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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Sierra Space and Spaceport America Sign Agreement on Landing Site for Dream Chaser® Spaceplane

Memorandum of Understanding Adds New Mexico Spaceport to Growing Portfolio of Global Landing Locations for Dream Chaser

Expands Working Relationship Following Sierra Space’s 2022 Corporate Sponsorship of Spaceport America Cup

Dream Chaser, set to launch in 2023, is the only commercial spacecraft capable of low-g earth return to compatible commercial runways worldwide, allowing immediate access to high value payloads. (Credit: Sierra Space)

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, and Spaceport America announced today the signing of a new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). The agreement adds the world-class New Mexico spaceport to Sierra Space’s portfolio of potential global landing sites for its Dream Chaser®, the world’s first and only winged commercial spaceplane.

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Cygnus Reboost of Space Station Aborted, Next Steps Being Planned

Five spaceships are parked at the space station including the SpaceX Dragon Freedom; the Cygnus space freighter; the Soyuz MS-21 crew ship; and the Progress 80 and 81 resupply ships. (Credit: NASA)

HOUSTON (NASA PR) — On Monday at 10:20 a.m. Central time, Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus NG CRS-17 engine was scheduled to fire for 5 minutes, 1 second to test the cargo craft’s ability to reboost the International Space Station in the future. The engine firing was aborted after five seconds. Cygnus’ Mission Director at Dulles, Virginia reported the cause for the abort is under review.

NASA and Northrop Grumman flight controllers are reviewing data from today’s attempt and will develop a plan for the next steps needed to continue development of this enhanced capability as a standard service for NASA.

The Expedition 67 crew, which was never in any danger, is continuing its regular regime of work aboard the complex, which is orbiting around 260 miles above the Earth.

NASA Selects Small Business Award to Advance Microgravity Research & Manufacturing

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

NASA has selected four projects focused on advancing microgravity research and manufacturing in Earth orbit for funding under its Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program.

The Phase I awards, which are worth up to $150,000 apiece, were for projects proposed by: DSTAR Communications of Woodland Hills, Calif.; Sachi Bioworks of Louisville, Colo.; GOEPPERT of Philadelphia, Pa.; and Nanoarmor of Los Angeles, Calif.

DSTAR Communications is developing space-enhanced crystals that could be commercially manufactured on ISS.

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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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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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Roscosmos Boss Dmitry Rogozin Calls for Wiping Out Ukraine

Twitter’s content moderation efforts seemed to have spiraled downward. Major Russian government officials somehow keep their accounts while advocating the genocide of a nation of 44 million people.

Rogozin has been rabid, foaming at the mouth for months. Ukraine did not, and does not now, pose an existential threat to Russia. The biggest threat is that it becomes a stable, parliamentary democracy and joins the European Union. It would be another example of a different path Russia could take other than the authoritarian one that Vladimir Putin, Rogozin and others have imposed on the country.

Twitter really needs to answer for this. It needs to decide whether letting people call for the genocide of an entire nation is something they want to allow.

Elon Musk, who signed an agreement to purchase Twitter for $44 billion, is an avowed free speech absolutist. He called Twitter’s decision to ban Donald Trump after the attack on the Capitol last year immoral. Is this something that he would allow? What is his view of the morality of this? How absolute is absolutism?

Here’s the one thing we can be very sure about. If Rogozin was calling for the deaths of the current Twitter CEO and his family, or Elon and his children, this tweet would not stay up for a minute. It would be taken down immediately, and Rogozin would be banned.

The time is coming, barring a significant change in the Russian government, when NASA has to decide whether it come continue to work with the Russians on the International Space Station. That day may come sooner than the 2024 date Rogozin has said Russia would likely pull out of the program.

Video: Dream Chaser Makes Progress Toward First Flight

Video Caption: Dream Chaser, Tenacity, has undergone aeroshell and wing deployment system installation. Under NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services 2 (CRS-2) contract, Dream Chaser will provide a minimum of six cargo service missions to and from the International Space Station.

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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DLR Opens Institute for Satellite Geodesy and Inertial Sensors in Hanover

Bose-Einstein condensate in Cold Atoms Lab icon image. (Credit: NASA)
  • The DLR Institute of Satellite Geodesy and Inertial Sensors mainly researches quantum technologies.
  • Areas of application are in space travel, earth observation, navigation and sensors.
  • The DLR institute was officially opened on May 30, 2022.
  • Focus: space travel, quantum technologies

HANOVER, Germany (DLR PR) — Navigation accurate to the centimeter, a tap-proof Internet or autonomous control of vehicles without a radio connection – the promise of new instruments based on quantum mechanical processes and methods. The Institute for Satellite Geodesy and Inertial Sensors at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) in Hanover is developing such technologies. On May 30, 2022, the institute was officially opened. In the future, around 100 employees will work in six departments at the Hanover and Bremen locations.

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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.

SpaceX CRS-25 to Launch Stem Cells From Cedars-Sinai Scientists to Space

Cedars-Sinai Scientists Will Test Whether it is Possible to Produce Large Batches of Stem Cells in a Low Gravity Environment

LOS ANGELES (Cedars-Sinai PR) — Cedars-Sinai and Space Tango are launching pilot-scale systems for the in-space production of stem cells to see if they can elevate the next generation of stem cell and gene therapies by harnessing the near-zero gravity conditions of spaceflight .Cedars-Sinai SpaceX CRS-25 Mission Patch.This mission, funded by a NASA Research Announcement award, will help researchers explore the effects of microgravity on induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). The work can potentially lead to better ways to manufacture large numbers of cells in the absence of gravity. 

Microgravity has become of great interest to stem cell scientists due to unique properties it grants to biological tissues and processes that could potentially help mass-produce cells or other products in a way that is not possible to do on Earth.

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