CSExtra – Thursday, March 14, 2013
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Thursday’s CSExtra offers the latest reporting and commentary on space related activities from across the world. Veteran Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield becomes the first from his country to take command of the International Space Station. A Coalition for Space Exploration contest — Why Space Matters to the Future — features a VIP trip for four to a NASA field center as top prize for the best short video on the theme. The Smithsonian Institution’s 2013 National Air & Space Museum Trophy goes to the personnel responsible for landing NASA’s Curiosity rover on the surface of Mars. China is unlikely to face penalties over satellite collision. NASA responds to the U. S. budget sequester of March 1 with spending cuts, including curtailed business travel. The U. S. Senate formulates a 2014 budget proposal. NASA’s inspector general points to the disposal of unused space agency property for savings in Congressional testimony.
1. From The Canadian Broadcasting System: In ceremonies late Wednesday, Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield is designated as the first from his country to command the International Space Station. Command transfers from NASA astronaut Kevin Ford to Hadfield late Thursday, as Ford and Russian cosmonauts Oleg Novitskiy and Evgeny Tarelkin depart for Earth in their Soyuz capsule.
A. From Space.com: Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II congratulates Canadian Chris Hadfield on his transition to space station commander.
B. From Spaceflightnow.com: Updates on International Space Station crew members Kevin Ford, of NASA, and cosmonauts Oleg Novitskiy and Evgeny Tarelkin as they descend to Earth in a Russian Soyuz capsule late Thursday. The undocking is set for 8:30 p.m., EDT.
2. From MSNBC and Cosmiclog: The Coalition for Space Exploration in cooperation with NASA Visitor Centers Consortium is sponsoring the Why Space Matters to the Future, a contest for the best two minute video on the theme. The top prize is a VIP trip for four to a NASA field center. Don’t let the future launch without you.
3. From The Pasadena Star News, of California: The Smithsonian Institution’s National Air & Space Museum Trophy for 2013 goes to the NASA personnel responsible for the entry, descent and landing of the Mars Science Laboratory/Curiosity rover. The trophy presentation is planned for April 24 in Washington, D. C.
A. From The Los Angeles Times: Rover Curiosity this week offered evidence that Mars once had a climate considered habitable for microbes. Pleased NASA scientists hale the discovery, say they are ready to journey to the red planet for more exploration.
B. From Discovery.com: Scientists say the Curiosity rover’s next assignment is to seek out organic chemicals, the building blocks of life.
C. From NBC News and Cosmic Log: Major discoveries aside, Curiosity is still in recovery from a Feb 28 major computer failure. Ground control teams at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory are rebuilding the memory on one of two redundant primary computers. Science operations are on hold, while the restoration continues.
4. From Space News: China is unlikely to face penalties as a result of the debris from a 2007 anti-satellite weapons test that collided with a Russian satellite on Jan. 22, say experts.
A. From China Daily: China supports actions to reduce space debris, according to a spokesman for the Chinese foreign ministry. China supports further efforts at mitigation, according to the spokesman.
5. From Space News: NASA responds to the March 1 federal budget sequestration with restrictions on employee travel and training to assure funding for program and project development. NASA must absorb an overall 5 percent reduction in spending.
6. From Spacepolicyonline.com: On Wednesday, the U. S. Senate offered a 2014 budget proposal of its own, countering the House version presented earlier this week. The White House has yet to present a spending proposal for the 2014 fiscal year that begins Oct. 1.
A. From The Houston Chronicle: In testimony before House appropriators on Wednesday, NASA’s inspector general outlines potential saving if the agency’s field center close unused buildings and facilities.
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