A Look at NASA’s Plans to Explore the Moon

Image Credit: NASA/Goddard/Arizona State University

Statement of Jason Crusan
Director, Advanced Exploration Systems Division
Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate
National Aeronautics and Space Administration

before the

Subcommittee on Space
Committee on Science, Space, and Technology
U. S. House of Representatives

SELECTED EXCERPTS

Lunar CATALYST: Promoting Private Sector Robotic Exploration of the Moon

As part of the Agency’s overall strategy to conduct deep space exploration, NASA is also supporting the development of commercial lunar exploration. In 2014, NASA introduced an initiative called Lunar Cargo Transportation and Landing by Soft Touchdown (CATALYST). The purpose of the initiative is to encourage the development of U.S. private-sector robotic lunar landers capable of successfully delivering payloads to the lunar surface using U.S. commercial launch capabilities.

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NASA Selects ‘ShadowCam’ to Fly on Korea Pathfinder Lunar Orbiter

THe Korea Pathfinder Lunar Orbiter images Shackleton crater using ShadowCam. (Credit: NASA)

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA has selected an instrument developed by investigators at Arizona State University and Malin Space Science Systems as a U.S. contribution to the Korea Aerospace Research Institute’s (KARI) first lunar exploration mission, Korea Pathfinder Lunar Orbiter (KPLO). ShadowCam will address Strategic Knowledge Gaps, or lack of information required to reduce risk, increase effectiveness, and improve the designs of future human and robotic missions. ShadowCam joins four KARI-developed instruments on KPLO.

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DLR Expands Cooperation with Japan and South Korea

DLR's Pascale Ehrenfreund and South Korea's Inho Kim signed an agreement deepening space cooperation. (Credit: DLR)
DLR’s Pascale Ehrenfreund and South Korea’s Inho Kim signed an agreement deepening space cooperation. (Credit: DLR)

COLOGNE, Germany (DLR PR) — A DLR delegation led by Pascale Ehrenfreund visited South Korea and Japan from 21 to 27 February. The delegation cultivated and expanded the close cooperation with partner organisations. Two important partnership agreements were signed during the visits.

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Russia 2013 Space Year in Review

Expedition 37 takes off for the International Space Station. (Credit: NASA)
Expedition 37 takes off for the International Space Station. (Credit: NASA)

By Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

Russia once again led the world in orbital launches in 2013, keeping the International Space Station supplied with a study stream of crew members and cargo while earning hard currency with commercial satellite launches.

Although the vast majority of Russia’s launches were successful, the spectacular failure in July of a Proton rocket — which nosedived into the ground shortly after liftoff — accelerated efforts to reform the nation’s failure-prone space program. By the end of the year, the Russian space agency Roscosmos had a new leader and a major effort was underway to consolidate a large part of the bloated and inefficient space sector under a single government-owned company.

During 2013, Russia introduced a new variant of its venerable Soyuz rocket while also making progress on constructing a new spaceport in the Far East and developing a larger human spacecraft to replace the Soyuz transport and a heavy-lift booster to facilitate deep space exploration.

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Khrunichev Nears Completion of KSLV-1 First Stage

MOSCOW (Khrunichev PR) —In the Khrunichev Space Center are close to completing work on the creation of the first stage for the South Korean rocket KSLV-light class 1. In July, scheduled for the test stage to control the test stand of the plant, and in August to implement sending the product to South Korea.

The third launch of KSLV-1 launch pad with the National Space Centre “Naro” is scheduled for the fourth quarter of this year.

Cooperation of South Korea and Russia in the field of missile technology has been going on for eight years. In 2004 a contract was signed for the Korean Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) for the development and creation of space rocket with a booster light class KSLV.

Editor’s Note: Both parties are hoping that the third time will be a charm. The first launch failed after the payload shroud didn’t jettison. The second launch vehicle exploded, for reasons that the Russians and Koreans could not agree upon. There is a dispute over whether the Russian first stage or the Korean second stage was at fault.

The Russian stage is powered by a scaled-down version of the engine that will be used in the new Angara rocket, which is set to make its debut in the second quarter of 2013.

South Korea’s Future Plans in Space

KARI President Seung-Jo Kim

JAXA has posted a Q&A with Seung-Jo Kim, President of the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI). Most of the interview relates to growing cooperation between KARI and JAXA, but there is a good overview of South Korea’s plans in rocketry, ISS experiments and lunar exploration for the next decade. Key excerpts from the conversation follow.

On Rocket Development

“Korea’s space policy is part of the Basic Space Development Promotion Plan, which was based on the Basic Space Development Promotion Act, enacted in 2005. In particular, we emphasize the development of a purely domestic satellite launch rocket called KSLV-2. Our major goal is to launch a domestic satellite on a domestic rocket, making use of the technology and experience gained through the development of the Naro rocket.

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Korean Rocket Explodes Shortly After Launch

Some very bad news for South Korea’s fledgling space program, the Yonhap News Agency reports:

A South Korean rocket carrying a scientific satellite is believed to have exploded on Thursday a little more than two minutes after takeoff, the country’s science minister said.

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Crucial South Korean Rocket Launch Set for Wednesday

Korea’s Space Rocket ‘Naro’ Gets Transported to Launch Pad
Arirang

With just two days left until the second launch attempt of Korea’s satellite-carrying rocket, the KSLV-1, scientists at the Naro Space Center successfully raised the rocket on the launch pad in preparation for its lift-off on Wednesday.

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ESA Chief to Propose that China, South Korea and India Join ISS Program

International Space Station
International Space Station

Space News has some interesting ISS news from Europe:

The head of the 18-nation European Space Agency (ESA) on Feb. 2 roundly endorsed the new direction U.S. President Barack Obama proposed for NASA, saying a firmer U.S. commitment to the international space station and space-based Earth science would further tighten trans-Atlantic cooperation.

In an interview, ESA Director-General Jean-Jacques Dordain also said his agency was ready to propose to NASA and the other space station partners — Russia, Japan and Canada — that China, India and South Korea be invited to join the station partnership.

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ISRO, KARI to Cooperate on Space

South Korea and India have agreed to deepen their cooperation in a wide range of technological areas, including space:

The KARI-ISRO pact outlines future cooperation in space communication, ways to enhance capabilities of remote control probes and promote growth of space-related sciences.

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Russia Finds International Cooperation Increasingly Profitable

Angara rocket engine test. The first stage of Angara was funded through a joint venture with South Korea.
Angara rocket engine test. The first stage of Angara was funded through a joint venture with South Korea.

The Roskosmos website has the transcript of an interview that deputy director Sergei Saveliev gave to RK magazine. The session covered a range of topics, including Russia’s increasingly profitable international cooperation and the possibility of Russian involvement in the next generation of Indian rockets. Some highlights:

“Today, in the field of space activity 75 intergovernmental agreements were concluded by Russia, including a set of 26 Russian-Kazakhstan agreements on cosmodrome ‘Baikonur’, and also 42 interdepartmental agreements. Preparation of 20 intergovernmental agreements with 18 countries is in the process. The number of joint projects increased. All this is due to the fact of improvement of industry financing. Russian government assured prompt support for leading enterprises of space-rocket industry in crisis, and it inspired them with confidence in the future.”

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2010: The Year South Korea Makes Contact

kslv-1

South Korea is looking to make major progress in aerospace next year. In addition to the second launch of its KSLV-1 rocket and several satellites, the nation is looking to forge partnerships with NASA, ESA and other major space agencies. South Korea is also increasing its national R&D budget in an effort to make aerospace into a lucrative export engine.

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NASA Eyes Closer Ties with South Korea

nasa_logoNASA predicts links with Korea space program
JoongAng Daily

Korea has the potential to become an important partner in efforts aimed at advancing exploration and technology for the peaceful use of space, the head of the U.S. aerospace administration said yesterday.

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South Korea Aims to Bridge Space Gap Within 10 Years

kslv-1

The Yonhap News Agency reports that South Korea has set an ambitious goal for catching up with the world’s leading space powers:

South Korea aims to bridge the gap in rocket and satellite technology with leading countries in the field of space exploration over the next decade by ramping up research and development and expanding cooperation with foreign agencies, the head of a state aerospace institute said Friday.

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