Deep Space Extra will be on Fall break starting Tuesday, September 1, returning on Tuesday, September 8.
In Today’s Deep Space Extra… Upcoming presidential election, tropical storms join coronavirus pandemic, technical issues and funding in adding uncertainty to the nation’s space exploration ambitions. Boeing strives to refly its uncrewed Starliner test flight in December. Japan’s space agency and Toyota plan Lunar Cruiser to for human exploration of the Moon.
Human Space Exploration
Congress could provide stability to space program in an election yearPolitico (8/28): As the November U.S. presidential election approaches, it’s unclear what the outcome might mean for NASA’s exploration plans, starting with the Artemis initiative to return to the surface of the Moon with human explorers in 2024. President George W. Bush endorsed the Moon in a 2004 initiative, only to have it cancelled by his successor in 2010. The Democratic Party platform on which nominee Joe Biden is running expresses support for “continuing space exploration and discovery,” with little elaboration. NASA might be insulated from political turmoil, if Congress were to pass an authorization measure, its first in three years, according to Mike French, vice president of space systems at the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA).