CSExtra – Thursday, May 2, 2013
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Thursday’s CSExtra has the latest reporting from around the world. Will NASA’s $424 million contract extension to Russia for crew launches to the International Space Station prompt greater legislative support for NASA’s Commercial Crew Program? A former NASA contractor is linked to Chinese tech transfers. In profiles, entrepreneur Jeff Manber and former NASA astronaut Ed Lu discuss their zeal for commercial space and asteroid detection. NASA’s Fermi space observatory mission dodges a collision. A third grader names NASA’s next asteroid mission. NASA makes DVD room for names and messages for the agency’s next Mars mission, Maven. A U. S. space observatory captures imagery of a massive solar eruption. NASA’s cancelled Constellation Program produces a valuable spin off. China launches a communications satellite. Astronomers solve a U. S. Civil War mystery. A solar powered airplane is poised for a U. S. cross country flight.
1. From Spacepolitics.com: Is NASA using a $424 million contract extension for Russian Soyuz crew launch services to staff the International Space Station as a wedge to create support for funding to foster competing U. S. commercial crew launch services.
2. From The Washington Examiner: Arrested last month at Dulles International Airport, former NASA contractor Bo Jiang is linked to the transfer of sensitive technologies to China. Jiang was a contract worker at NASA’s Langley Research Center until an influential Virginia congressman alerted authorities.
3. From Space Quarterly: Jeff Manber, managing director of Nanoracks, assesses why and how NASA turned commercial.
A. From Space News: In a profile, former NASA astronaut and Google executive Ed Lu explains why he turned asteroid hunter and chief executive officer of the B612 Foundation.
4. From The Christian Science Monitor: Just over a year ago, March 2012, NASA’s Fermi space observatory was an unknowing target for debris from a defunct Soviet era spy satellite. Thanks to an alert NASA Goddard Space Flight Center ground controller, a collision was averted.
5. From The Los Angeles Times: North Carolina 3rd Grader Michael Toler Puzio selects the winning entry, Bennu, for the name of the destination asteroid for NASA’s OSIRIS-REx sample return mission. Launch is set for 2016.
A. From AmericaSpace.com: NASA’s next asteroid destination receives a name. Bennu’s Egyptian origins refer to a heron like bird.
6. From The Coalition for Space Exploration: NASA seeks names and messages for a collective DVD that will be placed aboard the agency’s Mars bound Maven mission. Maven is nearing a late 2013 lift off to study the history of the Martian atmosphere.
7. From Ria Novosti, of Russia: A NASA satellite captures imagery of a massive solar explosion on Wednesday. The Coronal Mass Ejection is headed away from Earth.
A. From The Washington Post: Here’s an impressive video of the solar fury.
8. From Aviation Week & Space Technology: A vibration attenuator developed for NASA’s now cancelled Constellation program spins off to the commercial arena.
9. From Spaceflghtnow.com: China launches a communications satellite for users in Africa, Asia and Australia. The Chinasat 11 satellite, belongs to the China Satellite Communications Corp.
10. From Space.com: Astronomers may have solved a lingering Civil War mystery, the death of Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson, by calculating the moon’s position.
11. From The New York Times: The solar powered Solar Impulse experimental aircraft is poised for a cross country flight. Psychiatrist Bertrand Piccard is the brain child.
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