CSExtra – Thursday, February 21, 2013
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Thursday’s CSExtra offers the latest reporting and commentary on space related activities from around the world. The success of U. S. space policy relies on a balance of government, commercial and international programs. On Mars, NASA’s Curiosity rover drills into the first rock of its two-year mission. Concern mounts over a March 1 budget sequester that would lead to automatic spending cuts of $85 billion across the federal government, including worker furloughs. NASA’s Kepler space telescope spots its smallest exo-planet yet. An aerospace arm of Russia’s military says it plans to develop an asteroid deflection plan. NASA’s Solar Dynamics Laboratory measures a growing sun spot. A look back at NASA’s choice of John Glenn to become the first American to orbit the Earth. President Obama likes the details of science policy, according to the chief executive’s Science and Technology Policy adviser.
1. From The Coalition for Space Exploration and Space News: NASA will play an essential role key in the development of spaceflight systems, both federal and commercial, writes Doug Cooke, recently retired as NASA associate administrator for exploration, in an op-ed. While commercial capabilities are emerging they are paced by technical issues as well as market opportunities. Prospective international partners rely on a stable U. S. course, writes Cooke in an article that appeared originally in Space News, the trade publication.
2. From National Geographic News: On Mars, NASA’s Curiosity rover has drilled into a rock for the first time and obtained powdery grains that will be analyzed by the mechanical geologist for their mineral composition and chemistry. Curiosity landed on Mars in early August to begin a two-year mission to determine whether the planet once hosted or now hosts conditions suitable for microbial life.
A. From USA Today: First sample of drilled material from Mars comes up gray and powdery.
3. From NBC News: American investor Dennis Tito, who became the first to pay his way to the International Space Station in 2001, may be planning a Mars venture of some kind in 2018. Tito leads The Inspire Mars Foundation, a new nonprofit formed to accelerate the exploration of space. A Feb. 27 announcement in Washington is planned.
4. From Florida Today: The White House and Congress are headed towards a March 1 sequester, automatic federal spending cuts estimated at $85 billion for the remainder of the 2013 fiscal year — unless they reach a new compromise on the budget and deficit reduction. The drastic cuts would prolong U. S. reliance on Russia to transport NASA astronauts to and from the International Space Station. Lawmakers agreed to postpone the automatic cuts when they were first scheduled to take effect on Jan. 1.
A. From The Bay Area Citizen, of Texas: U. S. Rep. Steve Stockman, who represents Houston area NASA workers, vows to head off a March 1 sequestration. The White House and Congress agreed previously to postpone the steep automatic budget cuts once set to take effect on Jan. 1. There are spending cuts outside of NASA that are warranted, said Stockman in a visit to NASA’s Johnson Space Center.
B. From The Huntsville Times: In Washington, U. S. Rep Mo Brooks, who represents NASA’s Marshal Space Flight Center workers, says the field center may escape some of the worst effects of a March 1 sequestration.
C. From The Washington Post: A brief agency by agency summary of potential impacts from sequestration. Across the board furloughs appear imminent. At NOAA, for instance, 2,600 workers would be furloughed.
5. From CBS News: NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope finds a small planet circling an sun-like star. Kepler 37B is larger than the Earth’s moon but smaller than Mercury. The small world lies 210 light years from Earth and close to the habitable zone of its host star. Yet temps are estimated at 800 degrees F.
6. From Ria Novosti, of Russia: The Russian Aerospace Defense Force plans measures to protect the country from falling meteorites and others threatening space objects. The announcement follows Friday’s explosion of a 50 foot long asteroid in the skies over the Chelyabinsk region of the country. Hundred of injuries from the detonation’s blast wave were reported.
7. From Space.com: NASA’s Solar Dynamics Laboratory spots a rapidly growing sunspot that could unleash large flares in the coming days.
8. From Discovery.com: Mercury astronaut John Glenn became the first American to orbit the Earth 51 years ago Wednesday. It was “pure luck” that Glenn, later to become a U. S. Senator and a space shuttle traveler, drew the assignment, according to a Discovery retrospective.
9. From Spacepolitics.com: John Holdren, director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, suggests he will remain in his post for President Obama’s second term. When it comes to science, Obama expects details, Holdren tells an audience at the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Boston.
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 Info@spacecoalition.com.