Tumours In Space Studies Tumours, Cancer Risk Of Cosmic Radiation

The unique laboratory conditions offered by the International Space Station and the to-be-launched China Space Station (CSS) allow for research on everything from ultrasound diagnostics in microgravity to studies of crystal growth.

Now, when the China Space Station is ready to begin research projects around 2022, it will include an unusual cancer research project called “Tumours in Space,” headed by a Canadian researcher based in Norway. The project will examine the roles of both microgravity and cosmic radiation in tumour growth and development.

Read more at: Norwegian scitech news

Air-Launched Rocket Arrives At Cape Canaveral For Satellite Delivery Mission

A Northrop Grumman Pegasus XL rocket is back at Cape Canaveral after a cross-country ferry flight Tuesday under an L-1011 carrier jet, ready for final checkouts and a countdown dress rehearsal before an airborne launch off Florida’s east coast Oct. 9 with NASA’s Ionospheric Connection Explorer satellite.

The L-1011 carries jet, named “Stargazer,” touched down at the Skid Strip runway at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station shortly before 5:30 p.m. EDT (2130 GMT) Tuesday after a nearly six-hour flight from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, where teams readied the Pegasus rocket for flight.

Read more at: Spaceflight Now

Second Time’s A Charm? NASA Will Try Again For All Female Spacewalk This Month

Later this month, NASA officials will try again to conduct their first all female spacewalk — about seven months after their first attempt was quashed by an ill-fitting suit.

The space agency on Friday announced that American astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir will perform a spacewalk Oct. 21 as part of a sequence of walks to replace solar array batteries on the outside of the International Space Station.

Read more at: Houston chronicle

Stuck in Safe Mode, DSCOVR Earth-Watching Satellite May Finally Get Fixed: Report

An Earth-observing satellite called DSCOVR has been stuck in safe mode for three months, and its operators finally have a plan to reboot it — but not for another few months.

DSCOVR, which is short for the Deep Space Climate Observatory, fell silent on June 27 because of a glitch in its position-maintenance system that prompted mission managers to put the spacecraft into a “safehold.” The spacecraft was launched by NASA and is run by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Read more at: Space.com

Boeing Closing In On Starliner Pad Abort Test

Boeing engineers in New Mexico are readying a Starliner spacecraft for a critical pad abort test this fall to demonstrate the capsule’s ability to escape an emergency on the launch pad before green-lighting the capsule to carry astronauts.

Boeing has not announced a target date for the pad abort test, but final preparations are underway at White Sands Missile Range. Technicians last month mated the Starliner crew and service modules at the test site, a company spokesperson said.

The next major milestone was expected to be fueling of the service module with hydrazine and nitrogen tetroxide propellants, which will feed the craft’s abort engines and control thrusters during the test flight, which will last around 95 seconds from takeoff through landing of the crew capsule under parachutes.

Read more at: Spaceflight Now

Japan’s Kounotori8 Cargo Spaceship Docks With International Space Station

Kounotori8, Japan’s unmanned cargo spaceship loaded with supplies, docked with the International Space Station at an altitude of about 400 kilometers Saturday, the country’s space agency said.

The vessel docked after astronauts aboard the ISS caught the cargo transporter using a robotic arm, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) said.

An H-IIB rocket carrying the cargo spacecraft blasted off from the Tanegashima Space Center in Kagoshima Prefecture on Wednesday.

Read more at: Japan times

Swarm Of Tiny Satellites Could Relay Messages By Year’s End

Since 2017, Swarm Technologies has built, launched and operated nine miniature satellites, raised more than $28 million for a 150-spacecraft constellation and forged agreements with some 200 potential customers.

The company’s most impressive accomplishment, though, isn’t on that list. Swarm has repaired its relationship with the U.S. Federal Communications Commission to the point where the Silicon Valley startup is closing in on a license to offer communications services in the United States.

Read more at: Spacenews

Before We Put People On Mars, We Should Infect The Planet With Earthly Microbes, A Group Of Scientists Says

Fifty years after humans first stepped onto the moon, Mars has become the next frontier in space exploration.On Saturday, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk unveiled a rocket prototype called Starship Mark 1: the next step in his company’s quest to build a launch system called Starship that could ferry people to the red planet. NASA, meanwhile, plans to send astronauts to Mars in the 2030s.

But for us Earthlings, surviving on a planet with a thinner atmosphere, less gravity, and minuscule amounts of oxygen presents a host of challenges. If people didn’t want to spend every second in sealed suits and indoor habitats, they’d need to transform Mars to be more Earth-like. That would require adding oxygen and other gases into the atmosphere to make surface temperatures and air pressure more similar to what we’re used to.

Read more at: Business insider

60 Years Of Space Junk: The Challenge Of Orbital Debris

October 4 marks the 62nd anniversary of the launch of Sputnik 1, the first artificial satellite. It was the dawn of a new era, inaugurating the space race and heralding revolutionary changes in technology, politics and society. But mankind’s trek to the stars had a pernicious side-effect: We started treating outer space like a junkyard.

Scientists have called attention to the space debris problem for decades. Now time is of the essence to get the problem under control.

Read more at: Hill

Descent Of Over 200 Space Objects Controlled By Russian Space Forces In 2019

Russia’s outer space control system has tracked the descent of more than 200 space objects in 2019, Alexei Lagutenko, deputy chief of the Russian space forces’ main space control center, said on Friday.

“Specialists of the center ensured the forecasting and control of the termination of ballistic existence of more than 200 space objects in 2019,” he said as Russia was celebrating Space Forces Day on October 4.

“One of our key tasks is to predict a possible area of the fall of such space vehicles,” he said, adding that such work begins about six months ahead of the anticipated date of the descent.

Read more at: TASS

Virgin Galactic, Italian Air Force Team Up

Virgin Galactic announced a contract with the Italian Air Force Wednesday to fly a science experiment tended by researchers during a flight to suborbital space on the Space­Ship­Two spacecraft.

The agreement is the first time a government has contracted for such human-tended research on a commercial space vehicle, Virgin Galactic officials said.

The nascent spaceline is nearing the start of commercial passenger operations with its Space­Ship­Two rocket plane, which has been under development at the Mojave Air and Space Port.

Read more at: avpress

Blue Origin Probably Won’t Launch People to Space This Year

Blue Origin’s first crewed spaceflight probably won’t take place this year after all.

The company, which was founded in 2001 by Amazon.com’s Jeff Bezos, had been hoping to start launching people to space aboard its suborbital New Shepard vehicle before the end of 2019. But the chances of meeting that target are low at this point, Blue Origin CEO Bob Smith said.

“Is it likely? Probably not, because 2019 is rapidly coming to a close,” Smith said Wednesday (Oct. 2) at Disrupt SF 2019, a conference in San Francisco organized by the website TechCrunch.

Read more at: Space.com

NASA Head Calls Out Spacex CEO Elon Musk Over Starship Event In Bizarre Statement

Roughly 24 hours before SpaceX CEO Elon Musk was scheduled to present an update on the company’s Starship launch vehicle development, NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine tweeted a bizarre and wholly unprovoked statement on the subject.

Seemingly equating SpaceX’s recent Crew Dragon delays with the distribution of Elon Musk’s public attention, the NASA administrator’s comment was almost universally criticized by the spaceflight community at large – and rightfully so.

Read more at: Teslarati

Elon Musk’s Future Starship Updates Could Use More Details On Human Health And Survival

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has now given four presentations about his company’s Starship rocket, but all of those updates mostly focused on the vehicle’s external stats. Musk has barely touched on the technologies needed to keep people alive and healthy while on Starship — technologies that need to be developed relatively soon if the spacecraft has any hope of carrying people to deep-space destinations like the Moon and Mars in the near future.

Read more at: Verge

NASA Calls For Input On Moon Spacesuits And Plans To Source Them Commercially In Future

NASA issues a new formal request for info from industry specifically around spacesuits. The agency is hoping to gather information in order to help it figure out a future path for acquisition of spacesuit production and services from external industry sources.

That doesn’t mean it’s outsourcing its spacesuit design and production immediately – NASA will build and certify its own spacesuits for use in the first Artemis missions, including Artemis III which is the one that’ll see the next American man and the first American woman take their trip to the lunar surface.

Read more at: Techcrunch

New Chinese Commercial Rocket Firms Move Toward Maiden Launches

A number of firms in the Chinese NewSpace sector are taking steps towards debut suborbital and orbital launches, while also attracting new funding. 

Beijing Xinghe Dongli Space Technology Co. Ltd., also known as Galactic Energy, last week carried out a successful 74-second hot fire test of the second stage for its first launch vehicle. The Sept. 26 test also included a separation test of the first and second stage. 

Galactic Energy previously stated that they aim to carry out the maiden launch of the solid propellant ‘Ceres-1’ in March 2020. 

Read more at: Spacenews

NASA Paying Four Companies To Learn How To Make Fuel On The Moon

NASA has awarded a total of $17.4 million to four private aerospace companies to study and produce technologies that could help future space missions create fuel on the Moon and Mars.

The companies include Jeff Bezo’s spaceship company, Blue Origin, as well as Elon Musk’s SpaceX. The other two recipients are OxEon Energy, a Utah-based clean energy company, and Skyre, a Connecticut business focused on compressing, capturing and recycling gases. These companies will now work with NASA and other groups to learn how to create propellants from resources on the Moon and Mars, as well as other products that will help with refueling in space.

Read more at: Astronomy

DARPA In Talks With New Robot Sat Servicing Company

DARPA will announce a new partner to replace Maxar Technologies for its robotic servicing spacecraft program “sometime before the end of the year,” says program manager Joe Parrish. DARPA is looking at a launch date in 2022.

“We’ve every good reason for optimism,” he told the 2019 Global Satellite Servicing Forum on Tuesday.

Read more at: Breaking defense

ISRO’s Space Docking Experiment To Happen Next Year, Says Sivan

India’s space agency, ISRO, plans space docking experiment (SPADEX) next year, the agency’s Chairman, Kailasavadivoo Sivan, told Business Line today. Docking refers to connecting of two flying objects in space, either to transfer men or material from one to the other, or two join two structures to make a bigger one.

Two satellites would be sent to space on board a regular PSLV mission and the two would be made to dock with each other, Sivan said, describing the exercise as a technology demonstration experiment.

Read more at: Hindu business line

“We Don’t Regulate Space Activity For The Sake Of Regulation”

The UAE space sector started before the UAE Space Agency was created in 2014, with good achievements in satellite communications with the launch of the UAE’s first satellite, Thuraya 1 happening in 2000, as well as earth observation satellite launches. The need for an efficient and effective organisation to oversee these activities led to the formation of the UAE Space Agency, especially considering the considerable investments being planned for the future by the UAE in this sector. Besides, we did not know what the national priority was for this sector. We required a body that could offer a centralised vision, put together in coordination with all the UAE’s stakeholders from within and outside. The UAE Space Agency was formed to oversee and promote, facilitate, organise and support the UAE’s space activities.

Read more at: Gulfnews

EU Plan To Boost Space Industry Draws White House Ire

Scott Pace, executive director of the National Space Council, issued a thinly veiled warning last night about a new European plan to boost the continent’s space industry.

Stressing the need for transatlantic cooperation on space in face of growing threats, Pace subtly urged the EU not to set up space development and procurement projects that would block non-EU NATO allies and the US from participating. Despite his use of diplomatic code, the implicit warning was clear: don’t do this or the Trump Administration will need to react.

Read more at: Breaking defense

With New Partnership, UN Aims to Make Space More Accessible to Developing Countries

Avio, an Italian aerospace company, has officially partnered with the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) to make space more accessible. 

At the 74th session of the U.N. General Assembly (UNGA), UNOOSA welcomed Avio alongside representatives from Virgin Galactic, Maxar, NASA, the National Space Council, Italy and Zambia. The meeting, a side event at the UNGA, focused on how space can become more accessible, peaceful and entwined with efforts to mitigate climate change. 

Read more at: Space.com

JAXA And NASA Agree To Collaborate More On Lunar Exploration

The Japanese and U.S. space agencies have agreed to step up collaboration on advancing human activities on the moon as a way of realizing the eventual exploration of Mars.

Hiroshi Yamakawa, president of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), and James Bridenstine, administrator of NASA, reached the agreement at a recent meeting in Tokyo.

JAXA will extend technical cooperation for NASA’s Gateway project to build a lunar orbiting space station and for its Artemis program to return astronauts to the moon by 2024, according to a joint statement signed by Yamakawa and Bridenstine.

Read more at: Japan times

EU Space Envoy Calls For Satellites To Leave Orbit Soon After Mission Ends

Satellites in low Earth orbit should reenter the atmosphere soon after they complete their missions instead of waiting many years, said Carine Claeys, who leads the Space Task Force for the European External Action Service, which acts as the European Union’s Ministry for Foreign Affairs.

“That limit of 25 years has to be updated,” Claeys, who is also the European External Action Service Special Envoy for Space, said Sept. 13 at the World Satellite Business Week conference in Paris. “I think the deorbiting capability in low Earth orbit should be as soon as or in a very responsible time period after that satellite is no longer operational.”

Read more at: Spacenews

UK Eases Sanctions On Russia Under Mars Exploration Project

The United Kingdom has eased its Export Control Order on restrictive measures against Russia for the sale of rocket fuel under the ExoMars-2020 space exploration mission, according to the data posted on the UK website of legal information on Thursday.

The UK has amended its Export Control (Russia, Crimea and Sevastopol Sanctions) Order in the section of goods and technologies included in the EU common military list.

Read more at: TASS

Making The Rules In Space: When Does Careful Become Crushing?

NASA is tasked, by law, with the long-term goal of expanding human presence in space. This immense and incredibly long-term task requires a very forward-looking perspective tempered by humility.

Planning for our future in space necessarily means proceeding from a place of profound ignorance in an environment that continually confounds our expectations. The technocratic tendency when managing the unknown is to eliminate all uncertainty. However, we should be wary of attempts to address uncertainty by piling on rules, regulations and requirements before we adequately understand the problems we are facing.

Read more at: Hill

Russian Space Forces Keeping Eye On Other Countries’ Experiments In Space

Russia’s outer space control system is keeping an eye on space experiments carried out by other countries, Alexei Lagutenko, deputy chief of the Russian space forces’ main space control center, said on Friday.

“The center’s specialists pay special attention to the composition and the state of orbital grouping of foreign space systems, and to orbital experiments with foreign spacecraft,” he said as Russia was celebrating Space Forces Day on October 4.

Read more at: TASS

Commercial Competition: The Rocket Science Of The Space Force

Less than twenty years ago, hurtling something into space strapped to a rocket was still a craft that few understood; quite literally rocket science, if you will. At the time, a nationwide team of government-funded strategists, physicists, and engineers were forced to pull together a launch strategy following a string of failures in the ’90s. Not long after executing their revised strategy, they grappled with the launch market collapse, which ultimately resulted in a government-directed monopoly, ULA.

Read more at: Forbes

Raymond Outlines Ambitious U.S. Space Activities, Embraces Space Force As A New, Separate Military Branch

Air Force Gen. John Raymond, recently confirmed to lead the U.S. Space Command, emphasized on Sept. 27, the singular need for a Space Force and the steps required to maintain U.S. preeminence in a “domain” that is becoming increasingly crowded, dangerous and essential.

“We’re planning for a Space Force. We need a Space Force. Our nation needs a Space Force,” Raymond said in remarks at a Mitchell Institute breakfast on Capitol Hill attended by influential members of Congress and staff as well as defense analysts, industry officials and media.

“We’re very hopeful that Congress will pass in the coming months a (National Defense Authorization) that will allow that to happen,” he said.

Read more at: Af.mil

Security Council Expected To Hold Talks On N.Korea Test

The UN Security Council is expected to hold-closed door talks on North Korea’s test of a sea-launched missile, as European powers push for the world body to keep up the pressure on Pyongyang, diplomats said Thursday.

North Korea claimed to have entered a new phase in its defense capability with the test Wednesday of a submarine-launched ballistic missile — the most provocative since Pyongyang began a dialogue with Washington in 2018.

Read more at: Spacedaily

Former NASA Contractor Found Guilty Of SLS-Related Fraud At Kennedy Space Center

A former NASA contractor was found guilty of fraud and other charges after he falsified the origin of hardware needed for the agency’s Space Launch System rocket at Kennedy Space Center, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida.

According to the investigation spearheaded by the NASA Office of Inspector General and the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, 34-year-old Jonathan Hipps of Warner Robins, Georgia, was an employee of STAT Industry in 2014, a company that helped provide steel rods for the SLS rocket and Orion spacecraft.

Read more at: Florida today

‘Engines in Post-Shutdown Standby’: Remembering the Fall and Rise of STS-68, 25 Years On (Part 1)

Twenty-five years ago, this summer, America’s Space Shuttle Program sprang from a hearts-in-throats launch abort on the cusp of liftoff to triumphantly executing four flawless missions in as many months. In July 1994, Columbia and her STS-65 crew had set a new duration record for the fleet, after which three other missions would follow in the late summer and early fall, using powerful radar, lidar and other solar and atmospheric physics instrumentation to create a comprehensive picture of Earth’s surface and climate. Within days of STS-65’s return, shuttle Endeavour rolled out to Pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida, targeting an 18 August liftoff and the second Space Radar Laboratory (SRL-2). It was hoped that the STS-68 mission would repeat the observations from SRL-1 a few months earlier, to develop a comprehensive radar picture of Earth’s changeable surface.

Read more at: Americaspace

USC Rocket Propulsion Laboratory Receives Special Honor

USC Viterbi School of Engineering students, faculty and staff gathered together with industry professionals at the USC Davidson Conference Center on October 1 to celebrate a world-breaking record of the USC Rocket Propulsion Laboratory (USCRPL). The Los Angeles-Las Vegas section of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) honored the members of USCRPL for becoming the first undergraduate team to design, build and successfully launch a rocket that crossed the space boundary.

Read more at: USC

The Imperial Units Error That Downed A Multi-Million-Dollar Mars Probe

“TO LOSE one Martian orbiter may be regarded as a misfortune,” we wrote on 2 October 1999, trotting out the old Oscar Wilde quote. “To lose a second looks like carelessness.”

The barb was prompted by NASA’s second loss of a probe at the doorstep of Mars in six years. “The Mars Climate Orbiter was supposed to enter an orbit that would have brought it no closer than 155 kilometres from the surface, after a course-altering rocket burn on 15 September,” we reported.

Read more at: Newscientist

“Ad Astra” Feels Like Ruling Class Propaganda

Like everyone with a degree in physics, I take a preternatural pleasure in pointing out bad physics in movies. “Ad Astra,” the new space epic stacked with A-listers, is not terrible in this regard — there are a few momentum and centripetal force issues, and a trip to Mars that any cryptographer will tell you was unnecessary. Yet though its physics are halfway decent by Hollywood standards, the movie’s politics are laughable. That’s because “Ad Astra’s” cloying vision of the future — a sort of LBJ-era space liberalism, with big public works projects and democratic space colonization — is so unrealistic that it feels like counterrevolutionary propaganda from the corporate overlords at Fox.

Read more at: Salon


11th IAASS conference