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Today’s Deep Space Extra - Explore Deep Space

Today’s Deep Space Extra

September 8th, 2021

In Today’s Deep Space Extra… Nanoracks’ spinoff aims to advance the knowledge and technology of organisms and food produced in space. U.N. official calls for greater space norms and multilateral consensus in global satellite operations.


Space Science

Mars helicopter Ingenuity flies low and slow on lucky flight 13
Space.com (9/7): Saturday marked a successful 13th flight for NASA’s Ingenuity helicopter on Mars. Cruising at an altitude of just 26 feet, Ingenuity trained its cameras on the South Seitah region of Jezero Crater to help plot the next move in efforts by the Perseverance rover to gather and cache samples of soil and rock for an eventual return to Earth. Studies of materials gathered from the ancient crater lake and stream delta could reveal whether Mars once hosted some form of life.

Astronomers are still looking for the elusive ‘Planet 9’
NBCnews.com (9/7): The astronomer who successfully raised doubts about distant Pluto’s status as a planet 15 years ago, believes there is mounting evidence for the presence of a large, so far undiscovered planet beyond Neptune called “Planet Nine.” Caltech astronomer Michael Brown and a colleague are offering the astronomy community suggestions on where to look in a search that could lead to discovery.


Other News

Nanoracks’ spinoff aims to bring food production to Earth’s deserts and orbital space
Coalition Member in the News – Nanoracks
Space.com (9/7): Starlab Oasis, a Nanoracks spinoff established in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), plans to open an experimental greenhouse in 2022 along with sending seeds to space. The company hopes that space-induced mutations in the seeds will lead to the production of more resilient and productive vegetation for consumption, especially in countries that have faced environmental difficulties in producing nutrients for their residents.

NASA offers learning guides about Artemis mission
FlyingMag.com (9/2): As students and educators return to class, NASA wants to help the next generation to learn more about the mission that will pave the way to land the first woman and first person of color on the Moon.  Educators can bring the Artemis I mission into the classroom using NASA’s standards-aligned educator guides. The “Landing Humans on the Moon Educator Guide” offers four activities to help middle-school students learn about the Moon and create a model of a human landing system (HLS) for the lunar surface.

DARPA awards Lockheed Martin $25 million contract modification for integration of Blackjack satellites
Coalition Member in the News – Lockheed Martin
SpaceNews.com (9/7): The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) increased Lockheed Martin’s contract for satellite integration work for the Blackjack program by $25.3 million. Lockheed Martin is the satellite integrator for Blackjack, a project to demonstrate the capabilities of small satellites in low Earth orbit for military communications, missile warning, and navigation. The company had previously received contracts for $13.1 million and $27.3 million. The modification brings the total value of the contract to $65.8 million.

U.N. space office seeks consensus on space traffic management
SpaceNews.com (9/7): Speaking at the Satellite 2021 Conference on Tuesday, Simonetta di Pippo, director of the U.N. Office for Outer Space Affairs, called for efforts to stabilize global space operations through norm generation and multilateral consensus. “The Office for Outer Space Affairs can help raise awareness on this issue, showcase innovation and help develop solutions,” said di Pippo, who also stressed the critical role that satellite missions can play in addressing climate change.

Firefly Aerospace traces rocket launch failure to premature engine shutdown
Space.com (9/7): Firefly Aerospace believes the early shutdown of one of four first stage rocket engines led to last Thursday’s launch failure from Vandenberg Space Force Base, California. The two-stage rocket continued to climb for about 145 seconds before experiencing a loss of control.

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