Today’s Deep Space Extra

October 6th, 2021

In Today’s Deep Space Extra…  Soyuz spacecraft launched yesterday needed manual docking to the ISS. The launch window for NASA’s DART planetary defense demonstration mission opens on November 24.


Human Space Exploration

Soyuz MS-19 docked with ISS manually due to malfunction in auto-docking system – CEO
TASS of Russia (10/6): Roscosmos, Russia’s space agency, will investigate a malfunction in the KURS automated docking system aboard the Soyuz MS-19 spacecraft as it docked with the International Space Station (ISS) early Tuesday with Russian film actress Yulia Peresild and film director Klim Shipenko. Veteran cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov took manual control to execute a successful docking with the ISS’s Russian segment. Editor’s note: TASS is a Russian government-owned news source.

Filming ‘Among the Stars’ with Disney Plus meant a 2-year journey for astronaut Chris Cassidy. Here’s what he learned (10/5): “Among the Stars,” a six-part Disney Plus documentary that premiers Wednesday, follows retired NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy as he prepares for and executes a mission to the International Space Station (ISS) to repair the cooling system of the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS), an external observatory that studies cosmic rays.


Space Science

NASA’s DART mission will deliberately crash into an asteroid’s moon in the name of planetary defense
CNN (10/6): NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test, or DART mission, is planned for launch from Vandenberg Space Force Base, California, on November 24 at 1:20 a.m. EST. The destination is a binary asteroid. Didymos, the larger of the two objects, measures a half mile across. Dymorphos, the smaller moonlet, is about 500 feet across. DART will reach the asteroid pair to propel a high velocity impactor into Dymorphos in late September 2022 to assess the strategy’s potential to protect the Earth from a possible future asteroid impact. The strike will be observed from Earth and recorded by a small Italian companion satellite.

Bizarre, scorching exoplanet WASP-76 b may be even hotter than we thought (10/5): Some 640 light years from the Earth, WASP-76, an ultra-hot Jupiter, is no place to be. Though 85 percent the mass of Jupiter, WASP-76 is 1.85 times wider because of its close proximity to its star and intense radiation. As hot as 4,350 degrees F during the day, the exoplanet cools to just 2,370 degrees at night. Findings were published in the Astrophysical Journal Letters.


Other News

NRO’s strategy to buy satellite imagery shaped by thriving commercial market
Coalition Member in the News – Maxar (10/5): The National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) is expected in the coming months to initiate the Electro-Optical Commercial Layer (EOCL) program, an open competition that will seek satellite imagery from the U.S. private sector. The Department of Defense (DoD) is reviewing a draft proposal issued earlier this year that should be issued in final form by the end of 2021. It’s expected the NRO will seek multiple providers.

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