This past Friday, the Technology and Engineering Center for Space Utilization (CSU) under the Chinese Academy of Sciences unveiled a smart solution for ensuring that all space equipment parts are functional and in proper working order.

When selecting space equipment parts the process involves reliability verification, data collection, transmission, and comparison.

The CSU’s new smart solution will work to shorten the time needed to verify the reliability of space equipment, improve the quality of components, and reduce the costs of this verification. As a result of the new solution, the selection process is also anticipated to be cut down to a mere five minutes.

Furthermore, the space sector has eyes on Ottawa this week, looking to see whether Canada will sign on to become part of a historic NASA project that will build a new space station 1,000 times farther than today's International Space Station. It would function as a base to explore lunar minerals and as a stopover point to Mars.

According to POLITICO Pro Canada, the space sector will be watching a conference in Ottawa taking place this week, where NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine and Navdeep Bains, the minister who oversees the Canadian Space Agency will speak. 

Canada has been asked by NASA to supply robotics for the project, however, Ottawa needs to decide if they will spend the estimated $1 billion to $2 billion over the next two decades that it would take to fund the project to build robotics equipped with artificial intelligence that the station requires.

In other news, Buzz Aldrin took the first selfie in space, on November 13, 1966, while standing on his seat and hanging out of an open hatch while he was on the Gemini XII mission. 

NASA explained this “stand up” EVA (the first of three during the mission) was performed with the hatch off while Aldrin stood on his seat, his upper body clear of the spacecraft. 

He completed his tasks efficiently, such as setting up an ultraviolet camera to take photos of star fields, installing a movie camera, repairing a handrail, and retrieving a micrometeorite experiment. The flawless EVA took two hours and twenty minutes.

Finally, raging wildfires continue in California - including the Woolsey Fire near Los Angeles and the Camp Fire in Northern California, which has now become one of the deadliest in the state's history. NASA satellites are watching these fires - and the damage they're causing - from space.

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California is home to the Advanced Rapid Imaging and Analysis (ARIA) team, who produced new damage maps via synthetic aperture radar images from the Copernicus Sentinel-1 satellites.

The maps may be less reliable over vegetated terrains, such as farmland, they can still help officials and first responders detect heavily damaged areas and allocate the necessary resources.

Are you excited for the new Lunar Gateway project? Do you think it will help us visit Mars? Why?

Let's discuss in the comments below!