Today’s Deep Space Extra

December 23rd, 2020

Deep Space Extra will be on hiatus for the winter break starting tomorrow, Thursday, December 24 and returning on Monday, January 4, 2021. The Coalition for Deep Space Exploration wishes you and your family a happy holiday and new year!

In Today’s Deep Space Extra… Axiom Space to build a 14-acre headquarters at Houston Spaceport. Scientists develop a method for future missions to confirm the existence of water on worlds beyond the moons of Jupiter and Saturn.


Human Space Exploration

Aerospace company to make 14-acre headquarters at Houston Spaceport
Coalition Member in the News – Axiom Space of Houston (12/22): Axiom Space has plans to attach a commercial module to the International Space Station (ISS) in 2024 and launch a crew of private astronauts to the NASA-led orbital lab in late 2021. Tuesday, Axiom announced plans to create a headquarters at Houston Spaceport to establish production of its space station and train private astronauts.


Space Science

A Martian roundtrip: NASA’s Perseverance rover sample tubes
NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory (12/22): Launched in July, NASA’s Perseverance rover is on its way to the Red Planet, with a landing planned for February 18, 2021. The rover’s primary mission is to collect samples of soil and rock at Jezero Crater, site of an ancient lake and stream delta, for eventual return to Earth. Much work went into developing the titanium tubes where Perseverance will store the samples. The tubes must be tough enough to safely bring Martian samples on the long journey back to Earth in immaculate condition, and must fit within not only Perseverance’s caching system, but in that of a future return mission.

Are secret oceans hiding on the moons of Uranus? (12/22): Studies of the geologically active moons of Jupiter and Saturn, Europa and Enceladus, have raised questions about the possibility of habitable environments well beyond the sun’s acknowledged habitable zone. Now researchers from MIT have developed a method for future missions to check out the potential for subsurface oceans on the moons of Uranus.



Building on the Artemis Accords to address space sustainability (12/22): While welcoming NASA’s unfolding efforts to enlist bilateral partners with the Artemis Accords, a set of principles for the peaceful and transparent development of space, Jennifer Manner, a senior vice president of regulatory affairs at EchoStar/Hughes Network Systems, calls for advances on a multi-national level that also build on the principles established in the 1967 Outer Space Treaty.


Other News

Kennedy Space Center expands as launch complex 48 opens for operations
Coalition Members in the News – Boeing, United Launch Alliance (12/22): NASA’s Kennedy Space Center (KSC) is ready to offer a new launch complex, Launch Complex 48, for use by multiple small payload launch services providers. Construction of the 10-acre complex was completed in October. NASA is still in discussion over who wishes to use the complex.

Chang’e-5 orbiter embarks on extended mission to Sun-Earth Lagrange point (12/21): China’s Chang’e-5 orbiter is heading for a gravitationally stable point in space on an extended mission after delivering lunar samples to Earth. The spacecraft is now heading to a Sun-Earth Lagrange point to carry out observations of the local environment and perform operational tests.

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