the House for an August recess. Among the spending issues yet to be resolved is a $1.6 billion supplemental request by the White House for an accelerated return to the surface of the Moon with human explorers by 2024. Without passage of a budget by October 1, lawmakers could be forced to adopt a continuing resolution to avoid a federal government shutdown.

Space Science

Bridenstine selects new acting director of Goddard Space Flight Center 
Spaceflightinsider.com (8/1): NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine has named George Morrow acting director of the Goddard Space Flight Center. He replaces Chris Scolese, who held the position for seven years but has moved on to become director of the National Reconnaissance Office. An engineer, Morrow has worked on projects including the NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope and Gamma Ray Observatory.

It’s good! Hubble Telescope scores big with football-shaped alien planet
Space.com (8/1): Observations of the exo-planet WASP-121b with the Hubble Space Telescope reveal an unusually shaped body so close to its star that surface temperature reach 4,600 degrees, a record for hottest among the growing list of planets detected beyond the solar system.  Classified as a “hot Jupiter,” WASP-121b is so warm metals like iron and magnesium drift away.

Other News

Jeff Bezos sells about $1.8 billion worth of Amazon shares in three days
Forbes.com (7/30): Amazon and Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos, the world’s wealthiest person, has divested himself of a reported $1.8 billion in Amazon shares during a brief period, his largest sale of the stock to date. Previously, Bezos has said the revenues go to Blue Origin, the launch services company he founded. 

Asteroid mining: What will it involve and is this the future of wealth? 
Interesting Engineering (8/1): Once a topic for futurists and science fiction lovers, the concept of generating new wealth from the mining of asteroids for valuable metals, even water ice, is now being taken seriously by those looking to the future.

11 must-see space movies for anyone serious about space
SpaceNews.com (7/30): Okay it’s Friday, and the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 anniversary is moving on. So, for entertainment and inspiration, the entertainment industry offers some fascinating options.

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