CSExtra – Thursday, July 25, 2013
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Thursday’s CSExtra offers the latest reporting and commentary on space related activities from across the globe. New findings suggest snow once fell on Mars. NASA’s Orion/Multi-purpose Crew Vehicle lands intact in a test drop that intentionally eliminated one of three parachutes. New dating techniques suggest space rocks may be younger than once estimated. NASA’s alien planet seeking Kepler space telescope makes limited response to recovery efforts. Many Apollo 11 moon rocks, given to the states after the mission, go unaccounted for. A new display at the Smithsonian Institution’s Air and Space Museum features the creativity of space suit design. The current solar cycle peak is much weaker than anticipated. A distant Comet ISON gets active. On Mars, NASA’s Curiosity rover hustles. One Houston company finds profit in International Space Station research activities.
1. From The Los Angeles Times: Snowfall on an ancient Mars may have carved valleys evident today in slopes and crater walls on the planet, say scientists.
2. From NASAspaceflight.com: In a parachute test, a NASA’s Orion/Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle simulator lands intact in the Arizona desert after an intentional descent parachute failure. A capsule simulator reaches the ground intact with two rather than three main parachutes.
A. From AmericaSpace.com: Wednesday’s un-piloted drop test over the U. S. Army’s Yuma Proving Grounds demonstrates the Orion spacecraft can be safely returned to Earth with four crew if one of the spacecraft’s three main parachutes was to fail.
3. From Nature via Science News: Rock crystals yield new clues as to the age of meteorites, including those from Mars, which have impacted the Earth.
A. From Space.com: Mars rocks could be much younger than estimated previously, thanks to new dating techniques.
4. From Discovery.com: Engineers report some progress in efforts to recover NASA’s Kepler planet hunting space observatory. The telescope, launched more than four years ago, has sustained multiple reaction wheel failures. The rapidly spinning devices are a critical part of the aiming mechanism that enables the telescope to search for Earth-like planets around distant stars.
5. From Collectspace.com: This week marked the 44th anniversary of the triumphant return of the Apollo 11 astronauts. Eleven of the 50 states who received pieces of the moon rocks that Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin collected cannot account for their samples.
6. From The Associated Press via The Washington Post: Suited for Space, a new art exhibit opens Friday at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum in Washington. All the engineering creativity of a “spacecraft you can wear” is revealed beneath the suit’s protective covering.
7. From Sky & Telescope: The current peak of the 11-year solar cycle is much weaker than anticipated — apparently the weakest in a century.
8. From The Christian Science Monitor: Space telescopes check in on an active Comet ISON. ISON is speeding toward a close encounter with the sun in late November.
9. From Universe Today: On Mars, NASA’s Curiosity rover sprints towards it next destination, the base of Mount Sharp.
10. From Aviation Week & Space Technology: Houston-based Nanoracks earns profits from International Space Station based research.
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].