CSExtra – Thursday, May 10, 2012
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From the Coalition for Space Exploration: T-10 Days and counting!
The deadline for entries to the CSE “Why Explore Space?” video contest is rapidly approaching.
Make sure to submit your 1-2 minute video on why you think space exploration is important by May 19.
The grand prize is an iPad 3. Good luck!
Thursday’s CSExtra offers the latest reporting and commentary on space related activities from around the world. NASA’s proposed 2013 budget cut in House action to its lowest level in four years. Utah-based ATK unveils a commercial space transportation plan called Liberty for orbital human, cargo and satellite missions. Europe’s Enviasat Earth observing spacecraft lost. Space enters the billionaire age. Sierra Nevada unveils a test flight plan. Russia opens a door for cooperation with the U.S. and Europe in the exploration of Mars. Solar power finds a U. S. commercial niche. Europe completes work on a key component for the James Webb Space Telescope.
1. From Space News: The House cuts NASA’s proposed 2013 budget to $17.447 billion, by voting to transfer $126 million in cross agency support to a Justice Department community policing program. The losses to NASA include field center funding for cyber security, medical support for astronauts and flight safety. The White House has already signaled a veto of the measure over other issues. The president proposed $17.71 billion for the coming year. http://www.spacenews.com/policy/120509-nasa-budget-takes-hit.html
2. From MSNBC: ATK, of Utah, unveils plans for a commercial crew transportation system orbit based on its Liberty rocket design and a composite crew capsule. The spacecraft could be ready for low Earth orbit missions in three years, according to Liberty program manager Kent Rominger, the former astronaut. The proposal debuted at the Space Craft Technology Expo in Los Angeles. ATK’s partners include Astrium of Europe and Lockheed Martin. Markets include NASA missions to the International Space Station, space tourism and foreign space programs. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/47363362/ns/technology_and_science-space/#.T6sZdNWQlrY
A. From The Salt Lake Tribune: ATK’s Liberty will carry cargo as well as human passengers to Earth orbit. Liberty’s first stage is based on a longer version of solid rocket boosters used by NASA’s space shuttle. http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/money/54083574-79/liberty-atk-system-crew.html.csp
B. From Spaceflightnow.com: ATK joins a competition for NASA Commercial Crew Development initiative funding that already includes SpaceX, Boeing, Sierra Nevada and Blue Origin and others. http://www.spaceflightnow.com/news/n1205/09liberty/
3. From Space.com: The European Space Agency’s 10-year Envisat Earth observing satellite was declared inactive on Wednesday. Efforts to re-establish communications with the spacecraft after contact was lost on April 8 have been unsuccessful. http://www.space.com/15608-huge-satellite-envisat-dead-space.html
4. From USA Today: The newspaper examines what it calls the new “billionaire age” of space exploration, a trend that features the accomplishments of Elon Musk’s SpaceX and the promise of enterprises like Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen’s Stratolaunch and Planetary Resources, the asteroid mining company unveiled last month by a lineup of wealthy investors. http://www.usatoday.com/tech/science/space/story/2012-04-25/space-exploration-billionaires/54866272/1
5. From Spaceflightnow.com: Sierra Nevada unveils plans to begin atmospheric flight tests of the winged Dream Chaser commercial crew transportation vehicle this summer. An orbital demonstration mission is planned in 2016, say company managers. http://www.spaceflightnow.com/news/n1205/09sierranevada/index.html
6. From Space.com: Russian space officials express interest in working with the U. S., Europe and others on a mission of human exploration to Mars. http://www.space.com/15600-mars-mission-nasa-russia.html
A. From the Associated Press via the Washington Post: After months of inactivity during the Martian winter, NASA’s Opportunity Mars rover is ready to resume its scientific travels on the Martian terrain. Opportunity reached the Martian surface in January 2004. http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/nasa-rover-driving-again-after-staying-put-in-1-spot-during-martian-winter/2012/05/09/gIQAukFvDU_story.html
B. From Sky and Telescope Magazine: NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter finds Martian sand dunes on the move. The finding is a surprise because of a thin Martian atmosphere and light winds. http://www.skyandtelescope.com/news/Martian-Dunes-On-the-Move-150670415.html
7. From The New York Times: Solar electricity is making its way into the U. S. residential and commercial markets, through a combination of factors, including tax breaks, consumer sales through companies like Lowe’s and Home Depot and inexpensive Chinese made solar panels. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/10/business/energy-environment/solar-installers-offer-homeowners-deals-gaining-converts.html?_r=1&hp
8. From the Coalition for Space Exploration: A key contribution to the James Webb Space Telescope from the European Space Agency is ready for transfer to NASA. The designated successor to the Hubble Space Telescope, the JWST is being readied for a 2018 launch. http://spacecoalition.com/blog/james-webb-space-telescope-new-milestone
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].