Category Archive: Asteroids

Nov 03 2015

ESA selects 5 CubeSat missions for Asteroid exploration

CubeSats to an asteroid. This is the Asteroid Impact mission that ESA is considering. The 5 CubeSat missions selected are AGEX (Royal Observatory of Belgium). A CubeSat touches down to assess the surface material, surface gravity, subsurface structure and of the DART impact effects. Another CubeSat in orbit deploys smaller ‘chipsats’ dispersed over the asteroid. …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.newspaceraces.com/2015/11/03/esa-selects-5-cubesat-missions-for-asteroid-exploration/

Aug 21 2015

Remain calm…all is well

NASA: There is no asteroid threatening Earth. Numerous recent blogs and web postings are erroneously claiming that an asteroid will impact Earth, sometime between Sept. 15 and 28, 2015. On one of those dates, as rumors go, there will be an impact — “evidently” near Puerto Rico — causing wanton destruction to the Atlantic and …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.newspaceraces.com/2015/08/21/remain-calm-all-is-well/

May 08 2015

Rut Rho…problems with JAXA’s PROCYON asteroid probe

Gunter’s space page (he’s apparently having virus troubles, so I won’t link to him — if you insist on heading on over to his site, it’s listed on my Linky Goodness page) is reporting the following: JAXA’s PROCYON asteroid probe suffered ion engine problems, causing the visit to asteroid 2000 DP107 to be abandoned. That’s …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.newspaceraces.com/2015/05/08/rut-rho-problems-with-jaxas-procyon-asteroid-probe/

Apr 13 2015

NASA Advisory Council comes up with their own alternative to ARM

NAC Adopts Finding To Redirect the Asteroid Redirect Mission — to Mars. Even though the NAC has no regulatory power over NASA strategy and funding, the fact that it came out and basically said, “ARM in its current state makes no sense” means that change for the program is on the horizon. NAC’s recommendation is …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.newspaceraces.com/2015/04/13/nasa-advisory-council-comes-up-with-their-own-alternative-to-arm/

Apr 06 2015

Planetary Society weighs in on timeline to get to Mars

Planetary Society: Orbiting Mars Is Critical Precursor to Human Landing. The Planetary Society held a workshop on 2 April titled “Humans Orbiting Mars” where they concluded that a manned orbital mission (like Apollo 8) around Mars in 2033 should be conducted before a landing attempt in 2039. I actually don’t buy that — the article …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.newspaceraces.com/2015/04/06/planetary-society-weighs-in-on-timeline-to-get-to-mars/

Mar 27 2015

Summing up the case against ARM

Video that sums up all the controversy about ARM. Alas, it looks like I can’t embed it here, so you’ll have to click on the link and then click on the video. If trashing ARM is becoming cool, I was cool before you were.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.newspaceraces.com/2015/03/27/summing-up-the-case-against-arm/

Mar 27 2015

NASA identifies 3 potential ARM targets

Next Steps on Journey to Mars: Progress on Asteroid Initiative. Itokawa: Bennu: 2008 EV5: The ARM mission will pluck a boulder off the chosen asteroid and use Solar Electric Propulsion to move that boulder into a stable Lunar orbit. It’ll take about 6 years from asteroid rendezvous to place it into a Lunar orbit. How …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.newspaceraces.com/2015/03/27/nasa-identifies-3-potential-arm-targets/

Mar 21 2015

Inspector General concerned about Orion, SLS, and GS schedules

NASA IG: SLS, Orion, Ground Systems Interdependency Creates Unique Challenges. Boy, and I’m speaking from my MUOS experience, having a system developed as multiple systems is a recipe for disaster. MUOS and MUOS radios are separate programs, and while the MUOS constellation has 3 satellites in orbit, we’re still waiting for operational radios to take …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.newspaceraces.com/2015/03/21/inspector-general-concerned-about-orion-sls-and-gs-schedules/

Mar 21 2015

Project Orion was more serious than initially thought

Starfleet was closer than you think. The Air Force in the early ’60s was prepared to dedicate 20% of its space budget to Project Orion. Here’s a comparison between Apollo and Orion: Preceding but also concurrently developed with Apollo, this extremely ambitious project had unbelievable payload capability. Where Apollo at 3,500 tons could only put …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.newspaceraces.com/2015/03/21/project-orion-was-more-serious-than-initially-thought/

Mar 18 2015

Lunar meteor impact observed

Lunar flash and plume seen by amateur astronomers. See the upper right of the .gif. The impact occurred in Mare Nubium: Pretty neat!

Permanent link to this article: http://www.newspaceraces.com/2015/03/18/lunar-meteor-impact-observed/

Mar 13 2015

NASA’s Exploration Habitat (X-Hab) Academic Innovation Challenge

NASA Challenge Invites Students to Help Design Journey to Mars Systems. Open to college students and applications will be taken through 30 April. Multiple $10-20K awards will be given. Here’s the Request for Proposal (RFP). The final evaluation will be held on 11 May 2016. Here’s the potential topic list: 1.0 Exploration Augmentation Module Project …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.newspaceraces.com/2015/03/13/nasas-exploration-habitat-x-hab-academic-innovation-challenge/

Feb 25 2015

Preach it, sistah

Let’s Fix the Asteroid Redirect Mission. And by “fix”, she means cancel and redirect the money. Speaking of money, here’s the money quote: Human exploration of Mars and developing technologies to deflect asteroids are two useful objectives, but they need to be untangled to be accomplished effectively. There is no need for ARM other than …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.newspaceraces.com/2015/02/25/preach-it-sistah/

Feb 21 2015

List of reasons why ARM might be worth doing

It’s a pretty weak list, but here it is: 1. Adding a new, even more accessible “moon” to the Earth-moon system 2. Providing an ideal testbed for asteroid in situ resource utilization (ISRU) development. 3. Providing a much larger sample quantity to work with than other existing or proposed missions. 4. Providing a good way …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.newspaceraces.com/2015/02/21/list-of-reasons-why-arm-might-be-worth-doing/

Jan 29 2015

NASA Safety Panel rips CCtCAP, Orion, SLS on lack of openess

For a government report, this is as scathing as it gets. In a color-coded “traffic signal” chart later in the report, ASAP rated “risk transparency — Insight and communications” as red, meaning an issue of “long-standing concern or an issue that has not been adequately addressed by NASA.” It is the only one of nine …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.newspaceraces.com/2015/01/29/nasa-safety-panel-rips-cctcap-orion-sls-on-lack-of-openess/

Jan 29 2015

Deep Space Industries looking at microbes for asteroid processing

Similar to the process we use to help extract copper here on Earth. This idea has more merit than I first thought: The DSI team is trying to bring the picture into clearer focus. For instance, the researchers surveyed data about the 11,000 known near-Earth asteroids (NEAs), to estimate how many of them might have …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.newspaceraces.com/2015/01/29/deep-space-industries-looking-at-microbes-for-asteroid-processing/

Jan 27 2015

More info on 2004 BL86’s moon

Size-wise, it’s roughly proportional to Earth’s Moon.. Via radar, 2004 BL86 was measured to be about 1100 feet in diameter and its moon was 230 feet in diameter, or about 21% as large. Earth’s Moon is about 27% the size of Earth. Interestingly, about 16% of Near-Earth asteroids that are larger than 665 feet have …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.newspaceraces.com/2015/01/27/more-info-on-2004-bl86s-moon/

Jan 26 2015

2004 BL86 has a Moon!

#Asteroid that flew past Earth today has moon! Details: http://t.co/4fkpU0kzZ9 @AsteroidWatch #Asteroid2004BL86 pic.twitter.com/2l72afi6RV — NASA (@NASA) January 26, 2015 So my question then is “With such a close pass to Earth, was 2004 BL86’s Moon’s orbit perturbed enough to escape from the asteroid?”

Permanent link to this article: http://www.newspaceraces.com/2015/01/26/2004-bl86-has-a-moon/

Jan 26 2015

Closest, biggest asteroid flyby until 2027 (that we know of) occurs tonight

The mountain-sized stone will pass 3 lunar distances from Earth. It’ll be close enough to see with binoculars.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.newspaceraces.com/2015/01/26/closest-biggest-asteroid-flyby-until-2027-that-we-know-of-occurs-tonight/

Jan 15 2015

Senator Cruz lays out Space agenda

Ted Cruz laid out Commerce Committee’s Space, Science and Competitiveness subcommittee’s space agenda in a press release yesterday. Priorities include: Reauthorization of the Commercial Space Launch Act (CSLA), citing competition within the commercial sector as its primary benefit. Support for the SLS and Orion He wants to hold hearings on the Asteroid Redirect Mission “to …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.newspaceraces.com/2015/01/15/senator-cruz-lays-out-space-agenda/

Jan 11 2015

CubeSats included in Mars InSight lander mission (Updated)

To provide a comms relay link between the lander and Earth. The MRO, MAVEN and Odyssey will not be in position to provide relay comms. The lander will land in one of four possible landing sites within the Elysium Planitia (around 30N, 150E){ Interesting…Why would those orbiters not be able to cover the InSight lander? …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.newspaceraces.com/2015/01/11/cubesats-included-in-mars-insight-lander-mission/

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