August 31, 2016

DNA Sequenced in Space for First Time (Source: SpaceRef)
For the first time ever, DNA was successfully sequenced in microgravity as part of the Biomolecule Sequencer experiment performed by NASA astronaut Kate Rubins this weekend aboard the International Space Station. The ability to sequence the DNA of living organisms in space opens a whole new world of scientific and medical possibilities. Scientists consider it a game changer.

DNA, or deoxyribonucleic acid, contains the instructions each cell in an organism on Earth needs to live. These instructions are represented by the letters A, G, C and T, which stand for the four chemical bases of DNA, adenine, guanine, cytosine, and thymine. Both the number and arrangement of these bases differ among organisms, so their order, or sequence, can be used to identify a specific organism. (8/29)

Aerospace in South Carolina has $19 Billion Impact (Source:
A new study shows that the growing aerospace industry in South Carolina now pumps $19 billion into the state's economy. Media outlets report that the study was conducted by University of South Carolina research economist Joey Von Nessen. Currently about 100,000 jobs are tied to the aerospace industry. Private-sector aerospace workers make about $70,000 a year - almost 70 percent more than the average wage paid in South Carolina.

The impact of the industry has grown by about $2 billion since Von Nessen last studied the aerospace sector of the economy two years ago. Boeing assembles its 787 Dreamliner aircraft in North Charleston. (8/29)

Sea Launch Sale Coming in Early 2017 (Source: Space Daily)
The sale of Russia's Morskoi Start (Sea Launch) floating space launch pad is expected early next year, with Russian investors among the leading candidates, the S.P. Korolev Rocket and Space Corporation (RSC) Energia chief said. "I believe the transaction will be finalized in early 2017. We are leaning toward a Russian candidate, it has an interesting program and is convenient to work with," RSC Energia General Director Vladimir Solntsev said without naming the potential investor. Solntsev expressed hope that Energia would stay involved with the project despite the planned sale. (8/29)

SES Will Be First to Re-Use SpaceX Rocket (Source: Space News)
SES will be the first customer for a Falcon 9 launch involving a reused first stage. SES announced Tuesday that its SES-10 satellite will launch on a "flight-proven" Falcon 9 in the fourth quarter of this year. That launch will use a first stage flown on a previous mission, most likely a Dragon cargo mission to the space station in April. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but SES has previously expressed an interest in being the first customer for a reused Falcon 9 at a significant discount from standard Falcon 9 prices. (8/30)

Air Force Weather Satellite Strategy Relies on International Partners (Source: Space News)
The U.S. Air Force's weather satellite strategy makes extensive use of international partnerships. That long-term strategy, recently delivered to Congress, involves using data from European, Indian and South Korean weather satellites to fill gaps in the Air Force's own satellite systems. The Air Force also expects to make a decision next month on whether to launch DMSP-20, the last in a series of military weather satellites currently in storage and awaiting disassembly. (8/29)

More Kuiper Belt Objects Point to Greater Likelihood of Ninth Planet (Source:
New discoveries of distant Kuiper Belt objects are providing more evidence for the existence of a ninth planet. The orbital characteristics of the objects, in the outer reaches of the solar system, are consistent with a recent study that argued the orbits of other distant bodies have been shaped by a planet about ten times the mass of the Earth, which has yet to be directly detected. "I'd be somewhere like 80 percent sure that there's a Planet X out there," said one astronomer involved in the new discoveries. (8/29)

Russia Considers Analog Mars Base (Source: Sputnik)
Russia is considering getting into the Mars analog base field. A Russian scientist said Monday that RSC Energia and the Institute for Biomedical Problems were interested in developing a simulation facility near the new Vostochny Cosmodrome in Russia's Far East that could train crews for future Mars expeditions. Those comments were prompted by the end of a one-year Mars simulation, funded by NASA, on Hawaii's Mauna Loa. (8/30)

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