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Today’s Deep Space Extra - Explore Deep Space

Today’s Deep Space Extra

July 30th, 2021

In Today’s Deep Space Extra… International Space Station’s attitude altered after unanticipated thruster firings from the Russian’s Nauka Multipurpose Laboratory module, which has caused Boeing’s Orbital Flight Test-2 to be delayed.


Human Space Exploration

Nauka docks, but bizarre engine firings delay OFT-2 launch
Coalition Member in the News – Boeing
Spacepolicyonline.com (7/30): Eight days after launching from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, Russia’s Nauka Multipurpose Laboratory Module docked early Thursday at a port on the ISS Russian segment cleared earlier by the departure Monday of the 20-year-old Pirs docking module and airlock. Suddenly after docking, Nauka’s thrusters began to fire with enough force to change the attitude of the entire ISS by 45 degrees. Though the ISS’s U.S. gyroscope attitude control system was overwhelmed, thrusters on the Russian segments Zvezda module and docked Progress 78 cargo capsule fired to correct the attitude. While an investigation into the incident unfolds, NASA and Boeing have postponed plans for today’s launch of Orbital Flight Test-2 (OFT-2), an uncrewed test flight of the company’s CST-100 Starliner to conduct an autonomous docking with the ISS’s U.S. segment.


Space Science

Saturn will soon put on its best show of the year. Here’s where and how to see it
NPR (7/29): Saturn is about to put on its best and brightest show, looking spiffier than at any time during the year – a performance that will be followed a few weeks later by Jupiter. Sky watchers in North American can spot Saturn in the night sky not long after sunset begins Sunday. Binoculars or a telescope will help.

Scientists find two huge red rocks with ‘complex organic matter’ in the asteroid belt that shouldn’t be there
The Independent (7/29): A Japanese-led research effort has identified two unexpected objects at home in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. The objects named Pompeja and Justitia, respectively 70 and 35 miles across and with an unusual reddish tint, appear to have long ago established their homes in the belt. They may be organically rich and an indication that their origins from the early days of the solar system were well beyond Neptune but then they migrated closer.


Other News

Biden taps Aerospace Corp.’s John Plumb to run DoD space policy
SpaceNews.com (7/29): On Thursday, President Biden nominated John Plumb, of the Aerospace Corp., to serve as assistant secretary of defense for space policy. Plumb has a long record of service within the White House, Department of Defense (DoD) and U.S. Senate.

NASA starts proposal solicitation for near-Earth commercial satcom services
Executivebiz.com (7/29): NASA has begun a process for the solicitation of commercial satellite communications services for near-Earth operations by 2025. Proposals for strategies to succeed the agency’s Tracking and Data Relay Satellites with commercial systems are due by August 20.

Chinese Long March 2D carries Tianhui survey satellite into orbit
NASAspaceflight.com (7/29): A Chinese Long March 2D rocket launched Thursday placed a fourth Tianhui 1 Earth observation satellite into low Earth orbit. The Tianhui 1 series of satellites are a set of topographical mapping satellites built by Aerospace Dongfanghong Satellite Company, a subsidiary of the Chinese Academy of Space Technology (CAST). The launch marked the 25th orbital launch attempt from China this year and the sixth in the month of July.

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