Today’s Deep Space Extra

November 8th, 2018

In Today’s Deep Space Extra… Assessments of this week’s Congressional mid-term election outcome on U.S. space policy gets underway. Japan’s seventh re-supply mission to the International Space Station (ISS) draws to a close.

Human Space Exploration

Culberson loses as Democrats win House; Nelson losing Senate reelection (11/7): Tuesday’s Congressional mid-term elections promise legislative changes that could affect NASA funding and policy setting.

Russian space leader issues decree against trash, “sloppy” work attitudes

Ars Technica (11/8): Dmitry Rogozin, head of Roscosmos, the Russian federal space agency, admonishes his managers for “sloppy work.” Such conditions are counter to the care required for aerospace, says Rogozin. A NASA astronaut and cosmonaut managed to survive an October 11 soyuz launch abort, blamed on damage to the spacecraft during pre-launch ground preparations.

Japanese cargo ship departs Space Station. Next stop: Oblivion (11/7): Japan’s seventh resupply mission spacecraft to the International Space Station (ISS) was unberthed and departed on Wednesday. The departure cargo included the small return capsule demonstration planned for November 10-11 as the Japanese freighter re-enters the Earth’s atmosphere. A small capsule demonstration attached to the HTV-7 Kounotori capsule will separate to demonstrate an on demand small science payload return capability. The Japanese re-supply mission delivered five tons of crew supplies, Space Station hardware and research to the Station in late September.

Russia resets computer on orbital outpost after malfunction

TASS of Russia (11/8): Earlier this week, Russia reported that one of three computers in the International Space Station’s (ISS) Russian segment had faltered. It was successfully reset on Thursday, according to the report.


Space Science

Launch of Pegasus rocket, NASA’s ICON satellite pushed back

Coalition Member in the News – Northrop Grumman

USA Today (11/7): Early Wednesday, NASA was again prompted to postpone the air launch of the Ionospheric Connection Explorer Mission, or ICON, a two year investigation into the interactions between the Earth’s upper atmosphere and the fringes of space. NASA and Northrop Grumman are assessing possible difficulties with the Pegasus XL rocket in order to prepare for a future launch attempt.


Other News

DARPA selects spaceports for responsive launch competition (11/7): The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has identified eight sites between the U.S. East and West coasts for the launching of responsive launch systems. All but one selected by DARPA for a commercial responsive launch competition have already been licensed by the FAA.

SpaceX to modify Falcon 9 upper stage to test BFR technologies (11/7): SpaceX has plans for a reusable Falcon 9 second stage. A test flight demonstration is planned by mid-2019.

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