Air Leak in Russia’s ISS Zvezda Module Still Unresolved Despite 2 Cracks Being Sealed Off

At about 07:00 GMT on Saturday, ISS cosmonaut Sergei Ryzhikov told a specialist at the Mission Control Center, located near Moscow, that the pressure in the intermediate chamber of the Zvezda module was 678 millimetres of mercury. The pressure stood at 730 millimetres of mercury on Friday evening, right after the hatch of the compartment was closed. Thus, the pressure in the chamber decreased by 52 millimetres of mercury over 11.5 hours.

A small air leak was first detected at the ISS in September 2019. Russian cosmonauts have since found two rips in the access section to the Zvezda module and sealed them both in March 2021.

Read more at: Sputniknews

NASA Targets March 18 for Second Test Fire of SLS Moon Rocket

NASA and Boeing are targeting March 18 for a second test fire of the space agency’s mammoth Space Launch System (SLS) moon rocket core stage, following inspections, tests and checkouts over the past 2 weeks which discovered (and fixed) a liquid oxygen valve which was not working properly inside the rocket’s engine section.

There are a total of eight valves, called prevalves, and they are quite important because they are part of the vehicle’s main propulsion system that supplies liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen to each of the four powerhouse RS-25 engines, and they must work properly for the test fire. If they do not allow fuel flow, then obviously the engines won’t work.

Read more at: Americaspace


Long-Distance Space Travel: Addressing The Radiation Problem

A team of US and Netherlands-based scientists has published a review paper highlighting ways to protect astronauts from the negative cardiovascular health impacts associated with exposure to space radiation during long-distance space travel.

Space radiation is currently regarded as the most limiting factor for long-distance space travel because exposure to it is associated with significant negative effects on the human body. However, data on these effects are currently only available for those members of the Apollo programme that travelled as far as the Moon – too small a number from which to draw any significant conclusions about the effects of the space environment on the human body.

Read more at: Physicsworld

Space Debris? SCOOP it Up!

A network of mobile observatories deployed across Australia’s vast expanse could be a new weapon in the battle against dangerous space debris.

The Southern Cross Outreach Observatory Project (SCOOP) already takes a mobile observatory – towed by an SUV – into communities to teach people about astronomy.

Project founder Muhammad Akbar Hussain presented the idea to the Inquiry into Developing Australia’s Space Industry this week, and hopes to create a detailed database of where space junk is – and where it’s going. The next step would be to use high-quality data to de-orbit debris with lasers.

Read more at: Cosmos magazine

Space Traffic Management

Those familiar with air traffic management architectures understand the constraints of aircraft flying in the atmosphere, vehicle dynamics and command and control techniques. Unfortunately, space traffic has many more degrees of freedom and much less control capability. Add to this the completely uncontrolled nature of space debris and the reality that most debris objects cannot be tracked and motion cannot be accurately measured or simulated.

Read more at: Spacedaily


Rocket Lab Reveals Reusable, Medium-Lift Neutron Rocket

To date, Rocket Lab has successfully introduced the first dedicated small satellite launch vehicle, Electron, which CEO Peter Beck said would never be reusable. Then, the company successfully recovered a first stage. Now, Beck says Rocket Lab is ready to do something else he previously said they’d never do: build a big rocket.

The Neutron launch vehicle is a reusable, eight tons to Low Earth Orbit (LEO) rocket designed primarily to build satellite constellations. But Neutron will also be designed from the beginning to be capable of resupplying space stations in LEO and even flying crew, yet another market Beck had previously distanced himself from.

Read more at: NASA spaceflight

ISRO’s Commercial Arm NSIL Bags 4 More Contracts, Eyes Satellite-Building Deals

ISRO’s commercial arm NewSpace India Limited (NSIL) has bagged four more dedicated launch service contracts even as it plans to pursue satellite building deals.

NSIL launched its first dedicated commercial mission on February 28, orbiting Brazilian satellite Amazonia-1 from Sriharikota spaceport of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
”We currently have four more dedicated launch service contracts, which will be executed in the coming two to three years,” NSIL’s Chairman and Managing Director G Narayanan told.

Read more at: CNBC TV18

Space Launch From British Soil One Step Closer

In a giant leap in British spaceflight history, government publishes response to commercial spaceflight consultation.

A giant leap in British spaceflight history is being made 5 March 2021 as the government publishes its commercial spaceflight consultation response, paving the way for space launches from UK soil.

Over the past few months, the government has been inviting industry, stakeholders and the public to have their say on the rules that will govern our spaceflight programme – and the consultation has captured the imagination of people across the UK, including schoolchildren.

Read more at: Spacedaily

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