Today’s Deep Space Extra

October 7th, 2021

In Today’s Deep Space Extra… Artemis I Orion undergoes final checkouts before moving to KSC’s Vehicle Assembly Building for final stacking. Lucy mission approaches launch. Vice President Kamala Harris to host YouTube special about space exploration.


Human Space Exploration

Work on Artemis I Orion nears completion, other Orions make progress
Coalition Members in the News – Aerojet Rocketdyne, Jacobs, United Launch Alliance (10/6): The Orion capsule assigned to NASA’s Artemis I mission is undergoing final checkouts before moving from the Launch Abort System Facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center (KSC) to the Vertical Assembly Building (VAB). There, it will be placed atop the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket for an uncrewed test flight around the Moon and back to Earth. The Artemis II Orion crew module is currently at the Crew Module station inside the Neil Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building at KSC, where closeouts on its Environmental Control and Life Support Systems (ECLSS) heater and temperature sensor wiring are underway. The Artemis III Orion is at NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility (MAF), where welding of the pressure vessel for the spacecraft was recently completed. Components of the pressure vessel for the Artemis IV Orion are now in production as well.

Medical module may be added to new Russian space station – Rogozin
Sputnik International (10/5): Plans for a Russian successor to the International Space Station (ISS) could include a dedicated medical module for complex health care activities performed in consultation with specialists on the Earth, according to Dmitry Rogozin, head of Roscosmos. Once the ISS reaches end of life, Russia is weighing the assembly of an independent orbital platform staffed intermittently by two to four cosmonauts. Editor’s note: Sputnik International is a Russian government-owned news source.

Space ‘tourists’ need better training: Veteran Russian cosmonaut speaks of many challenges linked to first feature film in orbit of Russia (10/6): Veteran Russian cosmonaut Aleksey Ovchinin has raised concerns that a short visit to the International Space Station (ISS) by a Russian film actress and director with minimal spaceflight training places an extra burden on the professional cosmonauts who command the Soyuz and staff the ISS’s Russian segment. The Soyuz MS-19 carrying Russian actress Yulia Peresild and film director Klim Shipenko launched from Kazakhstan and docked with the ISS on Tuesday under the command of veteran cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerove. Peresild and Shipenko will film scenes for a production called “The Challenge” over 12 days. Editor’s note: of Russia is a Russian government-owned news source.

NASA reassigns 2 astronauts from Boeing’s Starliner to SpaceX’s Crew Dragon
Coalition Member in the News – Boeing (10/6): NASA on Wednesday assigned freshman astronauts Nicole Mann and Josh Cassada from planned Boeing CST-100 Starliner missions to the SpaceX Dragon Crew-5 mission planned for the fall of 2022. The move is to give Mann and Cassada spaceflight experience. The two military test pilots were selected by NASA for astronaut training in 2013 and assigned to Starliner missions in 2018. Boeing is working toward uncrewed and crewed test flights of the Starliner to the ISS to achieve NASA certification for the transportation of astronauts to and from the ISS. Plans for an uncrewed test flight in early August have been delayed by an unresolved propellant valve issue.


Space Science

NASA’s Lucy asteroid mission 10 days from launch
Coalition Member in the News – United Launch Alliance (10/6): Fueled up for a 12-year mission, NASA’s Lucy science probe is nearly ready for launch October 16 from Florida’s Space Coast to begin its journey to visit eight asteroids, a record number for a single spacecraft. Ground teams completed testing of the spacecraft last month inside a climate-controlled clean room at the Astrotech payload processing facility in Florida. Last Friday, United Launch Alliance (ULA) completed a countdown dress rehearsal at Cape Canaveral. The launch team loaded kerosene, liquid hydrogen, and liquid oxygen propellants into the Lucy mission’s Atlas 5 rocket, verifying the launch vehicle and ground systems are ready for the real countdown.


Other News

Kamala Harris will host YouTube special about space exploration: ‘We’re going to learn so much’ (10/5): Vice President Kamala Harris hosts “Get Curious with Vice President Harris,” a family special intended to educate children about space, starting today. Chair of the National Space Council, Harris will share the spotlight with Shane Kimbrough, one of seven astronauts living and working aboard the International Space Station (ISS). The presentation launches on Thursday at 9 a.m. EDT on NASA’s YouTube Channel and the YouTube Kids app.

Rate of space industry deals may slow down in the next year (10/6): A high rate of investment and acquisition during 2021 is likely to slow next year, according to experts gathered for the Satellite Innovation conference this week in Mountain View, California. The long-term forecast, however, favors future growth in the global space economy.

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