CSExtra – Friday, February 24, 2012
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Friday’s CSExtra offers the latest reporting and commentary on space related activities from around the world. NASA’s top planetary scientist offers a budget constrained outlook for future missions to an independent advisory panel on Thursday. An improving economy would help, James Green tells the NASA Advisory Council. A surprising number of planets have no stars. Dozens volunteer for a trip to Hawaii and a chance to test food that might be provided to astronauts on a mission to Mars. Aging launch pads become artificial reefs off the Florida coast. February is for fireballs. A crescent moon, Venus and Jupiter gather at twilight.
1. From Spaceflightnow.com: NASA will need an economic turnaround as well as White House and Congressional consent to begin a new “flag ship” level planetary mission, Jim Green, the director of NASA’s planetary science division, informs NASA’s Advisory Council on Thursday. The agency’s proposed budget for 2013 reduces spending on planetary missions by just over $300 million. Mars and the Jovian moon Europa are the top candidate destinations for a major new missions. NASA’s science and human exploration divisions as well as agency’s chief technologist are looking for affordable alternatives. http://www.spaceflightnow.com/news/n1202/23flagships.
2. From the Coalition for Space Exploration. They are called nomad planets. They don’t belong to a single star. Instead, these planetary bodies wander through interstellar space. homeless? Maybe. But this relatively newly recognized class of objects may play a significant role in the presence of life throughout the cosmos. http://spacecoalition.com/blog/nomad-planets-our-galaxy-awash-in-homeless-worlds
A. From Universe Today: Nomad planets may be very plentiful. http://www.universetoday.com/93749/nomad-planets-could-outnumber-stars-100000-to-1/
3. From MSNBC: Hawaii beckons to those who are willing to spend four months evaluating food during a simulated Mars mission planned for 2013. One hundred people have applied for eight openings in this university sponsored culinary study, MCNBC reports. The application deadline is Feb. 29. http://cosmiclog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/02/23/10489384-scores-apply-for-martian-taste-test
A. From National Public Radio: Tabasco Sauce? Don’t leave Earth without it. After a few days in weightlessness, astronauts crave something with spice — and even if they’ve always followed a bland diet. The same goes for sweet and sour. The change in tastes may be linked to changes in the sense of smell. http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2012/02/23/147294191/why-astronauts-crave-tabasco-sauce
4. From Florida Today: Aging launch pad structures from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center and the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., are destined to become part of an artificial reef — home to sea life off Florida’s Atlantic Coast. http://www.floridatoday.com/article/20120222/NEWS01/302220011/Launch-tower-trash-could-turn-into-sea-life-s-treasure?odyssey=tab%7Ctopnews%7Ctext%7CSpace&nclick_check=1
5. From Space.com: For some puzzling reason February seems a great month to observe bright fireballs streaking across the sky. The timing for the bright displays is a mystery. http://www.space.com/14663-nasa-february-fireballs-meteors-meteorites.html
6. From the Associated Press via The Washington Post: At twilight this weekend, sky watchers will see a crescent moon, Venus and Jupiter clustered in the western skies. http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/venus-jupiter-crescent-moon-converge-this-weekend-for-dazzling-night-show-visible-worldwide/2012/02/23/gIQALDTTVR_story.html
Brought to you by the Coalition for Space Exploration, CSExtra is a daily compilation of space industry news selected from hundreds of online media resources. The Coalition is not the author or reporter of any of the stories appearing in CSExtra and does not control and is not responsible for the content of any of these stories. The content available through CSExtra contains links to other websites and domains which are wholly independent of the Coalition, and the Coalition makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy, completeness or authenticity of the information contained in any such site or domain and does not pre-screen or approve any content. The Coalition does not endorse or receive any type of compensation from the included media outlets and is not responsible or liable in any way for any content of CSExtra or for any loss, damage or injury incurred as a result of any content appearing in CSExtra. For information on the Coalition, visit www.spacecoalition.com or contact us via e-mail at Info@spacecoalition.com.