Today’s Deep Space Extra

December 6th, 2018

In Today’s Deep Space Extra… The death of former president George H.W. Bush was mourned Wednesday. Boston experts research human deep space medical care. A commercial SpaceX resupply mission heads for the International Space Station (ISS).

Human Space Exploration

Bush remembered for role shaping post-Cold War space policy (12/5): Former President George H.W. Bush, who died Friday at 94, was honored in Washington on Wednesday and nationally with a Day of Mourning. The former President’s efforts to resume human deep space exploration at the 20th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing are a part of Bush’s legacy. The former President also reached out to Russia at the end of the Cold War to cooperate in future human space endeavors.

How to handle a medical emergency on a deep space mission

Verge (12/4): At Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital, researchers are addressing the challenge of providing future human deep space explorers with the medical care they may require during months to years at a time far from Earth. Bottom line, those astronauts must turn to a small but strategic set of resources to contend with a wide range of potential medical emergencies far from a hospital emergency room.


Space Science

Oumuamua stays quiet: Another SETI search of interstellar visitor comes up empty (12/5): Since it was spotted late last year moving through the solar system, the elongated object designated Oumaumua has generated speculation over its extra solar origins, nature or something artificially fashioned by an alien intelligence. New research from the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) found nothing to suggest the latter.

‘Blueberries’ on Mars have a watery past. But scientists are still baffled (12/5): The “berries” are actually iron rich spherical mineral deposits first spotted on Mars by the rover Opportunity after it landed in 2004 and believed to have formed in the past presence of water on the Red Planet. Developing a full understanding of their formation could reveal a deeper understanding of the early Martian environment and whether conditions were habitable.


Other News

Layoffs and stalled projects plagued space start-up Moon Express. Then NASA stepped in

Orlando Sentinel (12/5): Last week, NASA designated nine U.S. companies as qualified to help the agency establish a range of lunar landing capabilities, some with legacies as long as Lockheed Martin’s and others comparatively short lived, like Moon Express. The opportunity to compete for $2.6 billion in NASA Commercial Lunar Payload Services contracts may help to turn the startup Florida company’s future around.

With mice well-fed, SpaceX’s CRS-16 mission blasts off but fails to stick landing (12/5): SpaceX’s 16th NASA contracted resupply mission headed for the International Space Station (ISS) with a liftoff Wednesday from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, the Dragon capsule, loaded with nearly 5,700 pounds of science experiments, technology demonstrations and crew supplies, was on a course to reach the six person orbiting science lab early Saturday. Meanwhile, the SpaceX Falcon 9 first stage splashed into the Atlantic rather than landing upright on solid ground near the launch site, an outcome that contributes to reuse of the rocket stage. A problem with the external steering fins on the booster was cited as the problem.

Russian space agency spokesman slams ‘information attack’

Associated Press via New York Times (12/4): Unfounded bad publicity from domestic as well as foreign new sources is intended to deprive Roscosmos, the Russian space agency, of needed state funding, a spokesman for the agency claims.

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