June 18, 2016

China Recruits Public for Space Capsule Experiment (Source: China.org)
Four Chinese volunteers on Friday started a six-month living experiment in an enclosed space capsule, a project to support China's deep-space exploration plan. The volunteers - three men and one woman - will be observed while they live in the controlled environment of the eight-compartment capsule in south China's Shenzhen city, according to the Astronaut Center of China.

The 1,340-cubic-meter capsule houses 25 kinds of plants, which will be used for sustenance. The four volunteers will have their sleep and emotion patterns monitored to provide references for manned-space expeditions. The center launched the call for volunteers in May last year, and selected eight people, including an alternative team, from 2,110 candidates. Of the four volunteers entering the capsule, two have a space research background. (6/17)

Antares Launch Likely Slipping to August (Source: Space News)
The return to flight of Orbital ATK's Antares launch vehicle is likely to slip to August. The company said Thursday that it is now planning the launch of a Cygnus spacecraft to the ISS for "the August timeframe," rather than July as previously planned. The company did not indicate if the delay was primarily due to the schedule of other spacecraft visiting the ISS in July or issues uncovered during a static fire test of an Antares first stage at the end of May. The launch will be the first of a new version of the rocket that replaces the AJ26 engine in its first stage with an RD-181. (6/16)

House Bill Would Cut Funding for Three EELV Launches (Source: Space Policy Online)
The House approved a defense spending bill that cuts funding for the EELV program. The full house voted 282-138 Thursday to approve the fiscal year 2018 defense appropriations bill. The bill funds only three EELV launches instead of the five requested by the administration, saying the two it cut were "early to need." The administration, in a statement threatening to veto the bill, argued the bill actually cut three, not two, launches from the request. (6/16)

Details Offered on Landing Failure (Source: The Verge)
Elon Musk offered more details about Wednesday's failed landing of a Falcon 9 first stage. Musk, in a series of tweets, said "early liquid oxygen depletion" caused an engine shutdown just before the stage landed on the deck of its autonomous spaceport drone ship in the Atlantic. The landing, he said, was not as fast as originally thought, but still broke the stage apart and caused the engines to "accordion." Musk reiterated he expects about a 70 percent success rate in landings this year; so far, it is at 50 percent (3 for 6). (6/17)

China Plans Larger Role for Commercial Space (Source: Xinhua)
Chinese officials say they're ready for commercial space efforts to take a larger role there. At the first China Space Economic Forum, held Thursday in Beijing, Tian Yulong, the general secretary of the China National Space Administration, said military and other government officials are discussing ways to share existing resources with companies. He added that many resources were ready now for commercial development. (6/16)

Russian Asteroid Detection System Starts Trials (Source: Space Daily)
The country's first wide-angle telescope AZT-33 BM will be able to see any space boulder the size of the Tunguska meteorite a month before its collision with Earth. At the Sayan Observatory of the Institute of Solar-Terrestrial Physics of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, trial operation of the first wide-angle telescope in Russia has started.

The AZT-33 VM telescope with a field view of 2.8 degrees was built in St. Petersburg by optical corporation JSC "LOMO," with the assistance of the Siberian Branch of RAS and Roskosmos. The new telescope will be able to view any asteroid or comet from thousands of miles away before their collision with Earth. (6/17)

BEAM Passes Initial Inspection at Space Station (Source: SpaceFlight Insider)
The International Space Station’s (ISS) first expandable addition, known as the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM), passed its initial inspection by two of the station’s residents. NASA astronaut and Expedition 47 Flight Engineer Jeff Williams first entered the module on the morning of June 6, 2016, followed by Russian cosmonaut Oleg Skripochka.

Both wore basic breathing gear as a standard precaution. Their initial task was to collect an air sample from inside BEAM and begin downloading data from sensors in the 13.2-foot (4.01-meter) long module. Williams told flight controllers at Mission Control, Houston, that BEAM’s interior looked “pristine” and said that other than feeling cold, there was no evidence of any condensation on its inner surfaces. That was a relief to all parties involved after the initial expansion issues in late May. (6/17)

House-Passed Defense Appropriations Bill Could Test Obama Veto Threat (Source: Defense News)
House-passed defense spending legislation would use $16 billion in war funds to pay for nonwar expenses, a detail that could draw a veto from President Barack Obama. "This bill fulfills the Congress's most important responsibility -- providing for the common defense," said House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers, R-KY. (6/16)

Europe’s Orion Service Module Shipment to U.S. Delayed by Three Months (Source: Space News)
The European-built service module for NASA’s Orion crew-transport vehicle will be three months late in being shipped to the United States following modifications to the design recommended by a June 16 program review, a senior European Space Agency official said June 17. (6/17)

Space Tourism! How to See a Rocket Launch In Person This Summer (Source: Space.com)
With a little planning and flexibility, anybody can go watch a rocket blast off. This guide goes through each of the three U.S. sites that have rocket launches this summer: Cape Canaveral Spaceport, Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia and Vandenberg AFB in California. It tells you where to go, what to expect and what launches to watch for this summer. Click here. (6/17)

Saturn V's New Mission in Mississippi (Source: Universe Today)
For 38 years, this Saturn V has been at its home at NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, where it was built more than 40 years ago. But now, it’s found a new home at the Stennis Space Center, about 77 km. (48 miles) away. And getting there is quite a journey. The heart of this journey is a 64 km. (40 mile) trip through the Intercoastal Waterway, and up the Pearl River. (6/17)

Space Accounting Matters (Source: Accounting Today)
With the recent growth of the commercial space industry, too many accounting firms are still operating under “business as usual,” at a time when it is crucial that accountants take a leadership role in space exploration.

Space travel is the emerging industry that will dominate the next decade. Companies are already working towards flying tourists into space and running hotels in space. Soon companies will be manufacturing in space. Affordable nanosatellites will put even more technology into high orbits. And there are already business plans for mining operations on the Moon and Mars. All these possibilities have one thing in common: accounting. Click here. (6/16)

No comments: