Today’s Deep Space Extra

October 14th, 2020

In Today’s Deep Space Extra… International space cooperation takes a step forward with first signings of the Artemis Accords. The International Space Station (ISS) greeted three new crew members early Wednesday. NASA and Boeing target November 14 for a full duration test firing of the Space Launch System’s (SLS) core stage.


Human Space Exploration

Eight nations sign U.S.-led Artemis Accords for Moon exploration and beyond (10/13): NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine announced Tuesday that eight nations have signed bilateral agreements under the Artemis Accords to partner in establishing a sustained human presence on the Moon. The initial signatories are Australia, Canada, Japan, Luxembourg, Italy, the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States. The Artemis Accords, a set of principles to govern the behavior of NASA and its partners in deep space, were unveiled earlier this year. Discussions continue with other potential partners.

Soyuz flight to Space Station sets stage for NASA transition to U.S. crew ships
Coalition Member in the News – Boeing
CBS News (10/14): Russia’s MS-17 Soyuz spacecraft reached the International Space Station (ISS) early Wednesday, delivering NASA astronaut Kate Rubins and cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov, and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov. The launch marked the final time NASA plans to pay Russia for a Soyuz seat. NASA’s Commercial Crew Program intends to schedule regular launches of SpaceX’s Crew Dragon missions to the ISS beginning in November, and missions using Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner starting next year.

Today’s tidbits: October 13, 2020
Coalition Members in the News – Aerojet Rocketdyne, Boeing (10/13): NASA and Boeing are looking to November 14 for the full duration ground test firing of the NASA Space Launch System’s (SLS) RS-25 engines at NASA’s Stennis Space Center. The eight-minute final Green Run test will enable the hardware to move onto NASA’s Kennedy Space Center (KSC) and preparations for Artemis I, an uncrewed test flight planned for next year of the SLS rocket and Orion spacecraft on a journey around the Moon and back to Earth. Test personnel at Stennis has faced constraints imposed by the pandemic and tropical weather in the Gulf of Mexico.

ULA’s Tory Bruno argues for U.S. investments in the production of fuel in space
Coalition Member in the News – United Launch Alliance (10/13): United Launch Alliance (ULA) president and CEO Tory Bruno during a presentation on Tuesday explained a proposal previously submitted to the National Space Council that would establish a space-based propellant reserve. The reserve, which would require a $20-billion government investment, would assure a steady rocket fuel supply derived from lunar ice to nurture a cis-lunar economy.

Space Science

Juno team planning close flybys of Jupiter’s moons
Coalition Member in the News – Lockheed Martin (10/12): An extension for NASA’s Juno mission could mean close flybys of Jupiter’s large moons, including Europa, a possible host to habitable environments, as well as the eruptive moon Io, and Ganymede. Juno’s primary mission is set to end in July 2021.

Pluto has white-capped mountains, but not because there’s snow
National Public Radio (10/13): Like the Earth, distant Pluto hosts mountains with what looks like snowcapped tops. However, instead of being laced with icy water like the mountains of Earth, Pluto’s peaks are covered in methane frost. The observations, conducted by the NASA New Horizons mission first ever close flyby of Pluto, were assessed in the journal Nature Communications.

Other News

Blue Origin completes successful suborbital space shot
Coalition Members in the News – Astrobotic, Dynetics, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman (10/13): A Blue Origin New Shepard rocket, successfully launched from Texas on Tuesday, carried a dozen different payloads, including a NASA precision lunar landing technology. Other precision landing test missions will fly to the Moon on robotic landers from Astrobotic and Intuitive Machines as soon as next year.

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