Today’s Deep Space Extra

June 25th, 2021

In Today’s Deep Space Extra… The Interim Cryogenic Propulsion Stage will soon join the Artemis I SLS rocket core stage, boosters, and Launch Vehicle Stage Adapter. Astronauts just ventured outside the International Space Station for their third spacewalk in nine days to increase the lab’s power generation.


Human Space Exploration

LVSA added to Artemis-1 stack, as SLS big build continues
Coalition Members in the News – Boeing, Northrop Grumman, United Launch Alliance (6/23): Assembly of the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket for NASA’s Artemis I mission to send an unpiloted Orion capsule on a test flight around the Moon is progressing. The Launch Vehicle Stage Adapter (LVSA) was placed atop the SLS core stage this week in the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center (KSC). Installation of the Interim Cryogenic Propulsion Stage (ICPS) will follow next week. NASA is working toward the launch of Artemis I as soon as November.

Spacewalk to wrap up second solar array installation at Space Station
CBS News (6/24): Astronauts Shane Kimbrough, of NASA, and Thomas Pesquet, of the European Space Agency (ESA), prepared early Friday for their third spacewalk outside the International Space Station (ISS) in nine days. They plan to install a second Roll Out Solar Array (ROSA) at the far port side of the orbiting lab’s 360-foot-long solar power truss. During challenging spacewalks on June 16 and June 20, they installed the first of the ROSAs on the ISS’s 2B power channel. In all, six ROSAs will be installed on the ISS’s power channels to increase the overall electrical power generation by 20 to 30 percent.

‘Rosie the Rocketeer’ dummy buckles up for Boeing’s 2nd Starliner launch test
Coalition Members in the News – Boeing, United Launch Alliance (6/24): An anthropomorphic test device, a flight mannequin known as Rosie the Rocketeer, has been placed aboard Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner, which is scheduled to launch July 30 on an uncrewed test flight to the International Space Station (ISS). Data gathered by Rosie will help to certify the Starliner for the regularly scheduled transportation of astronauts to and from the ISS under NASA’s Commercial Crew initiative.


Space Science

NASA studying larger Mars helicopters (6/24): Thanks to the success of eight test flights so far by NASA’s Ingenuity helicopter on Mars, the agency’s Ames Research Center and Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) along with AeroVironment are planning a larger version of the rotorcraft. The envisioned Mars Science Helicopter could accompany future missions to explore terrains not accessible to rovers, including steep cliffs and the interiors of caves.

Scientists just detected an earthquake from a balloon and might be able to do it on Venus, too (6/24): In July 2019, scientists demonstrated earthquake detection from a high-altitude balloon. The quake shook Ridgecrest, California. A similar balloon-borne technology could be used at Venus to determine whether the second planet from the sun experiences comparable activity.


Other News

Report: Space Force has to prepare for operations beyond Earth’s orbit (6/26): A new report published by the Air Force Research Laboratory suggests the U.S. Space Force has to prepare for when cislunar space becomes the next military frontier. Cislunar space is defined as the region between the Earth and the Moon, including the Lagrange points, where an economy might emerge in the future. A cooperative agreement signed by the Space Force and NASA last year calls for future collaboration on cislunar space research and technologies.

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