What The UAE’s Mars Hope Probe Mission Means For The Region, The World: Interview With NASA Space Scientist Dr Farouk El Baz

Dr. Farouk El-Baz, the Egyptian American space scientist and geologist who worked with NASA in the scientific exploration of the Moon and the planning of the Apollo programme, is Research Professor and Director of the Center for Remote Sensing at Boston University.

In this interview with Gulf News, via email, the remote sensing guru shares his excitement and optimism about the UAE Mars Mission and Hope Probe.

Read more at: Gulfnews

NASA Targets August 2 for Demo-2 Return

NASA is targeting the return of the SpaceX Demo-2 crewed flight test for August 2. If all goes according to plan, NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley will undock the evening before and splash down in the Atlantic Ocean in mid-afternoon. The mission has been going so successfully that it is easy to forget that it is a test flight and the test will not be over until the crew is back home.

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine confirmed reports on Twitter about the target dates in his own tweet this afternoon.

Read more at: Spacepolicy online

ISS Crew Complete Second-To-Last Battery Upgrade Spacewalk

Expedition 63 Commander Christopher Cassidy and Joint Operations Commander Robert Behnken, both NASA astronauts, ventured outside the International Space Station (ISS) for the second-to-last spacewalk to upgrade a portion of the outpost’s batteries located on the S6 truss segment.

The spacewalk, designated US EVA-67, marked the ninth EVA for both astronauts, who have each accumulated over 40 hours of spacewalking time each during their respective careers. The spacewalk began at 07:10 EDT (11:10 UTC) and lasted about six hours.

Upon exiting the Quest airlock, Cassidy and Behnken’s EVA-67 marked the 11th in a series of spacewalks that’s goal is to replace all of the aging Nickel-Hydrogen (Ni-H2) batteries located on the outside of the ISS with newer Lithium-Ion batteries

Read more at: NASA Spaceflight

China Is About To Launch A Secretive Mission To Mars. Here’s What We Know (And Don’t Know) So Far

In a matter of days, China will launch its first-ever mission to Mars – an exciting attempt to place a rover on the surface of the Red Planet. But while we know about some aspects of the mission, others remain a mystery.

Between Monday, July 20 and Friday, July 25, China is expected to launch its Tianwen-1 mission to Mars on a Long March 5 rocket. The mission is taking place in a launch window to Mars that occurs every 26 months, when our two planets align for easy traversal, reaching a closest distance of about 58 million kilometers.

Read more at: Forbes

Who’s Ready To Serve The Lunar Missions?

Efforts to explore the Moon have substantially grown recently, partly because it is a convenient place to develop the technologies and capabilities needed for people to explore deep space.

As a result a new lunar economy is emerging, which presents opportunities involving robots, habitat and transportation, as well as the provision of communications and navigation services.

Although space agencies remain the driving force behind space exploration, private companies are entering the market as well as public-private partnerships.

Read more at: ESA


Soyuz-2-1V Second Stage Rentry

Soyuz-2-1V second stage that put Kosmos-2543 in orbit has reentered over Coahuila, Mexico at 0702 UTC 18 July heading north over western Texas. @Marco_Langbroek reports that the reentry was observed by people in Texas. Red line shows entry track starting at entry point

Read more at: Twitter

House Spending Bill Rejects Office Of Space Commerce Funding Increase

A spending bill approved by the House Appropriations Committee July 14 once again rejects an administration proposal to combine the Office of Space Commerce with another office and increase its budget to perform space traffic management work.

The committee approved the commerce, justice and science appropriations bill on a 30–22 vote July 14. The committee did not make any changes to the bill beyond a “manager’s amendment” for minor, noncontroversial changes.

Read more at: Spacenews

A Population Of Asteroids Of Interstellar Origin Inhabits The Solar System

A study conducted by scientists at São Paulo State University’s Institute of Geosciences and Exact Sciences (IGCE-UNESP) in Rio Claro, Brazil, has identified 19 asteroids of interstellar origin classified as Centaurs, outer Solar System objects that revolve around the Sun in the region between the orbits of Jupiter and Neptune.

An article on the study titled “An interstellar origin for high-inclination Centaurs” is published in the Royal Astronomical Society’s Monthly Notices. The study was supported by São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP) – FAPESP.

Read more at: Eurekalert

Good News: This Comet Won’t Cause A Mass Extinction In 2020. Also, It’s Really Pretty

The first thing to know about a new comet that has appeared in the evening sky is that it’s one big ice ball: about 5 kilometers (3.1 miles) across.

“Just to put it into context, about 65 million years ago there was an asteroid or a comet that was thought to have caused the extinction of the dinosaurs,” says astronomer Amy Mainzer. “That object is thought to have been about 5 to 10 kilometers across.”

Mainzer is principal investigator for a NASA mission known as NEOWISE that is seeking to spot comets and asteroids that could wipe out life as we know it on Earth.

Read more at: NPR

History of Space and Launch Debris Recoveries

We compile reports, accounts and illustration of factual events in the history of the space debris discipline the purpose of which is to inform. Space debris is defined as objects which made it to orbit and which eventually fell to Earth. But, this page also includes “launch debris” which did not make it into space but which fell through the atmosphere and generally floated in ocean currents and discovered at a later time.

Read more at: pauldmaley


Russian Private Firm MTKS To Make Four Prototypes Of Reusable Spacecraft For $136 Mln

A Russian private company MTKS will make four prototypes of the Argo reusable spacecraft at the price of $136 million, the company’s board chairman Sergei Sopov told TASS.

“The cost of creating four prototypes is $136 million. This includes manufacturing, stand-alone tests and all pre-launch works. The cost of the launch itself is not included into the fee,” Sopov said.

Read more at: TASS

SNC Shooting Star Wins Contract for Unmanned Orbital Outpost

Only weeks after naming its first Dream Chaser as “Tenacity”, Sierra Nevada Corp. (SNC) has announced contracts with the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) to use its Shooting Star expendable cargo vehicle as a possible commercial solution for a high-powered Unmanned Orbital Outpost. The 16-foot-long (4.8-meter) Shooting Star is currently planned to be attached to the end of Dream Chaser to accommodate secondary cargo or disposable waste from the International Space Station (ISS), but SNC has previously noted that this highly versatile vehicle can be used for other missions, including the Lunar Gateway.

Read more at: Americaspace

Virgin Sets Up Japan Spaceport To Lure Asian Satellite Builders

Asia’s first spaceport, located at Oita Airport on the Japanese island of Kyushu, is readying support for Virgin Orbit as the company looks to fire off its LauncherOne rocket in 2022.

Virgin Orbit — a space venture of the Virgin Group — will use a modified Boeing 747, christened “Cosmic Girl,” as the launch platform for LauncherOne, which carries small commercial satellites into either a sun-synchronous or low-Earth orbit, depending on customer requirements.

Read more at: Nikkei Asia

5G From Space Driving Sateliot And Gatehouse Group Agreement

Sateliot has sealed an agreement with the Gatehouse Group to develop the world’s first NB-IoT network, which will enable the company to offer global 5G connectivity once the firm’s LEO smallsat constellation is deployed.

This agreement with Gatehouse is part of the 4.6 million investment plan in R&D of Sateliot and is one of the three projects that the Spanish company will carry out during the next two years.

Read more at: Sateliot

Relativity Space Appoints Caryn Schenewerk as Vice President, Regulatory and Government Affairs

Relativity Space, the world’s first autonomous rocket factory and launch services leader for satellites, today announced the appointment of Caryn Schenewerk as vice president, regulatory and government affairs, effective July 15, 2020.

In this role, Ms. Schenewerk will be a key member of the Executive Leadership Team, responsible for the development and execution of Relativity Space’s federal, state, and local government strategy. She will increase Relativity’s visibility, lead the company’s participation in industry associations and expand Relativity’s relationships with key government agencies.

Read more at: business wire

SpaceX Has Kicked Off A New FAA Environmental Review In Hopes Of Soon Launching Starship-Super Heavy Rockets To Orbit From South Texas

SpaceX is aiming to soon launch a new 39-story rocket system called Starship-Super Heavy from Boca Chica at the southeastern tip of Texas. However, the aerospace company, founded by Elon Musk in 2002, must first complete a new environmental review with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) before it can receive clearance to launch.

Read more at: Business Insider

Virgin Galactic Taps Disney Consumer Veteran to Be New CEO

Virgin Galactic Holdings Inc. is turning to a customer-experience specialist from the Disney theme park world, naming Michael Colglazier as chief executive officer of the space tourism company to succeed George Whitesides.

Colglazier, who oversaw multiple Walt Disney Co. theme parks, will take the job as of July 20, Virgin Galactic said in a statement Wednesday. He’ll also join the company’s board. The departing CEO, Whitesides, will remain at the company as chief space officer.

Read more at: MSN

Orbite, An Ambitious New Space And Hospitality Startup, Will Develop A Unique Spaceflight Gateway Complex To Serve Future Space Explorers

Orbite Corporation, formed by entrepreneurs Jason Andrews and Nicolas Gaume, announced today plans to develop the first “Spaceflight Gateway and Astronaut Training Complex” for commercial astronaut training. Orbite provides state-of-the-art astronaut preparation across all types of vehicles as well as luxury accommodations, dining, and recreation for future commercial astronauts, their friends and families, and other Orbite customers.

Read more at: prweb

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