Today’s Deep Space Extra

January 8th, 2021

In Today’s Deep Space Extra… Lucy, a mission that will study the Trojan asteroids, is one step closer to launch. And take a look at NASA’s 20 favorite images of 2020 taken by astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS).


Space Science

NASA Lucy mission integrates its second scientific instrument
Coalition Member in the News – Lockheed Martin
Slashgear (1/7): NASA’s Lucy mission will be the first to study the Trojan asteroids, leftover building blocks of the solar system’s outer planets orbiting the Sun at the distance of Jupiter. Lockheed Martin has now equipped the spacecraft with the second of three science instruments, a thermal emission spectrometer. Launch is planned for October 2021 on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket.

New NASA space telescope will explore the Big Bang
CNN (1/7): During a two-year mission, the SPHEREx space telescope will map the sky four times to create a database that will include galaxies, stars, nebulas and other objects. The data will result in a 3-D map, making SPHEREx the first NASA mission to create an all-sky spectroscopy map in near-infrared light. The telescope is expected to launch between June 2024 and April 2025.

China’s Chang’e-4 probe resumes work for 26th lunar day
Xinhuanet (1/8): China’s Chang’e 4 lunar lander and Jade Rabbit-2 rover marked their second year on the Moon earlier this week. Early Friday, the lander and rover awoke electronically to begin a 26th period of lunar daylight activities. (Editor’s Note: Xinhuanet is the official state-run press agency of the Chinese government.)



Senate Space Shakeup?
Coalition Members in the News – Aerojet Rocketdyne, United Launch Alliance
From the POLITICO Space Newsletter (1/8): Democrats will now control the Senate, but experts do not predict a major shift in priorities. Regarding the change, Jared Zambrano-Stout of Meeks, Butera and Israel, told POLITICO, “… there may be some reprioritization, and maybe some tweaking around the edges of things, but I think generally I would expect bills to continue to be moved in a very bipartisan way.”

Defending Earth against dangerous asteroids: Q&A with NASA’s Lindley Johnson (1/5): Lindley Johnson serves as NASA’s planetary defense officer, the person leading the agency’s efforts to identify and protect the Earth against potential impacts by near-Earth objects, or NEOs. In a Q&A session, Johnson explains NASA unfolding response to the loss last year of the Arecibo Observatory, an installation that played a significant role in characterizing NEO threats, as well as plans for the mid-2021 launch of DART, a mission intended to determine whether a spacecraft projectile can change the trajectory of a NEO on a course to impact the Earth.


Other News

Arianespace seeks greater support from European governments
Coalition Member in the News – United Launch Alliance (1/7): Arianespace on Thursday announced that it requires more funding support from European governments in order to pursue aerospace innovations on par with those of priority to the U.S. and its rocket launch industry.

NASA shares its 20 favorite images of Earth taken by astronauts last year
Travel+Leisure (1/6): 2020 may have been a wild year here on Earth, but from space, things looked as serene as ever. NASA is sharing that calm feeling by releasing its 20 favorite images taken by astronauts from the International Space Station (ISS).

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