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Today’s Deep Space Extra - Explore Deep Space

Today’s Deep Space Extra

July 26th, 2021

In Today’s Deep Space Extra… Pirs airlock and docking module successfully departed the International Space Station to free a docking port for Nauka. Mars drone helicopter Ingenuity flew a 10th flight on Saturday surpassing the 1-mile mark for all its missions thus far.


Human Space Exploration

Russian’s Pirs module discarded after 20 years of service at Space Station
Spaceflightnow.com (7/26): Previously planned for Friday, the departure of Russia’s nearly 20-year-old Pirs airlock and docking module from the International Space Station (ISS) took place on Monday at 6:55 a.m., EDT making way for Russia’s large Nauka Multipurpose Laboratory module. Pirs departed the Russian segment in the grasp of Russia’s Progress MS-16 cargo capsule and will make a destructive reentry over the Pacific Ocean. Nauka is scheduled to rendezvous and dock at the ISS on Thursday at 9:25 a.m., EDT.


Space Science

NASA’s Mars helicopter soars past 1-mile mark in 10th flight over Red Planet
Space.com (7/25): The drone helicopter Ingenuity, delivered to Jezero Crater on Mars by NASA’s Perseverance rover in February, flew for a 10th time on Saturday. With the flight over an area designated “Raised Ridges”, Ingenuity surpassed the 1-mile mark for all its missions to date. During Saturday’s 165 second flight, Ingenuity rose to 40 feet and traveled 310 feet.

Exploring VERITAS, one of NASA’s new missions to Venus
NASAspaceflight.com (7/24): VERITAS, a future NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) led mission, was selected on June 2 to launch to Venus with a synthetic aperture radar and other instrumentation to construct a high definition map of the planet’s cloud covered surface. The mission is set to unveil past, present, and future tectonic activity as well as the geologic, volcanic, interior, and chemical history of Venus.

Jupiter’s volcanic moon Io is emitting strange radio waves and NASA’s Juno probe is listening
Space.com (7/23): Jupiter’s moon Io is known to be volcanic, a consequence of internal heat generated by the large planet’s strong gravitational field and those of other large moons of Jupiter. NASA’s Juno mission, which is orbiting Jupiter, has been studying radio emissions from Io, which is the moon closest to Jupiter. These radio emissions have been traced to the volcanic material from Io falling into Jupiter’s magnetic field.


Other News

Space amendments on tap as House gears up for appropriations week
Spacepolicyonline.com (7/25): The House is getting ready to debate most of the FY22 appropriations bills this week. The first stop is the House Rules Committee that will decide which of the hundreds of proposed amendments will make it to the House floor for consideration. The House Appropriations Committee completed markups of all 12 appropriations bills last week. Now they must be voted on by the full House and all members, Ten of the 12 bills are now before the Rules Committee. Amendments affecting space activities are in the Military Construction-Veterans Affairs (MilCon-VA), Transportation-HUD (THUD), and Commerce-Justice-Science (CJS) bills.

United Kingdom a potential site for future U.S. space surveillance radar
SpaceNews.com (7/22): The U.S. Space Force is planning a global radar surveillance network, the Deep Space Advanced Radar Concept (DARC), for tracking active satellites and orbital debris. Three ground sites for observations out to geosynchronous orbit are under consideration, one in the United Kingdom.


Major Space Related Activities for the Week

Major space related activities for the week of July 25 – August 1
Coalition Members in the News – Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman 
Spacepolicyonline.com (7/26): On Friday, the NASA Commercial Crew Program/Boeing Orbital Flight Test-2 (OFT-2) mission of the uncrewed CST-100 Starliner to the ISS is to liftoff at 2:53 p.m., EDT, with the docking on Saturday at 3:06 p.m., EDT. This NASA event and associated news conferences are to be aired on NASA TV and streamed at www.nasa.gov/nasalive. The first of two upcoming European Ariane 5 launches from French Guiana, which are critical to the planned October 31 launch of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), also on an Ariane 5 from French Guiana, is planned for Friday at 5 p.m., EDT.

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