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Today’s Deep Space Extra

September 20th, 2021

In Today’s Deep Space Extra…  Today, NASA will be announcing the lunar landing site for VIPER. Tomorrow, the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee’s Space and Aeronautics Subcommittee will be holding a hearing entitled “NASA’s Future in Low Earth Orbit: Considerations for International Space Station Extension and Transition.”

 

Space Science

China Moon rock studies include fusion energy analysis, volcanic history
Space.com (9/17): In December, China’s Chang’e 5 lunar lander mission returned to Earth with 3.82 pounds of surface material from the Moon. In July, the first round of sample material was distributed to Chinese science institutions for analysis, including an assessment of the sample material for Helium 3, a potential fusion power generation fuel initially noted in samples from the Moon returned to Earth by the Apollo astronauts. The initial studies may provide new information about the history of volcanic activity on the Moon.

 

Other News

Inspiration4 and all-civilian crew return to Earth with splashdown off Florida coast
NASAspaceflight.com (9/18): Inspiration4’s first privately crewed Earth orbital mission came to a safe end on Saturday as the four astronauts splashed down in the Atlantic waters off the coast of Cape Canaveral, Florida, at 7:06 p.m., EDT. Commander Jared Isaacman, Mission Pilot Sian Proctor, Medical Officer Hayley Arceneaux, and Mission Specialist Chris Sembroski embarked on their 71-hour venture last Wednesday evening from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center (KSC).

Tianzhou-2 docks with Tianhe’s front docking port
Xinhuanet of China (9/18): China’s space agency on Saturday successfully executed a relocation of the Tianzhou-2 cargo capsule from the rear to the forward docking port of the Tianhe core module of the Tiangong space station. Editor’s note: Xinhuanet is a Chinese state-run news source

New film finds ‘The Wonderful’ aboard the Space Station: Director Q&A
Collectspace.com (9/17): Clare Lewins, director of a new film, “The Wonderful: Stories from the International Space Station (ISS),” discusses the two-hour documentary that examines the lives of a dozen of the men and women who have lived and worked aboard the NASA led orbital science laboratory for the past nearly 21 years.

Harvest Moon 2021: When and how to see September’s full Moon
Space.com (9/19): Monday night will feature a full Moon. Because of its fullness as the Earth’s northern hemisphere transitions from summer to fall early this week, it is also known as a “Harvest Moon.” Also visible are Jupiter, Saturn. And with viewing soon after sunset, low and to the southwest, bright Venus is visible.

 

Major Space Related Activities for the Week

Major space related activities for the week of September 19-25, 2021
Coalition Members in the News – Boeing, Nanoracks
Spacepolicyonline.com (9/19): Today, NASA will be announcing the landing site for the VIPER rover, which will look for concentration of ice and other resources on the lunar surface. The U.S. House and Senate convene this week, with the end of the 2021 fiscal year looming on October 1. On Tuesday at 11 a.m. EDT, the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee’s Space and Aeronautics Subcommittee plans a hearing on “NASA’s Future in Low Earth Orbit: Considerations for International Space Station Extension and Transition.” The launch this week of a resupply mission to the core Tianhe module of China’s new space station is expected.

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