Axiom Space Wins NASA Approval for Construction of Commercial Space Station on ISS

Axiom space station (Credit: Axiom Space)

HOUSTON, Jan. 27, 2020 (Axiom Space PR) — The human dream of universal access to living and working in space has drawn one step closer.

On Monday the National Aeronautics and Space Administration selected Axiom Space as the winner of the NextSTEP-2 Appendix I solicitation, which sought to grant access to the International Space Station’s Node 2 Forward port for a commercial space station that could ultimately serve as ISS’ replacement.

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SpaceX, NASA Gear up for In-Flight Abort Demonstration

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (NASA PR) — NASA and SpaceX are preparing to launch the final, major test before astronauts fly aboard the Crew Dragon spacecraft and Falcon 9 rocket to the International Space Station as part of the agency’s Commercial Crew Program.

The test, known as in-flight abort, will demonstrate the spacecraft’s escape capabilities — showing that the crew system can protect astronauts even in the unlikely event of an emergency during launch. The uncrewed flight test is targeted for 8 a.m. EST Saturday, Jan. 18, at the start of a four-hour test window, from Launch Complex 39A in Florida.

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NASA Receives 9th Consecutive Clean Audit

The NASA Office of the Chief Financial Officer (OCFO) has led the way for an unmodified audit opinion on the agency’s fiscal year 2019 (FY 2019) financial statements. This represents NASA’s ninth consecutive “clean” opinion from an independent accounting firm – the highest opinion possible.

“This audit opinion is an affirmation of NASA’s commitment to its fiduciary responsibility for maintaining the public trust regarding the agency’s valuable financial resources,” said NASA CFO Jeff DeWit. “Our highly trained financial professionals will continue the quest for accountability, efficiency, and excellence as NASA pushes each day to further America’s leadership in space.”

NASA’s OCFO prepared the FY 2019 Agency Financial Report, which highlights the agency’s accountability to taxpayers as the agency works to accomplish President Donald Trump’s vision of placing the first woman and next man on the surface of the Moon by 2024, and then on to Mars.

Through the OCFO, NASA manages about 0.5% of the federal budget, and with effective strategic planning and fiscal management continues to expand humanity’s knowledge of science, technology, and the universe. This includes significant achievements in research aboard the International Space Station, Earth science research, technology development, aeronautics research and deep space exploration. These achievements unlock new opportunities, new technologies and new sources of prosperity for the nation’s economy, creating thousands of jobs for Americans across the country in multiple sectors, and inspiring the next generation to pursue education in science, technology, engineering, and math.

For more information on NASA’s budget, visit:

https://www.nasa.gov/budget

For more information about NASA and agency activities, visit: 

https://www.nasa.gov

China’s Chang’e 6 to Deploy French DORN Instrument on Moon to Study Lunar Exosphere

BEIJING (CNES PR) — Wednesday 6 November, on the occasion of President Emmanuel Macron’s state visit to the People’s Republic of China, CNES President Jean-Yves Le Gall and Zhang Kejian, Administrator of the China National Space Administration (CNSA), signed in the presence of Presidents Macron and Xi Jinping a joint statement covering two fields of investigation.

First, in 2023 China’s Chang’e 6 lunar mission will fly the French DORN instrument proposed by the IRAP astrophysics and planetology research institute. DORN’s science goals are to study the transport of volatiles through the lunar regolith and in the lunar exosphere and lunar dust.

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Giant Potato Buzzes Earth; Horticulturalists Amazed, Baffled

The asteroid Toutatis photographed by Chang’e 2. (Credit: SASTIND)

The Chinese space probe Chang’e 2 spacecraft snapped this image of the asteroid Toutatis.

A series of radar images of the asteroid are shown in the video below.

Video Caption: With optical telescopes, it’s difficult to make out the surface features of asteroid Toutatis. Radar gives us a different picture. On Dec. 12 and 13, 2012, scientists pointed NASA’s Goldstone Solar System Radar precisely on the asteroid while it was over four million miles/6.9 million kilometers away. Using the bounced radar signals scientists assembled these “images” showing the surface features of Toutatis, an asteroid measuring about 3 miles long (4.8 km). The orbit of Toutatis is well understood. An analysis indicates there is zero possibility of an Earth impact over the entire interval over which its motion can be accurately computed, which is about the next four centuries.











The Space Review: SBSP, Space 2.0, Lunar Lander Challenge and More

solar_power_satellite_concept
The Space Review
has some interesting analyzes this week:

John Marburry offers a way for government to support the development of space-based solar power despite the current economic meltdown.

Burke Fort, director of the director of the 8th Continent Project, describes how his group is helping foster the creation of companies that leverage space technology for terrestrial applications.

Jeff Foust reports on plans by several teams to win the Lunar Lander Challenge.

Taylor Dinerman worries that a U.N. effort to promote “sustainability” in space could be a power grab by the world body.