In Today’s Deep Space Extra… NASA awaits word from the new Trump administration on human space exploration planning.
Human Deep Space Exploration
Florida Today (2/14): In remarks Tuesday before the National Space Club Florida Committee, Kennedy Space Center Director Bob Cabana said the agency and Kennedy are still waiting on word from the Trump Administration regarding changes to U.S. human space exploration planning. “We look for some direction here in the very near future,” Cabana told his audience. The Space Launch System and Orion crew capsule are flexible enough to adjust to a change in plans, according to the former astronaut.
National Geographic (2/14): Scientists team up with a pair of NASA satellite systems, FERMI, launched in 2008 to study gamma ray bursts, and STEREO, a satellite pair launched in 2006 to study high energy bursts from the sun’s far side. The energetic activities, if aimed in the right direction, could do harm to Earth orbiting satellites and terrestrial power grids. Experts found that bursts on one side of the sun trigger more activity on the opposite side.
Computerworld (2/14): The next NASA contracted cargo mission to the International Space Station, planned for a Saturday lift-off, is to include the delivery of RAVEN, a collection of NASA technologies designed to enhance automated spacecraft rendezvous and docking. The effort could further efforts to develop commercial robotic satellite repair and upgrade services.
Low Earth Orbit
Collectspace.com (2/14): NASA shuttle era astronauts Ellen Ochoa and Mike Foale have been selected for induction into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center on May 19. Ochoa, the first female Hispanic astronaut, currently serves as director of NASA’s Johnson Space Center. Foale, whose missions took him to Russia’s Mir space station and the Hubble Space Telescope as well as the International Space Station, retired in 2013.
New York Magazine (2/14): In January, NASA astronaut Jeannette Epps was assigned to a 2018 mission to the International Space Station. Epps, an aerospace engineer and former CIA technical intelligence officer, will become the first black assigned to live and work aboard the six-person, 15 nation orbiting science laboratory.
Spaceflightnow.com (2/14): A landing of the U.S. Air Force X-37B is not imminent, the Pentagon announced Tuesday, amid growing rumors the unpiloted reusable space plane was about to return to Earth after more than 635 days in orbit. The rumors pointed to a landing at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center on the former space shuttle runway.
Commercial to Low Earth Orbit
Washington Post (2/15): India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle placed a record-setting 104 small satellites into orbit early Wednesday. The previous record of 37 was set by a Russian launch vehicle in 2014. The IPSV satellite customers came from six nations, including the U.S.
Spaceflightnow.com (2/14): An Ariane 5 rocket lifted off successfully from French Guiana Tuesday afternoon with a pair of European-built broadcast communications satellites for Brazil and Indonesia.
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