CSExtra – Thursday, April 11, 2013
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Thursday’s CSExtra offers the latest reporting and commentary on space related activities from around the world. President Obama’s proposed 2014 budget backs robotic and human exploration with a NASA initiative to corral a small asteroid into lunar orbit to await a visit by U. S. astronaut, perhaps in 2021. Congressional opponents introduce legislation directing NASA’s human exploration program to focus on the moon. Lawmakers host a third hearing on the collision threat posed by Near Earth Objects. DISCOVR, a satellite mission once favored by Al Gore, the former U. S. vice president, could launch as a solar sentry under the proposed 2014 budget. Stakeholders respond to NASA’s budget proposal. Among the concerns: continued reduced spending for planetary sciences.
1. From CBS News and Spaceflightnow.com: The White House seeks a $17.7 budget for NASA in 2014. The top line, which NASA hopes to sustain in future years, includes $105 million to kick off a mission to corral a small asteroid and maneuver it into lunar orbit, where U. S. astronauts would explore it as soon as 2021. http://www.spaceflightnow.com/news/n1304/10budget/#.UWY08qLQq6o
A. From The Washington Post: NASA’s proposed budget of $17.7 billion nears pre-sequestration levels of 2012. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/federal-eye/wp/2013/04/10/white-house-budget-would-slightly-trim-nasa-funding/
B. From Spacepolitics.com: Proposed NASA spending of $17.7 billion for 2014 compares with $16.8 billion under the sequester trimmed, 2013 U.S. budget Continuing Resolution in force for the remainder of the current fiscal year. In addition to the asteroid missions, the new blue print would provide funding levels needed to foster commercial crew space transportation services by 2017 and back the Obama Administration’s STEM education reforms. http://www.spacepolitics.com/2013/04/10/nasa-budget-asteroid-mission-efforts-funding-commercial-crew-and-restructuring-education/
C. From The Wall Street Journal: NASA’s proposed asteroid retrieval plan will bring technologies to divert Near Earth Objects on a collision course. http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2013/04/10/nasa-budget-eyes-asteroid-defenses/
D. From Space News: NASA’s asteroid retrieval mission receives cautious expressions of support from European and Japanese space agency officials gathered in Colorado Springs for the 29th annual National Space Symposium. http://www.spacenews.com/article/civil-space/34794world-space-agency-chiefs-support-question-nasa-asteroid-capture-plan#.UWY2O6LQq6o
E. From Space.com: The website offers a slide show version of NASA’s asteroid retrieval strategy. http://www.space.com/20606-nasa-asteroid-capture-mission-images.html
2. From Spacepolicyonline.com: A collection of mostly Republican U. S. House members re-introduces the RE-asserting American Leadership in Space Act, or REAL Space Act. The measure would return U. S. astronauts to the moon. The House took no action on the bill when it was introduced in the previous Congress. Backers include U. S. Rep Frank Wolf, chair of NASA’s House appropriations panel. http://www.spacepolicyonline.com/news/posey-reintroduces-real-space-act-to-return-astronauts-to-moon
3. From The Los Angeles Times: Even small asteroids can cause regional devastation if they collide with the Earth, caution experts during a House Science Space and Technology hearing on the threat. The session was the third in a series of Congressional hearings on the topic following the explosion of a small asteroid over Russia in mid-February. http://www.latimes.com/news/nation/nationnow/la-na-nn-asteroids-headed-to-earth-20130410,0,5250821.story
4. From The Associated Press via The Houston Chronicle: NASA’s proposed 2014 budget includes funds to revive the Deep Space Climate Observatory or DISCOVR spacecraft. A favorite of Al Gore, a former U. S. vice president, the Earth observing DISCOVR has been in storage for more than a dozen years. Once launched, it would detect disruptive solar storms headed toward the Earth. http://www.chron.com/default/article/Satellite-shelved-after-2000-election-to-now-fly-4424740.php
5. From Space.com: Experts in and outside of NASA react to NASA’s proposed asteroid mission. They’re mixed and a cut to NASA’s planetary science line prompts objections. http://www.space.com/20611-nasa-2014-budget-reactions.html
A. From Florida Today: NASA’s 2014 budget sustains the Kennedy Space Center as the pulse of future human and commercial spaceflight. http://www.floridatoday.com/article/20130410/SPACE/130410031/KSC-benefit-from-Obama-s-proposed-NASA-budget
B. From The Huntsville Times, of Alabama: NASA’s proposed $17.7 budget means workforce stability, according to Patrick Scheuermann, director of the Marshall Space Flight Center — if sequestration is rolled back. http://blog.al.com/breaking/2013/04/2014_budget_plan_for_nasa_in_h.html
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