Today’s Deep Space Extra

October 12th, 2021

In Today’s Deep Space Extra… Space Launch System completed design certification review. Sally Ride to be featured on 2022 U.S. quarter.


Human Space Exploration

Space Launch System rocket passes design certification review (10/11): The milestone review includes an examination of test data and hardware inspections to verify the safety and reliability of the Space Launch System (SLS) as the rocket is prepared for its first test flight, Artemis I. What remains now is the integration of the flight-ready Orion stack, which includes a stage adapter, secondary science and technology payloads, the spacecraft, and the launch-abort system. The completed Artemis I stack will then be rolled out to Launch Complex 39B for a wet dress rehearsal before being returned to the VAB for final checks for the actual launch.

Space Science

Forecasting space weather is hard. A new Australian satellite may help make it easier (10/11): CUAVA-1 is a small satellite launched to and later deployed from the International Space Station (ISS) last week. The small satellite was developed as part of an Australian space economic development initiative to help improve space weather forecasts.

The first Arab mission to Mars is delivering some interesting science (10/11): The United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) Hope mission to orbit and study the atmosphere of Mars is providing new insights. Launched in July 2020, Hope reached Mars in February as part of a UAE initiative to stir interest in STEM education among the country’s youth. The orbiter has found that concentrations of trace gases, oxygen, and carbon monoxide vary by 50 percent across the Red Planet. The thin Martian atmosphere is made up of primarily carbon dioxide.


Other News

Astronaut Sally Ride will be one of the women featured on a 2022 U.S. quarter
The Verge (10/11): Sally Ride, the first American woman to travel to space, will be featured on one of the first five coins in the U.S. Mint’s American Women Quarters Program. Beginning next year and continuing through 2025, the Mint will issue five quarters each year with tails-side designs featuring trailblazing American women. The design of the quarter depicts Ride next to a window on the space shuttle, which the Mint says was inspired by her comment “When I wasn’t working, I was usually at a window looking down at Earth.”

The U.K. looks for its place in space
The Space Review (10/11): Britain last month issued a national space strategy that drew attention in part because of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s declaration the goal was to produce a “Galactic Britain.” Some have found the strategy lacking in details and an absence of discussion relating to a previously stated national goal of capturing ten percent of a growing global space economy by 2030. The strategy document is also silent on a government funding commitment.

Space Development Agency seeks proposals for 18 satellites with experimental payloads (10/11): The Department of Defense’s (DoD) Space Development Agency (SDA) is seeking experiment proposals for 18 satellites that are to become an adjunct to the SDA’s Transport Tranche Layer 1, a network of 126 optically connected satellites. The additional 18 spacecraft, some furnished by the government, some developed by industry, will comprise the Tranche 1 Demonstration and Experimentation System, or T1DES.

Discovery and Science Channel to broadcast William Shatner flight to space (10/11): The Discovery and Science channels plan live broadcasts of Blue Origin’s NS-18 New Shepard suborbital launch with actor William Shatner, Star Trek’s Capt. James T. Kirk, plus three others from West Texas. Liftoff is set for Wednesday morning at 9:30 a.m. EDT.

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