July 22, 2015

Russian and US Engineers Plan Manned Moon Mission (Source: Space Daily)
Engineers in Russia and the US are completing a plan for a collaborative space program. The initiative would preserve the multinational alliance developed when the International Space Station (ISS) was initiated in 1993. Both American and Russian organizations are considering ways to return to space together, as long as the political relationship between the two nations doesn't deteriorate. The countries had been preparing to part ways after the ISS ceases operation in 2024.

NASA is developing its Orion spacecraft and the Space Launch System (SLS), a super-heavy rocket to be used for manned missions into space, possibly as far as Mars. NASA is also giving funds to companies like SpaceX to make excursions into orbit with reusable rockets.

A few years ago, the European Space Agency, (ESA) joined with NASA in a maintenance agreement to service the Orion propulsion module. But Russia, the second largest contributor to ISS, hasn't made any commitments beyond the time when its current obligations to the station are complete. (7/21)

Sorry, Eileen Collins: Here’s Why America is Already Great in Space (Source: Ars Technica)
Why would Eileen Collins jump into the political fray, many asked? And for Donald Trump, of all people? Like a lot of astronauts, Collins comes from a military background (she's a USAF colonel) and is therefore more likely to be conservative politically. Perhaps she had discussions with Trump people and they endorsed her view that NASA should return to the Moon before going to Mars. But what most interested—and ultimately disappointed—me was Collins' time-worn, Cold War-era perception about NASA and what really makes America's efforts in space great.

In some respects NASA has never been better. Its Solar System exploration program, multiple rovers on Mars, new mission to Jupiter, and recent flyby of Pluto are things the rest of the world cannot begin to match. But NASA presently lacks the funding to execute its Mars plan, and a Trump administration would need to pump a lot of money into a government program some have criticized as a "socialist plan" for space exploration.

Here's what Collins really missed on Wednesday night, however. Yes, NASA relies on Russia. But within a couple of years, the country will have not one, but two commercial vehicles providing rides to the space station from US soil, manufactured by SpaceX and Boeing. Despite the bleak picture Collins painted on stage in Cleveland, there is an incredible vibrancy in the US launch industry that the rest of the world is scrambling to catch up to. NASA isn't driving this push to build modern, low-cost rockets—all-American capitalism is. Click here. (7/21)

NASA May Build Instrument for Japan's Hitomi Replacement (Source: Space News)
NASA is considering building a replacement for an instrument lost on a Japanese X-ray astronomy satellite earlier this year that could fly on another Japanese spacecraft. Paul Hertz, director of NASA’s astrophysics division, said the Japanese space agency JAXA has approached NASA about contributing a copy of its Soft X-Ray Spectrometer (SXS) for a new version of Japan’s Hitomi spacecraft. (7/21)

Embry-Riddle Student/Graduate is the 2016 Student of the Year (Source: ERAU)
Passion, tenacity and drive are qualities used to describe Bailey Eaton, the Florida Association of Employers and Colleges’ 2016 Student of the Year. While earning her bachelor’s degree in Aerospace Engineering at Embry’s Riddle’s Daytona Beach campus, Eaton was seen a student role model who mentored her peers and completed five internships that have helped her launch a career at The Boeing Company. (7/21)

The Sad Story of Laika, the First Dog Launched Into Orbit (Source: Smarticle)
For many years, the Soviet Union gave conflicting statements that Laika had died either from asphyxia, when the batteries failed, or that she had been euthanized. In 2002, Dimitri Malashenkov, one of the scientists behind the Sputnik 2 mission, revealed that Laika had died by the fourth circuit of flight from overheating. According to a paper he presented to the World Space Congress inHouston, Texas, “It turned out that it was practically impossible to create a reliable temperature control system in such limited time constraints.” (7/21)

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