CSExtra – Monday, June 10, 2013
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Monday’s CSExtra offers the latest reporting and commentary on space related activities from across the globe, plus a look at weekend activities. China prepares to launch the Shenzhou-10 mission with a two man, one woman crew. NASA’s long-lived Opportunity rover finds further evidence of water on Mars during an early era, a neutrally balanced form of the liquid favorable to the formation of life. NASA’s 2013 budget operating plan attempts to shore up the agency’s Commercial Crew Program initiative. A brief meteor outburst is possible early Tuesday. The world’s first female space traveler, Russian Valentina Terishkova, is ready for Mars. Asteroid 2013 LR6, discovered only a day earlier, sails within 65,000 miles of Earth late Friday. NASA and the U.S. National Reconnaissance Organization arrive at winning formula for a new space telescope. SpaceX executive Gwynne Shotwell takes professional risk to forge success. Smart phone technologies prove space worthy. Russia launches a military spy satellite. Getting to know Comet ISON. Florida’s Kennedy Visitor Center Complex readies NASA’s retired shuttle orbiter Atlantis for a late June opening. Space activities scheduled for the week ahead.
1. From Xinhuanet, of China, June 10: China’s Shenzhou-10 spacecraft is prepared to lift off early Tuesday (09:38 GMT), with a two man, one woman crew. Nie Haisheng, Zhang Xiaoguang and Wang Yaping are slated for a 15-day flight to China’s Tiangong-1 orbital outpost. The mission will include a pair of docking exercises and a discussion with students once the astronauts are aboard.
2. From The New York Times, June 7: NASA’s Opportunity rover, closing in on a decade on Mars, joins its younger sibling rover Curiosity in finding evidence for early water on Mars that could have supported the emergence of biological activity.
A. From Discovery.com, June 7: Opportunity’s discovery is based on an examination of clay minerals on the rim of the crater Endeavour on Mars. The clay suggests a low acidity in the mineralogy, strong evidence the water was not only right for life but safe to drink, says Steve Squyres, Opportunity’s project scientist.
B. From Discovery.com, June 9: A hydrogen energy source could power underground Martian biological activity, say scientists.
3. From Space News, June 7: NASA’s budget operating plan for 2013 attempts to protect the viability of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program with $525 million for the fiscal year ending Sept. 30. In response to sequestration, NASA’s budget for 2013 slumps to $16.9 billion, roughly $900 below annual spending levels since 2011. The current spending plan did not come together until late March. The commercial initiative is intended to re-establish the U. S. human space launch capability lost as NASA’s shuttle fleet was retired in mid 2011.
4. From the American Meteor Society via Spaceweather.com: The Delphinid meteor shower, not seen since 1930, may repeat early Tuesday, as the Earth flies through comet debris. The possible outburst is expected at 4:30 a.m., EST, and would last about 30 minutes.
5. From Spacepolicyonline.com, June 7: In Russia, Valentina Terishkova, the first of her gender to fly in space, is ready to join a human migration to Mars. Now 76, Terishkova made history on June 16, 1963, when she was launched into space by the Soviet Union aboard the Vostok 6 spacecraft.
A. From Slate.com, June 6: Dreams of a human settlement on Mars could be perilous. However, that has not stopped nearly 80,000 from volunteering for the difficult journey financed in part by reality television rights.
6. From The Los Angeles Times, June 8: Late Friday, the 30 foot long asteroid 2013 LR6 quietly sped within 65,000 miles of the Earth. Surprise: this space rock was discovered just a day before it sped past.
7. From Florida Today, June 8: Two surplus U. S. National Reconnaissance Office spy satellites, provided to NASA for new missions, offer an opportunity to the U. S. astrophysics community to make scientific strides, writes columnist John Kelly. One of the spacecraft will be modified to study dark matter and search for Jupiter class planets around nearby stars.
8. From The Los Angeles Times, June 7: Gwynne Shotwell finds a top spot at SpaceX. “If we hadn’t achieved success, I was willing to leave the aerospace industry altogether, and go sell real estate or something,” Shotwell tells the Los Angeles Times. “Fortunately, that didn’t happen.”
9. From The Orlando Sentinel, June 9: Smart Phones provide useful technology for a modest satellite experiment carried out by NASA researchers in April. They survived for seven days, supplied health checks and photos of the Earth.
10. From Spaceflightnow.com, June 8: Russia launches a military spy satellite.
11. From CNN.com, June 7: Getting to know Comet ISON: On a course to loop around the sun later this year, Comet ISON is worth getting to know. ISON may light up the the night and possibly daytime skies of the Earth later this year. Or it could break apart.
12. From Collectspace.com, June 7: The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex readies the retired orbiter Atlantis for an impressive display opening at the end of June.
A. From WFTV, of Orlando, June 7: The Atlantis exhibit will feature shuttle missions to the Hubble Space Telescope as well as the assembly of the International Space Station.
13. From Spacepolicyonline.com: A look at space related activities scheduled for the coming week.
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