Today’s DeepSpace Extra

September 19th, 2017

In Today’s Extra… Early structural elements of the Orion capsule are coming together. NASA’s newest class of astronauts have a new class name.

Human Space Exploration

Piecing together NASA’s crewed Deep Space spacecraft

Coalition Member in the News (AMRO and Lockheed Martin) (9/18): Early structural components for the second deep space NASA/Lockheed Martin Orion capsule, the first of the capsules designated to launch astronauts on a test flight called Exploration Mission-2, are coming together at the AMRO Fabricating Corporation in South El Monte, California. All the components will journey to NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, where they will be welded together as the capsule’s assembly progresses.

Back to the Moon, this time for pay

Coalition Member in the News (Astrobotic)

The Space Review (9/18): During a recent House Space Subcommittee hearing, executives from three U.S. companies, Moon Express, Astrobotic and Blue Origin expressed an interest in playing pivotal roles in a U.S. return to the lunar surface through NASA. Some of the lawmakers urged caution that such an alliance not race far out in front of market forces.

‘Turtles’ on a really high post: NASA’s new astronauts get their nickname (9/18): NASA’s newest class of astronauts — seven men and five women selected in June, plus a pair of Canadians — has a class name, the Turtles. As they reported for duty in August, many of the future space explorers had to deal with the consequences of Harvey, a severe tropical storm turned hurricane that drenched their new Houston area home with more than 40 inches of rain.

Applying lessons from Apollo for a smart space agenda at a time of increased international tension

The Space Review (9/18): The shaping of future U.S. space policy should take a note from the Cold War moon race, a competition that may have prevented a nuclear cataclysm between the U.S. and former Soviet Union, writes David Dunlop, who has served on the boards of the National Space Society and Moon Society. By aligning its aspirations with those of competitor nations, as well as the private sector, the U.S. could be sustaining a formula for peace on Earth, he writes.


Space Science

‘It went perfectly’: Cassini Saturn probe was a pro to the very end (9/18): “It went perfectly,” was the assessment on Monday from NASA’s Cassini mission team, following the spacecraft’s intended descent into Saturn’s atmosphere on Friday. The probe managed to collect data for 15 seconds longer than anticipated.

New study indicates that Planet 9 likely formed in the solar system

Universe Today (9/17): A new study led by a University of Sheffield researcher suggests the mysterious Planet 9, whose possible presence was raised by astronomers in January 2016, likely formed close to the sun and migrated to the outer reaches of the solar system.


Other News

Bridenstine outlines challenges he foresees for NASA

Space News (9/18): Oklahoma congressman Jim Bridenstine is President Trump’s choice for NASA administrator. In a written response to a questionnaire from the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee, which plays a role in the confirmation process, Bridenstine lists maintaining constancy and consistency of purpose while building up commercial and international partnerships as the agency’s major challenge. A committee hearing on his nomination could come as soon as next week.

Northrup Grumman to buy Orbital ATK for $7.8 billion in cash

Coalition Member in the News (Northrop Grumman and Orbital ATK)

Wall Street Journal (9/18): On Monday, Northrup Grumman Corp. agreed to buy fellow defense contractor Orbital ATK Inc. for $7.8 billion in cash, as acquisition activity in the aerospace industry ramps up.

In the footsteps of SpaceX: Chinese company eyes development of reusable rocket (9/18): China’s first private space company, Link Space, intends to follow SpaceX’s Falcon 9 launch vehicle first stage reuse theme. The New Line 1 rocket is designed for small sat launches.

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