June 21, 2015

U.S. Will Keep Lead in Space with NASA's Launch System (Source: Orlando Sentinel)
They say politics stops at the water's edge — and as former leaders of NASA under Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, we can tell you it definitely stops at the atmosphere's edge. America's determination to continue to lead in space is one of our truly bipartisan national priorities, underscored by the sustained and shared commitment across the last two administrations — so different in so many ways — to deep space discovery and exploration and the world's first human landing on Mars.

NASA is developing the Space Launch System, featuring the highest thrust and largest payload capacity ever developed. SLS will offer almost 2.5 times the payload mass and six times the volume of any other existing or planned U.S. launchers. SLS in its final form will have about 10 percent greater lift capacity than the Saturn V — the only other beyond-Earth-orbit human launcher ever flown.

There are significant reasons why heavy lift is crucial for deep-space human exploration. Future Mars landings, for instance, would require at least the equivalent mass of the International Space Station — which took 10 years and 30 missions to complete — to be launched from Earth. SLS, with its 130 metric-ton lift capability, could accomplish this in just six or seven flights, making the missions far less complex and more cost-effective. (6/21)

Astronaut Scholarship Foundation Plans November Rendezvous (Source: Florida Today)
The nonprofit Astronaut Scholarship Foundation's annual Astronaut Autograph and Memorabilia show will be back Nov. 5-7 at Kennedy Space Center, and features a new name: Space Rendezvous 2015. Astronauts will sign memorabilia and guests can learn more about NASA's next exploration rocket and capsule, the Hubble Space Telescope's 25th anniversary and more. Click here for information. (6/21)

TMT Construction to Resume Wednesday (Source: Big Island Now)
Construction will resume Wednesday at the Thirty Meter Telescope site atop Mauna Kea. The announcement by TMT International Observatory Board Chair Henry Yang came Saturday night, two and a half months after Governor David Ige initially ordered a one-week halt in construction on April 7. Following Governor Ige’s decision, TMT officials voluntarily extended the construction delay. (6/20)

Space Lawyer Explains How We'll Forge a Civil Society Off Earth (Source: Gizmodo)
Without even looking a century or so ahead when we’ll take a Virgin Galactic flight to spend our summers on Europa, there are many legal issues that are already confronting humanity in space. That’s why space lawyers are plenty busy today examining the particular economic and societal challenges found where Earth ends and space begins. Click here. (6/20)

The Exciting and Grueling Life of a SpaceX Intern (Source: Business Insider)
Interns at SpaceX aren't making copies or grabbing coffee for higher-ups — they're helping build and program rockets to launch into outer space instead. According to the internship listing, only the most driven candidates need apply. We spoke to three former SpaceX interns who told us what the experience is really like. Click here. (6/21)

Russia Confirms Elimination of US On-Board Computer Failure at ISS (Source: Sputnik)
The Russian Federal Space Agency Roscosmos confirmed that a glitch in the work of an on-board computer in the US segment of the International Space Station (ISS) was eliminated, the agency’s spokesman told RIA Novosti Sunday.

"Yes, there was a problem with the computer in the US segment of the ISS. Our cosmonauts have helped their American counterpart in a difficult situation. It is a real cooperation. At present, all the systems are functioning normally. The Moscow and Houston mission controls have carried out a perfect joint work," Igor Burenkov said. (6/21)

Astronauts Might Eat KSC’s Next Space Lettuce Crop (Source: Florida Today)
More seeds will soon rocket to the world’s ultimate raised bed garden: the International Space Station. And the next time astronauts orbiting 250 miles up harvest homegrown heads of red romaine lettuce, under guidance from Kennedy Space Center scientists, they may be allowed to eat some.

Extensive laboratory analysis of the first space-grown lettuce crop produced by the KSC experiment nicknamed “Veggie” found no salad stoppers. Eighteen seed pillows are among the more than 5,000 pounds of supplies that a SpaceX Dragon capsule will fly to the station following a planned liftoff from Cape Canaveral at 10:21 a.m. next Sunday. Click here. (6/21)

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