June 4, 2014

Shelby Announces $1.7 Billion for Space Launch System (Source: Yellow Hammer)
U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) announced that a Senate Appropriations subcommittee allocated nearly $18 billion to NASA for the 2015 Fiscal Year, including $1.7 billion allocated to rocket development for the Space Launch System (SLS) currently underway at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville. Sen. Shelby is Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee and its Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice Science and Related Agencies (CJS), which passed the bill. (6/4)

Russia to Fly Two Tourists Around the Moon by 2017 (Source: Moscow Times)
Two "space tourists" will be flown to far side of the moon and back aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft within the next three years, according to the head of Energia, the company that builds the vehicles. Tickets for the trip cost $150 million each. Energia and its Virginia-based partner, Space Adventures, have sold tickets to eight so-called space tourists since 2001.

The two companies previously arranged trips that ranged from orbiting the earth to docking with the International Space Station, but now they are shooting for the moon. "We are carefully working with our partners from Space Adventures. We are exploring all possible avenues of cooperation with them, and we can do this — circle the Moon in 2017 to 2018 on Soyuz. Technically it is possible," Energia CEO Vitaly Lopota told Interfax on Monday.

Editor's Note: Can the Soyuz craft handle the kind of high-speed re-entry that would come with a lunar mission? NASA's Orion is being developed specifically for such beyond-LEO missions and will soon be tested for a similar-velocity re-entry by being launched well beyond LEO. (6/4)

Editorial: Too Many Workers, Contractors Spoil NASA Efforts (Source: Houston Chronicle)
Re-establishing U.S. human access to space could be achieved by returning to the type of organization that worked so well during the Apollo/shuttle era. Until about two years ago, when approximately 1,000 contractors were dropped, Johnson Space Center had roughly 3,600 civil servants and 13,000 contractors. During the Apollo/shuttle period, there were about 3,000 civil servants and 3,500 contractors.

Execution of that program required five years - 1964 to 1969. In contrast, the SpaceX program was awarded in July 2006 and the first proven launch occurred six years later. It should be noted that the Space X launch system is very welcome but is basically an update of the 1960 Mercury, Gemini launch systems. Another example is procurement time. Today, the evaluation process for a new procurement requires about two years. In 1969, lunar TV from Apollo 12 was lost when the camera was pointed to the sun. The total procurement cycle for the replacement TV was six weeks.

Can NASA restore the glory that it enjoyed during the Apollo/shuttle programs? Not as presently organized. There are simply too many employees. Large organizations stifle creative people. Innovative people are necessary whenever the creation of new technology is the goal. In large organizations such as NASA, employees like Steve Jobs would be at the back of the class. (6/4)

Ancient Planets Were Snatched From Another Galaxy (Source: SEN)
The latest discovery to be announced of two new exoplanets comes with a major twist, because they and their home star are thought to have been born in another galaxy. Despite that, this new solar system lies right on our cosmic doorstep. Its proximity to us was first noted by the Dutch astronomer, Jacobus Kapteyn, in 1898, who spotted that it moved relatively quickly against the sky background. This very high speed, known as “proper motion” covers more than 8 arcseconds per year, which is about 1/250th of the apparent diameter of the Moon.

Only one star is known to have a greater proper motion—Barnard’s Star, in the constellation of Ophiuchus, with 10.3 arcseconds. Yet this red dwarf and its planets are thought to be around 11.5 billion years old, or two and a half times the age of our Solar System, and only about two billion years younger than the Universe. They were snatched from a dwarf galaxy whose remains can still be seen in the southern sky as Omega Centauri. (6/4)

SOFIA Telescope Declared Operational, But Funding Threat Looms (Source: Flight Global)
Three months after announcing plans to ground the aircraft, NASA has declared the stratospheric observatory of infrared astronomy (SOFIA) operational after 18 years in development. The astronomical observatory mounted on a Boeing 747SP has been gathering data since 2010, but was officially still listed in a prolonged developmental phase.

A NASA review of the programme on 29 May allowed SOFIA to pass a key decision point that formally transitions the programme into operational status. “That’s the equivalent of a launch for a space mission,” says Paul Hertz, NASA’s astrophysics division director, in a statement released by the agency. After years of delay and cost overruns, the program is starting to gain operational momentum. SOFIA completed 14 flights and accumulated 100 science mission hours over a 30-day period from April to May. (6/4)

Space News Slams Musk for “Trial By Twitter” (Source: Parabolic Arc)
Space News has sharply criticized SpaceX Founder Elon Musk for a series of Tweets in which he all but accused United Launch Alliance (ULA) and Aerojet Rocketdyne of bribing an Air Force employee to award ULA a lucrative government launch contract. “His public indictment, on the basis of appearance alone, reeks of sour grapes,” the editorial charges. “It was a cheap shot at best; at worst, it was a cynical ploy designed to sell the narrative that SpaceX is not getting a fair shake from the Air Force. Either way, Mr. Musk has unfairly, perhaps irreparably, impugned reputations.” (6/3)

QinetiQ Wins Contract for New Docking System on Space Station (Source: Parabolic Arc)
QinetiQ Space has won a contract with the European Space Agency (ESA) for the development of the International Berthing Docking Mechanism (IBDM), a unique soft docking system for use by spacecraft at the International Space Station (ISS). Under the current contract phase, which will run until 2015, QinetiQ Space will develop and build an engineering model that it is intended to be tested on the ground. The contract is expected to lead to a follow-on development phase lasting until 2017. (6/3)

Capture10 Expands to Help New Technologies Overcome Barriers (Source: Capture10)
Capture10 LLC has significantly expanded its geographic scale and functional capabilities in an effort to help the growing number of emerging technologies overcome the challenges of entering new markets and increasing competition. “Companies with faster, better and less costly technologies frequently discover that their biggest challenge is not customers or capital, but incumbents, regulation or other interests vested in preserving the status quo,” said Capture10 Principal Lawrence Williams.

Capture10 has aggregated a unique network of experts and firms with experience in an array of technologies such as aerospace, cyberspace, wireless communications, energy, environment and health. The firm has recently expanded into major innovation hubs, such as San Francisco, New York City and Seattle. Click here. (6/3)

New Jersey Gets Piece of Space Fence Contract (Source: The Trentonian)
U.S. Senators Robert Menendez and Cory Booker from New Jersey expressed their excitement over Lockheed Martin receiving a U.S. Air Force contract to build a Space Fence radar system at its Mission System and Training facility in Moorestown, protecting hundreds of jobs. “I am thrilled that New Jersey will continue to lead the nation’s critical efforts in improving space situational awareness and tracking of debris in space,” said Menendez in a statement. (6/4)

Prototype Airbus Spaceplane Completes Drop Test (Source: Space News)
Airbus disclosed details of the first drop test, in the waters off the Singapore coast, of its planned spaceplane, saying the quarter-scale model was released from a helicopter at an altitude of 3,000 meters and successfully performed maneuvers simulating the vehicle’s end-of-mission descent.

The May 1-4 test, conducted in partnership with the Singapore Economic Development Board, was part of a low-level investment program at Airbus to maintain work on the spaceplane — designed to take passengers on low-gravity flights — as the company seeks one or more partners to develop a full-scale vehicle. (6/3)

NASA's New Mission: Conquering Social Space (Source: Ad Week)
Mass media and space travel have always been entwined, the former promoting and propelling the latter since America’s epic push five decades ago to land on the moon before Communist cosmonauts planted the hammer and sickle on its cratered surface. In the late 1950s and ’60s, NASA’s publicity machine piloted the first space age into every conceivable cranny of the nation’s collective consciousness.

NASA’s out-of-this-world sales job helped make space a national obsession. Its language and imagery pervaded television, movies, advertising, magazines, architecture, clothing, product design and more. Some cars even resembled rockets, with outsized tail fins seemingly capable of blasting the vehicles into orbit.

Today, astronauts, spacecraft and interplanetary themes are appearing in media and advertising more often than we’ve seen since the heyday of the Apollo lunar missions more than 40 years ago. The second space age has cleared the launch pad, and this renewed interest in off-world exploration is once again reflected and amplified by popular culture. Click here. (6/4)

Commercial Crew Gets Closer to Reality (Source: FedScoop)
NASA announced on May 30 that under its Commercial Crew program, three companies have completed Certification Products Contracts (CPC), which safely ensures that space travel systems are reliable and cost-effective. The companies — Boeing, Sierra Nevada and SpaceX — are required to explain how they will meet the criteria necessary to transport crew members from U.S. soil to the International Space Station.

With the first phase of certification complete, NASA will kick off the second CPC phase of Commercial Crew Transportation Capability, which is open to any company with the resources to produce designs comparable to those by the three companies in the first stage. After the second phase is complete, companies awarded will have the chance to conduct at least one crewed flight test. This test will help verify whether or not the spacecraft can successfully dock to the ISS. (6/3)

Russia, USA Resume Talks on New Joint Projects for ISS (Source: Itar-Tass)
Russia and the United States have resumed talks on new joint projects regarding the International Space Station (ISS), Izvestia writes on Wednesday, referring to Oleg Orlov, First Deputy Director of the Institute for Medico-Biological Problems of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Orlov said this refers to the conduct of joint research and joint use of the equipment installed in the Russian and American modules of the space station. (6/4)

BoldlyGo Institute Formed (Source: Capitol Confidential)
The BoldlyGo Institute is a privately funded nonprofit dedicated to “the advancement of space science and exploration,” including an unmanned round-trip expedition to Mars and a space telescope that would serve as the next step beyond the Hubble device. The institute aims to serve as a non-profit alternative to NASA in an age of ramped-down space exploration, with the goal of raising the funds sufficient to purchase or occupy space on a private rocket such as those being developed by SpaceX. (6/3)

NASA Gets More From Senate Bill Than House's (Source: Florida Today)
The Senate would give more money to NASA's Commercial Crew Program under a proposal it approved Tuesday; a vote is expected Thursday. The House passed a bill last week offering less. NASA seeks $848 million for its 2015 fiscal budget. The Senate version allots $4.4 billion for exploration, while the House version would give $4.2 billion. (6/4)

NASA Plans Don’t Include Space Florida's Shiloh Pad (Source: Daytona Beach News-Journal)
NASA has unveiled an updated 20-year master plan for its Kennedy Space Center, hoping to expand its facilities and attract new commercial spaceflight, but its plans don’t appear to include any mention of Space Florida’s proposal to develop a commercial spaceport on NASA-owned land in the southern end of Volusia County. And that is drawing reaction, both from supporters and opponents of Space Florida’s plans at Shiloh.

Editor's Note: Kudos to NASA (KSC and HQ) for thinking outside the box to plan for a diversified future at the spaceport. But this plan obviously has a self-preservation focus for KSC, which in the post-Shuttle era wants to maintain a vibrant and value-added role for itself. Space Florida, in its role as a spaceport authority, argues that KSC should expand its partnership with the state to serve commercial space transportation interests. I think there is still much room for partnership and collaboration here. Maybe Congress should request an objective study of best practices and alternatives. (6/4)

NASA Recognizes Retired Teacher for Innovative STEM Programs (Source: Northbrook Star)
Former science teacher and Long Grove resident Lynn Zielinski had her Glenbrook North High School students doing science, technology, engineering and math projects long before STEM ­— science, technology, engineering and mathematics — became a buzzword.

“It’s one thing to write out an experiment. It’s another to build it, get real data from it and put it out there for other scientists and engineers to see,” Zielinski said. Former student members of Zielinski’s innovative GADGET, or Glenbrook Aerospace Development Get-away Experiment Team, have ascended into leadership roles at renowned agencies like the NASA, Virgin Galactic and W.W. Grainger. Click here. (6/2)

Success for International Commercial Experiment Processed at State's Space Lab (Source: Space Florida)
Space Florida and the University of Zurich, Switzerland, announced the successful launch and return of the first international, commercial experiment processed at the Space Life Sciences Laboratory (SLSL) at Exploration Park on the Cape Canaveral Spaceport. The “CELLBOX Experiment” was processed and launched through a partnership between the German Space Agency (DLR), Astrium and NanoRacks.

CELLBOX launched aboard the SpaceX CRS-3 Mission to the International Space Station (ISS) on April 18, 2014, and investigated microgravity-associated long-term alterations in primary human macrophages, which are responsible for attacking, and killing bacteria and other foreign and pathogenic intruders in the human body.

The immune system is one of the most affected systems of the body during space flight and cells of the immune system are exceptionally sensitive to microgravity. CELLBOX successfully returned from the ISS and is currently being examined at the University of Zurich. "Space Florida’s SLSL facility provided the lab environment and technical support we needed to prepare this critical payload for flight.” (6/3)

Big Bang Blunder Bursts the Multiverse Bubble (Source: Nature)
When a team of cosmologists announced at a press conference in March that they had detected gravitational waves generated in the first instants after the Big Bang, the origins of the Universe were once again major news. The reported discovery created a worldwide sensation in the scientific community, the media and the public at large. According to the team at the BICEP2 South Pole telescope, the detection is at the 5–7 sigma level, so there is less than one chance in two million of it being a random occurrence.

The results were hailed as proof of the Big Bang inflationary theory and its progeny, the multiverse. Nobel prizes were predicted and scores of theoretical models spawned. But the BICEP2 instrument detects radiation at only one frequency, so cannot distinguish the cosmic contribution from other sources. When the BICEP2 team did its analysis, the Planck dust map had not yet been published, so the team extracted data from a preliminary map that had been presented several months earlier.

Now a careful reanalysis by scientists at Princeton University and the Institute for Advanced Study, also in Princeton, has concluded that the BICEP2 B-mode pattern could be the result mostly or entirely of foreground effects without any contribution from gravitational waves. Other dust models considered by the BICEP2 team do not change this negative conclusion, the Princetonteam showed. The sudden reversal should make the scientific community contemplate the implications for the future of cosmology experimentation and theory. (6/3)

Galaxy Possibly Teeming with 100 Million Life-Sustaining Planets (Source: Voice of Russia)
Forget close encounters of a third kind. Imagine galactic encounters with millions of planets in the Milky Way galaxy, each of them overflowing with complex life forms. A new study says it's a possibility. Although researchers are nearly unanimous in the belief that some other life forms exist in the great expanse of outer space, the worlds that any intelligent life forms inhabit are probably too distant for any human-alien meetings in the near future.

"On the other hand, we are likely so far away from life at our level of complexity, that a meeting with such alien forms is extremely improbable for the foreseeable future." The team of researchers arrived at their conclusions after examining more than 1,000 exoplanets for particular characteristics like age, chemistry, density, temperature and distance from the parent star. From the available information, the team arrived at a "biological complexity index"(BCI) that ranges between 0 and 1.0. (6/3)

GPS Sites in Russia Can't be Used Now for 'Military Purposes' (Source: Space Daily)
Russia has "taken under control" the operation of 11 American GPS sites and ensured they cannot be used for military purposes, as Washington and Moscow show no progress in negotiations on setting up Russian GLONASS stations on US territory. May 31 was the last day when Russia and the US could have reached a deal on the issue. Editor's Note: How can this "military use" be measured and enforced? (6/3)

Fourth Russian Female Astronaut to Travel to ISS in September (Source: Space Daily)
Preparations for the Soyuz TMA-14M spacecraft flight, which will carry the new crew to the International Space Station (ISS), including Russian female member Yelena Serova, have started at Baikonur. "Launch of Soyuz TMA-14M is planned for September 25, 2014. Three members of Expedition ISS-41/42 will travel to ISS. She was selected for a future mission in 2006. During more than half a century of human space exploration three female Russians managed to become astronauts. (6/3)

Newly Found Planet May Have Flowing Water, Astronomers Report (Source: Newsweek)
An international team of astronomers working with NASA’s Kepler spacecraft have discovered two new planets, one of which might support flowing water, according to the findings published Tuesday. The planets are orbiting Kapteyn's Star, the 25th nearest star to our sun—just 13 light years away. That means it is close enough to be seen from Earth with an amateur telescope.

"Finding a stable planetary system with a potentially habitable planet orbiting one of the very nearest stars in the sky is mind blowing,” Pamela Arriagada, a Carnegie Institution postdoctoral researcher and author on the study, said in a statement announcing the discovery. (6/3)

Mars Landing: The Only Justification for Human Spaceflight Beyond LEO (Source: Space News)
A crewed mission to the surface of Mars is the only goal that justifies the effort and billions of dollars it will take to send humans beyond Earth orbit, a congressionally chartered National Research Council panel concluded. During the long slog toward the martian surface, the panel said, NASA should hone its skills by testing the necessary technology at steppingstone destinations such as the Moon and near-Earth asteroids in their native orbits.

The lunar surface, which NASA says is unreachable in the current budget environment, got a shout out in the report. “[T]he report found that a return to extended surface operations on the moon would make significant contributions to a strategy ultimately aimed at landing people on Mars, and that it would also likely provide a broad array of opportunities for international and commercial cooperation,” according to a release.

The White House has insisted since 2010, the year after U.S. President Barack Obama took office, that it is doing exactly what the NRC’s latest report recommends: preparing NASA to land crews on Mars, and developing the technology needed to do it. At the same time, the administration has insisted that it does not need to stop at the lunar surface along the way. (6/4)

Kennedy Space Center Looks to the Future (Source: Florida Today)
Kennedy Space Center could see a major expansion of facilities by 2032, even as NASA copes with flat budgets and a mandate to downsize following the shuttle program's retirement. The center's new 20-year master plan maps out sites for several new launch pads, two seaports, a second runway and a rail link to Port Canaveral. The plan seeks to advance the agency's post-shuttle goal of transforming KSC into the go-to launch site for not only NASA missions but those by emerging commercial ventures that would drive any new development.

A first look at the plan publicized just a week ago, however, has some concerned KSC won't become different enough to attract launches of commercial satellites and space tourists, the only near-term growth opportunity given tightening federal budgets. State officials say NASA's apparent desire to manage all activity at the spaceport, as it has historically, will lead companies to choose more flexible, affordable options offered by other states.

"The marketplace is looking for something different, and that will put Florida at a competitive disadvantage," said Frank DiBello of Space Florida. "We have some real questions about some of the things in the plan." The state believes the locations planned for development -- in largely wetland areas -- would be more environmentally damaging, and force more disruptive closures of Playalinda Beach — an issue of particular concern to Titusville residents and leaders. Click here. (6/3)

Gov. Scott Signs Budget that Supports Cecil Spaceport (Source: WTEV)
Gov. Rick Scott signed a $77 million budget into law on Monday, which includes $2 million to build infrastructure necessary for the development of Cecil Spaceport. According to a Jacksonville Aviation Authority news release, JAA is appreciative of the support provided by the Florida Legislature, including members of the First Coast Legislative Delegation, the Florida Department of Transportation and Space Florida.

“This is an important step in the development of Cecil Spaceport,” said JAA Executive Director and CEO Steve Grossman. “The state’s support for Cecil and this developing industry is critical. If the commercial space industry doesn’t come to Cecil, it will likely not come to Florida for at least another four or five years.”

In December 2013, JAA signed its first tenant agreement at Cecil Spaceport with Atlanta-based Generation Orbit Launch Services, Inc. (GO), the release said. The test flights are expected to begin at Cecil in August, with operational launches anticipated in 2016. (6/3)

House Approves $17.9 Billion for NASA (Source: Space News)
NASA’s budget would rise to $17.9 billion in 2015 under an appropriations bill that passed the House of Representatives. The $250 million increase for NASA was included in the $51.2 billion Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations Act for 2015 (H.R. 4660). The bill also includes $2 billion for the NOAA’s Satellite and Information Service. A competing bill is slated to be marked up June 3 by the Senate Appropriations commerce, justice, science subcommittee. (6/3)

SpaceX Versus The Air Force: The Other Side Of The Story (Source: Forbes)
SpaceX  has sued the Air Force for awarding an $11 billion contract for launch services to its sole certified provider; derided the launch vehicles of that provider, ULA, as “insanely expensive;” accused the nation’s leading supplier of rocket engines of unethical practices for hiring a former Air Force space executive; mounted a costly lobbying campaign on Capitol Hill to influence legislation on government procurement of launch services; and generally run rings around his critics in the media.

First of all, it is not true that the government resists procuring launch services from non-traditional providers. In fact, the Obama Administration has done more to boost the prospects of such companies than any other administration since the dawn of the Space Age. Second, the importance of military space missions dictates that they not be entrusted to companies that have failed to demonstrate adequate capabilities through a detailed certification process.

The Air Force isn’t about neat ideas, it’s about getting the job done. So although all signs indicate that SpaceX is headed for certification as a qualified launch provider to the military, don’t expect the Air Force to skip steps, and don’t expect the company to win every launch competition once it is certified. The Air Force has already demonstrated it is willing to pay extra for superior capability and dependability. Click here. (6/3)

How Google Just Turned Internet Access Into a Space Race (Source: Washington Post)
First Facebook, now Google. The search giant is exploring how to use satellites to beam wireless data down to people in developing countries in a bid to expand internationally. The idea builds on the company's existing efforts, such as its balloon-based Project Loon, to serve otherwise disconnected regions of the world and places where it's too expensive to set up fixed broadband or cellular towers for mobile data.

Google will invest between $1 billion and $3 billion on 180 small satellites the company plans to place in low Earth orbit. Google is reportedly working with O3b, a satellite technology company that raised $410 million in 2010 from Google's investing arm and several other backers. The satellites will be pretty light, about 250 pounds each. Because they'll be orbiting the globe quickly, Google will need to use sophisticated antennas on the ground to track the satellites as they move across the sky.

Facebook's own vision for satellite-based Internet is no less ambitious. It's weighing the cost and benefits of geostationary satellites, meaning that ground antennas can stay pointed in one direction. That's the upside. The downside is that unless they can figure out how to make high-speed laser communications work through clouds and weather, sending Web traffic so far using conventional radio waves may cause a laggy connection. (6/3)

Exelis Wins NASA Contract for Satellite Payload to Improve Climate Models (Source: Exelis)
Exelis (NYSE: XLS) has been awarded a contract by NASA worth up to $208 million to build the Radiation Budget Instrument (RBI), a satellite payload that will improve scientific understanding of climate change. The contract includes one flight unit with options for two more instruments and associated support. RBI will provide more accurate measurements of reflected sunlight and thermal radiation emitted by Earth than the Clouds and Earth’s Radiant Energy System (CERES) instrument currently flying on the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership satellite. (6/2)

Firefighters Rescue Young Owls at Spaceport America (Source: Las Cruces Sun-News)
Spaceport America officials say firefighters at the facility recently rescued three young owls that had been nesting in the facility's terminal-hangar building. A family of great-horned owls, including three owlets, had been nesting in a "small opening above the north entrance" of the terminal-hangar, called the Virgin Galactic Gateway to Space building, according to a recent spaceport update. (6/2)

Civilian Travel a Space Program Boost (Source: Bloomberg)
NASA astronaut Mark Kelly talks with Betty Liu about the next phase of space travel with Elon Musk’s Dragon V2 vehicle manufactured by SpaceX, the United States’ reliance on Russian rockets for travel to and from the international space station and his thoughts on civilian space travel and his own experiences in space. He speaks on Bloomberg Television’s “In The Loop.” Click here. (6/3)

NASA and Virgin Galactic Select Payloads for Space Research Flight (Source: Virgin Galactic)
NASA and Virgin Galactic, the privately-funded spaceline owned by Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group and Abu Dhabi’s aabar Investments PJS, have identified twelve innovative research payloads that will fly to space onboard SpaceShipTwo, Virgin Galactic’s reusable spacecraft. Each of these payloads was selected by NASA through its Flight Opportunities Program to conduct research during the prolonged microgravity environment experienced on board SpaceShipTwo.

Editor's Note: Two of the experiments are by Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, including an On-Orbit Propellant Storage Stability investigation, which continues a microgravity research program to determine stability data for a prototype orbiting fuel depot that could enable future long duration space missions. The other is an Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) transmitter.

The ADS-B experimental payload is sponsored by the FAA's Office of Commercial Space Transportation and based on aviation equipment designed by MITRE Corp. and modified by the university. ADS-B technology will enable integration of suborbital reusable launch vehicles and stratospheric balloons into the FAA’s next-generation air traffic control system. (6/3)

This Is How You Stream Netflix to the Moon (Source: WIRED)
Sending high-definition video across the internet is no big deal. More than 44 million people watch movies and TV shows via Netflix. But Mark Stevens recently took things a little further. He sent some high-def video to the moon. Stevens is part of research team at MIT that broke the networking speed record from the earth to the moon this past fall, demonstrating a 19.44-megabits-per-second connection between a ground terminal at NASA’s White Sands Mexico facility and a probe orbiting the moon 380,000 kilometers away. (6/3)

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