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And the whole is greater than the part.

SpaceX to deliver ESA’s Euclid into orbit. Vega-C suffers another setback. SDA opens bidding for 100 new satellites. What is the Overview Effect? And more.





SpaceX to deliver ESA’s Euclid vehicle into orbit. Vega-C launcher suffers another setback after the static firing test of the Zefiro 40 motor finds another anomaly. Viasat has successfully completed thermal vacuum testing on two satellites for the Arctic Satellite Broadband Mission. SDA opens bidding for 100 new satellites to complete its Tranche 2 Transport Layer, and more.

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T-Minus Guest

Today’s guest is space philosopher Frank White. Frank’s book The Overview Effect: Space Exploration and Human Evolution, describes the cognitive shift that results when viewing the Earth from space. We discuss whether commercial astronauts on suborbital flights experience the same reaction.

You can connect with Frank on LinkedIn and find out more about his books on his website.

Selected Reading

How to follow the Euclid launch live- ESA

Zefiro 40 Firing Test Preliminary Outcome- Avio


SDA asks industry for 100 satellites in latest move toward 'global' data constellation - Breaking Defense 

iRocket Contracts with U.S. Space Force to Transform How Launch Vehicles are Powered- Press Release 

Firefly Aerospace Signs Agreement with Lockheed Martin for Alpha Launch Services- Firefly

NASA's first robotic moon rover test drives in Silicon Valley- ABC

Advanced Navigation awarded $5.2M in funding from Australian Space Agency for Future Lunar Exploration       

Satellites spy on human trafficking 'compounds' (photo)- Space.com

Investing in Space: India is the industry's 'sleeping giant,' according to an expert behind the international Artemis Accords- CNBC

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>> Alice Carruth: Humans have been looking up and wondering what is hidden in the universe since early man. It's inspired artists, philosophers, and scientists equally. What is up there? What is dark matter? How has the universe changed over time? What is dark energy? What do we not know about gravity? And to Euclid to deliver the answers.

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Today is June 30, 2023, International Asteroid Day. More on that later. I'm Alice Carruth, and this is T-Minus. SpaceX to deliver ESA's Euclid vehicle into orbit. Vega-C launcher suffers another setback. SDA opens bidding for 100 new satellites to complete its Tranche 2 Transport Layer, and more. And we speak to space philosopher Frank White about whether commercial astronauts on suborbital space flights experience the Overview Effect. On to today's intel briefing. Now, we're not normally into covering stories that haven't happened yet, but we are feeling a little philosophical going into the Independence Day long weekend, and featuring Frank White as today's guest, we thought, what better way to celebrate than to get excited about the next launch? From SpaceX's Falcon 9, of course, which will be transposing the European Space Agency's Euclid vehicle. Euclid is named after the Greek mathematician Euclid of Alexandria, who lived around 300 BC and founded the subject of geometry. The vehicle stands at over 15 feet tall and over 12 feet in diameter. ESA says that it's designed to explore the evolution of the universe. Their clever on-board instrumentation will make a 3D map of the universe, with time as the third dimension, by observing billions of galaxies up to and out to 10 billion light-years away, which stretches across more than a third of the sky. Euclid was designed to be part of ESA's Cosmic Vision program, with an aim to answer questions such as, what are the fundamental physical laws of the universe; and how did the universe originate; and what is made of? Not small questions, I'm sure you can agree. Euclid will be joining ESA's Gaia and the James Webb Telescope in the operational orbit known as Sun-Earth Lagrange point 2, at an average distance of 1.5 million kilometers -- about 930,000 miles -- beyond Earth's orbit. This location keeps pace with Earth as we orbit the Sun. Now, ESA will be broadcasting the SpaceX Falcon 9 launch live, which is targeted for 11:11 AM local time on Saturday, from Cape Canaveral, Florida, with a backup date on Sunday. And we can't wait. Staying with our European friends, an Italian space propulsion company Avio held a static firing test of the Zefiro 40 motor. The motor is for the second stage of the Vega C launcher, which suffered a flight anomaly in the last launch attempt in December of last year. 40 seconds into the test, another anomaly was revealed, leading to a reduction in overall pressure performance of the motor before the complete 97-second burn. The conditions of the test were purposely set as extremely severe in terms of max motor operating pressure in order to demonstrate a large performance margin with a view to ensure maximum flight reliability. Avio says that the anomaly will require further investigation and testing activity to be conducted by the company and the European Space Agency to ensure optimal performance conditions. It's been a hot minute since we mentioned the behemoth that is Viasat since the acquisition of Inmarsat, but it seems that the satellite giant is quickly coming up to speed with its new missions. A former Inmarsat mission with Space Norway Heosat has reached a major milestone. Viasat has announced that the first of the two satellites for the Arctic Satellite Broadband Mission has successfully completed thermal vacuum testing. The satellites, which will carry Viasat's GX10 A and B payloads, aim to connect users in the Far North with high-speed broadband in 2024. Please, sir, can I have some more, isn't just a line from a Dickens' novel, it's also a common aerospace industry request. More money, more thrust, more satellites. Don't we have enough? No, not according to the SDA. The Space Force's Space Development Agency has open bidding for 100 new satellites for its planned low Earth orbit constellation. The satellites will be used to provide military users with high-speed, high-volume data communications world-wide. The solicitation is part of the SDA's Tranche 2 Transportation Layer, which they aim to grow up to 500 satellites. And for the last mention of Space Force for today, their Space Systems Command has contracted with iRocket to develop a reusable rocket engine. iRocket says their vehicles will transform how launch vehicles are powered with clean, sustainable propellant and an impressive 24-hour turnaround launch cycle. The contract, worth $1.8 million, is funded through AFWERX, the innovation arm of the Department of Air Force and a Technology Directorate of the Air Force Research Lab. iRocket says their Shockwave launch vehicle could be used to deliver payloads to different obits. iRocket will demonstrate a full-duration static fire of its 35,000-pound thrust reusable engine that runs on an environmentally safe combination of liquid oxygen and methane fuel as part of the contract. Lockheed Martin has signed an agreement with Firefly Aerospace to support a technology demonstration mission that will launch aboard Firefly's Alpha vehicle. There's no further information available on this so far. No contract amount or delivery timeline, but we wish them both good speed in this new partnership. ABC News reports that NASA's VIPER -- or Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover -- has begun operational testing in the Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley. VIPER is a water-seeking robot, tasked with exploring that popular region of the South Pole of the Moon, drilling and collecting water as samples. Its mission is part of a broader plan to establish a lunar base. The anticipated launch date is late 2024, with a mission duration of around six months. VIPER will be carried to the Moon's surface via Astrobotic's Griffin lander, launched from a SpaceX Falcon. The Australian Space Agency has awarded Advanced Navigation, a contract worth 5.2 million Australian dollars, to accelerate the development of their Light Detection, Altimetry and Velocimetry technology called LUNA. The sensor will be delivered to Intuitive Machines for the autonomous capabilities of the Nova-C lunar lander, part of NASA's Commercial Lunar Payload Services program. Space company Maxar is partnering with the International Justice Mission to monitor human trafficking hotspots using satellite imagery, according to space.com. The technology tracks compounds in Southeast Asia where people are trapped and forced to work as online scammers. This approach is part of broader efforts, including those by Stanford University's Human Trafficking Data Lab, to use satellite data to detect signs of human trafficking globally, with an emphasis on Southeast Asia due to its high victim rates. And we've included a story in the Selected Reading section from CNBC about India's growing investments in the space industry and positioning itself as a future space superpower . Go check it out. Hey, T-Minus crew, tune in tomorrow for T-Minus Deep Space, our show for extended interviews, special editions, and deep dives of some of the most influential professionals in the space industry. Tomorrow, we have Frank White talking about the Overview Effect and whether commercial astronauts experience it. Check it out while you're grilling, mowing the lawn, or driving your kids to the game. You don't want to miss it. And as a programming note, the team here at N2K are taking the long weekend for Independence Day here in America. We won't be publishing a T-Minus Space Daily on Monday or Tuesday next week, but stay tuned for two special editions we'll drop in the feed. On Monday, we're publishing an encore with Master Gunnery Sergeant Scott Stalker, Command Senior Enlisted Leader at US Space Command. And on Tuesday, we're publishing a brand-new Career Notes, with retired astronaut Colonel Eileen Collins -- the first American woman to command a space mission. Now, what effect does space travel have on humans beyond the physical? Space philosopher Frank White wrote the first edition of The Overview Effect: Space Exploration and Human Evolution, in 1987. And we're big fans of it here at T-Minus. Since then, Frank has continued to speak to astronauts and study the cognitive shift that results from viewing the Earth from space. But do commercial astronauts experience this on suborbital flights? Our host, Maria, had the opportunity to ask the expert.

>> Frank White: Of course, this is the big question, and I am pretty heavily engaged in answering it. So most of my initial interviews were with professional astronauts, NASA astronauts in particular. And over time, I've interviewed astronauts from other countries. And the astronauts really discovered the Overview Effect on their own. And that is to say, something happened -- I felt different when I came back. I had a shift in awareness from seeing the Earth from space and in space. Increasingly as I've looked back at my interviews, they've also had an impact of looking beyond the Earth into the universe. And when I first published the book in 1987, those were the kind of people that I interviewed, and that persisted right up until the most recent edition. And now I've started interviewing the commercial astronauts. And in particular, I do have several interviews with people who've flown on a Blue Origin flight. And there's no preference for Blue; that's who I've been able to secure for an interview. I'm anxious to interview Virgin flyers as well. We have a lot of differences in what's happening. First of all, not a lot of training, for the most part. And secondly, they're going for the experience, for the most part. And then they're looking at much shorter flights, suborbital flights. And that's a big difference. So I had people say to me that the commercial astronauts on Blue and Virgin would not experience what I call the Overview Effect. Because they'd be too close to the Earth and it would be too brief, and it just wasn't going to happen. And I thought, well, that makes sense; I hear what you're saying. But if we are going to be good scientists, let's just get some data. And I pointed out, remarkably, the United States only has sent astronauts on two suborbital flights, and that was Alan Shepard and Gus Grissom. So Alan Shepard did have a comment about his experience that very strongly indicated that something happened. He said he'd looked at all these pictures, he had prepared himself for the flight, but nobody could be prepared for the view that he saw. And I included that in the book even though I never interviewed him. Well, that indicated something. But now I've started interviewing Blue Origin astronauts, and they are on a remarkably fast flight. It's like 11 to 13 minutes.

>> Maria Varmazis: Yes.

>> Frank White: And you would think it is too fast, it is too brief, and you're not very far from the surface, and all of that. But then when I talk to them, it seems like something significant does occur for most of them. And many people saw William Shatner.

>> Maria Varmazis: Yeah, that very famous occurrence. I remember watching that live when it happened, yes.

>> Frank White: When he came out, he was deeply moved, deeply moved. He was close to tears. It was difficult to articulate what happened. It's been interpreted as a negative experience, but I think that's too simplistic. I think it was powerful, and it was something other astronauts have reported in different ways. Which is they see how tiny the Earth is against the backdrop of the universe, how fragile it is. They come back with a feeling, we've got to do something to protect the environment. And he had gone with an expectation of joy. It was going to be joyful. And for some people, it is joyful. But this sense of fragility and responsibility is something professional astronauts who took longer trips have reported. Another constant is we don't think of astronauts crying. And I've talked to professional and commercial astronauts who cry when they see the Earth. They don't know why. They're not sure. Jean-Francois Clervoy, who is a French astronaut, said he felt a sense of love and it brought him to tears. He said, I think it's even more than the beauty of it. And other astronauts have talked about tears coming into their eyes unexpectedly when they first see the Earth. And we see this with Shatner, and we see it with other commercial flyers, where they're moved deeply. And so, you know, one of the things that Shatner talked about was he talked about how you go from the blue sky to the blackness of space really quickly. He said something like, it's like the sheet being ripped off your bed when you wake up and there's this sudden change. And I've talked to others, like Glenn DeVries, who talked about you go from the blue to black and back to blue very quickly. And it appears, at least on Blue Origin, what you would think would be a detriment seems to be a benefit in terms of how important the experience is. Because this rapid ascent appears to heighten how people feel.

>> Maria Varmazis: It almost sounds like a relief to return to Earth in that case.

>> Frank White: Indeed, yeah. And you don't have a lot of time to be weightless. You don't have a lot of time to look out the window at the Earth. But still, it appears to me that people know that in advance so they're very prepared. I believe that people have begun to realize the time is quite precious, so we really, we have to use it effectively. The emotion doesn't always come during the flight. When I talked to Katya Echazarreta, who was sent on a Space for Humanity flight, she talked about after the flight, it was flying home. And she flew over the same region she had seen from outer space, and she started crying right then and there. And she was able to pull herself together, she looked out the window again and started crying again. And it's not that clear, you know, what caused that, but it was definitely connected with the flight, even though it was later. And that might be a part of how quick a Blue Origin flight would be. And Sara Sabry, who also was a Space for Humanity flyer and the first person from Egypt to go into outer space, had a really interesting comment of the lack of distinction between Earth and space. That's really important. Every talk I give, I say, we are in space, we've always been in space, we'll always be in space, and that astronauts don't go into space. They leave the planet. This is hard for people to feel. It's hard for me to feel it. Because our senses don't tell us that, we just feel like we're on this unmoving, stable platform. And even though we use the metaphor "spaceship Earth," we don't experience being on spaceship Earth. And Sara, when I interviewed her -- I had done a before flight interview with her. And after it, I said, well, what happened; what changed? And she said that the distinction between Earth and space went away and she just felt it was all a continuum. And I was really, really interested in that. Because in my mind, that is probably the top of my list of what we should get out of spaceflight is, we have this dichotomy between Earth and space, Earth and space, I think it's confusing. And if we came to understand in a way we're all astronauts on spaceship Earth and we need to start thinking like that, it would benefit us on the Earth.

>> Alice Carruth: It's Asteroid Day, a UN-endorsed annual event promoting awareness of asteroid impact that informs the public about the crisis communication actions to be taken at the global level in case of a credible near-Earth object threat. This day was established in 2016 and recognizes the anniversary of the Tunguska impact event in 1908. To get involved, there's live programs that take place today and tomorrow with this year's event focusing on education about asteroids and space, highlighting the importance and impact of space down to Earth. And as part of Asteroid Day run-up, the National Space Society recently hosted a space forum on how science keeps Earth safe from hazardous asteroids. And thank you to our friend at NSS for keeping us informed. That's it for T-Minus for June 30, 2023. For additional resources from today's report, check out our Show Notes at space.n2k.com. We'd love to know what you think of this podcast. You can email us at space@n2k.com, or submit the survey in the Show Notes. Your feedback ensures we deliver the information that keeps you a step ahead of the rapidly changing space industry. We're privileged at N2K and podcasts like T-Minus are part of the daily routine of many of the most influential leaders and operators in the public and private sector, from the Fortune 500 to many of the world's preeminent intelligence and law enforcement agencies. N2K's strategic workforce intelligence optimizes the value of your biggest investment: your people. We make you smarter about your team while making your team smarter. Learn more at n2k.com. This episode was mixed by Elliott Peltzman and Tré Hester, with original music and sound design by Elliott Peltzman. Our executive producer is Brandon Karpf. Our chief intelligence officer is Eric Tillman, and I'm Alice Carruth. Our host, Maria Varmazis, will be back next week. Thanks for listening.

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