Today’s DeepSpace Extra

October 6th, 2017

In Today’s Deep Space Extra… The widely reported first session of the Trump Administration’s re-established National Space Council underscored a White House commitment to U.S. space leadership through human deep space exploration, a vibrant commercial space industry and a more robust strategy to safeguard the nation’s military and national security satellites.

Human Space Exploration

Council meeting signals high level Administration interest in space (10/5): The first meeting of the re-established National Space Council on Thursday reflects a high level of interest in space exploration within the Trump Administration. The session held just outside Washington was chaired by Vice President Mike Pence. Pence pointed to the moon as the next destination for human explorers. Members of the cabinet and panels of experts spoke of increasing space national security and backing greater commercial opportunities on the final frontier.

National Space Council calls for human return to the moon

Space News (10/5): Vice President Mike Pence gives NASA leadership 45 days to work with the White House Office of Management and Budget to come up with a strategy to return human explorers to the moon as a step toward missions to Mars. “You’ve got a big job ahead of you,” Pence told NASA Acting Administrator Robert Lightfoot during the first meeting of the re-established National Space Council. The council will establish an advisory board to help streamline commercial space regulations and strengthen space national security.

Space Council chooses the moon as Trump Administration priority

New York Times (10/5): “We will return American astronauts to the moon, not only to leave behind footprints and flags, but to build the foundation we need to send Americans to Mars and beyond,” Vice President Mike Pence vowed Thursday during the first meeting of the Trump Administration’s re-established National Space Council.

Why the Trump Administration wants to return to the moon in partnership with industry

Washington Post (10/5): A return to the moon by the United States will serve as an opportunity to regain global leadership in space, Vice President Mike Pence declared during the first meeting of the re-established National Space Council on Thursday. The National Space Council will also establish more robust security measures to protect its military and intelligence satellites from Russia, China and other potential adversaries, he said.

Spacewalkers install new hand on Station’s robot arm

Associated Press via New York Times (10/5): NASA astronauts Randy Bresnik and Mark Vande Hei succeeded Thursday in replacing a failing Latching End Effector, or mechanical hand, on the International Space Station’s robot arm during a seven hour spacewalk. The Canadian Space Station Robot Manipulator System is a critical part of berthing the capsules that deliver supplies to the Space Station as well as in making external repairs to the orbiting science lab.


Space Science

NASA lab gets space radiation upgrade for Mars mission research (10/5): NASA has recently upgraded its Langley Research Center based Space Radiation Laboratory in order to better understand the effects of space radiation on humans.  Long term exposure risks include cancer, heart disease and other systemic issues.


Other News

Ariane 6 could use reusable Prometheus engine, designer says

Space News (10/6): Europe’s ArianeGroup says the new Ariane 6 launch vehicle, scheduled to begin flying in 2020, may one day feature a reusable core stage rocket engine called Prometheus. The manufacturer and others in Europe, however, have not yet decided on the promise of launch vehicle reuse. The European Space Agency is funding Prometheus development.

Atlas V will try again Saturday to launch spy satellite from Cape Canaveral

Florida Today (10/6): Poor weather delayed efforts for a second time Friday to launch a United Space Alliance Atlas 5 rocket with a national security payload from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, The launching has been re-scheduled for Saturday at 3:59 a.m., EDT.

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