Today’s Deep Space Extra

November 13th, 2020

In Today’s Deep Space Extra… Ukraine becomes the ninth country to sign the Artemis Accords. NASA’s first female program manager for Orion speaks about the spacecraft and why missions to the Moon can help humans get to Mars.


Human Space Exploration

Ukraine signs agreement with NASA to study Moon, Mars, comets, and asteroids
112 of Ukraine (11/13): The State Space Agency of Ukraine has signed the Artemis Accords, a set of principles for the peaceful exploration of deep space destinations, making Ukraine the ninth country to sign.

NASA’s Orion director says to expect first woman on the Moon by 2024
Coalition Member in the News – Lockheed Martin
Texas Standard (11/11): NASA’s Orion spacecraft was developed to transport astronauts from our planet to the Moon and Mars and ensure a safe return to Earth. In September, Catherine Koerner was selected as the first female program manager for the Orion program. In an interview published this week, Koerner explains that the Moon will provide the experience needed to achieve success in future crewed missions to Mars.

Weather Conditions 70-Percent Favorable for NASA, SpaceX Crew-1 Launch on Saturday from Kennedy Space Center
Space Coast Daily (11/12): NASA’s SpaceX Crew-1 mission is the first operational mission of the Crew Dragon spacecraft and Falcon 9 rocket to the International Space Station (ISS) as part of the agency’s Commercial Crew Program. NASA astronauts Mike Hopkins, Victor Glover, and Shannon Walker, and JAXA astronaut Soichi Noguchi, are scheduled to launch at 7:49pm EST on Saturday Nov. 14 from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center (KSC).


Space Science

NASA shares sweet Mars Curiosity rover selfie with three drill holes
New York Pilot (11/12): NASA’s Curiosity rover has a new selfie from a location on the Red Planet named Mary Anning after a trailblazer English paleontologist. The image from October 25 shows the rover overlooking three holes which it drilled on its way out of the Glen Torridon region, believed to preserve an ancient habitable environment.

Chemical reactions high in Mars’ atmosphere rip apart water molecules
Science News (11/12): NASA’s Maven mission, a Mars orbiter launched in 2013 to study the Red Planet’s atmosphere, is providing new insight into what happens to water that once flowed on the planet’s now desert-like surface. After entering orbit in March 2014, Maven found that water molecules rise high into the atmosphere, where hydrogen and oxygen atoms are ripped apart by chemical reactions with molecules of other elements. Previously, it was believed that Martian water rose as a steady trickle that was broken apart by sunlight.

Scientists spot a ‘kilonova’ flash so bright they can barely explain it (11/12): A May 22 gamma ray flash has been traced to a possible neutron star merger. The observations were made using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope and Swift space observatory, as well as ground-based telescopes in New Mexico and Hawaii.


Other News

Northrop Grumman will make two missions to International Space Station in 2023
Coalition Member in the News – Northrop Grumman 
Virginia Business (11/12): Northrop Grumman has been awarded two additional cargo missions to the International Space Station under NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services Contract-2 (CRS-2) with launches aboard the company’s Antares rocket in 2023. The missions will deliver a combined total of roughly 16,500 pounds of supplies and science materials to the station using the Cygnus spacecraft.

Is space mining the eco-friendly choice?
Astronomy (11/11): As the planet’s population continues to grow, so does the demand for resources, resulting in scarcity. Some think outer space may be a vast reservoir that is ready to be tapped, and the Moon can be a testbed for new resource extraction techniques.

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