Today’s Deep Space Extra

September 17th, 2021

In Today’s Deep Space Extra… The Coalition for Deep Space Exploration has endorsed action by the U.S. House Science, Space, and Technology Committee to dedicate funds for NASA in its portion of the House infrastructure budget reconciliation package. Two new interactive web experiences let the public explore the Martian surface alongside Perseverance.


Human Space Exploration

Proposed NASA investments get commendation from Coalition for Deep Space Exploration
Coalition Members in the News – Aerojet Rocketdyne, Boeing, Jacobs, Lockheed Martin; President and CEO Frank Slazer in the News
Science Times (9/16): The Coalition for Deep Space Exploration applauded the U.S. House Science, Space, and Technology Committee for including $4.4 billion for NASA in the Committee print passed last week in support of the House infrastructure budget reconciliation package. Frank Slazer, the Coalition’s CEO and President has called on the full House and Senate to back the investment. Slazer added that “as the Artemis program prepares to bring the first woman and first person of color to the moon, we must assure that the infrastructure needed to support this effort – and many other vital NASA missions, including science and climate change research – is capable of supporting these investments in our future.”

The era of commercial human space flight means little news (9/17): The all-civilian crewed commercial Inspiration4 mission unfolds with a new communication paradigm – occasional updates on the activities of the four flyers through social media and exchanges with selected audiences on Earth rather than the steady open flow of information that accompanies NASA missions.

Shenzhou 12 crew lands after record stay on Chinese space station (9/17): Chinese astronauts Nie Haisheng, Liu Boming, and Tang Hongbo returned to Earth early Friday, touching down in their Shenzhou 12 spacecraft at 1:34 a.m. EDT, or 1:34 p.m., Beijing time, ending a 92-day mission to China’s Tianhe space station. They landed in the Gobi Desert.


Space Science

NASA is launching a new telescope that could offer some cosmic eye candy
NPR (9/16): Enthusiasm is growing for the planned and long awaited launch of the NASA-led James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) mission on December 18. The initial images should begin to emerge next summer once the JWST has journeyed to its observation point about 1 million miles from the Earth and deployed its instrumentation for checkout. Observing at infrared frequencies, the new observatory will study the first stars and galaxies.

NASA’s interactive Mars experience lets you work with its rover (9/16): NASA has launched two interactive 3-D experiences that let the public explore the Martian surface alongside the Perseverance rover. One experience, called “Explore with Perseverance” allows users to follow along with the rover as though they were standing on the surface of Mars. Another one, “Where Is Perseverance?” shows the current location of the rover and Ingenuity helicopter as they explore Mars.


Other News

L3Harris opens manufacturing facility in Indiana for DoD missile-defense satellites
Coalition Member in the News – L3Harris (9/17): L3Harris yesterday opened a classified facility in Fort Wayne, Indiana, to assemble and test satellites for U.S. missile-defense programs. A dedication ceremony was attended by Indiana lawmakers as well as Defense Department officials Derek Tournear, director of the Space Development Agency, and Walt Chai, director for space sensors at the Missile Defense Agency. L3Harris is producing four missile-tracking satellites for the Space Development Agency under a $193.5 million contract it won in October, and a sensor satellite to track hypersonic and ballistic missiles under a $121 million contract it received in January from the Missile Defense Agency.

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