Today’s Deep Space Extra

September 29th, 2020

New Episode of The Deep Space Podcast Available Now!

Tune in to the second episode of the Human Exploration and Science Series featuring Pam Melroy, former NASA astronaut, U.S. Air Force colonel (retired), and current space consultant. This week’s episode features a candid conversation about the human side of spaceflight, in which Melroy reflects on the most memorable times in her astronaut career and walks listeners through the journey of flying to space. Click here to listen now.


In Today’s Deep Space Extra… NASA sets a new launch date for the SpaceX Crew-1 Mission launch to the International Space Station (ISS). Efforts to track down the source of a small air leak on the Space Station continue. Scientists report new evidence of four very salty lakes under the Martian south pole.

Human Space Exploration

NASA and SpaceX update target launch date for the Crew-1 mission to Station
NASA (9/28): NASA has moved the target launch date for its first operational SpaceX Commercial Crew launch to the International Space Station (ISS) from October 23 to October 31 to deconflict a number of closely scheduled Space Station activities. The launch is to deliver NASA’s Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover, and Shannon Walker and Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi to the Station for a six-month mission. In the months after the launch, the number of astronauts living and working on the Space Station will increase to seven.

NASA still searching for source of ISS air leak
Coalition Member in the News – Northrop Grumman (9/28): The source of a small air leak aboard the International Space Station (ISS), first noted in September 2019, continues to be investigated by NASA. The three-person crew of the Station huddled in the Russian segment over the past weekend, while pressure checks of the orbiting science lab’s many modules continued. NASA managers believe the loss of air is small enough so as not to endanger the crew.

Space Science

On Mars, 4 super salty lakes may be hiding under the south pole ice cap (9/28): An international team of scientists has found evidence of salty bodies of liquid water beneath the glacial formations at the Martian south pole. The findings, obtained with the help of instruments aboard the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Mars Express orbiter, could have implications for future missions focused on the search for biological activity on the Red Planet.

New radio telescope is going to fly to the far side of the Moon to listen to the signals from the early universe
Universe Today (9/28): The Dark Age Polarimetry Pathfinder, or DAPPER, seeks to establish a space radio observatory on the far side of the Moon to unravel some of the mysteries of the early universe. On the far side of the Moon, the observatory would not be subject to radio interference from Earth. As part of NASA’s Artemis initiative, DAPPER could use the lunar orbiting, human tended Gateway as a communications relay.

UAE starts Lunar Mission project, names rover as ‘Rashid’
Gulf Today (9/29): UAE leadership announced Tuesday plans to place a rover on the Moon in 2024, at a location that has not been previously explored. Named “Rashid” after the Prime Minister of the UAE, the lunar explorer will send data and images that will be shared with local & international research centers.

Other News

NASA astronaut Kate Rubins will vote from space (9/28): NASA astronaut Kate Rubins launches on her second mission to the International Space Station (ISS) from Kazakhstan on October 14, not long before the U.S. presidential election on November 3. As she and other astronauts have done before, Rubins plans to vote from space with help from Mission Control.

The U.S. military wants access to SpaceX’s satellite constellation (9/28): With frequent launches this year, SpaceX aims to assemble an Earth orbiting constellation of small satellites to support a global internet communications network. The U.S. Army is now expressing interest in engaging the network for global navigation.

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