Today’s Deep Space Extra for Friday, November 13, 2015

November 13th, 2015

Today’s Deep Space Extra offers the latest reporting and commentary on space related activities from across the globe. U.S. and Soviet Cold War space vets Buzz Aldrin and Alexey Leonov reunite in Switzerland. Astronomers spot bright pulsar burst from beyond the Milky Way. Strong storms drench Saturn’s moon Titan with methane rain. Thursday marked a milestone, NASA’s Voyager 1 spacecraft flew past Saturn 35 years ago. Strange orbital debris, perhaps from a long ago Saturn 5 Apollo moon rocket is forecast to plummet to Earth on Friday. Research shows common medications remain effective after months on the International Space Station. Lone Star Flight Museum to join spaceport development, NASA flight operations in Houston. Russian president Vladimir Putin calls on satellite, launch services sector to become more competitive. Blue Origin looks to first commercial suborbital research mission by mid-2016.

Human Deep Space Exploration

‘So happy to see my friend’: Former spacemen Aldrin & Leonov reunite in Switzerland
Russia Today (11/12): Apollo 11’s Buzz Aldrin, who joined Neil Armstrong for the world’s first moon walk in 1969, and Soviet cosmonaut Alexey Leonov, who became the first human to walk in space in 1965, reunited Thursday in Geneva for a speaking engagement, The Moon Race. Aldrin, 85, and Leonov, 81, claim a long standing friendship that superseded the U.S./Soviet Cold War space race.

Unmanned Deep Space Exploration

Record-setting gamma-ray pulsar beyond our galaxy bursts into view (11/12): Scientists report the first gamma ray signature burst from a pulsar beyond the Milky Way.

Mighty winds fuel megastorms on Titan
Science News (11/12): Saturn’s moon Titan is capable of long lasting storms of methane rain, according to a scientific presentation this week before the American Astronomical Society’s Division for Planetary Sciences.

When Voyager 1 buzzed Saturn 35 years ago (11/12): Thursday marked the 35th anniversary of Voyage 1’s pioneering flyby of the planet Saturn. Photos from Voyager still impress.

Low Earth Orbit

Still unidentified, WT1190F falls to Earth tonight
Spaceflight Insider (11/12): Manmade and believed to be 6 feet wide, a piece of orbital debris designated WT1190Ft is projected to re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere early Friday off the coast of Sri Lanka. The debris may be one of the third stages of a Saturn 5 rocket that propelled NASA astronauts to the moon during the Apollo program.

The sky is falling, and scientists are amped
CNN (11/12): A large piece of closely tracked space debris predicted to re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere early Friday appears to pose little threat to safety. Most of the object, likely an aging rocket stage, will burn up at altitude. Any fragments that survive re-entry are expected to fall into the waters off the southern coast of Sri Lanka.

Headache on the way to Mars? Will your aspirin still work?
Houston Chronicle (11/12): Many common medications, from those that alleviate pain to those that improve alertness, maintain their effectiveness after months aboard the International Space Station, according to a new study. The findings from the pilot study could have favorable implications for longer deep space missions in which it will be difficult to resupply medications.

Lone Star flight museum to land where NASA astronaut jets take off via (11/12): Former NASA astronaut Bonnie Dunbar believes plans for the Lone Star Flight Museum at Houston’s Ellington Airport can serve as inspiration for those fascinated by space and aviation. Set to open in February 2017, the museum currently located in Galveston will join with Houston’s new spaceport and NASA’s fleet of training jets flown by the astronaut corps.

Commercial to Low Earth Orbit

Putin on space industry: Russian rockets must be reliable and competitive
Sputnik News, of Russia (11/12): Russian President Putin called on his country’s commercial space industry to strengthen its positions in satellite communications and Earth remote sensing as well as launch services during a meeting Thursday with space sector personnel on objectives through 2025.


Blue Origin plans to begin commercial suborbital research flights in 2016
Space News (11/12): Blue Origin plans to begin launching commercial payloads on suborbital rocket flights by mid-2016. The success of future test flights could determine the date, according to the report.

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