This Month In Spaceflight: October 2020

To Space and Beyond: Nick Spall examines the reasons why both professional astronauts and potential Space Flight Participants wish to travel in space.

Sending out an SLS: John Sealander visits NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility and the nearby Stennis Space Centre, where the legacies of Apollo and the Space Shuttle are being forged into the Artemis crewed spacecraft and the Space Launch System.

Space History in the Making: Griffith Ingram looks at the British Interplanetary Society’s space history publication, Space Chronicle, how it has evolved over the years, and how it has been revamped for the new era.

Behind the news:

  • Moon Lander Touches Down: A full-scale mock-up of the Human Landing System lunar lander arrives at the Johnson Space Centre.
  • House docks NASA budget: The Agency’s finances face a rocky road, as NASA Administrator Jim Bidenstine says that “The biggest risks that we face are not technical. We can do this. The biggest risks that we face are budgetary.”
  • SpaceX crew shuffle: NASA reschedules crew assignments for trips to the ISS aboard the Crew Dragon spacecraft.
  • Spacebiz soars to new heights – The race is on: The world space market grew by 2.2% over the previous year during 2019, as the number of commercial satellites grows over the same period by 48%.
  • The Race is On: As three spacecraft head for Mars, ground teams make course corrections and shepherd their probes towards the Red Planet.


UK Space:

  • Mars, Here We Come: Imperial College and the Natural History Museum will work with NASA and ESA to select samples which will be taken by the Perseverance Mars Rover for return to Earth in 2031, as well as assisting in the study of Martian geology and the search for past life, whilst the Airbus team at Stevenage work on the Rosalind Franklin Mars Rover, to be launched in 2022.
  • UK in data-sharingdeal with US Space Force: Major General DeAnna M. Burt, Director of Operations & Communications for the US Space Force, announces a new data sharing agreement with the UK Space Operations Centre.
  • To Iceland and beyond: Skyrora successfully launch their Skylark Micro suborbital rocket from Langanes Peninsula in Iceland.
  • UK space interests plan on taking the High Road: The Highlands and Islands Enterprise Board (HIE) is making rapid progress towards creating Space Hub Sutherland on the A’ Mhòine peninsula south of Tongue, on the North-West coast of Scotland.

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