In Today’s Deep Space Extra… NASA’s Space Station program is working a power issue aboard the International Space Station (ISS) that will affect plans for a SpaceX cargo mission launch planned for early Wednesday. Experts gather at the University of Maryland to discuss international cooperation in planetary defense.
Human Space Exploration
New Yorker (4/29): While NASA prepares for a sustained human return to the lunar surface, China, Israel, India and Japan are among the nations taking their first robotic steps for lunar surface activity. In July, NASA will mark the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing. Five more missions would follow. Apollo 17 marked the program’s final mission in December 1972.
Spaceflightnow.com (4/30): The 17th NASA SpaceX contracted re-supply mission to the International Space Station (ISS), which has been set to liftoff from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, early Wednesday with about 5,500 pounds of supplies and research equipment, will be delayed until at least Friday by an issue with the six person orbital lab’s main bus switching unit. Two of eight channels of solar power distribution are affected. Once launched the Dragon cargo capsule will require at least two days to reach its orbital destination.
Coalition Member in the News – Boeing
The Space Review (4/29): On April 20, SpaceX experienced a serious anomaly as it undertook a Crewed Dragon Drago thruster test in preparation for an upcoming Falcon 9 inflight abort test. The uncrewed test is among the final milestones SpaceX must clear to achieve certification for regular transportation of astronauts to and from the International Space Station (ISS). The incident and still to be declared details plus unrelated issues facing Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner have clouded just when the U.S. will regain a human space launch capability, writes TSR editor Jeff Foust. In response, NASA has taken measures to assure a continued U.S. presence aboard the six person orbiting science lab as the difficulties are resolved.
Spacepolicyonline.com (4/29): NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine Monday endorsed efforts to complete development of NEOCAM, a new deep space observatory dedicated to the discovery, tracking and characterization of Near Earth Objects, asteroids and comets that pose a possible collision threat to the Earth. He made the endorsement during a keynote address before the sixth International Academy of Astronautics Planetary Defense Conference at the University of Maryland.
Space.com (4/29): The Moon may have formed quite early in the Earth’ history, according to a study effort led by a Japanese researcher. While still in a molten state, the Earth may have been struck by a Mars size planetary object separating enough material to form the Moon.
Spaceflightnow.com (4/29): New imagery from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) Hayabusa 2 spacecraft over the surface of the asteroid Ryugu reveals in more detail a 20 meter wide crater created on April 4, U.S. time, as the probe dropped an explosive charge. Scientist will assess the crater and the material blown away for a possible second sample collection. The probe descended briefly for its first sample collection effort on the surface of Ryugu on February 22. Hayabusa 2 is to depart for Earth with the samples late this year. Scientists believe sample studies will help explain how the solar system’s rocky planets formed and obtained water ice and organics, the building blocks of life.
CNN Business (4/29): New spaceflight technologies are poised to reshape the global economy, a potential benefit to mainstream investors, according to a growing number of Wall Street analysts. The move is fueled in part by less expensive but reliable access to space, a help for businesses ranging from air travel to broadband service and data storage. The global space economy is valued at $340 billion annually, a total that could rise to $1 trillion annually over the next two decades, some predict.
The Space Review (4/29): Rice University historian Douglas Brinkley’s American Moonshot: John F. Kennedy and the Great Space Race, looks back at the forces shaping America’s Cold War era race to the Moon led by NASA and the Apollo astronauts. A key driver in Kennedy’s support was the opportunity to contest the former Soviet Union, rather than an innate enthusiasm for space exploration and science, the historian notes. The nation will mark the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing in July. Apollo 11’s Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first humans to walk the surface of another planetary body.
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