Russians Reboot Space Station Computer

A balky computer system is working again on the International Space Station, thanks to a reboot, the Russian space agency reported today.

“The system was tested for one and a half turns of the station’s flight around the Earth (about two hours),” Roscosmos said in an online update. “In fact, all systems tested out properly.”

The computer, one of three redundant systems, crashed earlier this week. The other two systems continued to operate normally, and operations on the orbital outpost were unaffected. Roscosmos said there was no need to replace the system that suffered the glitch.

Read more at: Geekwire

Curiosity on the Move Again

Engineers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, this week commanded the agency’s Curiosity rover to switch to its second computer. The switch will enable engineers to do a detailed diagnosis of a technical issue that has prevented the rover’s active computer from storing science and some key engineering data since Sept. 15.

Like many NASA spacecraft, Curiosity was designed with two, redundant computers — in this case, referred to as a Side-A and a Side-B computer — so that it can continue operations if one experiences a glitch. After reviewing several options, JPL engineers recommended that the rover switch from Side B to Side A, the computer the rover used initially after landing.

Read more at: JPL

Astronauts Release Kounotori 7 From Space Station

Following a six-week stay at the International Space Station, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) Kounotori 7 cargo ship was unberthed and commanded to depart the vicinity of the orbiting outpost.

Launched Sept. 22, 2018, atop an H-IIB rocket from the Tanegashima Space Center in southern Japan, Kounotori 7 spent several days catching up with the outpost before rendezvousing and berthing with the ISS on Sept. 27. It brought with it some 13,000 pounds (6,000 kilograms) of equipment, supplies and experiments to the outpost, including new lithium-ion batteries.

After being unloaded of its cargo and reloaded with un-needed equipment, European Space Agency astronaut and Expedition 57 Commander Alexander Gerst commanded the 57.7-foot (17.6-meter) Canadarm2 robotic arm to release the cargo craft at 11:51 a.m. EST (16:51 GMT) Nov. 7. His back-up support was NASA astronaut Serena Aunon-Chancellor.

Read more at: Spaceflight Insider

Orion Spacecraft Hardware & Safety Procedures Readied For Exploration Mission 1

The European Space Agency (ESA) delivers. At least, that might be what some at NASA are thinking right now. ESA’s contribution to the U.S. space agency’s maiden flight of the combined stack of the Space Launch System and Orion spacecraft (the first Orion was launched in 2014 on Exploration Flight Test 1) has arrived. But that’s not the only event relating to Orion that has taken place recently.

Touching down in Florida’s Space Coast Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018, after a flight from Germany, the service module (SM) for the second Orion flight and the first for the agency’s massive super-heavy lift rocket—the Space Launch System (SLS)—is ready to be married to the spacecraft’s crew module for its planned 2020 Exploration Mission 1 (EM-1) flight.

While Orion is being built by the spacecraft’s prime contractor, Lockheed Martin, the SM was constructed by Airbus and is based off of ESA’s Automated Transfer Vehicle. NASA and ESA’s collaboration on the International Space Station program helped establish this new initiative.

Read more at: Spaceflight Insider

China’s Core Space Station Module, Chang’e-4 Spacecraft And New Launchers Unveiled At Zhuhai Airshow

Chinese space technology, including a full size model space station module, the Chang’e-4 lunar far side spacecraft and new launch vehicles, have been unveiled at the Zhuhai Airshow in southern China.

The full size model represents the first time the ‘Tianhe’ core module for the future Chinese Space Station has been on display to the public.

The 16.6m-long module consists of a 4.2m-diameter resources compartment, a 2.8m-diameter life support and control section, and the docking hub, which will facilitate connection with further modules and visiting Shenzhou-crewed spacecraft and Tianzhou cargo vessels.

Read more at: Gbtimes

First Launch Of S7 Space’s Rocket May Take Place In Three Years — Company Chief

The first rocket the company S7 Space is working on at the moment may take place in three years from now, the company’s chief, Sergey Sopov, told TASS in an interview, adding that the launch would be used for flight-testing a cargo spacecraft.

S7 Space is working on its own rocket on the basis of a sketch design of the Soyuz-5 launch vehicle being created by the space rocket corporation Energia.

“When we launch our new rocket for the first time, approximately in three years from now, we also plan to flight-test a cargo spacecraft. Roscosmos might order six space launches from us, thus keeping busy both its own enterprises and S7 Space,” Sopov said.

Roscosmos has invited S7 Space to participate in creating the Soyuz-5 rocket.

Read more at: TASS

After Rocket Failure, Russia Moves Up Its Next Launch. NASA Says It Is Okay With That

The Russians move fast. After one of their rockets malfunctioned last month, triggering an automatic abort, Roscosmos, the country’s space agency, says it knows what happened and how to fix it. Instead of delaying the next flight with astronauts — originally scheduled for Dec. 20— it is moving up the launch to Dec. 3.

Confident in its Russian counterpart, NASA has signed off on this. And Anne McClain, the American astronaut up next in the flight rotation, says she is ready to strap in and go. “I would have gotten on the Soyuz the next day,” she told reporters Friday.

Read more at: Washington Post

Cape Canaveral Can Now Launch Commercial Spaceplanes

Cape Canaveral Spaceport is made of more than launchpads. The famed space coast site also has a 15,000-foot runway, a veteran of more than 130 Space Shuttle landings. Those landings came to an end in 2011, though, but now, seven years later, that runway is open for commercial business. Yesterday, Florida’s spaceport authority reported that the FAA issued a launch license for operations at the site.

The runway, for now still called the Shuttle Landing Facility (SLF), is a symbol of where spaceflight has been—now it’s becoming a key hub of the future. Since 2015 the runway, tower, and other pieces have been operated by Space Florida, the state’s spaceport development authority.

Read more at: Popular Mechanics

Rakesh Sharma: Isro Could Emerge As The Go-To Agency For Low-Cost Access To Space

It has been over three decades since former Indian Air Force (IAF) pilot, wing commander Rakesh Sharma (retired), flew aboard the Russian rocket Soyuz T-11 along with two other cosmonauts from Russia, becoming the first Indian to fly into space.

Yet, at a time, when India looks ahead to 2022 to launch its first manned space mission (Gaganyaan), looking back to 1984 becomes inevitable, especially since he remains the only Indian to have travelled to space. Astronaut Kalpana Chawla, who was the first Indian-born woman to fly into space, lost her life along with six others when Space Shuttle Columbia crashed on its re-entry into earth’s atmosphere in 2003.

Read more at: Livemint

No New Date Set For Pegasus Launch With NASA’s ICON Satellite

NASA and Northrop Grumman officials have not set a new target date for the launch of the ICON ionospheric research satellite aboard an air-launched Pegasus XL rocket following a mission abort Wednesday, and it could be weeks before the the long-delayed science probe has another chance to head into orbit off Florida’s east coast.

NASA’s 634-pound (288-kilogram) Ionospheric Connection Explorer satellite is awaiting the start of a two-year mission to examine the link between terrestrial weather systems and the ionosphere, a layer that straddles the boundary between Earth’s atmosphere and the vacuum of space.

Read more at: Spaceflight Now

Russian Space Leader Issues Decree Against Trash, “Sloppy” Work Attitudes

Dmitry Rogozin is not having the best year. Earlier, he was essentially demoted from his position as deputy prime minister over defense and space to a position managing Roscosmos, the Russian space corporation. And since then he has had to grapple with a number of embarrassing spaceflight problems, including an errant drill hole in a Soyuz spacecraft and an emergency landing of another one after a rocket exploded mid-flight.

Read more at: Ars Technica

Portugal To Build Satellite Launch Pad, Lab With China

Portugal plans to build an international launch pad for small satellites in the Azores and has agreed with China to set up a joint research center to make satellites on the mainland, its science and technology minister said on Tuesday.

The government has received tentative proposals from 14 consortiums from Europe, the United States and Russia to design the launch pad jointly with local organizations, and to use the site in the future, Manuel Heitor said.

During the Web Summit – Europe’s largest technology conference taking place in Lisbon this week – Heitor told reporters the “space port” on the mid-Atlantic island of Santa Maria should be ready for commercial launches by mid-2021.

Read more at: Reuters

Spacex Wants To Fly Some Internet Satellites Closer To Earth To Cut Down On Space Trash

SpaceX is revising its satellite internet initiative, Starlink, and it now hopes to operate some of its spacecraft at a lower altitude than originally planned. In a new filing to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), SpaceX is asking the agency to modify its license so that more than 1,500 Starlink satellites can operate at an altitude 600 kilometers lower than the company originally requested.

SpaceX argues that this change will make the space environment safer, as it will be easier to get rid of these satellites at this new altitude when they run low on fuel or can no longer function properly in orbit. This update could also explain the unexpected behavior of two of SpaceX’s test satellites for Starlink, which have remained in lower orbits than expected.

Read more at: Verge

ESA Rocks Space Weather

This week, to coincide with the fifteenth annual European Space Weather Week, ESA is celebrating the dynamic phenomenon of space weather.

It’s difficult to comprehend the size and sheer power of our Sun — a churning ball of hot gas 4.6 billion years old and 1.3 million times larger than Earth — that for the most part remains a regular, yet distant part of our lives.

In space, this hotly glowing star plays a remarkable role, dominating our Solar System. Unpredictable and temperamental, the Sun has made life on the inner planets of the Solar System impossible, due to the intense radiation combined with colossal amounts of energetic material it blasts in every direction, creating the ever-changing conditions in space known as ‘space weather’.

Read more at: ESA

Stratolaunch Completes Milestone Preburner Test Firing For PGA Rocket Engine

Stratolaunch Systems, the space venture founded by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, says it has successfully completed the first hot-fire test of a key component for its hydrogen-fueled PGA rocket engine.

The full-scale hydrogen preburner was fired up last Friday at NASA’s Stennis Space Center in Mississippi, less than a year after design work started.

“This is the first step in proving the performance and highly efficient design of the PGA engine. The hot-fire test is an incredible milestone for both the propulsion team and Stratolaunch,” Jeff Thornburg, vice president of propulsion at Stratolaunch, said today in a news release.

Read more at: Geekwire

Interview: One Space CEO On Its Progress, Plans, And China’s Space Industry

One Space is a Chinese startup currently developing launch vehicles for the small satellite and microsatellite market. The company was founded in 2015 by Shu Chang, who graduated from Beihang University (formerly Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics) and began his career in strategic investment in the aerospace industry at Legend Holdings in China.

Initially, with the liberalisation of China’s policies, Shu wanted to invest in aerospace companies. Finding no ideal investment target, he started One Space with the help of his university tutor Mr. Mach. Now, One Space employs about 200 people is headquartered in Beijing with branches in Shenzhen, Chongqing, and Xi’an.

Read more at: Spacetech Asia

Rocket Lab’s Third Launch Could Be The Start Of Something Big

The US-based company Rocket Lab is gearing up for its third-ever launch tomorrow, its first fully commercial flight and a key milestone as it aims to prove the viability of smaller rockets.

Their Electron rocket, given the nickname “It’s Business Time”, is set to lift off from Rocket Lab’s Launch Complex 1 on the east coast of New Zealand’s North Island this weekend. The rocket has a nine-day launch window, with the first launch opportunity coming on Saturday 10 November at 10pm Eastern time.

On board will be seven payloads, including a demonstration drag sail to practice de-orbiting space junk and a student-led experiment. If all goes to plan, the rocket will place these payloads into an orbit 500 kilometers (310 miles) above Earth.

Read more at: Forbes

The Space Launch Legend Who’s Backing a Startup

“I’m actually sitting here watching an engine test about to happen,” says Jim Cantrell, founder and CEO of the space launch company Vector. Cantrell is at Vector’s home in Tucson, AZ, where he’s waiting for a test of his launch system’s second-stage engine.

During a four-decade career as a mechanical engineer and entrepreneur, Cantrell has been there for the founding of SpaceX, designed the Planetary Society’s LightSail solar sail program, and formed the Moon Express lunar landing company that competed in the Lunar X Prize and recently received a venture cash infusion to finish building its lunar lander. Now the venerable engineer is the man behind Vector, a startup growing into a major player in the boom business of launching small satellites.

Read more at: Popular Mechanics

Scientists Theorize New Origin Story for Earth’s Water

Earth’s water may have originated from both asteroidal material and gas left over from the formation of the Sun, according to new research. The new finding could give scientists important insights about the development of other planets and their potential to support life.

In a new study in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets, a journal of the American Geophysical Union, researchers propose a new theory to address the long-standing mystery of where Earth’s water came from and how it got here.

The new study challenges widely-accepted ideas about hydrogen in Earth’s water by suggesting the element partially came from clouds of dust and gas remaining after the Sun’s formation, called the solar nebula.

Read more at: AGU

Why Lichen May Be The Perfect Factories For Making Rocket Fuel On Mars

When the first humans go to Mars, they may want to bring lichens with them. Because lichens are mini-ecosystems made of both fungi and algae or bacteria, they are particularly good at surviving the extreme conditions on Mars, and could even be used to produce rocket fuel in space.

Kiriakos Kotzabasis at the University of Crete in Greece and his colleagues subjected lichen to brutal conditions similar to those seen on Mars – with no water, temperatures as low as -196°C, and low oxygen levels – to see how they would survive.

Read more at: New Scientist

Orbit Fab To Test Refueling Technology On ISS

A startup company with plans to develop orbiting propellant depots will fly an experiment to the International Space Station next month to demonstrate some of its key technologies.

San Francisco-based Orbit Fab is working with the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space, which operates the national lab portion of the ISS, to fly an experiment on the station to test the ability to transfer propellants in microgravity. That experiment is manifested on the next SpaceX Dragon cargo mission, scheduled for launch no earlier than Dec. 4.

The experiment involves two cubesat-class “tankers,” one of which will be launched full of water. The tests, conducted inside the station, will explore the ability to transfer water between the two, with the water than transferred to the station’s water supply at the conclusion of the tests.

Read more at: Spacenews

This Space Station Air Recycler Could Help Astronauts Breathe Easier on Mars

A new life-support system that can recycle breathable air is being installed at the International Space Station, promising to dramatically decrease the amount of water that needs to be brought to the orbital outpost to make oxygen.

The system represents an important step toward so-called closed-loop life-support systems that could one day sustain space crews indefinitely without supply missions from Earth. Such systems will be crucial for future long-duration missions to the moon and Mars.

The newly installed Advanced Closed Loop System (ACLS), developed by the European Space Agency (ESA), arrived at the space station in late September aboard the Japanese HTV-7 cargo ship. This system could slash the amount of water needed for the oxygen system by 400 liters (100 gallons).

Read more at:

Russia’s Resupply Ship To Use Two-Day Scheme To Reach Orbital Outpost

A Progress MS-10 resupply ship scheduled for its launch on November 16 will arrive at the International Space Station (ISS) two days after the blastoff of a Soyuz-FG carrier rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, the Central Research Institute of Machine-Building (TsNIImash) said on Thursday.

“The Progress MS-10 resupply ship will be launched at 21:14 Moscow time on November 16. The docking of the Progress MS-10 spacecraft will take place at 22:29 Moscow time on November 18,” the institute’s press office said.

The spacecraft will dock to the Zvezda module, the press office said.

Read more at: TASS

Mars Demands Component, Packaging and Design Trifecta

Tried and true is the battle cry of military and aerospace organizations determined to study Mars. Although emerging technologies could facilitate the journey, heritage devices with a proven track record remain the best path forward for systems that can withstand unexpected events, intense radiation, and the harsh conditions of the Red Planet.

“Customers come to us to buy the hardware and the engineering expertise that goes into predicting the performance after 15 to 18 years in space,” said Odile Ronat, director of technical marketing for the Hi Rel Business Unit of Infineon Technologies, which makes MOSFETs and ICs. “It’s not just buying hardware and part numbers but working with our partners. In the case of space exploration, there are unique and exacting requirements.”

Read more at: EE Times

Dust Storm Electricity Might Forge Perchlorates on Mars

The huge concentrations of a potential energy source for life across the surface of Mars come from electricity generated in dust storms, according to new research.

Perchlorate ions — composed of one chlorine atom and four oxygen atoms — are highly toxic to many organisms, but a select number of microorganisms can use perchlorate as an energy source. So when NASA’s Phoenix Mars lander discovered perchlorates in 2008 near its north-pole landing site, the find gave scientists some hope for eventually discovering Martian life.

Read more at: Sky and telescope

Russian Hi-Tech Hub Creates ‘Breakthrough’ Composite Material For Space Industry

Specialists of the Reshetnev Information Satellite Systems Company and scientists of the Skolkovo Science and Technology Institute (Skoltech) have developed a new technology of making composite materials that will allow designing light and firm panels for the space industry, the Skoltech press office reported on Friday.

“The joint experimental design work carried out by specialists of Skoltech and Information Satellite Systems has yielded a new technology of making a composite material – the honeycomb core made of aluminum foil. Honeycomb cored panels are widely used in space vehicles, aircraft-and ship-building, the furniture, automobile and other industries,” the Skoltech press office said in a statement.

The work on making the composite material using the new technology was carried out on order from Russia’s State Space Agency Roscosmos.

Read more at: TASS

Future Spacesuits Should Be Beautiful — and Not Just for Space. Here’s Why.

The stereotypical image of an astronaut is shaped by their spacesuit, with its puffy, white body and boxy backpack holding the life-support system.

Dava Newman, an aerospace engineer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, wants to change that. She is designing what she hopes will be the next generation of spacesuits — which will give the life-saving devices the bulk and style of something more like athletic or camping equipment.

“We’re going to Mars not to sit in the habitat — we’re going there to explore,” Newman said. “We don’t want you to fight the suit. We want you to find life on Mars.”

Read more at:

Harvesting Renewable Energy From The Sun And Outer Space At The Same Time

Renewable energy is increasingly popular as an economical and efficient alternative to fossil fuels, with solar energy topping charts as the worldwide favorite. But there is another powerful energy source overhead that can perform just the opposite function — outer space.

“It is widely recognized that the sun is a perfect heat source nature offers human beings on Earth,” says Zhen Chen, the first author of the study, who is a former postdoctoral research associate at Stanford in the group of Shanhui Fan and is currently a professor at the Southeast University of China. “It is less widely recognized that nature also offers human beings outer space as a perfect heat sink.”

Read more at: Science daily

Space. The Final Frontier For Patents?

Anyone who has seen or read ‘The Martian’ will remember the scene in which the main character, stranded astronaut Mark Watney, styles himself as space pirate Captain Blondebeard, on the basis that maritime law applies in space. But, if space really is in international waters, how do companies go about protecting their space based innovations?

Patents are territorial. For a patent to be infringed in the UK there needs to be a UK patent. For a patent to be infringed in the US there needs to be a US patent. Maritime law, however, does not include any patent provisions.

Read more at: Lexology

Astronaut Scott Kelly: In Space, You Can’t See Political Divides

Astronaut Scott Kelly saw the sun rise and set about 32 times each day during the 520 total days he spent in outer space. He also spent considerable time looking at Planet Earth. Naturally, it changed his perspective ー in the most literal sense.

“You do get more in tune with the environmental issues when you see that our atmosphere is very fragile looking, very small … you see pollution over certain parts of the planet. You see the Earth with no political borders between countries,” Kelly told Cheddar Friday.

“That makes it seem like, you know, we’re are all in this together ー this thing called humanity ー and we need to work together to solve our problems.”

That’s the perspective Kelly shares through images in his latest book, “Infinite Wonder: An Astronaut’s Photographs from a Year in Space.” The book contains Kelly’s personal photography, which captures the Earth and Moon, sunrises and sunsets, and even life aboard the International Space Station, where Kelly spent so many hours.

Read more at: Cheddar

The Republican Space Fans Exiting the House

After eight years in power, Republicans in the House of Representatives will soon hand over the gavel to Democrats. When the new Congress convenes in January, the chamber will contain dozens fewer Republicans—and fewer Republican supporters of space exploration.

The outcome of Tuesday’s elections will sweep several longtime champions of nasa out of the House. Some have held office for many years, and their interest in space exploration has led to hundreds of millions of dollars in funding for ambitious projects. Plenty of ardent nasa advocates remain in the chamber, but the departure of these well-known faces could lead to a shift in legislative priorities.

Read more at: Atlantic

The New Space Race: Trump versus China and Russia

Under President Donald Trump, the U.S. national space policy has seen a renaissance and an elevation in importance. Voices who once doubted the continued existence of the Space Launch System (SLS), NASA’s in development spiritual successor to the Saturn V rockets that carried Americans to the Moon, because of a budget-cutting Republican administration have been so far proven wrong. What accounts for this rejuvenation of high-level attention to American space capabilities and policy is their inclusion in the administration’s 2017 National Security Strategy (NSS), where leadership in space is deemed a critical component of the great power competition the document lists as a major strategic threat. To buttress American primacy against Russia and China, the strategy document lays down three priorities: to “advance space as a priority domain,” “promote space commerce,” and “maintain leadership in exploration.”

Read more at: American thinker

Berlin To Press China On ‘Space, Robotic Weapons’ Rules

While China is not a signatory to the INF treaty, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas certainly hopes he will be able to drag Beijing into new agreements that will curb military development.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas told Die Welt newspaper that he is going to press China to adopt tighter arms control measures during the upcoming meetings in Beijing, citing the need to curb the development of “space weapons” and robotic weapons that may today be viewed as a matter of “science fiction.”

“Space weapons and autonomous weapons will soon no longer be science fiction, but possible reality,” he said in an interview. “We need rules that keep pace with the technological development of new weapons systems.”

Read more at: Space daily

As Satellites Become Targets, UK Military Seeks Closer Ties With Space Industry

The United Kingdom is not planning to establish an independent Space Force. It already has an organization within the Ministry of Defence, the Joint Forces Command, that oversees space, intelligence, information systems and cyber operations. But Joint Forces Command is very much aligned with the U.S. Defense Department in its thinking about space as a “warfighting domain” and on where the threats lie.

“Our biggest concern is the behavior of Russia and of China,” Gen. Sir Chris Deverell, commander of Joint Forces Command, said Nov. 6 at the 2018 Global MilSatcom conference.

He slammed both nations for not practicing what they preach on the militarization of space. “They continue to promote international agreements on non-weaponization of space but are developing offensive space capabilities under a screen of propaganda and misinformation,” said Deverell.

Read more at: Spacenews

How Likely Is War In Space And What Will It Look Like?

When someone as powerful as US President Donald Trump announces the formation of an American space force, it’s not hard to see why the military-minded have described war in space as an inevitability.

But is a real-life Star Wars really something we can expect soon?

Steven Freeland, who specialises in space law at Western Sydney University, doesn’t think so.

“We’ve had humans utilising space for military purposes and for a whole range of other amazing things for 60 years — and we haven’t had warfare in space,” Mr Freeland said.

Read more at: ABC

Trump’s Space Force Faces an Uncertain Fate

For the past several months, Donald Trump’s administration has explored the creation of a new military branch to protect national interests in outer space. Perhaps no one is as excited about this effort as President Trump, who came up with the idea.

“He only asks me about the Space Force every week,” Mike Pence joked at a meeting of the National Space Council last month, where members formulated plans to bring the Space Force to life.

But the outcome of the midterm elections has derailed their efforts. The Trump administration cannot establish the Space Force on its own. It needs Congress. It needs individual lawmakers to support the proposal, and then translate that support into legislation that provides funding and empowers government officials. And, in an ideal world, those lawmakers would be in the majority.

Read more at: Atlantic

Space Expertise Isn’t Necessary To Run The Space Development Agency, Says Pentagon Deputy

The Pentagon’s No. 2 official has someone in mind to run the new Space Development Agency, and it may not be someone from the space community.

In an exclusive interview with Defense News, Deputy Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan also said he expects the cost for a future Space Force will be below the $13 billion estimate floated by the Air Force in September.

The Space Development Agency, which would be a joint procurement arm in charge of setting standards and avoiding the duplication on space technology, appears to be the hub of Shanahan’s plans for rebuilding the Pentagon’s space architecture.

Read more at: Airforce times

Emergency Escape Rocket: The Ultimate Lifeboat For Spacecraft

For decades, rockets have remained the fastest and most dangerous mode of transportation created by humans. Not surprisingly, engineers went to great lengths to develop “insurance policies” in case something goes wrong during a wild ride beyond the Earth atmosphere. As it turned out, the most practical way of escaping from a failing rocket would be to use yet another dedicated rocket! Such method was used onboard several generations of spacecraft, including American Mercury, Apollo and Russian Soyuz. The latter system had actually got a chance to prove itself in real life emergency situation.

Read more at: Russian spaceweb

League Party Fires Italian Space Agency President In Surprise Move

The rule of law was not enough, now Italy’s leading parties, the League and the Five Star Movement also fight over outer space. For months the League insisted with its government ally to change the summit of Asi, the Italian Space Agency, and replace its president Roberto Battiston, the physicist first appointed in 2014 and confirmed in May by the outgoing government of Gentiloni for four years. “There are other priorities at the moment, we should talk about this again at the end of the year,” was the inevitable response of Luigi Di Maio. Until yesterday, when (what MS5 supporters would not not hesitate to call “a low blow”) Italy’s new Minister of Education, University and Research, Marco Bussetti, from the League, decided to fire him: “Today the minister surprised me when he told me to immediately from resign from my role as President of the [Italian Space Agency],” Battiston wrote on Twitter around noon.

Read more at: lastampa

After Goldman Balks, Musk Turns to BofA to Handle SpaceX Loan

Elon Musk frequently makes outrageous requests of his staff in his quest to remake global transportation and colonize Mars. But the terms he wanted on a loan for SpaceX were too much even for his closest ally on Wall Street.

As recently as last week, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. had been canvassing investors for interest in $500 million of Space Exploration Technologies Corp. debt. By the time interested parties showed up Wednesday at the Four Seasons hotel in midtown Manhattan for a breakfast meeting, Bank of America Corp. was running the show for a $750 million deal.

The switch surprised bankers and investors, as Goldman is widely viewed as the Wall Street firm with the closest relationship to Musk.

Read more at: Bloomberg

NASA’s Apollo Era Mission Control Consoles Return To Houston Restored

A group of Apollo-era NASA legends — mobile phones set to record — rushed to see the pea green Mission Control room consoles being unwrapped Thursday at Ellington Field, eager for a closer look at the restored versions of what had once been their desks.

A collective gasp rose up from the group of gray-haired men. Some had tears in their eyes. Others happily pressed buttons and dialed random numbers on the rotary phone pads. Still others simply stood back and marveled at the work of Kansas-based SpaceWorks in restoring the consoles to look just as they did when humans first walked on the moon.

Read more at: chron

‘Infinite Wonder’: Scott Kelly Documents Yearlong Space Mission with New Photobook

After spending nearly a year on the International Space Station during a record-breaking mission, retired astronaut Scott Kelly knows a thing or two about orbiting Earth.

“Depending on where you are over Earth, there were times when if the window shades were closed, just from the light seeping in — after being in space for a long time — from the color of the light, you could tell where over the Earth you were, generally speaking,” Kelly told

The retired NASA astronaut took the time to talk to us before an event Monday (Nov. 5) at Manhattan’s American Museum of Natural History, where he would be presenting his new photobook “Infinite Wonder: An Astronaut’s Photographs from a Year in Space”

Read more at:

NASA Presents the First 8K Footage from Space and It’s Incredible

Fans of science in space now can experience fast-moving footage in even higher definition as NASA and ESA (European Space Agency) deliver the first 8K ultra high definition (UHD) video of astronauts living, working and conducting research from the International Space Station.

The same engineers who sent high-definition (HD) cameras, 3D cameras, and a camera capable of recording 4K footage to the space station now have delivered a new camera capable of recording images with four times the resolution than previously offered.

The Helium 8K camera by RED, a digital cinema company, is capable of shooting at resolutions ranging from conventional HDTV up to 8K, specifically 8192 x 4320 pixels. By comparison, the average HD consumer television displays up to 1920 x 1080 pixels of resolution, and digital cinemas typically project in resolutions of 2K to 4K.

Read more at: Spaceref

New Book Reveals the Strange and Remarkable History of Space Stations

“Space Stations: The Art, Science, and Reality of Working in Space” (Smithsonian Books, 2018) is a stunning new book, released Oct. 30, that combines striking images with captivating space history to tell the tale of space stations throughout history, covering everything from Sputnik to Walt Disney and the to-be-seen future of space stations. caught up with Robert Pearlman, a space historian and contributing writer as well as one of the authors on the new book, which combines the authors’ expertise to stretch from pop culture and comics to technical specifications.

Read more at:

“Safe Passage to Mars” Design Challenge

“Safe Passage to Mars” is a design challenge for undergraduate students. Enabling safe space exploration of Moon, Mars and beyond requires the application of the concepts of Engineering Psychology to design and build hardware (tools, devices, or equipment) which can mitigate critical human performance issues associated with long-duration spaceflight.

Read more at: ISSF

10th IAASS Conference

15 – 17 May 2019 – Los Angeles, USA

The tenth IAASS Conference “Making Safety Happen” is an invitation to reflect and exchange information on a number of topics in space safety and sustainability of national and international interest. The conference is also a forum to promote mutual understanding, trust, and the widest possible international cooperation in such matters. The once exclusive “club” of nations with autonomous space access capabilities is becoming crowded with fresh, and ambitious new entrants. New commercial spaceports and near-spaceports are in operations and others are being built.

Read more at: IAASS Conference

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