Space Changes How Your Brain Thinks and it Starts Right Away

Just a few minutes in low gravity is enough to change the brain in ways that could affect astronauts and their behaviour in space. The findings suggest that special preparations may be needed for space tourists or astronauts on missions to Mars.

Early this year, brain scans taken before and after 27 astronauts went on a trip to the ISS showed that, overall, their brains shrank, although some areas expanded. The astronauts were in space for up to six months, and these changes were more pronounced the longer they had stayed on the space station.

The overall shrinkage was probably due to a redistribution of the fluid that protects the brain and spinal cord. In space, the fluid is not pulled down into the body, which leads to increased pressure in the brain. The regions in which brain tissue increased were related to learning how to move in low gravity.

Read more at: New Scientist

The International Space Safety Foundation Supports James Bridenstine as NASA Administrator

The Houston, Texas based International Space Safety Foundation (ISSF), and the ISSF’s sister group, the International Association for the Advancement of Space Safety (IAASS), based in the Netherlands, the two leading non-profit organizations promoting the safe and sustainable long-term use of space, today expressed their strong support for President Trump’s nomination of James Bridenstine to be the NASA Administrator.  Both organizations see his nomination as a positive step forward, and expect Representative Bridenstine to provide the much-needed leadership for combining NASA’s long safety experience and outstanding technical resources with the visionary drive and innovation spirit of commercial entities.

Michael Kezirian, PhD, President and CEO of ISSF, stated that “we at the ISSF stand ready to support Jim Bridenstine as the new NASA Administrator and look forward to continue the dialog with him on promoting the advances in space safety as a necessary condition for the development and growth of a vibrant commercial space industry.”

Read more at: ISSF

NASA Twin Study: Year in Space Changed Scott Kelly All the Way to his DNA

Scientists have long known that being in space takes an immense physical toll on the body. But it may also change astronauts’ genes, according to research on NASA’s Scott Kelly and his identical twin brother, Mark Kelly.

In the space agency’s Twins Study—which investigates the effects of space travel on human health—researchers found that being in space encourages methylation, which is the biological process of switching genes on and off. It’s when a methyl group, which is one carbon and three hydrogen atoms, is added to another molecule. It’s understood that the process plays a key role in gene expression, but there’s still many unknowns. Currently, many experts are exploring the link between methylation abnormalities and various cancers.

Read more at: Newsweek

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 25 October 2017 – Freon Leak Poses No Risk

Mid-week, the crew of Expedition 53 completed tasks to investigate the various ways microgravity affects the human body and shared the benefits of the International Space Station with students in Kiev, Ukraine, during a Public Affairs in-flight event.

At 11 a.m. EDT, Commander Randy Bresnik of NASA spoke with U.S. Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch live on NASA TV, and she moderated questions from Ukrainian and U.S. Embassy students eager to hear more on what it takes to be an astronaut aboard the orbiting laboratory. Bresnik spoke of his extensive training regimen before embarking on his mission, but reiterated that working together cohesively with a team and getting along with others ranked at the top of needed skills for an explorer.

Read more at: Spaceref

Hydrazine Ban Could Cost Europe’s Space Industry Billions

The European Union might ban the use of the toxic satellite propellant hydrazine as early as 2021, which would present a major setback for the block’s space industry.

Priya Fernando, head of the Propulsion Design Group at Airbus Defence and Space,  said even if the space sector gets an exemption to continue using hydrazine, the cost of the fuel would double in Europe, which would seriously handicap EU space manufacturers. Fernando said the EU space industry might lose up to 2 billion euros ($2.35 billion) per year as a result of operations being moved to countries where no restrictions apply.

Speaking during the opening day of  Space Tech Expo Europe here, Fernando said that alternative monopropellants such as hydroxylamine nitrate (HAN) or ammonium dinitramide (AND) are nowhere near ready to replace hydrazine in the near future.

Read more at: Spacenews

Low Cost Clocks for Landing on the Moon

A European clock accurate to a trillionth of a second is set to be used on satellites and missions to the Moon. The ultra-precise time-keeper was conceived by a small company in Latvia, and ESA has recognised its potential for space.

“We are the Ferrari of timers with the components of a tractor,” says Nikolai Adamovitch of Eventech. “We provide extreme timing accuracy using reliable and basic electronics. How accurate? They are able to measure the time that light takes to travel one centimetre.”

Read more at: ESA

What Humanity’s History in Space Tells Us About Our Future in the Stars

Humans became a spacefaring species 60 years ago this month, when Russia launched Sputnik, the world’s first artificial satellite. We’re the only species to achieve this milestone in the 4.5 billion-year history of Earth, and to date we’ve seen no evidence that any other species in our own galaxy or outside it has the same capability.

That’s a lot of responsibility to put on the collective shoulders of a few billion sentient apeshuddled on a pale blue dot in a nondescript suburb of the Milky Way. How are we handling it so far?

Well, take a look.

Read more at: Washington Post

NanoRacks Successfully Deploys First Customer Microsatellite from ISS, Largest to Date

Early this morning, NanoRacks successfully deployed the Kestrel Eye IIM (KE2M) microsatellite via the Company’s Kaber Microsatellite Deployer (Kaber) from the International Space Station. This is the largest satellite that NanoRacks has deployed to date, and the first deployed from the Kaber deployer.

“Customer demand pushed for larger satellite deployment in low-Earth orbit, so NanoRacks was there to accommodate,” says NanoRacks CEO Jeffrey Manber. “We’re thrilled to bring yet another commercial opportunity to the International Space Station, increasing utilization and bringing a new group of customers into our Space Station services.”

Read more at: Nanoracks

Prototype Moon Base May Be Built in Hawaii

Human settlement of the moon may go through Hawaii. Earlier this month, an International MoonBase Summit (IMS) brought together representatives from academia, government and the private sector to help lay the groundwork for a base on the lunar surface.

“Because of its geography, geology and culture, Hawaii is the perfect place to build a MoonBase prototype,” said Henk Rogers, an entrepreneur based in Hawaii and the organizer of the IMS.

Read more at: Space.com

A Satellite Chunk Could Fall on Your Head at Any Moment. Get Used to It.

Tiangong-1 is China’s first space station. Launched in 2011, it was originally planned for a controlled crash on Earth in 2013, but its mission was extended to 2016 when eventually telemetry was cut. That year amateur astronomers began to speculate that the Chinese had lost control of the station. China eventually acknowledged this, announcing that the station would re-enter the atmosphere “in the latter half of 2017.”

If that sounds a little speculative to you, that’s because it is.

And therein lies the problem: The Chinese currently have no control of a 8.5-ton object moving at 20,000 miles per hour that is going to break up into pieces and crash into unknown spots on this planet.

Read more at: Fortune

Repairs Taking Place on SpaceX Drone Ship Following SES-11 Booster Landing

SpaceX’s drone ship “Of Course I Still Love You” is undergoing repairs at Port Canaveral following the return of Falcon 9 booster B1031.2 after launching the SES-11 satellite. While the touchdown was nominal, a post-landing incident resulted in a short fire at the aft of the ship, which also damaged the robot that was to be used to secure the booster. The fire was quickly extinguished.

Highlighted by a SpaceX-produced blooper reel of failed landing attempts, the path to enabling Falcon 9 first stages to successfully return for a pinpoint landing on the deck of a drone ship in the ocean suffered some hard lessons in the early days of testing – including some “Rapid Unscheduled Disassembly (RUD)” events, as Elon Musk called them.

Read more at: NASA Spaceflight

Elon Unbound: Musk’s Giant Leap to Mars

Since Elon Musk unveiled his Big [Expletive] Rocket (BFR) in Adelaide last month, there has been a lot of analysis of the engineering aspects. Musk’s Ask Me Anything session on Reddit was an engineer’s dream, with the billionaire providing detailed answers about the Raptor engines, thrust to weight ratios and a host of other technical issues.

Amid all the technical talk, there has been little attention paid to what a giant leap this venture is for Musk, SpaceX and possibly the entire human race. Not only will BFR be larger and more powerful than any other rocket ever built, the audacious things Musk wants to do with it – ranging from point to point transportation on Earth to satellite delivery to sending colonists to the moon and Mars – are on a scale never before attempted. They are certainly beyond anything contemplated by the world’s space agencies.

Read more at: Parabolic arc

Impressive Reentry of Russian SL-4 Rocket Body Over Dubai, UAE

An atmospheric reentry of a Russian SL-4 rocket body created a spectacular show over the Middle Eastern countries late Monday, October 16, 2017, witnessed and recorded by numerous people. The event lasted more than 55 seconds and was visible from Iraq, Bahrain, UAE and Oman.

Although it indeed looked like just another piece of space junk burning in the atmosphere, the UAE media reported that the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre confirmed a meteor has passed through the skies of Dubai. At the time of press, however, the space center had no official statement posted on their website or social media profiles.

Read more at: Watchers

How We Could Make Oxygen on Mars, Plus Fuel to Get Home

Future colonists on Mars could use plasma technology to make their own oxygen.

The atmosphere on Mars is 96 per cent carbon dioxide, says Vasco Guerra at the University of Lisbon in Portugal. This can be split to extract breathable oxygen and carbon monoxide, a fuel that could give us
a “gas station on the Red Planet”, he says. He and his team calculate that creating a carbon dioxide plasma — a mush of ions made by passing an electric current through a gas — could split carbon dioxide from oxygen more easily on Mars than on Earth.

The lower atmospheric pressure on Mars would allow us to create plasmas without the vacuum pumps or compressors necessary on Earth. Also, the temperature of around -60°C is just right to let the plasma more easily break one of the chemical bonds that keeps carbon and oxygen tightly bound, while preventing the carbon dioxide from re-forming.

Read more at: Newscientist

Crew Access Arm Arrives as SLS Mobile Launcher Takes Shape

The huge Mobile Launcher (ML) for the Space Launch System (SLS) is gaining more of its array of appendages as it prepares to host the Exploration Mission -1 (EM-1) launch. Although this first SLS mission won’t involve astronauts, the Crew Access Arm (CAA) is making its journey on the back of a large transporter to the ML for installation.

The ML – designed by RS&H (base and structure), along with ASRC Aerospace Corporation (prop systems etc.) – consists of the main support structure that comprises the base, tower and facility ground support systems.

Read more at: NASA Spaceflight

Q&A | Airbus’ Oliver Juckenhöfel gung-ho on Deep Space Gateway

As the head of the Airbus space site in Bremen, Germany, Oliver Juckenhöfel leads a workforce of 1,000 people responsible for the bulk of the European aerospace giant’s human spaceflight and upper stage work.

Juckenhöfel’s team is busy finishing assembly of the Orion Service Module, the primary power and propulsion element of NASA’s deep space exploration capsule currently slated to perform its first lunar roundtrip — without crew onboard — sometime in 2019. As that work wraps up, Juckenhöfel and his team have already started work on its successor, which will return humans to lunar orbit.

Read more at: Spacenews

MP Foresees Dire Consequences if Russia Slaps Sanctions on US in Space Cooperation

Potential constraints on cooperation in space between Russia and the US would lead to drastic consequences for both parties, Roman Romanenko, astronaut, Hero of Russia and State Duma MP, told TASS on Friday.

Earlier, Chairman of the State Duma’s Committee for International Affairs Leonid Slutsky stated that Russia may respond to US sanctions not just diplomatically, but through legislation as well. Later State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin confirmed that the lower house is discussing the introduction of a draft law that counters Washington’s anti-Russia sanctions. However, it is too early to speak about any specific content of the document, he said. For its part, Izvestia reported that the sanctions measures may restrict cooperation between Moscow and Washington in space.

Read more at: TASS

From Satellite Fleet Operators, a Plea for More Regulation of Satellite Mega-Constellations

Current and prospective satellite fleet operators on Oct. 25 made their case to the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee for how the U.S. government might help, or at least not hinder, their business. Each of them — SpaceX, OneWeb, ViaSat and Intelsat — had a separate story, but there was at least one common plea: The industry needs more regulation.

SpaceX Satellite Government Affairs Vice President Patricia Cooper urged regulations on satellite design and deorbit requirements to mitigate the threat of mega-constellations’ creating space debris.

OneWeb Executive Chairman Greg Wyler asked for regulations to force mega-constellations to use different orbits spaced at least 125 kilometers apart to prevent a cascade effect if a satellite from one of them fails.

Read more at: Space intel report

Saudi Arabia Invests $1 Billion in Richard Branson’s Space Companies

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia intends to invest $1 billion in Virgin Group space companies, according to billionaire Richard Branson’sconglomerate on Thursday.

The contract is described as a “partnership on spaceflight, satellite launch and space-centric entertainment,” backed by the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia. The venture will fuel three Virgin companies – Virgin Galactic, The Spaceship Company and Virgin Orbit – and includes an option for an additional $480 million.

“This partnership with Virgin Group reflects the great strides the Kingdom is making towards our vision for a diversified, knowledge-based economy,” Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said in a statement.

Read more at: CNBC

SpaceX Unlocks “Steamroller” Achievement as Company Eyes 19 Launches in 2017

Prior to this year, the most successful launches SpaceX had performed in any given year was eight. But in 2017 the company has been able to put together a more efficient production flow, a maturing Falcon 9 rocket, and an experienced workforce to put its launch capabilities into overdrive. On Monday, SpaceX will go for its 16th launch of the year, doubling its previous record.

This year has seen a number of firsts for the company—first reflight of a Falcon 9 booster, first reuse of a Dragon cargo spacecraft, first national security payload, and a remarkable dozen landings. But probably the biggest achievement has been finally delivering on the promise of a high flight rate.

Read more at: Arstechnica

The Space Station: Should it Stay or Should it Go Now?

The International Space Station (ISS) circles the globe every 90 minutes. Drifting quiescently over the blue sphere of Earth or posing against the black of space, the starkly beautiful station feels like a permanent element in the celestial dance. Those of us who know when and where to look often watch it pass overhead, one of the brightest lights in the evening sky. However, few are aware that the venerable ISS, born with the millennium, is scheduled to be abandoned in 2024 and will suffer a fiery deorbit, breakup and unceremonious splash into the Pacific.

The ISS is an amazing piece of engineering and its had quite a ride, but if you asked me today, “Should NASA build a giant orbital habitat funded almost entirely by U.S. taxpayers and yet branded as ‘International’?” I’d say, “that’s crazy, let’s save our $100billion for bolder exploration!”

Read more at: Forbes

How Close are High-altitude Platforms to Competing With Satellites?

Balloons, airships, unmanned planes and other so-called pseudo satellites loitering in the stratosphere are likely to enrich the global communications and Earth-observation ecosystem in the not-so-distant future.

Google, an especially deep-pocketed proponent of these satellite alternatives,  demonstrated again this week that at least some high-altitude pseudo satellites have passed the purely research and development stage, when it dispatched its helium-filled balloons, developed as part of the Google Loon Project, to provide basic internet and text messaging services to a Puerto Rico still reeling from Hurricane Maria more than month ago.

Facebook, another believer in internet through high-altitude platforms, sometimes called pseudo-satellites, successfully test-flew its Aquila drone earlier this year.

Read more at: Spacenews

ArianeGroup Futurist Sees Smallsat Standardization as Key for Timely Launch

Standardization of small satellites would simplify ride-sharing services, allow more frequent and timely launches and help launch providers fill empty capacity, according to Marc Valés, head of future programs at ArianeGroup.

Speaking at Space Tech Expo Europe here, Valés said that in addition to the existing cubesat standard, 50-kilogram-class nanosatellites should also be standardized. The 150-kilogram platform OneWeb is using for its constellation of hundreds of low-Earth-orbit broadband satellites should be accepted as another standard, Valés said.

Satellite makers who complied with such standards would benefit from better launch prices and could wait until shortly before launch to deliver their spacecraft to the launch site.

Read more at: Spacenews

ESOC boss: Europe Need to Band Together for Better Space Surveillance

Managing space traffic in a systematic way is becoming increasingly important as small-satellite megaconstellations in development promise to add to the problem.

If Europe wants to take a lead role in this necessarily global endeavor, it needs to step up its game, Rolf Densing, head of the European Space Agency’s European Space Operations Centre (ESOC) said Oct. 25 at Space Tech Expo Europe here.

Densing said the current European approach under the Space Surveillance and Tracking initiative managed by the European Union is too fragmented to provide the level of detail required to monitor and manage the increasingly cluttered orbital environment.

Read more at: Spacenews

Complex Designs can Slash the Weight of Spacecraft Parts, But May Carry Hidden Costs

By combining additive manufacturing with advanced processing power, companies now can print the optimal design for many spacecraft parts. No longer angular or boxy, the new parts “look sexy for the first time,” said Franck Mouriaux, RUAG Schweiz AG aerospace structures general manager said Oct. 19 at the Additive Aerospace conference here.

Engineers are learning, though, that the hardest part of this process known as topology optimization is figuring out exactly what features make a part optimal.

RUAG, for example, uses topology optimization to reduce the mass of spacecraft parts, which means customers can allot additional mass to commercial payloads. Mouriaux warned, however, that the complex designs may carry hidden costs.

Read more at: Spacenews

Woerner: Cooperation Should Reign as Spacefaring Nations Clean Up Earth Orbit and Venture Beyond ISS

European Space Agency Director-General Jan Woerner on Oct. 24 said cooperation should trump competition as the world’s spacefaring nations set out to clean up Earth’s orbit while establishing an international human presence at the moon and beyond.

Speaking at Space Tech Expo Europe here, Woerner expanded on his idea of a “united space in Europe” — a vision he says must for now replace the dream of a “united states of Europe” shared after the launch of Europe’s Sentinel-2B Earth-observation satellite in March.

As the world’s leading space agencies begin to plot their next steps now that the International Space Station wraps up its sixth year of post-assembly operations, Woerner said more global space endeavors should be opened to India and China, among others.

Read more at: Spacenews

China’s First Astronaut Yang Liwei to Receive UNESCO Space Science Medal

China’s first astronaut in space, Yang Liwei, is to receive the UNESCO Medal on Space Science in a ceremony in Paris, France on October 27.

The medal award, created to honour prominent scientists, public figures and organisations that have contributed to the development of space science in the spirit of UNESCO’s priorities, will be awarded to five laureates by Ms Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO. The ceremony will take place at the headquarters of the agency, full name United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, at 6pm on Friday.

Read more at: Gbtimes

Alaska’s Role in a Commercial Space Industry

This week we’re hearing about Alaska’s role in the commercial space industry. During this joint event, co-hosted by Commonwealth North and the Alaska World Affairs Council, we welcome Etienne Schneider, Luxembourg’s Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Economy, Defense and Interior Security. The government of Luxembourg has launched an initiative (SpaceResources.lu) to attract “new space” tech companies to Luxembourg. This initiative includes leveraging Luxembourg’s existing space industry, financial center, and university and public research centers, with international partners. The Deputy Prime Minister was visiting Alaska to learn more about Alaska’s capabilities in the space sector and to engage with Alaskans to explore possibilities of cooperation in space activity.

Read more at: Alaska Public

Sen. Murray Strongly Opposes Bridenstine as NASA Administrator

Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) sent a three-page letter to the chairman and ranking member of the Senate Commerce Committee today expressing her strong opposition to Rep. Jim Bridenstine becoming the new NASA Administrator.  The committee is scheduled to hold a confirmation hearing for Bridenstine next week.

Murray’s opposition is based on Bridenstine’s views on climate change, LGBTQ individuals, violence against woman, and other issues.

Read more at: Space policy online

One Giant Leap for Reptiles: Chinese Firm Blasts Turtle into Near Space in Step Towards Trips for Humans

A Chinese technology company this week claimed it had successfully launched a live turtle into “near-space”, marking another step forward in the firm’s efforts to sell space tourism to humans.

Shenzhen-based Kuang-Chi Group said it blasted the yellow-headed turtle, nicknamed “Little Cloud”, to an altitude of 21,000 metres inside a helium-filled craft. The launch took place from western China’s Xinjiang region at about 4am on Wednesday morning.

The craft landed safely at about 8.28am the same day, and the turtle was said to have survived the trip.

Read more at: SCMP

Spain’s Launch Startups Make a Case for Hosting a European Spaceport

With three companies developing dedicated small-satellite launchers, Spain is establishing itself as Europe’s NewSpace rocket hub. Although none of the three have launched their first rocket, that’s not stopping them from making the case that Spain should build a spaceport.

Raul Torres, co-founder and CEO of PLD Space, which is shooting for a 2019 launch of its suborbital demonstrator Arion 1, said his Elche, Spain-based company is seeing increasing support from the Spanish government. The country’s government is working on a space law and will likely consider establishing a spaceport, Torres said during a presentation at Space Tech Expo Europe here.

Spain, a member state of the European Space Agency as well as the European Union, would thus stand to  go head to head with the United Kingdom, which plans to start operating  a domestic spaceport by 2020.

Read more at: Spacenews

DARPA Ties XS-1 Military Space Plane Project to National Security

While NASA is working to build a next-generation rocket and space capsule that could help send humans to Mars, another government agency is trying to build a versatile, uncrewed space plane for military applications closer to Earth. Recently, a representative from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) explained why the U.S. needs this kind of space capability.

“We are, frankly, in the midst of what I believe is a little bit of a crisis,” Fred Kennedy, director of DARPA’s Tactical Technology Office, said at the International Symposium for Personal and Commercial Spaceflight in Las Cruces, New Mexico, on Oct. 12.

Read more at: Space.com

Trump Taps Former NASA Head Griffin for Deputy Defense Role: White House

U.S. President Donald Trump intends to nominate Michael Griffin, a former administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, as principal deputy undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology, and logistics, the White House said on Friday.

Griffin most recently served as chairman and chief executive officer of the Schafer Corporation, a provider of scientific, engineering, and technical services and products in the national security sector, the White House said in a statement. He held the top NASA job from 2005 to 2009.

Read more at: Reuters

Let’s Not Risk a Cold War in Space

As we note this month Sputnik’s 60th anniversary, which launched the space race between the Soviet Union and United States, it’s worth considering whether we’re on the cusp of another Cold War, but this time in space.

Some 10,000 miles above the Earth’s surface, conflicts between the United States and China could break out over orbiting satellites, which enable everything from your cell phone calls to bank transactions to GPS navigation. While Congress is deciding the role of space in national security and defense as it hammers out the National Defense Authorization Act of 2018, the priority should be on personnel and improving satellites and infrastructure, rather than on more powerful weaponry, which would militarize our atmosphere and spark an arms race.

Read more at: SF Chronicle

America’s Fortress: Inside the Base that Defends U.S. in Outer Space

Deep inside a cave, a military base in Colorado’s Cheyenne Mountain plays a critical role in the mission to protect America and its allies in outer space.

It is said the Colorado’s Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station acts like the human brain stem, reports CBS News correspondent Bianna Golodryga. The survival bunker pulls in information, makes sense of it, and passes it along to the brain – or our country’s decision-makers. There’s also good reason Cheyenne Mountain is known as America’s fortress.

“It is the nerve center for the blanket of defense for the U.S.,” said Col. Robert Moose, who commands the 721st Mission Support Group at Cheyenne Mountain.

Read more at: CBS News

Eugene Shoemaker is Still the Only Man Buried on the Moon

Enough human beings have walked on the moon at this point that it’s almost the “visiting the Empire State Building” of space exploration. But for as many living people who have taken a walk on that far away rock, there is only one dead man who’s ever been put to rest there.

To date, the late scientist Eugene Shoemaker is still the only person whose remains have been sent to the moon. Even casual stargazers are likely to recognize Shoemaker’s name from the famed Shoemaker-Levy comet (which had broken into fragments) that impacted Jupiter in 1994. The comet, which Shoemaker discovered with his wife Carolyn alongside David Levy, was remarkable because it marked the first time humans were able to witness a first-hand planetary collision. The crash got so much press attention that a small town in Wyoming set up an intergalactic landing strip to welcome any potential refugees from Jupiter, and Shoemaker became a household name.

Read more at: Atlas Obscura

Paul Weitz, Skylab Savior and First Challenger Commander, Dies Aged 85

Veteran astronaut Paul “P.J.” Weitz, who spacewalked to save America’s Skylab space station and later commanded shuttle Challenger on its maiden voyage, died yesterday (Monday, 23 October). He was 85. During a NASA career which spanned more than a quarter-century, Weitz spent 33 days in space and logged 96 minutes of Extravehicular Activity (EVA) time, before serving in a series of positions of increasing responsibility within the Astronaut Office and at the Johnson Space Center (JSC) in Houston, Texas.

Paul Joseph Weitz was born in Erie, Penn., on 25 July 1932, the son of a Navy chief petty officer, who fought at the battles of Midway and the Coral Sea. In later life, Weitz described himself as “an impressionable young lad during World War II” and the Navy drew him like a magnet. After leaving Harbor Creek High School in Erie, he gained a Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) scholarship to study aeronautical engineering at Pennsylvania State University. Whilst there, his instructor advised him to go to sea aboard a destroyer, before entering flight school. Weitz later regretted this decision, “because it put me a year and a half behind my contemporaries”. He earned his wings in September 1956.

Read more at: America Space