ISS set to release the Cragon

CSA astronaut David Saint-Jacques seals the PMA-2 hatch, 7 March 2019 1812 UT.

RocketStar didn’t fly today

Due to ground test performance issues, RocketStar cancelled the launch of its suborbital Cowbell aerospike rocket, previously planned for today, 1600 UT 7 Mar 2019, at Cape Canaveral.

Wyoming mission reaches stratosphere

Wyoming Space Grant launched a stratospheric balloon, StratoStar0216, from Sheridan, which reached 29.3 km MSL. APRS listening posts lost radio contact about halfway into the 2 hour flight, but ground teams recovered the payload near Moorcroft.

Elon Musk would like to see a reusable Angara rocket

Following a new article at Ars Technica in a series focused on a downturn in the Russian space industry and its working relationships with NASA, Elon Musk gave Russian space engineering a bit of encouragement.

DM-1 hatch closed

David Saint-Jacques, the first astronaut to enter the new SpaceX capsule in space, was also the last out of it. Saint-Jacques was tasked with closing the two hatches, both the external IDA hatch, closed at 1739 UT, and the internal PMA hatch, closed at 1812 UT. DM-1 will undock and deorbit on Friday for a water landing off the coast of Florida.

The brightly-coloured plushie version of Earth flown on Crew Dragon as a “Microgravity indicator” will remain aboard the station. Anne McClain and David Saint-Jacques also took interviews today for ABC, CBS, and NBC News, commenting on SpaceX DM-1 and the upcoming Expedition 59.

Canadian Space Strategy announced

In Edmonton yesterday, 6 March, Canada’s Minister for Innovation, Science, and Economic Development unveiled further details on a national space strategy aimed at keeping bright-eyed STEM students on a career track within Canada.

2019 Canadian Space Strategy key points:

  • As announced last week, CAD$1.9 billion over 20 years to build Canadarm3 for the Lunar Gateway space station.
  • An additional $30 million per year for LEAP, a program to provide private industry funds to develop additional technology for lunar exploration.
  • Increased STEM Outreach to K-12 students, including sending two children from each province and territory to CSA Headquarters to participate in a special Junior Astronaut training event.
  • Using space technology to improve communications, including in the provision of health care.
  • A plan to grow greenhouse crops in northern Canada, under similar conditions to space farming.
  • Expand the use of satellite images for agriculture, presently used on just 10% of Canadian farms.