Today’s Deep Space Extra

January 31st, 2019

In Today’s Deep Space Extra… NASA’s annual Day of Remembrance set for February 7. Despite a rough start, 2019 should be favorable for the U.S. civil space industry. Russia, Japan unveil future human exploration strategies.


Human Space Exploration

Postponed by shutdown, NASA’s Day of Remembrance happens next week (1/30): NASA’s annual Day of Remembrance, a tribute to the 17 astronauts who perished in the January 27, 1967 Apollo 1 fire, the January 28, 1986 shuttle Challenger and February 3, 2003 shuttle Columbia tragedies has been rescheduled for February 7. Previously set for January 31, memorial activities were re-scheduled because of the record partial U.S. government shutdown that affected agencies like NASA and ended last Friday.

Russian space firm unveils scheme of crewed flight to Moon

TASS of Russia (1/30): A Russian Energia Space Rocket Corp. strategy to transport cosmonauts to the lunar surface would involve two launches using the planned Angara heavy lift rocket and the Federation crew capsule. Separate launches would first place a lunar lander/ascent vehicle in lunar orbit, where it would wait for about six months the arrival of the Federation spacecraft and its crew for a descent to the lunar surface and return.

Japan positioned for outsize role in NASA’s Moon, Mars plans

Politico (1/30): Japan endorses plans to transition human low Earth orbit operations, like those underway aboard the International Space Station (ISS) to the commercial sector, according to the president of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. The transition could permit Japan to expand its partnership role with NASA in the human exploration of the Moon and Mars, including efforts to establish a human, lunar orbiting Gateway in the 2020s.


Space Science

Holy cow! Mysterious blast studied with NASA telescopes

NASA Goddard Spaceflight Center (1/10, but just released): Last June 18, astronomers across the globe witnessed a strange and distant blast, nicknamed “The Cow” and  200 million light years away in a star forming region of the constellation Hercules. Scientist have joined to offer two possible explanations, a black hole shredding a passing star or maybe a stellar explosion.

Observers puzzled by mysterious ’empty trash bag’ orbiting Earth (video)

Sputnik News of Russia (1/30): A Hawaiian observatory that is part of NASA’s Asteroid Terrestrial-Impact Last Alert System has spotted a mysterious, low mass object in a high altitude orbit that could be a fragment from an unidentified rocket launch. Several meters in length, the object should enter the Earth’s atmosphere within a few months.


Other News

Space industry executives optimistic about 2019 despite shutdown and layoffs (1/30): Barely a month into the new year, the U.S. civil space community has endured a record partial U.S. government shutdown that left many in a hefty civil and contract workforce unpaid. Beyond that, some companies have laid off skilled workers as they reorganized. Nonetheless, participants in a January 30 Space Foundation forum expressed confidence in accelerated growth within the commercial space sector.

The long road to Vostochny: Inside Russia’s newest launch facility (1/30): With the end of the Cold War and the breakup of the Soviet Union, it seemed inevitable that Russia would strive to establish a domestic launch complex independent of Baikonur in neighboring Kazakhstan. The effort has advanced, though Russia has paid Kazakhstan to maintain a presence at Baikonur.

Camden County submits license application for spaceport

Atlanta Business Journal (1/29): Georgia’s Camden County Commission has applied to the FAA for a license to operate a commercial spaceport in southeast Georgia, creating an estimated 2,000 jobs.

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