Boeing’s Starliner Crew Capsule Completes Major Propulsion Test

Boeing engineers have completed hotfire testing on a flight-like model of the Starliner crew capsule, clearing a major hurdle before a pad abort test and a demonstration flight to the International Space Station later this summer, Boeing announced Friday.

The service module hotfire testing at NASA’s White Sands Test Facility in New Mexico wraps up a key phase of Starliner’s development. During an earlier round of service module checkouts last June, valves in the craft’s abort engines failed to fully close after a brief burn, resulting in a propellant leak on the test stand at White Sands.

Read more at: Spaceflight Now

Trump, Abe Agree On Expanded Human Space Exploration

President Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe have agreed to “dramatically expand” human spaceflight cooperation.  Trump is in Japan on a four-day visit.  He made the announcement at a joint press conference with Abe today.

Japan is already a partner in the International Space Station (ISS) and the two countries have been discussing cooperation in future human space exploration for many years.   This is the first statement since the White House decided to accelerate NASA’s plan to return astronauts to the lunar surface by 2024, however.

Read more at: Spacepolicy online

NASA Briefly Updates Status Of Crew Dragon Anomaly, Spacex Test Schedule

As part of a planned presentation to the NASA Advisory Council, NASA’s Commercial Crew Program manager, Kathy Lueders, updated the advisory council on the status of the investigation for SpaceX’s Crew Dragon anomaly that occurred in April.

Ms. Lueders did not go into in-depth detail but did highlight SpaceX’s daily communication with NASA, the “great job” done so far, and provided insight into changes that “might be” needed to the Crew Dragon’s SuperDraco system.

More so, Ms. Lueders revealed the readiness dates for the new Crew Dragon capsules that will fly the In Flight Abort and Demo 2 crew test flights.

Read more at: NASA Spaceflight

SpaceX, NASA Finish Cleaning Up Site of Crew Dragon Spacecraft Explosion

The investigation into the destruction of SpaceX’s astronaut taxi last month is proceeding apace.

On April 20, a Crew Dragon capsule exploded during a routine “static fire” test of the craft’s emergency-escape thrusters at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Nobody was hurt, but the spacecraft — which in March successfully flew an uncrewed test mission to the International Space Station (ISS) called Demo-1— was lost.

SpaceX and NASA have managed to clean up the accident site and are now focusing on what caused the mishap, agency officials announced today (May 28).

Read more at:

Northrop Grumman’s New Rocket Suffers Small Explosion During First Big Ignition Test

Northrop Grumman’s first big test of its future OmegA rocket seems to have ended in a small explosion. Today, the company fired up the main engine on the rocket during a ground test in Utah. Toward the end of the test, part of the vehicle’s engine burst apart, sending pieces of hardware flying.

Today’s test is what is known as a static fire, when the engine of a rocket is ignited while the vehicle is held firmly to the ground. Northrop Grumman was conducting the very first static fire test of the OmegA’s first stage — the main body of the rocket with the primary engine attached to the end. The first stage was ignited horizontally at Northrop Grumman’s test facility in Promontory, Utah, with the goal of testing out all of the rocket’s systems as one functioning unit.

Read more at: Verge

Lightning Hits Soyuz Carrier Rocket During Launch From Plesetsk Spaceport

Lightning struck a Soyuz-2.1b carrier rocket with a Glonass-M navigation satellite during its blastoff from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in north Russia, Chief of the Plesetsk Cosmodrome Major-General Nikolai Nestechuk said on Monday.

As the launch vehicle lifted off from the launch pad, it was struck by lightning. Despite this, all the rocket equipment worked normally and the satellite was delivered into orbit within the designated time.

“The launch was carried out in the normal mode. The weather is not an obstacle and we [the Space Force of Russia’s Aerospace Forces] are all-weather troops. This is yet another proof that lightning cannot damage our aerospace weapons,” the spaceport’s chief said.

Read more at: TASS

The Radiation Showstopper for Mars Exploration

An astronaut on a mission to Mars could receive radiation doses up to 700 times higher than on our planet – a major showstopper for the safe exploration of our Solar System. A team of European experts is working with ESA to protect the health of future crews on their way to the Moon and beyond.

Earth’s magnetic field and atmosphere protect us from the constant bombardment of galactic cosmic rays – energetic particles that travel at close to the speed of light and penetrate the human body.

Cosmic radiation could increase cancer risks during long duration missions. Damage to the human body extends to the brain, heart and the central nervous system and sets the stage for degenerative diseases. A higher percentage of early-onset cataracts have been reported in astronauts.

Read more at: ESA

Sleep Immersion On Long-Distance Space Flights Will Drain Cosmonauts’ Energy, Warns Expert

A space crew’s immersion into a prolonged artificial sleep during an inter-planetary flight may lead to cosmonauts’ reduced work ability and adversely affect how their bodies function after they wake up, an expert told TASS on Thursday.

Head of the Laboratory for the Prevention of Hypo-Gravitational Disturbances at the Institute of Biomedical Problems within the Russian Academy of Sciences, Doctor of Biological Sciences Yelena Fomina said that the issue of cosmonauts’ induction into a prolonged sleep, hibernation, and its consequences had been insufficiently studied

Read more at: TASS

Is Tesla to Blame for SpaceX’s Sloppiness?

The growing sloppiness of SpaceX, Elon Musk’s rocket company, is quickly eroding the goodwill it has garnered from its governmental backers. The discovery of pervasive fraud within the company’s supply chain is the latest example of this trend. On May 22, the FBI announced its intent to prosecute an individual accused of falsifying dozens of inspection reports for parts used by SpaceX. These forged reports, which slipped by right under the company’s nose, allowed at least 76 potentially defective rocket components to be used in national security-level missions.

Read more at: Townhall

Russian Space Agency Announces New Stage Of Astronaut Recruitment

Russian space corporation Roscosmos has announced a new stage of astronaut recruitment, Roscosmos Director General Dmitry Rogozin told reporters on Friday.

“We have announced a new stage of recruitment. These are our astronauts that will work on a new manned spacecraft, including those who will take part in future space missions to distant destinations,” he said.

Read more at: TASS

NASA To Launch Rockets Into Space From Northern Territory Spaceport

The US organisation on Friday evening announced its intention to send sounding rockets into space from a site 700 kilometres east of Darwin.

“NASA’s [Goddard Space Flight Centre] plans to award a contract to Equatorial Launch Australia (ELA) to provide services to NASA for a temporary southern hemisphere launch site for conducting scientific investigations,” the US Government’s Federal Business Opportunities website stated.

ELA said the contract would see four rockets launched at the Arnhem Land spaceport next year.

Read more at: ABC

The Future Of Astronaut Healthcare In Deep Space With Dr. Robert Thirsk

The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) wants to be a leader in healthcare in deep space and bring that contribution to its international partners as planning evolves for a human return to the moon.

My guest today on the SpaceQ podcast is former Canadian astronaut Dr. Robert Thirsk who was recently hired back by the CSA on a contract basis to help with their efforts in defining Canada’s potential role in healthcare in deep space.

Dr. Thirsk went on two missions in space including a long duration stay on the International Space Station in 2009.

Read more at: Spaceq

Space Travel May Prompt Cartilage Damage, Study Shows

Space travel may be bad for your joints, research indicates.

Mice that spent a month aboard a Russian spacecraft showed early signs of cartilage breakdown, suggesting that the reduced biomechanical forces in space impact on the musculoskeletal system.

And while it’s too early to translate their finding to humans, researchers from the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, US, say the evidence was “clear-cut”.

“We believe this degradation is due to joint unloading caused by the near lack of gravity in space,” says lead author Jamie Fitzgerald, the hospital’s head of musculoskeletal genetics. “If this were to happen to humans, given enough time, it would lead to major joint problems.”

Read more at: Cosmos magazine

Russian Cosmonauts Remove a Towel That Spent 10 Years on Surface of ISS

It was earlier reported that Russian cosmonauts Oleg Kononenko and Alexei Ovchinin had removed a towel from the surface of the International Space Station during their scheduled spacewalk. The towel remained outside the station for 10 years.

The towel was originally meant to clean astronauts’ spacesuits during their work in outer space. It was left by a Russian cosmonaut about a decade ago. Mr Kononenko and Mr Ovchinin removed the towel from the station’s surface and placed it in a special container. It will be sent back to Earth and delivered to a group of experts for further examination.

Read more at: Sputniknews

IAF Ties Up With ISRO For Manned Mission Crew Selection

The Indian Air Force (IAF) on Wednesday said it signed an agreement with the state-run Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Tuesday for crew selection and training for the country’s prestigious maiden manned mission Gaganyaan by 2021-22.

“The agreement was signed by Assistant Chief of Air Staff (Space Operations) Air Vice Marshal R.G.K. Kapoor and Gaganyaan Project Director R. Hutton in the presence of the space agency’s Chairman K. Sivan here,” tweeted IAF.

The crew selection and training will be conducted at ISRO’s Human Space Flight Centre, opened on January 31 adjacent to its headquarters in the city, to develop technologies for the manned space missions.

Read more at: Quint

Engineer Charged With Falsifying Inspections Of Spacex Hardware

Federal prosecutors have charged a man with falsifying inspection records for hardware his company produced for SpaceX, highlighting an issue about the overall aerospace industry supply chain.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of New York filed charges May 22 against James Smalley, a former employee of PMI Industries, a Rochester, New York-based company that specialized in high-tolerance machining for “flight critical” aerospace parts for a number of companies, particularly SpaceX. Prosecutors allege that Smalley, who was employed by the company as a quality inspection engineer, falsified inspection reports for components produced by the company and then shipped to SpaceX for use on the company’s Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy rockets.

Read more at: Spacenews

Cosmonauts Complete Tasks Outside Space Station, Honor Spacewalk Pioneer

Two Russian cosmonauts stepped outside the International Space Station Wednesday, sent birthday greetings to former cosmonaut Alexey Leonov, the first man to walk in space, and then carried out a full slate of maintenance work.

Expedition 59 commander Oleg Kononenko, making his fifth spacewalk, and crewmate Alexey Ovchinin, making his first, opened the hatch of the Pirs airlock compartment at 11:42 a.m. EDT to officially kick off what turned out to be a six-hour one-minute excursion, the year’s fourth spacewalk and the first by the Russians.

A few minutes after floating outside, the cosmonauts paused to send down birthday greetings to Leonov, who turns 85 on Thursday. The Russian space agency Roscosmos said on its web page the spacewalk was dedicated to Leonov, “the man who first took a step into the unknown and found himself one-on-one with unlimited outer space.”

Read more at: Spaceflight Now

Chinese State Media Confirms Long March Launch Failure

A Chinese Long March 4C rocket failed to place its top secret military payload into orbit Wednesday after a launch from the Taiyuan space base southwest of Beijing, according to the state-run Xinhua news agency.

The three-stage rocket lifted off around 2249 GMT (6:49 p.m. EDT) Wednesday, according to numerous Chinese social media posts from local spectators. The Long March 4C turned toward the south, aiming to place its satellite payload into a polar orbit a few hundred miles above Earth.

But confirmation of the launch did not immediately come through official Chinese media channels, which typically announce a successful mission soon after it is completed. And the U.S. military’s catalog of orbiting space objects did not list any new spacecraft in orbit early Thursday that could be attributed to the Long March 4C launch.

Read more at: Spaceflight Now

How Defense And Civil Space Offices Can Work Together To On Space Situational Awareness And Space Commerce

Long-standing technological and cost barriers to space are falling, enabling more countries and commercial firms to participate in satellite manufacturing, launch, space exploration, and human spaceflight. Although these advancements are creating new opportunities, new risks for space-enabled services are emerging. In particular, the number of satellites and debris in orbit is growing, making tracking satellites, discriminating threats from non-threats, and predicting and preventing collisions a daunting challenge. Consequently, state and commercial space actors increasingly depend on information about the space domain to avoid such risks. Therefore, accurate space-based information has become crucial for military, commercial, and civil operations.

Read more at: Spacereview

Number Of Active Satellites Now Over 2,000 And Has Doubled In The Last Six Years

The Union of Concerned Scientists has released its latest update on the number of active satellites in orbit which now number over 2000, double what was in orbit just six years ago.

The database is current as of March 31 and lists 2062 active satellites. Unofficially, that number has grown since March 31 with the addition of around 104 satellites including last weeks SpaceX Starlink launch of 60 satellites, though not all those satellites can be considered active as of yet.

Significantly, the increase of new satellites added in the past year grew by 15% and we can expect that number to jump even higher as companies such as SpaceX, OneWeb and others build out their initial constellations in Low Earth Orbit. In fact, we might see annual increases of 15% to 30% for several years before the rate decreases again.

Read more at: Spaceq

ISS Faces Mounting Threat Of Being Struck By Indian Satellite Junk

The probability that debris from an Indian satellite shot down earlier may puncture the International Space Station (ISS) has risen by 5%, Executive Director of Russia’s State Space Corporation Roscosmos for Manned Space Programs Sergei Krikalyov said on Wednesday.

“The Americans have carried out calculations on the probability of the station getting punctured because of more debris surfacing and being dispersed. There are numerical estimates raising the probability of a puncture by about 5%,” Krikalyov said at a session of the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Space Council.

Read more at: TASS

Here’s Why Astronomers Are So Worried About SpaceX’s Planned ‘Megaconstellation’

SpaceX put 60 Starlink satellites in space May 23, the first little chunk of an eventual 12,000-satellite-strong “megaconstellation that the private company plans to place in orbit. Not long after the launch, observers and astronomers noticed something: This train of five dozen objects looked really bright overhead — unusually bright for artificial satellites. And this light show has many astronomers worried.

“The Starlink satellites just passed directly overhead,” Boulder, Colorado-based astronomer Alex Parker tweeted Saturday (May 25). “They were glinting, some as bright as Polaris. Quite an eerie looking thing. And yes, the stars are out.”

Read more at:

U.S. Air Force’s Space Fence Detects Debris From India Anti-Satellite Test

The U.S. Air Force Space Fence system detected the breakup field from an anti-satellite test conducted by India during a scheduled endurance exercise of the new space surveillance radar.

As MICROSAT-R was expected to pass through the un-cued surveillance fence, Space Fence automatically issued a “breakup alert” indicating there were multiple objects within close proximity. Space Fence observed a significant amount of debris tracks surrounding the time of the event crossing labeled as uncorrelated targets. Long-arc tracking was initiated within the orbital debris cloud to form accurate initial orbit determinations. With this information, the system was able to automatically predict and correlate the next crossing time.

Read more at: Lockheed Martin

Russia Developing Soyuz-5 Rocket To Capture Commercial Launch Market

Russia is creating its new Soyuz-5 carrier rocket to capture the market of commercial launches. The new rocket will be competitive price-wise with its US rivals, Chief of Russia’s State Space Corporation Roscosmos Dmitry Rogozin said on Friday.

“We have some reserve potential as well and we are ready to compete with them. The Soyuz-5 rocket is aimed at capturing the commercial market, and not only for solving state objectives. It should be competitive price-wise so that even with all our rivals’ economic policy tricks, they won’t be able to cut it to a level that could pose a challenge to us,” Rogozin said.

Read more at: TASS

Vortex Rocket Engine for Private Dream Chaser Space Plane Passes Big Test

A new video shows a spectacular ribbon of flame emanating from a Sierra Nevada Corp. engine during a test for future cargo launches. Multiple views of the test show the flame, which lasted for a few moments, spewing orange and yellow in a small warehouse facility in Wisconsin.

SNC’s upper-stage Vortex engine will be used on board the Dream Chaser spacecraft, which is expected to launch from a ULA Atlas V rocket and run cargo missions to the International Space Station as early as 2021. This same engine could be used on other missions for clients such as NASA, the U.S. Air Force or commercial launch companies, SNC said in a statement.

Read more at:

LEO Commercialization Studies Show Wide Range Of Markets And Demand

Studies of commercialization of low Earth orbit performed by a dozen teams last year have left NASA with little consensus on the potential demand for commercial use of the International Space Station or follow-on facilities.

NASA released May 28 one-page summaries of the studies, awarded last August and completed four months later. The studies were intended to analyze potential commercial human spaceflight markets and demand in low Earth orbit, using either new facilities or through an eventual commercialization of the ISS.

The summaries of the reports released by NASA are in “quad chart” format, outlining each company’s team, vision and approach, illustrations of their proposed concept and schedule. They offered few specifics on costs, potential market size or other aspects of a business plan.

Read more at: Spacenews

Blue Origin, Boeing And Other Ventures Lay Out Ideas For Commercial Space Stations

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin space venture has laid out a plan for building a commercial habitat for future space travelers and sending it into Earth orbit atop its New Glenn rocket.

The concept is one of a dozen studies that NASA released today as part of a project to assess how crewed space operations in low Earth orbit, or LEO, could be commercialized within the next six years or so.

NASA commissioned the studies last summer to investigate commercial alternatives to the International Space Station, in line with the current plan to move away from government management and operation of the space station’s U.S. segment by 2025. Each of the 13 teams was tasked with providing a study at a cost of no more than $1 million, with the total price tag adding up to an estimated $11 million..

Read more at: Geekwire

Luokung And Land Space To Develop Control System For Space And Ground Assets

Luokung Technology Corp. has announced a strategic partnership with Land Space Technology Corporation Ltd. (“Land Space”). The two parties will work together and take advantage of respective strength on commercial space cooperation with satellite remote sensing data applications as the main target market.

They will jointly develop domestic and foreign markets of products and services which are not limited to spatial-temporal big-data applications and aerospace application systems, and jointly build a measurement and control system for rockets, satellites and earth stations with global coverage.

Read more at: Spacedaily

The World’s Largest Airplane May Be Grounded After A Single Flight

The aerospace company founded by Paul Allen, Stratolaunch, is closing operations according to a report by Reuters that cited anonymous sources. The company will cease its efforts to challenge traditional aerospace companies in a new “space race,” four people familiar with the matter told the wire service.

In response to a query from Ars about potentially ending operations, a spokeswoman for the Seattle-based company replied, “We don’t have any news or announcements to share at this time. Stratolaunch remains operational.”

Questions about the future of Stratolaunch arose almost immediately after Allen, a co-founder of Microsoft, died in October, 2018, at the age of 65. According to Reuters, the decision to set an exit strategy was made late last year by Allen’s sister, Jody Allen. In January, Stratolaunch abandoned efforts to build a series of rockets to be launched from its large carrier plane—an ominous sign.

Read more at: Arstechnica

NASA Signs Three Commercial Contracts For Lunar Payload Delivery Services

NASA has awarded fixed price contracts to three companies to deliver NASA payloads to the lunar surface.  These service contracts are part of the agency’s shift to purchasing commercial services instead of building new spacecraft itself in order to move quickly, save money, and stimulate commercial activity in space.  The missions will take place in 2020 and 2021.

The three companies are responsible for developing, launching and landing small spacecraft on the Moon.  NASA provides only the science experiments and technology demonstration payloads it wants to place there.

Read more at: Spacepolicy online

Crew Safety During An Early Lunar Return

During the Apollo lunar missions and landings 50 years ago, there was a real risk of losing a crew during each mission. For the launch phase, the risk was relatively small due to an effective launch abort system with an escape tower. During the passage to the Moon, the crew would have had the option of using the Lunar Module’s engine to return to Earth, as was done so successfully during Apollo 13. However, once a crew was in orbit around the Moon, or had landed on the Moon, the risk level was multiplied: a loss of vehicle control or failure of the propulsion system for Earth return or, worse, a failure during descent to or ascent from the lunar surface.

Read more at: Spacereview

FAA Extends Comment Period on Rulemaking to Streamline Commercial Space Activities

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is extending the public comment period for 45 days to July 30 for a proposed rule that would streamline federal commercial space transportation requirements for launch and reentry operators and maintain safety during launches and reentries. The proposed rule follows the National Space Council’s 2018 ‘Space Policy Directive 2’, which called on the Secretary of Transportation to review and revise the Department’s commercial space launch and re-entry licensing regulations. It will expand access to the economic, scientific, and educational benefits of traveling to space. It will also support U.S. industry efforts to expand commercial services to a variety of domestic and international markets.

Read more at: AFN

GAO: NASA Cost And Schedule Performance Deteriorating

Just as NASA is trying to win support for its Artemis Moon-by-2024 program, the Government Accountability Office’s (GAO’s) annual assessment of the agency’s programs concludes that cost and schedule performance “continues to deteriorate.”  It attributes the decline largely to problems with the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) and the Space Launch System (SLS) and Orion spacecraft.  The average launch delay across NASA’s major programs represents the largest schedule delay since GAO began this series of reports in 2009.

Read more at: Spacepolicy online

China Has a Head Start in the New Space Race

On January 3, 2019, when China landed the Chang’e 4 probe on the Lunar South Pole, a first for humanity, the discourse on outer space shifted forever. For nearly 50 years, since July 20, 1969, we have lived in the Age of Apollo, which enabled humanity’s first steps on the moon. When dawn broke out on January 3, 2019, we entered the Age of Chang’e, focused on long-term settlement of the lunar poles.

Like NASA’s Apollo missions, named for the Greek god, China’s Lunar Exploration Program (CLEP) is named after a mythical figure: Chang’e, a Chinese moon goddess. Unlike Apollo, however, China’s Chang’e lunar mission is not a “flags and footprints” enterprise. Instead, like its mythical namesake Chang’e, who made the moon her home, the CLEP is aimed at establishing a permanent presence on the lunar surface by 2036, with an aim to utilize lunar resources like titanium and uranium, as well as iron-ore and water ice for rocket construction and propellant.

Read more at: Diplomat

EU, ESA Revive Joint Space Council After Eight-Year Pause

Citing a need for closer collaboration amid growing global competition, leaders from the 28-member European Union and the 22-member European Space Agency convened on Tuesday their first joint space council session since 2011.

The EU-ESA Space Council will seek to meet once a year going forward, Pedro Francisco Duque, Spain’s minister for science, innovation and universities, said May 28 at a news conference in Brussels. Germany, a member of both the EU and ESA, has proposed organizing the 2020 council session, he said.

Climate change and sustainable development are two topics put forward as discussion points for the council, European Union Commissioner Elżbieta Bieńkowska said.

Read more at: Spacenews

Scientists Cook Up a New Way to Make Breathable Oxygen on Mars

Scientists have found a new way that future Mars explorers could potentially generate their own oxygen.

Mars is a long way from Earth, so being able to create breathable air on-site would save money and effort in having to haul oxygen all the way from our own planet.

A research team discovered this new oxygen-generating reaction by studying comets. Most of these small icy worlds originate in a distant area of the solar system known as the Oort Cloud, far beyond the orbit of Neptune. If a comet’s orbit brings it close to the sun, heat begins pushing cometary ice off into space. This reaction produces long tails that can stretch for thousands of miles.

Read more at:

Emirati Astronaut Hazza On Final Training Before Taking Off To Space

The UAE’s first Emirati astronaut is undergoing final training sessions in Russia ahead of his historic mission to the International Space Station on September 25.

Last month, Hazza Al Mansouri was announced as the first Emirati who will be jetting off into space. He will also be the first Arab to reach the International Space Station (ISS). Al Mansouri will travel to the ISS on the Soyuz MS-15 mission, which will take off from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

“I am in Star city, Russia, where I am currently training with my team to prepare for our historic mission on September 25. In the training, we simulate the processes of taking off, reaching the destination and returning, and how to act in unusual situations or emergencies. Wish us luck,” he said in an Instagram video posted last week.

Read more at: khaleej times

Intrepid Museum Honors Apollo Software Engineer Margaret Hamilton

The Intrepid Museum in New York City kicked off a summer of Apollo events on May 23 by honoring software engineer Margaret Hamilton with the institution’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

Hamilton led the team of programmers who ran the computers on both the command module and the landing module of the Apollo 11 mission. When she began her career, the field was so young that the term software engineering did not yet exist; Hamilton coined it herself.

“The software experience itself was at least as exciting as the events surrounding the mission,” Hamilton said during her acceptance speech at the awards ceremony. “As developers, we had the opportunity of a lifetime, to make every kind of error humanly possible.”

Read more at:

Sivic Named Associate Director of NASA’s Glenn Research Center

Dr. Janet L. Kavandi, director of NASA’s Glenn Research Center, announced on Thursday that Laurence “Larry” A. Sivic has been appointed as the center’s associate director. In this new position, Sivic will be responsible for the management of institutional operations at Glenn, while managing the coordination, integration and evaluation of activities across directorates and organizations.

“Larry has been a critical asset to NASA Glenn, overseeing one of the largest increases in workload and budget in our center’s history,” said Kavandi. “His leadership experience, coupled with his extensive knowledge of the center’s mission and organizational structure, will help us to continuously adapt and improve, ensuring Glenn remains an integral part of NASA’s space exploration and aeronautics missions.”

Read more at: NASA

Secret Apollos

During the Apollo program NASA officials tried to plan for every possible failure that could happen during a mission. Some of the failures might not even be catastrophic: “mission failures” rather than crew fatalities. One such possibility might be the Saturn rocket’s third stage engine not firing to take the crew to the Moon. In that case the spacecraft would be restricted to Earth orbit. The crew could still return, but they could not perform their primary mission. NASA officials sought to find other things that a crew could do so that the mission would not be a complete waste. They wanted to take their lemons and make lemonade. Surprisingly, one of the things they did was plan to conduct reconnaissance operations in Earth orbit, which brought them into contact—and sometimes conflict—with the secretive organization that did that on a regular basis.

Read more at: Spacereview

NASA’s Unofficial Ambassador: Snoopy Doubles As Space Agency’s Longtime Symbol For Safety

In her 30 years working for NASA in both Houston and Washington, D.C., Alotta E Taylor has seen her share of change.

White spacesuits were swapped for updated orange ones. Astronauts’ days-long shuttle missions turned into months aboard the International Space Station. Funding has been increased, cut and increased again.

While much is different, Taylor, who serves as the director of strategic integration and management for NASA’s Human Exploration & Operations Mission, said one thing has remained constant: the space agency’s affection for Snoopy.

Read more at: Houston chronicle

Course: ISS Payloads Design and Operations Safety

ISS Payloads Design and Operations Safety Course