CSExtra – Friday, May 10, 2013
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Friday’s CSExtra offers the latest reporting and commentary on space related activities from across the globe. NASA addresses a leaking thermal control system aboard the International Space Station. With an executive order, President Obama directs NASA and four other federal agencies to fund a $1 billion “manufacturing institute” initiative to trigger a U. S. industrial revival. Though making strides, NASA’s search for Earth-like planets could stall over financing, U. S. House members caution. New evidence from rocks gathered by the Apollo 15 and 17 crews suggest the Earth and moon share a common source of water, meteorites. Apollo moon walker Buzz Aldrin, Los Angeles space tourist Dennis Tito urge U. S. on to Mars. The Hubble Space Telescope spots planetary debris in an unanticipated place. The South Pacific witnesses a solar eclipse late Thursday.
1. From Spaceflightnow.com: International Space Station managers address a growing thermal control system leak on the orbital outpost’s oldest solar power system module. The leak surfaced Thursday, four days before three of the six crew members are scheduled to depart for Earth. Canadian Chris Hadfield, NASA astronaut Tom Marshburn and Russian Roman Romanenko are to descend to Earth late Monday. Mission Control ponders a spacewalk.
A. From Space.com: Coolant leak poses no threat to space station’s six member crew.
2. From The New York Times: President Obama issues an executive order establishing “manufacturing institutes” to set off a high tech industrial revival and create new jobs. The directive funds the initiative with $1 billion from five agencies, including NASA. The move comes as the U. S. President visits Austin, Texas as part of a middle class and jobs opportunity tour that includes a visit to Manor New Technology High School near the state’s capital.
3. From The Hill: In a joint hearing before the House Space and Research Subcommittee, representatives from NASA, SETI and the National Science Foundation point to a bright future in the search for Earth-like alien planets. But lawmakers caution the funds may not be available if the 2013 budget sequester remains in place.
4. From Science News: Scientists point to a common source for water on the Earth and moon after an assessment of the hydrogen locked in glass particles contained in lunar magma samples gathered by the Apollo 15 and 17 crews. The original water source appears to be the carbonaceous chondrite class of meteorites, whose origins are the asteroid belt.
5. From U. S. News & World Report: Head for Mars, not an asteroid, Apollo 11 astronaut and author Buzz Aldrin says in remarks before the Human2Mars Summit in Washington this week. Aldrin’s remarks accompany the publication of his latest book, Mission to Mars: My Vision for Space Exploration.
A. From U. S. News & World Report: President Obama’s 2030s timetable for human Mars exploration will take too long, says Dennis Tito, who also participated in the Washington Human2Mars Summit. The Los Angeles businessman’s Inspiration Mars initiative would send two people around Mars in 2018. The round trip would span 501 days.
B. From Spacepolitics.com: “Bringing an asteroid back to Earth? What does that have to do with exploration?” Buzz Aldrin asked rhetorically in remarks before the Human 2 Mars Summit this week. “Not very much, in my way of thinking.” U. S. astronauts should explore asteroids and comets as they prepare for Mars, said Aldrin.
6. Three states rally support for commercial space ports:
A. From the Las Cruces Sun-News, of New Mexico: In an editorial, the newspaper credits limited liability legislation for the state’s successes in drawing SpaceX and Virgin Galactic to Spaceport America.
B. From The San Antonio News-Express: A bill to permit the closing of a South Texas beach during prospective SpaceX launch operations heads for the Texas Senate and presumably to Texas Gov. Rick Perry for his signature. SpaceX is eyeing Brownsville, Tex., for a commercial launch complex. Florida and Alabama are among SpaceX’s suitors as well.
C. From the Birmingham News, of Alabama: A bill to create an Alabama Spaceport Authority as well as a spaceport advances in the state House as the legislative session nears a conclusion. Financing questions remain.
7. From Discovery.com: The Hubble Space Telescope spots the rocky remains of planetary materials circling a pair of white dwarf stars. The find is a rare indication of planets in a star cluster.
8. From Space.com: A solar eclipse graces the South Pacific late Thursday.
A. From Space.com: Eclipse photos
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