FSU Researcher Finds Earth-Like Gravity May Solve Astronaut Vision Ailment

A Florida State University scientist may have discovered a partial antidote to a problem facing many astronauts — vision changes that occur as a result of space flight.

Michael Delp, dean of the FSU College of Human Sciences, and his colleagues studied mice on the International Space Station. They found that blood vessels important for the regulation of fluid pressure within the eyes of the mice were damaged as a result of space flight. In addition, essential proteins for vision were altered.

However, some of the mice on the ISS were kept in a controlled environment where they lived in Earth-like gravity. These mice did not experience nearly as much damage to their vision.

Read more at: FSU

NASA And Russian Officials Knock Down A Conspiracy Theory On Space Station Leak

NASA and Russia’s space agency issued a joint statement today aimed at quashing viral claims that someone on the International Space Station’s crew sabotaged a Soyuz capsule by drilling a hole in orbit and creating an air leak.

The statement came two weeks after the crew discovered and patched the hole — and 10 days after Roscosmos chief Dmitry Rogozin said he wouldn’t rule out the possibility of in-space sabotage.

Rogozin’s mention of sabotage, supplemented by comments from unnamed Russian sources, boosted a conspiracy theory claiming that NASA spacefliers may have intentionally drilled the hole. Those rumblings drew a sharp rebuke this week from NASA astronaut Drew Feustel, who’s currently serving as the station’s commander.

Read more at: Geekwire

Russian Spacecraft Under Careful Scrutiny After ISS Air Leak Incident – Source

Experts from the Energia Rocket and Space Corporation are checking the Soyuz MS-10 and Progress MS-11 spacecraft at the Baikonur Cosmodrome after the air leak incident at the Soyuz spacecraft docked to the International Space Station (ISS), a source in the rocket and space industry told Sputnik.

The ISS crew managed to cope with the problem. Later, Rogozin told reporters that the incident was caused by a hole in the spacecraft’s skin. which could have been caused by a deliberate drill impact.

“On Wednesday, a big group of experts from the Energia Rocket and Space Corporation and Energia’s Experimental Machine-building Plant arrived at Baikonur and started to work at the Soyuz MS-10 transport manned spacecraft … On one of the upcoming days, the experts will check whether the spacecraft was subjected to an improper impact,” the source said.

Read more at: Sputnik news

How was the Exact Location of the Recent ISS Air Leak Found?

The Aug. 29, 2018, discovery of an air leak at the International Space Station raised some troubling questions about how the U.S. travels to and from the outpost. However, one question doesn’t appear to have received a lot of attention—how did the astronauts figure out where the leak was originating from?

The ISS is a very large spacecraft. Measuring some 358 feet (109 meters) by about 240 feet (73 meters), the station is roughly the size of an American football field. So how do astronauts aboard the outpost find the source of an air leak, especially one as minor as the one that originated from the Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft in late August 2018?

Read more at: Spaceflight insider

Is Time Running Out For NASA’s Mars Opportunity Rover?

Since June 10, the 14-year-old Opportunity rover has been silent, presumably sleeping as thick dust clouds blocked the Sun from its solar cells. But now, that sky is clearing, and NASA is implementing a listening plan for the rover through January 2019.

Without power, the rover has likely experienced several faults. Among them, its mission clock may have stopped recording time accurately. To counteract this possibility, the rover’s mission team is both passively waiting for the rover to communicate at predetermined times and actively pinging it with commands to respond, just in case the rover isn’t sure when it should be sending signals back to Earth.

Read more at: Discover magazine

Orion Parachutes Complete Series Of Tests In Lead Up To EM-1

After years of development and putting into place the infrastructure for a sustained deep space exploration program, NASA and Lockheed Martin completed a series of tests of the Orion parachute system in the deserts of Arizona on Wednesday, Sept. 12.

A test article of the Orion spacecraft was deployed from a U.S. Air Force C-17 aircraft above the U.S. Army’s Proving Ground in Yuma, a little more than 155 miles from Phoenix.

The test article was dropped from a height of more than six miles. This final test was a carefully choreographed series of events that proved the 11 parachutes would deploy, that the pyrotechnics, mortars and other required systems all performed as advertised.

Orion’s parachutes are very different from those people use to jump from airplanes. Their size alone helps separate them from other parachutes. Those used to slow Orion’s descent measure an estimated 36,000 square feet and thirty miles of Kevlar lines attach the top of the spacecraft to the parachutes.

Read more at: Spaceflight insider

Launch Postponed, H-II Transfer Vehicle KOUNOTORI7 Aboard H-IIB Vehicle No. 7

Due to an unfavorable weather forecast for the launch day, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) have postponed the launch of the H-IIB Launch Vehicle No. 7(H-IIB F7) which carries aboard the H-II Transfer Vehicle “KOUNOTORI7” (HTV7), the cargo transporter to the International Space Station (ISS) from the JAXA Tanegashima Space Center. The launch was rescheduled for September 14, 2018.

Read more at: JAXA

NASA Updates Lunar Gateway plans

NASA management updated the agency’s human exploration plans for the 2020s to the NASA Advisory Council’s (NAC) Human Exploration and Operations (HEO) Committee last month at the Ames Research Center in California. The focus of the evolving plans for the next decade is launch, assembly, and operations of a human-tended space station in high lunar orbit.

Separate modules of the lunar gateway are planned to be launched to the Moon beginning in 2022, and NASA provided the latest look at the pieces and a forecast of their launch schedule. A commitment of funding for the gateway project is still forthcoming, but the Power and Propulsion Element (PPE) is the module that would launch first.

NASA plans to award contracts to one or more of the commercial bidders early next year to build, launch, and demonstrate an electric propulsion spacecraft that meets requirements for a Gateway PPE. After a one-year demonstration period, NASA would then exercise a contract option to take over control of the spacecraft.

Read more at: NASA Spaceflight

What It’s Like to Snag a Spacecraft with the International Space Station’s Robotic Arm

I’m just inches away from capturing a Japanese HTV cargo spacecraft on the International Space Station using the Canadarm2 robotic arm. But things are getting dicey.

My hands keep shaking on the controls. Three displays in front of me show where the HTV is in relation to Canadarm2: I can see the target in front of me, but the green crosshairs on my screen keep jumping past the target I need to hit. Fortunately for the fate of the spacecraft, however, an expert fighter jet pilot is by my side.

Read more at: Space.com

India Unveils Its Own Spacesuit Design for 2022 Astronaut Flights

The Indian Space Research Organisation showed off the spacesuit it has designed in-house for its first human space missions at an event held on Sept. 6.

The display comes weeks after the country announced an ambitious timeline to launch its first crewed mission by 2022 in time to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the country’s independence. The human-spaceflight program is called Gaganyaan and will build on the legacy of India’s first astronaut, Rakesh Sharma, who flew in 1984. But this time, India is developing every aspect of the program, which means tackling problems like spacesuit design.

Read more at: Space.com

IAF To Be Involved In Selection Of Humans To Space Mission

Air Chief Marshal B S Dhanoa on Friday said IAF would be involved in the selection process to send humans on a space mission and expressed confidence of meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s 2022 deadline for the exercise.

“The Institute of Aerospace Medicine was actively involved in selection of astronauts earlier. We will be involved now. I am sure we will be able to do it in a very short notice,” he said at an event here.

The Air Chief Marshal said this in his inaugural speech at the three-day 57th Annual Conference of Indian Society of Aerospace Medicine (ISAM) at IAM here. Dhanoa also said that an Aerospace Medicine specialist is the best friend of the air crew in the field.

Read more at: Financial express

Scientists Draw up Plan to Colonize Mars

The idea of building a base to colonize Mars and become an interplanetary species has seen decades of talk and not a whole lot of action, but now at least there’s plan.

On September 10, researchers from the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), a Switzerland university and research center, laid out a step-by-step guide to creating a sustainable research facility on Mars. Their specific plan outlines how we would get there, set up camp and create an environment that would be habitable in the long term. By adopting this strategy, researchers could finally start planning humanity’s long-awaited trip to the Red Planet.

Read more at: Discover magazine

Maybe NASA’s Next Space Station Doesn’t Need the Astronauts

NASA is no stranger to see people bash its plans for human spaceflight. The latest target: the Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway, a new space station to succeed the ISS. The Trump administration has said this new station could be in place as early as 2024, and is expected to ask industry for power and propulsion ideas soon.

NASA says the gateway will enable exploration of the solar system, but critics call it a colossal waste of money and effort. But what if there were a way to salvage the idea—and it involved forgetting about the astronauts?

Understanding the Lunar Gateway begins with its orbit. The station would cruise close to the moon, then whip into space before looping back. This six-day journey repeats on a strict schedule so that visitors could plan a rendezvous and ride the station to the moon.

Read more at: Popular Mechanics

Final Delta II Launch To Mark End Of First Pioneering Era Of US Rockets

It launched rovers to Mars, sent robotic probes to the moon, comets and the asteroids, put astronomical observatories into orbit and deployed the first GPS satellites.

And now, after three decades of service, the Delta II rocket is entering history.

“I am a little bit melancholy about this. Delta II holds a really special place in so many folks in the launch industry’s hearts,” said Tim Dunn, NASA’s launch director for the Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite-2 (ICESat-2) mission lifting off on the 155th and final Delta II rocket to fly since 1989. “It has been around for 30 years now and it really carried on the legacy of Delta I, which reaches all the way to May of 1960,” said Dunn at a pre-launch briefing on Wednesday (Sept. 13).

Read more at: Collectspace

Billionaire Readies World’s Largest Plane To Launch Rockets Into Space

How do you get something from Earth into space? Most of the time, the answer begins with a rocket on a launch pad.

Paul Allen has a different idea. The billionaire co-founder of Microsoft has built the world’s biggest airplane — a twin-fuselage, six-engine beast with a wingspan wider than the length of a football field. He wants to strap rockets under the wings of the plane, fly them to 35,000 feet and release them, giving them a head start on their journey to space.

It’s all part of a plan to lower the cost of spaceflight and make launching a satellite “as easy as booking an airline flight,” according to Stratolaunch Systems Corp., the Seattle-based firm Allen founded to build the plane.

Read more at: NBC news

Former Stratolaunch Executive To Lead Smallsat Industry Group

A former vice president of Stratolaunch who previously worked in Congress and the intelligence community has been named to run a smallsat industry group.

The SmallSat Alliance has hired Steve Nixon to be its first president, responsible for the day-to-day operations of the group. Nixon was, until earlier this year, vice president for strategic development at Stratolaunch, the Paul Allen-funded company developing a large air-launch system. He previously served on the staff of the House Appropriations Committee and as director of science and technology in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

Read more at: Spacenews

British Companies, Academics Excluded From EU Galileo Space Project If No-Deal Brexit

British companies and academics will be excluded from the future development of the European Union’s Galileo space project if the country leaves the bloc without a deal in March 2019, according to a series of technical notices published on Thursday.

The UK government said in the notice that companies currently involved in Galileo, Europe’s rival to the United States GPS program, may face difficulties completing their existing contracts and should contact authorities to try to ensure they can comply with the conditions of their contracts.

Britain has already said it is considering developing its own version of the satellite-based system to rival the EU project. Regarding the EU Earth observation program Copernicus, the papers said that in a no-deal scenario, the UK will no longer be able to participate in it or have a role in how it is run.

Read more at: Reuters

Blue Origin’s Schedule For Putting People On Space Trips Reportedly Slips To 2019

Blue Origin CEO Bob Smith today signaled that the Kent, Wash.-based space company founded by Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos is aiming to start flying people on suborbital space trips “early next year,” rather than later this year as previously envisioned. The signal was passed along by Space News’ Jeff Foust, who’s tweeting from the World Satellite Business Week conference in Paris. Smith was also quoted as saying Blue Origin was making good progress on tests of the BE-4 rocket engine, which is to be used on the company’s New Glenn reusable orbital-class rocket as well as United Launch Alliance’s Vulcan semi-reusable rocket. We’ve asked Blue Origin about the reports and will update this item with anything we hear back.

Read more at: Geekwire

Not A Job, But An Adventure – Space Traffic Controller

In the not-too-distant future an international regulatory and enforcement agency may be looking for Space Traffic Controllers to fill hundreds of positions for well-trained professionals.

It is likely that these positions will be located in an international metropolis such as Washington, Paris, London, Hong Kong, Rome or Moscow. Applicants must pass a rigorous training program including many hours in class and in simulators. They will probably be required to have prior training in spacecraft dynamics and orbital mechanics.

In a fashion similar to that of air traffic controllers, space traffic controllers may not actually control spacecraft movements. Instead, they may oversee assigned segment of the low-earth orbital zone.

Read more at: Space daily

China Tests Propulsion System Of Space Station’s Lab Capsules

Engineers have successfully tested the propulsion system of China’s planned space station lab capsules, a key step in its space station program.

Weighing 66 tonnes, the space station will comprise a core module and two lab capsules. The propulsion system will determine whether lab capsules can move in space.

Engineers designed 36 engines for the propulsion system with four to adjust the capsules’ operation orbit and 32 to adjust flight attitude. Each engine is designed to work for at least 15 years, according to the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC), the main manufacturer of the space station.

Read more at: Space daily

Holy Space Rocks! The Vatican Is Hosting Its First Meteorite Convention

Meteorites are key features of many natural history museum collections, but there’s never been an international conference dedicated to taking care of these rocks that fall to Earth from space.

That’s changing this week in the suburbs of Rome, on the grounds of the Vatican Observatory. There, three dozen meteorite experts from around the world are gathering to exchange notes and share best practices for tending their collections.

The Vatican has collected meteorite samples for over a century, with a total of 1,100 samples making up almost 330 lbs. (150 kilograms), and the facility is known for its particularly helpful techniques for analyzing the rocks’ density.

Read more at: Space.com

Japanese Kounotori 7 To Deliver New Batteries To International Space Station

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) is preparing its seventh resupply spacecraft bound for the International Space Station for a Sept. 10, 2018, liftoff. The mission, designated HTV-7, is slated to deliver more than six metric tons of cargo to the orbiting outpost, including several lithium-ion batteries to replace older units on the exterior of the complex.

HTV-7, also known as Kounotori 7 (Kounotori means white stork in Japanese), is expected to rise into orbit atop a medium-lift H-IIB rocket from Tanegashima Space Center in southern Japan. Liftoff is scheduled for 6:32 p.m. EDT (10:32 GMT / 7:32 a.m. local time Sept. 11). The spacecraft was unveiled to the public July 28, 2018, during a press briefing at the space center. Details about the mission were presented to journalists by Hirohiko Uematsu, director of HTV Technology Center at JAXA.

Read more at: Spaceflight Insider

Europe’s Space Champions Need More Orders at Home to Beat Musk

Europe’s space champions are urging buyers at home to favor their technology over that of foreign rivals, as competition intensifies from the likes of Elon Musk’s Space X.

As executives from the space industry meet in Paris this week for the World Satellite Business conference, French satellite operator Arianespace is calling on Europe to translate its space sovereignty ambitions into more public orders. Startups want their share too, with Paris-based propulsion company ExoTrail and satellite firm Kineis raising money from local investors.

“We need more public orders for the new generation Ariane 6 rocket-launcher,” Arianespace Chief Executive Officer Stephane Israel said Monday on the sidelines of a news conference in Paris. “We’re asking Europe to do what’s done elsewhere –in the U.S., China, Russia — when handing contracts.”

Read more at: Bloomberg

Roscosmos, NASA Heads To Meet On October 10

Roscosmos head Dmitry Rogozin and NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine have agreed to hold the first personal meeting at the Baikonur Cosmodrome on October 10, the corporation’s press service reported on Thursday.

“The heads of Roscosmos and NASA have agreed to hold the first personal meeting at the Baikonur Cosmodrome on October 10 this year during a visit of the NASA administrator to Russia and Kazakhstan to take part in the events connected with the upcoming flight to the ISS of Russian cosmonaut Alexei Ovchinin and American astronaut Nick Hague on board the Soyuz MS-10 piloted spacecraft,” the press service said.

Read more at: TASS

Heads Up: No-Deal Brexit Would Mean Less Warning Of Space Debris

One decidedly unexpected effect of a no-deal Brexit would be the UK potentially getting less warning about space debris plummeting towards Earth.

The warning comes in a briefing paper on space and satellites, which notes the UK’s involvement in the EU space surveillance and tracking (EUSST) programme. Set up in 2014, it tracks orbiting debris that could pose a risk to satellites and issues “re-entry warnings”.

The programme began work in mid-2016 and is not yet fully functioning. Currently, a centre in the UK provides warnings about fragmentation of space debris and has a backup service for re-entry alerts.

Read more at: Guardian

Luxembourg Establishes Space Agency And New Fund

The government of Luxembourg continued work to expand its role in the global space economy Sept. 12 by formally establishing a national space agency, a move designed in part to ensure the effort continues after an upcoming election.

In a ceremony in Luxembourg City, Étienne Schneider, deputy prime minister and minister of the economy, formally announced the creation of the Luxembourg Space Agency. The agency will be led by Marc Serres, previously the head of space affairs at the Ministry of the Economy.

Unlike traditional national space agencies, which support spacecraft missions and scientific research, the Luxembourg Space Agency will focus primarily on building up the country’s space industry as well as supporting education and workforce development.

Read more at: Spacenews

Juncker Scorns Chequers Proposals In State Of Union Speech

Jean-Claude Juncker has ruled out the central plank of Theresa May’s Chequers proposals and scorned the British government’s plans to build a rival to the EU’s Galileo satellite project, in a downcast reading of the Brexit negotiations in his annual state of the union speech.

The European commission president said Brussels would not let the UK enjoy the benefits of an internal market on goods, and that if negotiators failed to find an agreement on a deal it would not be the fault of the commission.

“We respect the British decision to leave our union, even though we continue to regret it deeply,” Juncker said in his speech to MEPs in Strasbourg. “But we also ask the British government to understand that someone who leaves the union cannot be in the same privileged position as a member state.

Read more at: Guardian

Pompeo And Mattis Should Add Space Cooperation To The US-India Strategic Partnership

Last week marked the first “2+2” dialogue between the US Secretaries of State and Defense and their Indian counterparts.

As the world’s two largest democracies, the United States and India have long-term interests that will guide the relationship over the coming decades. Some of these interests include shared values, Indo-Pacific security and commerce, the US-India economic relationship, and an expansionist China that threatens both Indian interests in the Indian Ocean region and US interests in the Pacific.

The US and India should also discuss the next frontier: outer space.

Read more at: Space review

Japan Successfully Tests Ballistic Missile Defense System

The Japanese destroyer JS Atago, the U.S. Navy, U.S. Missile Defense Agency and Lockheed Martin have tested an upgraded Aegis Combat System Ballistic Missile Defense system for the Japanese navy.

The Japanese Flight Test Mission-05 exercise on Sept. 11 successfully intercepted a separating target simulating a ballistic missile warhead, Lockheed announced on Thursday.

The launch test follows a modernization of the JS Atago. The JS Atago Aegis Weapon System BMD is part of a joint weapons system used by the United States and allied nations for air and missile defense.

Read more at: Space daily

Congress Wants a Space-Based Missile Defense System. That’s a Colossally Bad Idea

In March 1983, President Ronald Reagan delivered an Oval Office speech to announce his Strategic Defense Initiative — or as it was dubbed by critics, “Star Wars.” He proposed a space-based missile defense program that would have placed infrastructure featuring high-powered lasers, beams of atomic particles, and rocket interceptors in orbit to shoot down enemy missiles before they reached the United States.

The program, infeasible from the start, never came to fruition. That was for the best, because it would have only incentivized the Soviet Union to simply build more missiles to overwhelm U.S.defenses. In other words: a much bigger arms race.

More than three decades later, most security experts consider the idea a dangerous relic of the past, but some members of Congress have chosen nostalgia over reason.

Read more at: Defense one

Are we Starting a Military Space Race?

Starting? When did it stop? The real question is: who’s paying for it now?

Space has just come to the forefront because we now recognize how critical Space has become to our life. Civil space technology is now WAY ahead of our military. Strangely this is more a race between US Venture Capitalists and the Russians, Chinese, North Korea and Iran. The military is along for the ride. The Space Race has become one where our commercial companies are now developing and providing capabilities at a price that our military can only dream of and foreign country militaries just read about in shock and wonder if it’s all made up as a press relations stunt, right until they have to block it from the internet of their citizens, like Google maps.

Read more at: Townhall

China and the Politics of Space Control

In late August, 2018 the Chinese Foreign Ministry published its position paper regarding the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly, which will run from September 18 and October 5 in New York.

In this document, Beijing has again professed concern about the militarization of space—somewhat awkwardly given China’s growing military capabilities in this realm. According to the paper, “The Chinese government stands for the peaceful use of outer space and opposes weaponization and arms race in outer space.”

Beijing has stated this position for years, well before President Trump and others called for a Space Force to better address Chinese threats in the space realm.

Read more at: sldinfo

Elon Musk To Send Mystery ‘Passenger’ On Spacex Trip Around The Moon

SpaceX has announced a new plan to launch a tourist around the moon.

The trip would use the company’s Big F***ing Rocket (BFR), a massive launch vehicle that is being designed to carry people into deep space.

“SpaceX has signed the world’s first private passenger to fly around the Moon aboard our BFR launch vehicle – an important step toward enabling access for everyday people who dream of traveling to space,” the company said on Twitter, reports Daily Mail.

SpaceX gave no further details, but said more information would follow on Monday.

Read more at: NZ Herald

New Director Named at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center

NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center has a new leader. Hartselle native Jody Singer is the new Director of the Space Flight Center.

Singer was serving as the Acting Director and before that was the Deputy Director of the Center. During her 32 year NASA career, Singer has held leadership roles in human space flight, technology, and science flight missions programs.

Read more at: Rocketcity now

Neil DeGrasse Tyson on Elon Musk: ‘Let the Man be an Individual’

Tesla and Space X CEO Elon Musk should be allowed to just be himself, noted astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson told CNBC on Wednesday.

Musk has come under scrutiny for his recent behavior, which includes his controversial tweet about taking Tesla private and appearing to smoke weed during a Sept. 6 podcast.

“I went to a highly, really selective college where people were really smart and really weird,” said Tyson, who attended Harvard University. “The weirdness became an element of their behavior that I just came to expect with people who had sort of singular abilities to think or to innovate or to project what a future would be,” he told “Closing Bell.”

Read more at: CNBC

Cirque Du Soleil Founder To Be Taxed For $42M Trip To Space

The founder of Cirque du Soleil will be forced to pay hefty taxes for a highly publicized trip to space he took nearly a decade ago after a judge refuted his claim that it was for business purposes.

Quebec billionaire Guy Laliberte blasted off to space aboard a Russian rocket for a 12-day mission on the International Space Station (ISS) in 2009. The founder and then controlling shareholder of the acrobatic entertainment company was reimbursed for the journey’s whopping $41.8-million price tag by Cirque du Soleil upon his return to Earth, claiming it as a promotional expense for the business.

During his time in space, Laliberte appeared via a live broadcast video link in a number of benefit concerts and events featuring celebrities such as Bono and Shakira at 14 venues around the world as part of a fundraising effort known as “Poetic Social Mission.”

Read more at: CTV news

Maison Mumm Launches New Era With Unprecedented Zero-gravity Bottle Design

Maison Mumm’s goal was to take champagne into space while maintaining its integrity – that is to say, respecting its aromas, the tasting ritual and the specifications of the AOC. The Maison was the first to take an interest in the scientific constraints that the absence of gravity could pose on a gaseous liquid. To explore the possibilities, Maison Mumm called upon Octave de Gaulle, founder of SPADE, a design agency specializing in creating objects for use in space, and assembled a team of experts (engineers, researchers, astronauts and oenologists) to work alongside him.

Driving this exceptional scientific adventure forward, Maison Mumm worked in close collaboration with Jean-François Clervoy (French ESA astronaut, veteran of three NASA space missions) and Gérard Liger-Belair (professor at the University of Reims, world-renowned researcher specializing in the physio-chemistry of the effervescence of champagne). With their knowledge of the dynamics of fluids and capillary action, they were able to understand the terrestrial behaviors of Mumm Grand Cordon champagne.

Read more at: PR newswire

ANA Offering Space Meals During Japan-U.S. Flights

All Nippon Airways and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, or JAXA, jointly started on Wednesday to offer Japanese space meals during flights between Narita International Airport and Houston.

The service, set to continue until Sept. 20, is part of a project of ANA Holdings Inc.’s unit to explore the possibility of future space travel.

The space meals are products certified by JAXA and actually eaten at the International Space Station, including beef curry, green tea, “yokan” sweet jellied bean paste and chewing gum.

Read more at: Japan news

NASA Head Wants to Go Commercial

There is a reason you have never seen NASA astronauts strolling onto a launchpad Armageddon-style wearing NASCAR-style outfits festooned with company logos as they boarded a multi-colored space shuttle advertising the release of the next Marvel film (to put it simply, government employees, especially highly visible ones, aren’t supposed to do things like that), but that all could be about to change if newly-minted NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine has his way.

Recently, Bridenstine met with advisors to discuss creating a new committee to consider opening up advertising and commercial revenue sources for NASA, and hinted at the idea of making the agency and its astronauts more than just household names, the way they were in the Apollo days. The former Congressman, who was only confirmed to his new post about six months ago, wants to turn the astronauts, and the agency that they represent, into a sort of household brand.

Read more at: Houstonian

“Safe Passage to Mars” Design Challenge

“Safe Passage to Mars” is a design challenge for undergraduate students. Enabling safe space exploration of Moon, Mars and beyond requires the application of the concepts of Engineering Psychology to design and build hardware (tools, devices, or equipment) which can mitigate critical human performance issues associated with long-duration spaceflight.

Read more at: ISSF

10th IAASS Conference

15 – 17 May 2019 – Los Angeles, USA

The tenth IAASS Conference “Making Safety Happen” is an invitation to reflect and exchange information on a number of topics in space safety and sustainability of national and international interest. The conference is also a forum to promote mutual understanding, trust, and the widest possible international cooperation in such matters. The once exclusive “club” of nations with autonomous space access capabilities is becoming crowded with fresh, and ambitious new entrants. New commercial spaceports and near-spaceports are in operations and others are being built.

Read more at: IAASS Conference