Weekly Space Blog 7/20

ISS Space Walk
This week’s space walk at the International Space Station was cut short due to a water leak problem in Luca P’s suit.  Both astronauts where able to complete the first of there assigned tasks before the problem with the suit and due to the build up of water in the helmet of Luca’s suit Houston decided to terminate the walk and bring the astronauts back in early.  None of the tasks assigned during this EVA were critical to the station operations.  After the EVA it was reported that the water had a strange taste to it indicating that it wasn’t likely to be the drinking water that was leaking.  As of today they are still investigating what could have caused the leak but have indicated that it wasn’t the water bag.
New Neptune Moon found
The 14th moon of Neptune was revealed this week, using data from NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope.  Designated S/2004 N 1 it is estimated to be approximate 12 miles across making it one of the smallest moons in the Neptunian System and orbit’s once ever 23 hours.  For further information check out the article here.
Moon Express News
This week the Moon Express team announced the World’s First Mission to the Moon’s South Pole as well as the opening of a propulsion development facility.
The Moon South Pole mission in cooperation with the International Lunar Observatory Association will be both scientific and commercial.  The lander will bring with it commercial communication systems as well as a 2 meter dish antenna to allow AstroPhysics observations to be performed.  For further information check out the full article here.
To enable this and other missions to be successful Moon Express has also opened a facility dedicated to developing propulsion technology needed to land vehicles on the moon.  Further information can be found here.
Mars Atmosphere History
A couple of papers were recently released based on data gather by Curiosity of the Martian Atmosphere.  The papers based on the analysis of the atmosphere by SAM indicates that it was thicker in the past.  For further information check out the full article here.
Atlas 5 Launch
This week the heaviest satellite payload ever launched was successfully launched into space using a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5.  Following a countdown that was delay once due to weather constrains the vehicle blasted off at 9am EST carrying the MUOS 2 communication satellite for the US Navy.  Following a flawless launch and several firings of the second stage the spacecraft was deployed to it’s initial orbit.  Check out the fall article here.
And Finally
There wasn’t as much news this week, however I have embarked on a new investigation.
There has been a lot of press recently about 3D Printing in Space and as a way to create habitats on Mars etc.  This got me thinking about how to supply the 3D Printer with the materials needed to actually create anything.  For example if we were able to place a 3D Printer on Mars how would we be able to take the soil and create objects?  I am going to use this section in future blogs to detail some of my findings, if you have any thoughts or suggestions please add a comment.

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