December 8, 2014

Mars Station Simulation Report (Source: Mars Society)
When Crew 143 arrived at the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) on the afternoon of November 15, each crew member had only just met the others barely a day before. The Crew is a cross section of disciplines and nationalities from around the world, including professions from the sciences, engineering, and journalism with the countries of Canada, France, Russia, and the United States of America represented. English and French were the primary languages that helped bind this crew together and with a shared interest in space, everyone was eager to not only pursue their own research goals, but to assist others with the performing of theirs. Click here. (12/6)

China's New Hypersonic Strike Vehicle Takes Flight Again (Source: Space Daily)
China has conducted yet another test of its new Hypersonic Glide Vehicle (HGV) dubbed by the Pentagon WU-14. The test is the third in the series of launches of the new ultra-high speed vehicle capable of traveling up to eight times the speed of sound and dodging the US anti-missile defense system, following the two previous launces of January 9 and August 7. The test has been monitored by the US intelligence agencies. (12/8)
China Outlines Space Station, Moon and Mars Plans (Source: Parabolic Arc)
China hopes to put a rover on Mars around 2020, complete a manned space station around 2022 and test a heavy carrier rocket around 2030, a top space scientist revealed Sunday. A feasibility study on the country’s first Mars mission is completed and the goal is now to send an orbiter and rover to Mars….

The Tiangong-2 space lab will be launched around 2016 along with the Shenzhou-11 spacecraft and Tianzhou-1 cargo ship. Around 2018, a core experimental module for the station will be put in place. By around 2022, China’s first orbiting space station should be completed. It will consist of three parts — a core module attached to two labs, each weighing about 20 tonnes.

A powerful carrier rocket is essential for a manned moon landing. The rocket is envisaged as having a payload capacity of 130 tonnes to low Earth orbit. Once in service, it will help with missions between 2030 and 2050, and secure China’s position in terms of space exploration and technology. (12/7)

NASA Cooperating With JAXA on Hayabusa2 Science (Source: Parabolic Arc)
NASA and space agencies across the globe are opening up new possibilities for space exploration with missions to comets, asteroids, and other celestial bodies. The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) successfully launched its Hayabusa2 mission on Dec. 3 to rendezvous with an asteroid, land a small probe plus three mini rovers on its surface, and then return samples to Earth.

NASA and JAXA are cooperating on the science of the mission and NASA will receive a portion of the Hayabusa2 sample in exchange for providing Deep Space Network communications and navigation support for the mission. Hayabusa2 builds on lessons learned from JAXA’s initial Hayabusa mission, which collected samples from a small asteroid named Itokawa and returned them to Earth in June 2010.

On Nov. 17, NASA and JAXA signed an agreement for cooperation on the Hayabusa2 mission and NASA’s Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security – Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) mission to mutually maximize their missions’ results. OSIRIS-REx is scheduled to launch in 2016. It will be the first U.S. asteroid sample return mission. OSIRIS-REx will rendezvous with the 500-meter-sized asteroid Bennu in 2019 for detailed reconnaissance and a return of samples to Earth in 2023. (12/7)

Hadfield: Next Giant Leap for Mankind Should be Moon, Not Mars (Source: Guardian)
The next giant leap for mankind should be back on the moon not Mars, the astronaut Chris Hadfield has said. Hadfield was the first Canadian to walk in space and became the first Canadian commander of the ISS when he took the reins last year on his final space mission.

Hadfield criticized the current scramble to put an astronaut on the red planet. “If we started going to Mars any time soon everybody would die,” he said. “We don’t know what we are doing yet. We have to have a bunch of inventions between now and Mars.”

But, while praising the engineers who built the Orion spacecraft that was launched last week in Nasa’s first step towards a new series of manned space missions, Hadfield stressed the next big step should be to construct a permanent lunar base. “That is a great vehicle,” he said of Orion. “But where we are going to go next is the moon. That’s where we are going to go because it just makes sense. It is only three days away and we can invent so many things.” (12/7)

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