CSExtra – Monday, March 25, 2013
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Monday’s CSExtra offers the latest reporting and commentary on space-related activities from across the globe. In Washington, Congress recesses for two weeks after the U. S. House and Senate reach agreement on a Continuing Budget resolution for the remainder of the 2013 fiscal year. Spending at NASA will decline in response. Among the cutbacks, NASA spending on public outreach and education. SpaceX aims for a Dragon splashdown on Tuesday to avoid rough seas. NASA’s Mars Curiosity rover resumes science activities after overcoming a second recent computer difficulty. NASA curtails access to the agency’s Technical Reports Server, in the aftermath of the detainment of a Chinese national employed as a contractor at the Langley Research Center. A meteor lights up the U. S. East Coast late Friday. NASA’s test orbiter Enterprise is added to U. S. National Register of Historic Places with the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum of New York. Russia’s P. M. sees cooperation with the U. S. in space through 2020. NASA extends Hubble Space Telescope operations through early 2016. The Kennedy Space Center’s Vehicle Assembly Building undergoes a renovation. NASA shuttle commander Robert “Hoot” Gibson to enter the U. S. National Aviation Hall of Fame. A look at major space policy activities scheduled for the week ahead.
1. From Spacepolitics.com, March 23: Last week drew to a close with agreement between the U. S. Senate and House on a budget Continuing Resolution for the remainder of 2013. NASA emerges with $17.86 billion on paper for the full fiscal year, but just over $16.6 billion to spend for the 12 month period after the impacts of sequestration and a rescission are factored. On Friday, NASA said it will curtail some public outreach and educational activities to help adjust.
A. From NBC News and Cosmic Log, March 23: NASA public outreach, including educational initiatives, will be restricted while the agency deals with spending limits imposed by budget sequestration and deficit debates.
2. From Space.com, March 23: Rough seas in the Pacific Ocean off the southern coast of California prompt a one-day delay in the return of the latest SpaceX Dragon re-supply mission to the International Space Station. The unpiloted cargo capsule is expected to descend on Tuesday, splashing down under parachute in the oceans waters of Baja.
3. From NBC News and Cosmic Log, March 23: NASA’s Mars Curiosity rover overcomes its latest computer problems and sends back new photos as science activities resume. However, an upcoming planetary alignment that will temporarily place the sun between the Earth and Mars, will lead to another suspension of science communications.
4. From The New York Times, March 22: NASA closes public access to the NASA Technical Reports Server, an online repository of journal reports and other documents, while it reviews the agency’s exposure to technology theft by potential adversaries. The review was instigated by the detainment earlier this month of a Chinese national employed as a contractor at the Langley Research Center as well as Congressional concerns.
5. From The Washington Post, March 23: A meteor lights up the East Coast from Florida to Maine briefly on Friday night. Some witnesses describe hissing noises as the space rock burned in the darkened skies overhead. Social media users have a field day with the exchange of photos and eye witness reports.
A. From Space.com via Discovery.com, March 24: It’s unlikely any of the “Manhattan” meteor reached the Earth’s surface, according to a NASA expert.
6. From Collectspace.com, com, March 22: NASA’s test orbiter Enterprise, now on display in New York City as part of the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum, is added to the National Register of Historic Places.
7. From Ria Novosti, of Russia, March 23: Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev signs a decree set to extend the U.S.-Russian cooperation in space until 2020, including explorations of the moon and Mars. The post Cold War agreement was initiated in 1992 and extended in1997, 2002 and 2007.
8. From The Los Angeles Times, March 23: NASA announces a $76 million agreement to extend Hubble Space Telescope operations through April 30, 2016. The Space Telescope Science Institute will continue to coordinate observations. Hubble was launched in 1990 and upgraded by shuttle crews five times.
9. From AmericaSpace.com: The Vehicle Assembly Building at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center undergoes renovations to prepare for future operations.
10. From The Dayton Daily News, of Ohio, March 23: Five time NASA shuttle astronaut Robert “Hoot” Gibson will be inducted into the National Aviation Hall of Fame in Dayton.
11. From Spacepolicyonline.com, March 24: A look at the major space policy events scheduled for the week ahead. The U. S. House and Senate are currently in recess.
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