NASA’s The Color of Space Documentary Celebrates Black Space Explorers

Black astronauts speak to the public at Space Center Houston, Building 9NW, Rocket Park. (Image Credit: Bill Stafford/NASA)

WASHINGTON (NASA HQ PR) — Members of the public are invited to watch the free online premiere of The Color of Space, an inspirational documentary by NASA that tells the stories of Black Americans determined to reach the stars.  

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Rogozin Lays Out Options for Roscosmos Post ISS; Russia Agrees to Seat Swap with NASA

Video Caption: Russia will look to wind down its cooperation on the International Space Station (ISS) while stepping up cooperation with China on the creation of a lunar station in the coming years, the head of Russia’s space agency said in an interview with the China Global Television Network (CGTN) on Friday.

Editor’s Note: In brief, Russia will honor commitments to ISS through the current end date of 2024. Rogozin thinks negotiations to extend station operations — NASA wants a 2030 end date — would be difficult with current tensions over the Russian invasion of Ukraine. He said Russia plans to launch its own space station in 2027-28, on which it might work with China.

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Sierra Space to Open Human Spaceflight Center, Train the Future Astronaut Corps for the New Commercial Space Economy

A crewed variant of the Dream Chaser® spaceplane is currently in development and will be operational in 2026, having successfully completed its System Requirements Review (SRR) earlier this month. (Credit: Sierra Space)

Sierra Space’s Human Spaceflight Center and Astronaut Training Academy at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center Will be Led by Dr. Janet Kavandi, Sierra Space President and Veteran of Three Space Shuttle Missions

LOUISVILLE, Colo. (Sierra Space PR) Sierra Space, a leading commercial space company at the forefront of creating and building the future of space transportation and infrastructure for low-Earth orbit (LEO) commercialization, announced today that it is creating the world’s first fully integrated commercial human spaceflight center and astronaut training academy. Dr. Janet Kavandi, a space industry leader and veteran NASA astronaut, will lead Sierra Space’s Human Spaceflight Center and Astronaut Training Academy from the company’s offices at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center.

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Video: Vice President Kamala Harris Congratulates Mark Vande Hei on Record-setting Spaceflight

Video Caption: Vice President Kamala Harris recently spoke to astronaut Mark Vande Hei after he returned home from spending 355 days in space — the longest single spaceflight for a NASA astronaut.

Mark’s mission and research in space helps us better understand the effects of long-duration human spaceflight as we prepare for the Artemis missions to the Moon. As head of the National Space Council, VP Harris is working on our priorities in space, including building up America’s STEM workforce, addressing the climate crisis, and promoting rules and norms that govern space.

Learn more about Celestial Immunity, space station research that may help us treat diseases: https://go.nasa.gov/3END1kY

JAXA Winnows Down Astronaut Candidates to Fewer Than 2,300

TOKYO (JAXA PR) — The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has examined the application documents submitted by 4,127 applicants for astronaut candidate recruitment, and as a result, the following document selection passers have been determined.

Number of successful applicants for document selection: 2,266

Breakdown

  • 1,778 male (78.5%)
  • 485 female (21.4%),
  • 3 other (0.1%)

Breakdown of Astronaut Candidates by Age Group Who Passed Document Selection

Age GroupSuccessful Applicants (Document Selection)Total Applicants
20s or younger483 (21.3%)811 (19.7%)
30s1,084 (47.8%)1,850 (44.8%)
40s513 (22.6%)973 (23.6%)
50s163 (7.2%)424 (10.3%)
60s and over23 (1.0%)69 (1.7%)
Total2,2664,127
* Since the composition ratio is rounded to the first decimal place, the total is not necessarily 100.

Future Plans

The 0th selection English test will be held on May 8th (Sunday), and only those who have passed the English test will be held a general liberal arts test on May 29th (Sunday). Both will be carried out online.

Richard Branson Gets His Astronaut Wings, Aims to Eliminate Asterisk* Next Time

Unity 22 crew: Michael Masucci, Colin Bennett, Richard Branson, Sirisha Bandla, David Mackay and Beth Moses at the 37th Space Symposium. (Credit: Virgin Galactic)
  • Billionaire aims to go higher and faster next time
  • Virgin Galactic still can’t get SpaceShipTwo all the way up (to Karman line)
  • FAA throws in the towel on deciding who is and who isn’t an astronaut

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

Earlier this month, Richard Branson and two Virgin Galactic employees received commercial astronaut wings from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for the SpaceShipTwo VSS Unity flight test they took part in last July. The trio was the last group to receive the wings — FAA ended the program last year — and the honors came with a pretty big asterisk.

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JAXA Astronaut Selection Attracts More Than 4,000 Applicants

JAXA astronaut Sochi Noguchi is pictured inside the newly arrived upgraded SpaceX Cargo Dragon vehicle on December 7, 2020. Safety goggles and masks are required when a crew member opens the hatch and enters a new spacecraft for the first time due to dust and debris that may have been dislodged during the ascent to space. (Credits: NASA)

TOKYO (JAXA PR) — The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) is a new candidate for Japanese astronauts assuming activities on the International Space Station (ISS), the Japanese Experiment Module “Kibo”, the lunar manned base “Gateway”, and the lunar surface. The deadline for recruitment is noon on Monday, April 4, 2022. We are pleased to inform you that we have received the final application as shown below.

Total number of applications: 4,127

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Record Breaking NASA Astronaut to Return to Earth on Wednesday Aboard Russian Soyuz as Private Mission to ISS Looms

NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei studies cotton genetics for the Plant Habitat-5 space agriculture experiment. (Credit: NASA)

HOUSTON (NASA PR) — Three Expedition 66 Flight Engineers are returning to Earth in less than two days as four private astronauts prepare for their mission to the International Space Station. The crew activities haven’t stopped the ongoing space research as the orbital residents studied biology, botany, and physics on Monday.

NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei is nearing the end of his mission as he prepares to return to Earth on Wednesday after a NASA-record breaking 355 days in space. Soyuz Commander Anton Shkaplerov will lead Vande Hei and Flight Engineer Pyotr Dubrov inside the Soyuz MS-19 crew ship when they undock from the Rassvet module at 3:21 a.m. EDT on Wednesday. The trio will parachute to a landing just over four hours later.

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NASA to Provide Live Coverage of Record-Setting US Astronaut Return

NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei studies cotton genetics for the Plant Habitat-5 space agriculture experiment. (Credit: NASA)

HOUSTON (NASA PR) — NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei and two Roscosmos cosmonauts are scheduled to end their mission aboard the International Space Station and return to Earth on Wednesday, March 30.

Vande Hei, along with Anton Shkaplerov and Pyotr Dubrov, will close the hatch to the Soyuz MS-19 spacecraft to begin the journey back to Earth. The Soyuz will undock from the Rassvet module, heading for a parachute-assisted landing Wednesday, March 30, on the steppe of Kazakhstan, southeast of the remote town of Dzhezkazgan.

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1,563 Apply to Become Japanese Astronauts

TOKYO (JAXA PR) — The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency ( JAXA ) started accepting applications for new astronaut candidates from noon on December 20, 2021 ( Monday), and ended at noon on March 4, 2022 ( Friday ). The number of applicants *1 who have applied from many people and completed the application procedure as of noon on March 4 ( Friday) is as follows.

Number of applicants (as of 3/4 noon): 1,563 (female ratio: 20%)

The final number of applicants*2 will be confirmed after the deadline for submitting the health certificate results (including the health certificate) (noon on April 4 (Monday)), and will be announced on April 5 (Tuesday). We are here.

* 1 Those who have completed all application procedures such as entry sheet and submission of health examination results.

* 2 The number of applicants announced this time (as of 3/4 noon) will be in good health by noon on April 4 (Monday). Addition of the number of people to submit the diagnosis result.

The number of applicants in 2008 was 963 (female ratio: 13%).

ESA Astronaut Selection Proceeds with Psychological Exams

Arnaud Beck, director of clinical research at MEDES, a health subsidiary of CNES. (Credits: MEDES)

PARIS (ESA PR) — The recruitment of the next ESA astronauts continues. Phase 2 began with the psychotechnical tests and will continue until the end of May with the psychological assessments. 404 French men and women are still in the race.

22,523 Europeans had applied last year to become a member of the European Astronaut Corps. A 1st selection on file selected 1,361, including 250 French and 154 French women, who therefore began phase 2 at the start of the year. And that’s where the serious stuff begins. 

“Phase 2 is divided into 2 stages ,” explains Arnaud Beck, director of clinical research at MEDES, the health subsidiary of CNES, and in charge of organizing part of the tests. The 1st (called phase 2.1) takes place in Hamburg, it involves psycho technical and cognitive tests : memorization, mental calculation… There is also an exercise which takes place in front of a control screen: the candidates must manage several parameters simultaneously, using different joysticks and controllers. They are also assessed on their level of English. This stage, which ends in early March, should see around 400 candidates access phase 2.2, which began on 01/31 in Cologne, at the European Astronaut Center (EAC).

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Former Astronaut Tim Kopra Joins OneWeb Technologies as New President

Tom Kopra, President, OneWeb Technologies

HOUSTON, March 10, 2022 (OneWeb PR) — OneWeb Technologies, the premier provider of innovative and secure commercial satellite communications (SATCOM) application solutions, has named former astronaut Tim Kopra as President. In his new role, Tim will be responsible for leading the company’s growth as it continues to expand its partnerships and solve secure, mission-critical real-time connectivity challenges for the U.S. government, its allies, and global enterprise customers.

A dedicated leader with a passion for space innovation, Kopra was Vice President for Robotics and Space Operations at MDA immediately prior to joining OneWeb Technologies. Before that, he held various leadership and operational roles as an engineer and astronaut at NASA. Kopra lived and worked on board the International Space Station (ISS) during two spaceflights and served as ISS Commander during one of its missions. During his time with NASA, Kopra completed three spacewalks and spent 244 days in space.

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Norwegian Continues Training for Soyuz Flight to ISS & Spacewalk Amid Western Sanctions Over Ukraine; 18 Norwegians Advance in ESA Astronaut Selection

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

A Norwegian industrial designer is continuing to train to fly to the International Space Station (ISS) aboard a Roscosmos Soyuz spacecraft and perform a commercial spacewalk amid Western sanctions over the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Nima Shahinian has been training at Russia’s Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City for a voyage to ISS at the end of next year. Shahinian — who is an industrial designer lead at Designit Oslo, a father of two and an Afghanistan veteran — is a client of the U.S. company Space Adventures.

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