Today’s Deep Space Extra

January 22nd, 2020

In Today’s Deep Space Extra… Houston congressman urges multi-year appropriation for NASA to stabilize Artemis lunar initiative. Three from NASA to enter U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame. Voting underway to name NASA’s Mars 2020 rover.

Human Space Exploration
One lawmaker’s plan to stabilize the space program
Politico (1/17): U.S. Rep. Pete Olson, a Houston Republican, is urging passage of a multi-year appropriations measure for NASA to help the agency avoid political pitfalls as it strives to accelerate a human return to the surface of the Moon from 2028 to 2024. “Let’s have a stable space program that can survive a change in administration, change in administrator, change in Congress, that can get us back to the Moon and explore deep space,” says Olson, who is a member of the House Science, Space and Technology Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics with plans to leave Congress at year’s end.

Russian space firm offers lunar transportation system independent of U.S. orbital platform
TASS of Russia (1/21): Russia’s Energia Space Rocket Corporation reports a reusable rocket concept, Ryvok-2, or Breakthrough-2 in English, for the transportation of a reusable spacecraft to the lunar surface. While not requiring a stop at a lunar orbiting Gateway, Ryvok-2 would refuel in Earth orbit, lunar orbit and a pre-deployed Moon base.

China’s space station core module, manned spacecraft arrive at launch site
Xinhuanet of China (1/20): “Prototypes” for the three person core module of China’s planned space station and its next generation human spacecraft have reached the Wenchang Space Launch Center, indicating launches are on the horizon.

Space Science

Earth’s oldest known impact crater may tell us a lot about our planets frozen past (1/21): New assessments of Western Australia’s Yurrabubba crater, which was formed by an asteroid or comet impact more than 2.2 billion years ago, suggest the encounter was a significant player in a changing global climate early in the Earth’s history. Findings were published in the journal Nature Communications.

Astronomers find an oddball asteroid entirely inside the orbit of Venus
Ars Technica (1/21): 2020 AV2 is the surprise discovery of an asteroid circling the sun within the orbit of planet Venus and made by a Caltech astronomy team earlier this month.

Other News

Three history-making space fliers to enter Astronaut Hall of Fame (1/21): In ceremonies planned for May 16, former NASA astronauts Scott Kelly, Michael Lopez-Alegria and Pam Melroy will be inducted into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame. Among their achievements, Kelly holds the record for longest U.S. spaceflight, 340 days and Lopez-Alegria, for the most spacewalks, 10. Melroy, like Kelly and Lopez-Alegria, is a military test pilot and is the second female astronaut to command a space shuttle mission.

Made In Space expands facilities, moves headquarters to Florida
Coalition Member in the News – Made In Space (1/21): Made In Space, a pioneer in the field of space based additive, or 3-D manufacturing is moving its headquarters from Silicon Valley, California, to Jacksonville on Florida’s Space Coast, due in part to Space Florida, the state’s space economic development agency. “By expanding our presence in Florida, we can leverage a skilled aerospace workforce, large scale infrastructure to support our growth, and key strategic partners like Space Florida that will accelerate our momentum as we continue to develop world-class space technology,” said company president Andrew Rush in a statement.

Nine finalists chosen in NASA’s Mars 2020 rover naming contest
NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory (1/21): Nine candidates have emerged in a NASA sponsored contest among students, K-12, to name the Mars 2020 Rover, which is approaching a July/August launch to the Red Planet to look for evidence of past life as well as to gather and cache samples of rock and soil for a future return to Earth. The public may vote online for a candidate through January 27. NASA received more than 28,000 student essays with suggestions and will make a final selection by early March. More than 90,000 have cast votes so far. 

Exploring space is expensive and ISRO needs more money from the 2020 Union Budget
Business Insider of India (1/21): India has some ambitious space objectives, including a space station and Chandrayaan 3, an attempt to soft land on the Moon with a lander and rover. The latter is a successor to Chandrayaan 2, whose failed attempt to land on the Moon last September disappointed many. Obtaining the budgets, however, has been a challenge for the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO).

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