CSExtra – Friday, April 26, 2013
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Friday’s CSExtra offers the latest reporting and commentary on space related activities from across the globe. NASA Administrator Charles Bolden testifies before a Senate appropriations panel on the agency’s 2014 budget request. China and Russia launch Earth observing and global navigation system satellites. New evidence favors Einstein’s general theory of relativity. Meteorites recovered from Antarctica contain evidence of a stellar explosion. Exploring Mars: an opportunity to study the Earth’s distant past? Saturn’s famous rings take a pelting. Atlantis unwrapped. Custom coffee in space. The sun unleashes on Mercury. In Italy, an astronomer warns of a far off brush with an asteroid.
1. From Space News: NASA will fall from a $16.8 billion to a $16.2 billion a year agency, if the Congress and White House cannot agree on a plan to roll back the 2013 budget sequester, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden tells a U. S. Senate appropriations panel hearing on the agency’s 2014 budget proposal. The hearing wraps up a round of House and Senate budget appearances by Bolden this week. The White House seeks $17.7 billion for NASA in 2014, assuming a sequester roll back.
A. From Spacepolicyonline.com: NASA’s mission is in jeopardy if the White House and Congress cannot roll back the 2013 budget sequester, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden tells a U. S. Senate appropriations panel hearing on the agency’s 2014 budget request. Worker furloughs are possible.
B. From The Huntsville Times: U. S. Sen. Richard Shelby, of Alabama, challenges NASA’s commitment to develop the Space Launch System, a heavy lift rocket, during a U. S. Senate appropriations panel hearing on NASA’s proposed 2014 budget. The $1.3 billion included for SLS in the $17.7 billion spending plan for next year is inadequate, Shelby charges.
C. From Florida Today: NASA Administrator Charles Bolden assures skeptics on the Senate subcommittee responsible for the agency’s budget that development of the Space Launch System heavy lift rocket is on schedule in spite plans to seek less money for 2014.
2. From Ria Novosti, of Russia: Russia’s Mission Control proceeded with plans for a normal docking of the un-piloted Progress 51 re-supply capsule with the International Space Station early Friday, despite a stuck antenna on the approaching freighter. An automated docking was set for 8:26 a.m., EDT. Progress 51 lifted off with more than three tons of supplies early Wednesday. One of the ship’s five navigational antennas failed to unfold.
3. From Spaceflightnow.com: Early Friday, a Chinese Long March rocket launched the first in a series of high resolution Gaofen Earth observing satellites as well as a trio of CubeSats for Ecuador, Turkey and Argentina.
A. From Ria Novoisti, of Russia: Russia launches a new satellite for the country’s Glonass satellites global navigation network. Glonass-M was launched by Soyuz rocket from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome.
4. From Space.com: More evidence in favor of Einstein’s general theory of relativity. The new evidence is based on a massive fast spinning neutron star, about 7,000 light-years from Earth , with a white dwarf companion. Together, their gravity provides an intense test of Einstein’s famous theories.
5. From Scientific American: Meteorites recovered from Antarctica contain grains from a stellar explosion. The ancient blast may have triggered the birth of the solar system.
6. From U. S. News & World Report: Mars fascinates because it offers a look back at conditions on the early Earth, explains Roger Wiens, NASA scientist and author of a new book, Red Rover: Inside the story of robotic space exploration.
7. From National Geographic: Saturn’s famous rings take a pounding from meteors. The NASA-led Cassini mission captures the disruptions in imagery.
8. From Collectspace.com: Orbiter Atlantis, covered in a protective shrink wrap late last year, emerges. Atlantis will be the focus of a $100 million exhibit at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex this summer. A late June opening is planned.
9. From The Coalition for Space Exploration: At Rice University, students settle on a way to provide International Space Station astronauts with a custom cup of coffee.
10. From Space.com: In recent days, the sun unleashes three powerful flares towards planet Mercury. The NASA Messenger spacecraft in orbit around the planet appears to be out of danger. NASA’s Stereo-A spacecraft, a solar observatory, may be in line for a glancing blow.
11. From Ria Novosti: In 2026, the near Earth object 2013 GM3, 20 meters across, may pass within 15,000 kilometers of the Earth, warns and Italian astronomer.
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