Space policy roundup – Sept.21.2021

A sampling of links to recent space policy, politics, and government (US and international) related space news and resource items that I found of interest (find previous space policy roundups here):

International space


** Tour of NASA Moon Rover South Pole Landing Site – NASA

In 2023, NASA’s Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover, or VIPER, will land near the western edge of the Nobile Crater at the Moon’s South Pole to map and explore the region’s surface and subsurface for water and other resources. Learn more:…

** The Space Show – Tuesday, Sept.14.2021Dr. Thomas Matula discussed “his two papers and ideas on space settlement and the benefits for Earth from space settlement“.

** Shenzhou-12 Taikonauts Safely Return to Earth, More News on China’s Mars UAV, Weekly Launch UpdateDongfang Hour – YouTube

Hello and welcome to another episode of the Dongfang Hour China Space News Roundup! A kind reminder that we cover many more stories every week in our Newsletter (

This week, we discuss:
00:00 Introduction
01:00 The Shenzhou 12 crew de-orbits and returns safely to Earth
06:29 Major launch update including Space Transportation and Orienspace
18:10 Updates on China’s Mars UAV

See also the show summary at Dongfang Hour China Aerospace News Roundup 13 – 19 September 2021 – SpaceWatch.Global.

** A new fleet of Moon landers will set sail next year, backed by private companies – Science/AAAS

Who knew outsourcing could extend to outer space? In some ways, that’s the aim of NASA’s $2.6-billion initiative meant to galvanize the private sector’s development of Moon landers and rovers.

** Space Café WebTalk – Law Breakfast 4 – 22. July 2021spacewatch. global – News Room – YouTube

In the latest Space Café “Law Breakfast with Steven Freeland”, Steven Freeland and Torsten Kriening welcomed Elina Morozova and Andrzej Misztal at the wonderful ‘Coffee-Desk’ Café in Warsaw.

** Space Policy Edition: The cultural rituals of space advocacy, with Linda Billings – Planetary Radio/Planetary Society

Communication is culture, says Dr. Linda Billings, an expert in social science and space outreach. So what culture is summed by the types of space advocacy that call for pioneering, colonization and conquest of nature? Linda talks about the importance of language and context when advocating for space, and how we should consider other cultural values and frameworks for effective public engagement.

** September 17, 2021 Zimmerman/Batchelor podcast – Behind The Black/Robert Zimmerman

** September 14, 2021 Zimmerman/Batchelor podcast – Behind The Black/Robert Zimmerman


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The Space Show this week – Sept.21.2021

The guests and topics of discussion on The Space Show this week:

1. Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021; 7 pm PDT (9 pm CDT, 10 pm EDT): We welcome back Dan Adamo to discuss orbital debris mitigation, Starlink, Inspiration 4 and much more.

2. Wednesday, Sept. 22, 2021 – 1:00 pm PDT (3 pm CDT, 4 pm EDT): Hotel MarsRobert (Rob) Godwin will talk about his book on 2001: A Space Odyssey [Amazon link] and the heritage legacy of Kubrick movie.

3. Friday, Sept.24, 2021; 9:30-11 am PDT (11:30 am-1 pm CDT, 12:30-2 pm EDT): We welcome back Jose Ocasio-Christian news and updates for Caleus and The Community In Space LLC.

4. Sunday, Sept.26, 2021; 12-1:30 pm PDT (3-4:30 pm EDT, 2-3:30 pm CDT): We welcome back Open Lines. All calls welcome. Call toll free 1-866-687-7223. We want to hear from you.

Some recent shows:

** Tuesday, Sept.14.2021Dr. Thomas Matula discussed “his two papers and ideas on space settlement and the benefits for Earth from space settlement“.

** Friday, Sept.17.2021Thomas A. Olson and Walt Anderson described “their communications platform company with HQ in the UK and their nearing operations“.

** Sunday, Sept.19.2021Professor Madhu Thangavelu reviewed

his 30+ years of teaching his space architecture design and critical thinking course. He talked about then and now, students over times and more.

** See also:
* The Space Show Archives
* The Space Show Newsletter
* The Space Show Shop

The Space Show is a project of the One Giant Leap Foundation.

The Space Show - David Livingston
The Space Show – Dr. David Livingston

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Books: “Going Interstellar” edited by Les Johnson & Jack McDevitt

Baen Books tells me of the release of a second edition of Going Interstellar in trade paperback:

Essays by space scientists and engineers on the coolest ways and means to get humanity to the stars along with stories by an all-star assortment of talespinners abounding with Hugo and Nebula award winners: Ben Bova, Mike Resnick, Jack McDevitt, Michael Bishop, Sarah A. Hoyt and more.

Some humans may be content staying in one place, but many of us are curious about what’s beyond the next village, the next ocean, the next horizon. Are there others like us out there? How will we reach them?

Wonderful questions. Now get ready for some highly informative and entertaining answers.

Download the comprehensive Teacher’s Guide here.

A sampling of the stories is available.

Going InterstellarCo-editor Les Johnson is a NASA physicist and author.  Check out the list of his books at Baen.

And the other co-editor Jack McDevitt is the Nebula Award–winning author of The Academy [Amazon link] series, including The Long Sunset [Amazon link]. McDevitt posted about the new release of the book in paperback:  Blog #80

As co-editor, I am of course not objective about the collection. Nevertheless I can’t avoid mentioning that the fiction is compelling. What might it really be like to board an interstellar vehicle on a mission to a nearby star that will take years or decades? That some of us would realize, going out, that we would not live long enough to return? And what would it feel like to actually visit another star?

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The Academy

Geared Up for Launch – Immortal Data & NM Tech

An update from Immortal Data on the partnership with students at the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology on a sub-orbital rocket project:

Geared Up for Launch:
Four Years of Space Engineering Takes Flight

August, 30, 2021 (New Mexico) – Innovation works hard behind the scenes, often for years, before its accomplishments see the light of day. This year marks an exciting one for Immortal Data and the students of the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, as their industrial partnership is finally set to take off, with all their hard work on board. Since 2017, IDI and NM Tech students have toiled long hours, developing the payload mounting and attaching system for sub-orbital flight, using extremely strict weight and volume guidelines. Their combined efforts have resulted in a payload that not only holds IDI’s data acquisition and logging system “microDAQ and ShipsStore,” but also includes structural health monitoring capabilities.

Structural Health Monitoring is an important technology that improves flight safety and reduces operation cost of future space systems. By monitoring structural conditions in real time, information on changes and damage can be reported immediately to the support team, which allows fast decisions to be made.

According to Dr. Andrei Zagrai,

“We believe that structural health monitoring will be one of key components in re-usability of future space vehicles. We are very excited to demonstrate its feasibility and integration with the blackbox system developed by Immortal Data. It is a great opportunity to test our ideas during sub-orbital space flight.”

This partnership has been a great opportunity for not only Immortal Data, but also for their partners at NMT. Students have been able to participate in a project that will reshape the future of space safety standards.

“This project is also an excellent example of collaboration between the institute and a commercial company as it has both educational and research objectives. We have an undergraduate student team which helped to design and fabricate payload and gained much experience interacting with space engineers at Immortal Data. A graduate student and a former New Mexico Tech graduate were involved in design, implementation and validation of SHM experiment further advancing research and engineering solutions for space vehicles. We hope that our joint work will help to make spaceflight safer and affordable to everyone.”

Through blended endeavors of passion and drive, NM Tech students and IDI have crafted a piece of technology that will impact the future of space engineering for years to come. IDI ShipStore’s patented solution to accumulate, store, and share sensor data in real time, combined with the enclosure designed by NMT to withstand the rigorous stress of a space launch, is a huge achievement for both parties involved. Immortal Data will be delivering the payload this month in anticipation of the sub-orbital flight scheduled to take place in November. They continue to prove their commitment to safety in space and to the space community.About Immortal Data: Immortal Data is an affordable solution to the data collection and recovery demands of the burgeoning and budget-minded private space craft industry.

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Videos: “Space to Ground” + Other ISS reports – Sept.17.2021

Here is the latest episode in NASA’s Space to Ground weekly report on activities related to the International Space Station:

** Expedition 65 Inflight with Today Show – September 17, 2021NASA Video

Aboard the International Space Station, Expedition 65 Flight Engineers Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur of NASA discussed living and working in space and other research topics during an in-flight interview September 17 with NBC’s Today Show. Kimbrough and McArthur launched in April on the SpaceX Crew Dragon “Endeavour” for a planned six-month science mission living and working aboard the microgravity laboratory to advance scientific knowledge and demonstrate new technologies for future human and robotic exploration missions as part of NASA’s Moon and Mars exploration approach, including lunar missions through NASA’s Artemis program.

** NASA Astronaut Mark Vande Hei on setting the record for longest single spaceflight for an American NASA Johnson

With the plans for Russian spaceflight participants to visit the International Space Station as part of the MS-19 Soyuz crew in October 2021, NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei and Roscosmos cosmonaut Pyotr Dubrov will remain aboard the station until March 2022. Upon return to Earth, Mark Vande Hei will hold the record for longest single spaceflight for an American. Vande Hei talked about his mission extension and impending spaceflight record during an interview from the International Space Station.

A potential benefit to this extension is NASA gaining deeper insight into how the human body adapts to life in microgravity for longer periods of time. This research helps prepare for Artemis missions to the Moon and eventually long-duration missions to Mars, as well as provides critical opportunities for additional research to be conducted aboard the station that can benefit life on Earth.

** Spacewalk Outside the International Space StationNASA

Does your weekend include any home improvements? Ours does! On Sun. Sept. 12 at 8:30 a.m. EDT (12:30 UTC), watch Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Akihiko Hoshide and European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Pesquet venture outside the International Space Station to perform upgrades to the orbiting lab. The duo [spent] approximately 6.5 hours in the vacuum of space preparing the space station for the installation of its third new roll-up solar array.

** Kibo | Space Station 360 (in French with English subtitles available)European Space Agency, ESA

ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet takes you on a tour of the International Space Station like no other. Filmed with a 360 camera, the Space Station 360 series lets you explore for yourself alongside Thomas’s explanation – this is the Kibo module.

Kibo is the Japanese module, also known as the Japanese Experiment Module or JEM. Thomas takes you through the hardware available for the astronauts and researchers on Earth and the unique airlock and storage space in Kibo.

The video is part of a series with Thomas showing each module in full 360 surround video. Click and drag with your mouse or move your smartphone around to see different angles and feel like you are in space with Thomas. Follow Thomas:

** Quest airlock | Space Station 360 (in French with English subtitles available) European Space Agency, ESA

ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet takes you on a tour of the International Space Station like no other. Filmed with a 360 camera, the Space Station 360 series lets you explore for yourself alongside Thomas’s explanation – episode four is @NASA’s Quest airlock.

The Quest airlock is the Station’s smallest module, but it is vital for going on spacewalks. This is where the astronauts suit up into their spacesuits, prepare for the spacewalk and enter the airlock to go outside for maintenance, installing new equipment or science experiments.


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