CSExtra – Friday, July 19, 2013
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Friday’s CSExtra offers the latest reporting and commentary on space related activities from across the globe. In Washington, the U. S. House and Senate chart different courses on NASA’s 2014 budget, one constrained by sequestration, the other not. In Florida, United Launch Alliance counts down toward an Atlas 5 lift off. NASA’s Kennedy Space Center weighs proposals from SpaceX and Blue Origin for the commercial operation of Launch Pad 39A. June was marked by near record high temperatures, following substantial snow and Arctic sea ice melts. On Mars, NASA’s Curiosity rover finds evidence for a radical and early change in the planet’s atmosphere. European Space Agency astronaut Luca Parmitano, during a news media interview, describes a “head in a fishbowl” sensation as water leaked into his helmet during an abbreviated spacewalk on Tuesday. In Russia, more evidence points to an improperly installed angular momentum sensor as the cause for a Proton rocket loss earlier this month. In the U. S., investors look to the moon for a private space observatory. England pursues a single-stage-to-orbit capability with public/private financial backing. Russia joins the push for inflatable module testing on the International Space Station.
1. From Florida Today: In Washington, the U. S. House and Senate continue to chart different courses for NASA’s 2014 budget, both on spending and direction The emerging differences, $16.6 billion from the House vs. $18 billion in the Senate, suggest a reconciliation effort will likely be necessary later this year.
Ctrl+Click to follow link" href="http://www.floridatoday.com/article/20130718/SPACE/130718023/House-Senate-fund-different-paths-NASA?nclick_check=1" target="_blank">http://www.floridatoday.com/article/20130718/SPACE/130718023/House-Senate-fund-different-paths-NASA?nclick_check=1
A. From NASAspaceflight.com: The House version of NASA’s budget could limit abilities to nurture the U. S. commercial crew transportation services needed to launch astronauts to the International Space Station and return them to Earth.
Ctrl+Click to follow link" href="http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2013/07/frustration-lawmakers-penny-pinch-commercial-crew/" target="_blank">http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2013/07/frustration-lawmakers-penny-pinch-commercial-crew/
B. From Space News: The U. S. Senate Appropriations Committee sends a measure funding NASA at $18 billion for 2014 to the full Senate. The measure outlines $300 million more than the White House request and $1.4 billion more than the House appropriations version.
Ctrl+Click to follow link" href="http://www.spacenews.com/article/civil-space/36339senate-house-nasa-bills-far-apart-on-funding-close-on-some-priorities#.UeiQPtLQq6o" target="_blank">http://www.spacenews.com/article/civil-space/36339senate-house-nasa-bills-far-apart-on-funding-close-on-some-priorities#.UeiQPtLQq6o
C. From Space News: In an op-ed U. S. Rep. Steve Pallazo, chair of the U. S. House Space Subcommittee, defends the oversight panel’s assessment of NASA’s future — one that rejects NASA’s proposed asteroid retrieval mission and increased spending on Earth sciences missions. Pallazo calls for a bipartisan effort to set policy within current financial constraints.
D. From The Orlando Sentinel: In the U. S. House, lawmakers reject a White House proposal for NASA to lead an asteroid retrieval mission as part of the agency’s 2014 budget request.
2. From Spaceflightnow.com: At Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., United Launch Alliance prepares an Atlas 5 for launching with a U. S. Navy communications satellite. The lift off is set for Friday at 8:48 a.m., EDT, weather permitting. The launch period extends to 9:32 a.m., EDT.
3. From Florida Today: NASA weighs two proposals for commercial operations of Launch Pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center. One from SpaceX would re-purpose the former space shuttle launch pad for launches of the Falcon 9 rocket with astronauts to the International Space Station. Another from Blue Origin would outfit 39A for multiple users, including SpaceX. NASA, which can no longer afford to operate the launch facility, expects a decision by Oct. 1.
Ctrl+Click to follow link" href="http://www.floridatoday.com/article/20130719/SPACE/307190014/Who-will-launch-from-Kennedy-Space-Center-s-pad-39A-" target="_blank">http://www.floridatoday.com/article/20130719/SPACE/307190014/Who-will-launch-from-Kennedy-Space-Center-s-pad-39A-
4. From The Washington Post: An exceptionally warm June in the Northern Hemisphere follows major snow melts and Arctic sea ice loss, according to scientists from NOAA and NASA.
Ctrl+Click to follow link" href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/capital-weather-gang/wp/2013/07/18/snow-and-arctic-ice-extent-plummet-suddenly-as-globe-bakes/" target="_blank">http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/capital-weather-gang/wp/2013/07/18/snow-and-arctic-ice-extent-plummet-suddenly-as-globe-bakes/
5. From Space.com: NASA’s Curiosity rover finds evidence that Mars underwent a dramatic change in atmospheric conditions 4 billion years ago. If once friendly to biological activities, those changes left the red planet much as it is today, cold and dry and not conducive to biological activity.
6. From The Associated Press: Luca Parmitano says he felt like his head was in a fish bowl on Tuesday, when his space suit began to leak water. Parmitano was part of a two man spacewalk outside the International Space Station, when his suit began to leak water internally.
Ctrl+Click to follow link" href="http://news.yahoo.com/astronaut-flooded-helmet-felt-goldfish-185941917.html" target="_blank">http://news.yahoo.com/astronaut-flooded-helmet-felt-goldfish-185941917.html
6. From Spacepolicyonline.com: In Russia, investigators point to an improperly installed sensor as the cause of a Proton rocket failure early this month. Officials suggest the findings could clear a path for future Proton launches in September.
Ctrl+Click to follow link" href="http://www.spacepolicyonline.com/news/roscosmos-official-confirms-proton-sensors-upside-down-flights-may-resume-in-september" target="_blank">http://www.spacepolicyonline.com/news/roscosmos-official-confirms-proton-sensors-upside-down-flights-may-resume-in-september
A. From Ria Novosti, of Russia: Russia’s investigation into the Proton rocket explosion suggests an angular momentum sensor was installed upside down. The findings point to an installation error or poorly documented instructions.
Ctrl+Click to follow link" href="http://en.rian.ru/science/20130718/182304662/Proton-M-Rocket-Downed-by-Reversed-Sensors--Roscosmos.html" target="_blank">http://en.rian.ru/science/20130718/182304662/Proton-M-Rocket-Downed-by-Reversed-Sensors–Roscosmos.html
7. From Wired News: Commercial interests look to the moon for a private observatory. A properly placed lunar telescope could focus on the Milky Way without the distortions of the Earth’s atmosphere.
8. From Space.com: In Great Britain, Skylon an experimental single-stage-to-orbit rocket initiative, could be ready for an engine flight test by 2020, thanks to investments from the European Space Agency and private investors. Skylon looks to air breathing propulsion technologies.
9. From Popular Mechanics: Russia develops an inflatable module for evaluation on the International Space Station. Bigelow Aerospace, of Las Vegas, Nev., has been developing a U.S. version based on NASA pioneered technologies. It, too, is headed for trials on the space station.
Ctrl+Click to follow link" href="http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/space/news/russia-is-building-an-inflatable-space-module-of-its-own-15706708" target="_blank">http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/space/news/russia-is-building-an-inflatable-space-module-of-its-own-15706708
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