October 26, 2016

Contract Negotiations Start for New SLS Upper Stage (Source: Aviation Week)
NASA and Boeing kicked off negotiations this week on a contract for the Exploration Upper Stage (EUS), a four-engine upgrade designed to take the heavy-lift Space Launch System (SLS) from a 70-ton lift capability to 105 tons on its second flight. (10/25)

The Second Meeting of the U.S.-China Space Dialogue (Source: US Dept. of State)
Pursuant to their shared goal of advancing civil space cooperation, as agreed upon in the Strategic Track of the U.S. - China Strategic and Economic Dialogue in June 2015 and reaffirmed in June 2016, the United States and China convened their second Civil Space Dialogue on October 20, 2016, in Washington, DC.

This ongoing Civil Space Dialogue enhances cooperation between the two countries, promotes responsible behavior in space, and encourages greater transparency and openness on a variety of space-related issues. The Department of State led the meeting for the United States and the China National Space Administration represented China. Also supporting this meeting were U.S. Government representatives from NASA, including Administrator Charles Bolden, NOAA, the U.S. Geological Survey, the FAA, and the Department of Defense. (10/24)

Lockheed Martin's Revenue Rises 14.8 Percent (Source: Reuters)
Lockheed Martin, the Pentagon's No. 1 weapons supplier, reported a 14.8 percent rise in quarterly sales, helped by the acquisition of helicopter maker Sikorsky Aircraft. The company's net income from continuing operations rose to $1.09 billion in the third quarter, from $756 million a year earlier. Net sales rose to $11.55 billion from $10.06 billion a year earlier. (10/25)

Trump: "I Will Free NASA" From Being Just a LEO Space Logistics Agency (Source: Space Policy Online)
Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump vowed today to "free NASA" from serving "primarily" as a logistics agency for low Earth orbit operations. He also supported more public private partnerships and asserted that if he wins "America and Florida will lead the way into the stars." Trump spoke at the Orlando Sanford International Airport. Click here. (10/25)

Roscosmos Says Galileo, Other European Programs Could Suffer From Payment Dispute (Source: Space News)
The Russian space agency, Roscosmos, on Oct. 21 gave written warning to the French government that it would take France to court in six months unless France’s Arianespace launch-service company frees up about 300 million euros ($330 million) in long-overdue payments.

In what appears to be an attempt to force France’s European neighbors to apply pressure to Paris, Roscosmos hinted that multiple cooperative space efforts between Russian and the European Union, and with the European Space Agency (ESA), could suffer if the payments are not freed. (10/25)

Long-Term Space Flight Gives Astronauts Extra Inches - and Back Problems (Source: Guardian)
Astronauts gain a couple of inches in height during long-term space flight, but lose vital muscle mass, according some of the most detailed observations yet of how the body is altered by living in low gravity. Growing taller might sound like an attractive bonus of space travel. In reality, changes to the spine during space flight are often accompanied by severe back pain and injuries that could blight a future long distance space mission to Mars, NASA scientists said. (10/25)

Some Alien Worlds Could Have 'Too Much' Water for Life (Source: Seeker)
As with everything in life, too much of a good thing can be bad — and that logic now seems to apply to alien life, too. For 90% of the exoplanets simulated, their total mass consisted of over 10% water. Considering Earth is only 0.02% water, the simulated red dwarf exoplanets are veritable ocean planets! At first glance, this might seem like an incredible opportunity for advanced life forms to evolve on planets in red dwarf systems.

In previous studies, water-dominated worlds were found to have unstable climates that may work against the evolution of life, perhaps stymieing these planets' potential for producing complex life forms. If this is the case, super-advanced alien civilizations stand little chance of becoming a reality. Add this to the fact that any habitable zone exoplanets around red dwarfs will be so close to their stars that they are constantly bathed in huge doses of radiation. Perhaps the only possible life on these worlds will be basic aquatic life and have to exist deep under protective layers of icy crust. (10/25)

No comments: