NASA Passes Go, Moves Toward Late August Artemis I Launch

Artemis I rocket rolls out to the launch pad for a wet dress rehearsal on June 6, 2022. (Credit: NASA)

NASA has decided that the Space Launch System (SLS) wet dress rehearsal earlier this week that ended prematurely was sufficient for the agency to move forward with having the giant rocket launch an uncrewed Orion spacecraft to the moon later this summer.

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NASA Introduces 2022 Class of Flight Directors

A photo of NASA’s 2022 class of flight directors who will oversee operations of the International Space Station, commercial crew, and Artemis missions to the Moon. The inductees from left to right: Heidi Brewer, Ronak Dave, Garrett Hehn, Diana Trujillo, Elias Myrmo, Chris Dobbins, Nicole McElroy. (Credits: NASA)

HOUSTON (NASA PR) — NASA has selected seven new additions to the team of flight directors to oversee operations of the International Space Station, commercial crew, and Artemis missions to the Moon. The inductees in the class of 2022 include Heidi Brewer, Ronak Dave, Chris Dobbins, Garrett Hehn, Nicole McElroy, Elias Myrmo, and Diana Trujillo. 

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NASA’s The Color of Space Documentary Celebrates Black Space Explorers

Black astronauts speak to the public at Space Center Houston, Building 9NW, Rocket Park. (Image Credit: Bill Stafford/NASA)

WASHINGTON (NASA HQ PR) — Members of the public are invited to watch the free online premiere of The Color of Space, an inspirational documentary by NASA that tells the stories of Black Americans determined to reach the stars.  

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Rogozin Lays Out Options for Roscosmos Post ISS; Russia Agrees to Seat Swap with NASA

Video Caption: Russia will look to wind down its cooperation on the International Space Station (ISS) while stepping up cooperation with China on the creation of a lunar station in the coming years, the head of Russia’s space agency said in an interview with the China Global Television Network (CGTN) on Friday.

Editor’s Note: In brief, Russia will honor commitments to ISS through the current end date of 2024. Rogozin thinks negotiations to extend station operations — NASA wants a 2030 end date — would be difficult with current tensions over the Russian invasion of Ukraine. He said Russia plans to launch its own space station in 2027-28, on which it might work with China.

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NASA Updates Astronaut Assignments for Boeing Starliner Test Flight

Boeing’s Starliner crew ship is seen moments after docking to the International Space Station’s forward port on the Harmony module. (Credit: NASA TV)

NASA Mission Update

NASA will fly two astronaut test pilots aboard the agency’s Boeing Crew Flight Test (CFT) mission to the International Space Station, where they will live and work off the Earth for about two weeks.

CFT commander Barry “Butch” Wilmore, whom NASA assigned to the prime crew in October 2020, will join NASA astronaut Suni Williams, who will serve as pilot. Williams previously served as the backup test pilot for CFT while assigned as commander of NASA’s Boeing Starliner-1 mission, Starliner’s first post-certification mission. As CFT pilot, Williams takes the place of NASA astronaut Nicole Mann, originally assigned to the mission in 2018. NASA reassigned Mann to the agency’s SpaceX Crew-5 mission in 2021.

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From the Earth to the Moon and on to Mars – ESA and NASA take decisions and plan for the future

Noordwijk, The Netherlands (ESA PR) — The next steps in exploring and using space for the benefit of European citizens were this week on the agenda at ESA’s Council meeting in ESA/ESTEC, the Netherlands on 14 and 15 June. The possibility of the first-ever European astronaut to set foot on the Moon, a telecommunication satellite for lunar exploration and a mission to return precious rock samples from Mars were all discussed.

NASA Administrator Bill Nelson joined the meeting with ESA Member States in a decisive gesture to advocate for Europe’s strong role in multiple projects which reinforce the enduring partnership between the two leading space agencies.

“From understanding our changing planet to exploring Mars, I hugely value the cooperation we have with NASA” says ESA Director General Josef Aschbacher.  “By contributing key European hardware and services to exciting programmes such as Artemis and Mars Sample Return, we are building Europe’s autonomy while also being a reliable partner.”

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Sierra Space to Open Human Spaceflight Center, Train the Future Astronaut Corps for the New Commercial Space Economy

A crewed variant of the Dream Chaser® spaceplane is currently in development and will be operational in 2026, having successfully completed its System Requirements Review (SRR) earlier this month. (Credit: Sierra Space)

Sierra Space’s Human Spaceflight Center and Astronaut Training Academy at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center Will be Led by Dr. Janet Kavandi, Sierra Space President and Veteran of Three Space Shuttle Missions

LOUISVILLE, Colo. (Sierra Space PR) Sierra Space, a leading commercial space company at the forefront of creating and building the future of space transportation and infrastructure for low-Earth orbit (LEO) commercialization, announced today that it is creating the world’s first fully integrated commercial human spaceflight center and astronaut training academy. Dr. Janet Kavandi, a space industry leader and veteran NASA astronaut, will lead Sierra Space’s Human Spaceflight Center and Astronaut Training Academy from the company’s offices at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center.

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Sidus Space is a Teammate on NASA’s $3.5 Billion Exploration Extravehicular Activity Services Contract

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (Sinus Space, Inc. PR)Sidus Space, Inc. (NASDAQ:SIDU), a Space-as-a-Service company focused on mission critical hardware manufacturing; multi-disciplinary engineering services; satellite design, production, launch planning, mission operations; and in-orbit support is proud to announce that it is part of the Collins Aerospace team which was awarded NASA’s Exploration Extravehicular Activity (xEVAS) services contract.

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More Cryptonauts to be Announced

MoonDAO is set to announce the winners of trips to space on Saturday. The company is running a contest in which winners mint a non-fungible token (NFT) that essentially serves as a ticket in a lottery. MoonDAO said it has purchased several tickets from Blue Origin for a suborbital flight aboard New Shepard.

MoonDAO is not alone in running contests for space trips using cryptocurrency. A 28-year old civil production engineer from Brazil named Victor Correa Hespanha claimed the title of the world’s first cryptonaut when he flew to space aboard Blue Origin’s New Shepard vehicle last Saturday. To reach space, Hespanha bought a non-fungible token (NFT) for a contest run by the Crypto Space Agency.

The Space Coin Project has launched a similar project to launch cryptonauts into space. You can read more about these efforts here.

One Small Step for a Man, One Giant Leap for Cryptokind.

Oceaneering to Team with Collins Aerospace, ILC Dover on NASA’s Next-Generation Spacesuit Program

Prototype spacesuit (Credit: Collins Aerospace)

HOUSTON (Oceaneering International PR) — Oceaneering International (“Oceaneering”) (NYSE:OII) announces that Oceaneering Space Systems (“OSS”), a division of the Aerospace and Defense Technologies segment, will serve on a team led by Collins Aerospace (“Collins”), a Raytheon Technologies business selected by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (“NASA”) to develop next-generation extravehicular spacesuits.

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Rogozin: Russia to Cooperate on ISS Until 2024

Roscosmos head Dmitry Rogozin. (Credit: A. Savin)

When he’s not threatening to nuke Bulgaria, Roscosmos CEO Dmitry Rogozin does attend to his day job of overseeing Russia’s space program. MSN reports:

In comments to Rossiya-24 on Saturday, Rogozin said, as reported by Russian state-owned news agency TASS, that Russia’s involvement with the ISS was fading into the background but the country would still cooperate until 2024, at least.

“The ISS will work exactly as long as the Russian side needs to work on it,” Rogozin said. “There are technical problems. The station has been operating beyond its lifespan for a long time. We have a government decision that we are working until 2024.”

The current operating agreement for the space agencies involved with the ISS ends in 2024, although most of the partner nations have expressed that they are hoping to continue with the project until 2030.

Earlier this year, it was reported by some media outlets that Russia was planning to quit the ISS, blaming Western sanctions, following comments Rogozin made on state television.

Rogozin said: “The decision has been taken already, we’re not obliged to talk about it publicly. I can say this only—in accordance with our obligations, we’ll inform our partners about the end of our work on the ISS with a year’s notice.”

Rogozin left some wiggle room here for extending station operations. Roscosmos is working on building it’s own space station, which is supposed to begin construction in Earth orbit beginning in 2025. However, Russia’s space projects have shown a tendency to slip, sometimes by years.

Russian officials have talked about cooperating with China on its new Tiangong space station. No details have been released aside from visits by Russian Soyuz spacecraft.

Russia is also working on an agreement with China to build a crewed base on the moon.

Canadian Space Agency Funds Novel Ideas for Potential Moon Infrastructure

Credit: Canadian Space Agency

LONGUEIUL, Que. (CSA PR) — As humanity tackles the challenges of creating a permanent human presence on the Moon, multiple Canadian companies will undertake seven concept studies. These reports will help develop capabilities and define potential Canadian infrastructure contributions on the Moon’s surface.

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Chinese Astronauts Launch, Dock with Space Station

Long March-2F launches the Shenzhou-14 crew to the Tiangong space station. (Credit: Su Dong)

Three Chinese astronauts arrived at the nation’s first permanent space station on Sunday, beginning a busy six-month mission during which initial assembly of the orbital facility will be completed.

Astronauts Cai Xuzhe, Chen Dong and Liu Yang. (Credit: CASC)

Chinese astronauts Chen Dong, Liu Yang, and Cai Xuzhe lifted off aboard the Shenzhou-14 spacecraft at 10:44 a.m. local time (10:44 p.m. EDT on Saturday) from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. The Long March-2F rocket placed the crew transport into orbit, where they automatically docked with the Tiangong station seven hours after liftoff.

Chinese space station after assembly. (Credit: CASC)

The crew will be on board when the Wentian and Mengtian science modules are launched later this year. The flights will complete the initial assembly of the t-shaped station. The Shenzhou-15 crew will then launch, expanding the station contingent to 6 astronauts, Chinese officials said.

This launch is the 423rd launch of the Long March series of launch vehicles.

China to Launch New Crew to Space Station on Sunday

Astronauts Cai Xuzhe, Chen Dong and Liu Yang. (Credit: CASC)

BEIJING (CASC PR) — On June 4, the press conference of the Shenzhou 14 manned flight mission announced that, after the research and decision of the General Headquarters of the space station phase flight mission, the aim was to use the Long March 2F carrier rocket to launch the Shenzhou 14 at 10:44 [02:44 UTC Sunday/10:44 p.m. EDT on Saturday] on June 5. The three astronauts Chen Dong, Liu Yang, and Cai Xuzhe will carry out the Shenzhou 14 manned mission, with Chen Dong as the commander.

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