Today’s DeepSpace Extra

October 20th, 2017

In Today’s Deep Space Extra… The second of four core stage rocket engines assigned to NASA’s first Space Launch System (SLS) test flight with astronauts undergoes qualification test. Japanese satellite charts possible moon cave habitat for future human explorers.

Human Space Flight

Human presence in lunar orbit one step closer with successful RS-25 engine test

Coalition Member in the News (Aerojet Rocketdyne)

Markets Insider (10/19): NASA and Aerojet Rocketdyne late Thursday qualified the second of four RS-25 rocket engines for a Space Launch System (SLS) core stage assigned to the future first launch of an Orion capsule with astronauts aboard, also known as Exploration Mission-2. The 500 second test firing occurred at NASA’s Stennis Space Center in Mississippi. All four similar engines will burn for 8 1/2 minutes to start the EM-2 test flight that will send the Orion crew around the moon and back to Earth. The launch date is under review.

Japan’s lunar orbiter discovers 50km cave beneath surface

Nikkei Asian Review of Japan (10/18): Japan’s radar sounder equipped Selene lunar orbiter has detected a tube shaped 50 kilometer (30 mile) long underground cave that could serve as a possible shelter for future human explorers.

S.S. Gene Cernan: Space Station resupply ship named for late moonwalker

Coalition Member in the News (Orbital ATK) (10/18): Orbital ATK has named its next NASA contracted Antares launched Cygnus resupply capsule headed to the International Space Station for Gene Cernan, the NASA astronaut who commanded Apollo 17, the final moon lander mission. The Antares/Cygnus launch is planned for November.

Former Melbourne High teacher set for spacewalk outside ISS

Florida Today (10/19): NASA astronaut Joe Acaba, a one-time Melbourne Florida, high school instructor, is to join International Space Station commander Randy Bresnik early Friday for a spacewalk outside the International Space Station. They are upgrading the Canadian robot arm and external cameras.


Space Science

New NASA study improves search for habitable worlds

NASA/Goddard (10/19): A U.S./Japanese collaboration is helping to refine which planets orbiting distant stars might be candidates for habitable environments. The studies look a complex model of atmospheric conditions.

Self-portrait of NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope marks critical test (10/19): The James Webb Space Telescope, designated successor to the Hubble Space Telescope, is near the conclusion of a critical pre-launch thermal vacuum test at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. Launch is planned for the first half of 2019.

Former NASA chief Charles Bolden earns Scripps prize for service in science

San Diego Union Tribune (10/18): Charles Bolden, NASA’s administrator from mid-2009 to early 2017, received the 2017 Nierenberg Prize for Science in the Public Interest from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography earlier this week. “We all know that to understand this planet better, we must understand what else is out there in our solar system and our universe,” said Bolden during the award ceremony.


Other News

Survey: Americans support entrepreneurs in space but want improvements on Earth

PR Newswire (10/19): The October survey finds that Americans believe their country leads in space. They believe activities in space should support national security and bring benefits to Earth.

Blue Origin conducts first test of BE-4 engine

Space News (10/19): Blue Origin has scored its first successful test firing of the BE-4 methane, liquid oxygen fueled rocket engine. The BE-4 is headed for Origin’s New Glenn rocket and is under consideration by United Launch Alliance (ULA) for the new Vulcan rocket.

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