CSExtra – Monday, June 3, 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. NOAA, the U. S. agency that includes the National Weather Service, avoids worker furloughs. Large asteroid 1998 QE2, sails safely past the Earth on Friday, offering a learning opportunity: asteroids offer space resources, pose a collision threat. Russia plans to develop, test space nuclear propulsion systems to hasten travel times to Mars. SpaceX’s Elon Musk finds incremental advances a key to reducing spaceflight costs. Researchers look to stabilizing gyros as part of future space garb. Boeing, SpaceX make commercial crew space transportation strides. In Florida, the Kennedy Space Center prepares for NASA’s next human space initiative with a smaller post shuttle work force. Endeavour’s great lever. Suggested space reading. Major space related activities scheduled for the week ahead.
1. From Space News, June 1: NOAA informs the agency’s 12,000 workers it has reached an agreement with Congress to avoid furloughs in response to the 2013 budget sequester. Kathryn Sullivan, the agency’s acting administrator, attributes the arrangement to funding flexibilities and recent tornado outbreaks in Oklahoma and Missouri.
2. From Space.com, May 31: Asteroid 1998 QE2, more than 1 1/2 miles long sails safely past the Earth on Friday. Astronomers track the space rock. The White House hosts a Google hangout on the event as well to fuel its support for a new NASA asteroid mission.
A. From The Christian Science Monitor, June 1: Though at a miss distance of 3.5 million miles, 1998 QE2 merits respect for its destructive force. Much more needs to be done to find potentially dangerous asteroids, cautions John Holdren, director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.
B. From Florida Today, June 1: Most large asteroids with a destructive potential remain undetected. “To deflect, you must detect,” writes Florida Today.
3. From Russia Today, May 31: Russia plans to start testing a megawatt nuclear space propulsion system in 2017. Russia Today reports the development in response to radiation measurements made by NASA’s Mars Curiosity rover as it coasted from the Earth to Mars in 2011-12. The nuclear engine project proposes the use of an electric ion propulsion system to reduce travel times as well as the radiation exposure. The radiation measurements were reported last week.
A. From Spaceflightnow.com, May 30: The Curiosity radiation findings will require better shielding and faster rockets for astronauts prepared to explore Mars, say NASA scientists and engineers.
4. From Space News, May 31: SpaceX founder Elon Musk looks to reduce future launch costs by introducing a reusable first stage for the Falcon 9 rocket. Incremental advances can lead to radical changes in the cost of space access, he contends.
5. From The Washington Post, June 1: Engineers from MIT, the Draper Lab and NASA experiment with the addition of control moment gyros to space suits as well as the internal clothing worn by astronauts. Fast spinning gyros, for example, could lend attitude control to jet pack equipped space walkers on missions to repair satellites or gather rocks on a planetary surface.
6. From Space News, May 31: Boeing and SpaceX achieve key new milestones as part of NASA Commercial Crew Program. Boeing completes a series of wind tunnel tests, while SpaceX completes a review of its human certification plan. Boeing and SpaceX are striving to complete the development of commercial orbital transportation systems that would fly astronauts to and from the International Space Station by 2017.
7. From Florida Today, June 1: At NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, a much smaller post space shuttle contractor workforce prepares the space agency for its next human space flight initiative. Many have a United Space Alliance heritage.
8. From Collectspace.com, May 31: Last October, a modest pickup truck took on a crucial role in towing the retired NASA shuttle orbiter Endeavour to the California Science Museum in Los Angeles. The Toyota truck has now joined a museum display, Giant Levers.
9. From Spacepolicyonline.com, June 1: Looking for something new to read? Five recent books examine Buzz Aldrin’s thoughts on a future Mars mission, space law, astronomy, and Cold War space.
10. From Spacepolicyonline.com., June 2: A look at major space related activities scheduled for the week ahead.
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 [email protected].