CSExtra – Thursday, May 23, 2013
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Thursday’s CSExtra offers the latest reporting and commentary on space related activities from across the globe. Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield’s recently completed International Space Station mission stirs new interest in human space exploration. First stop on the way to mars: the moon or an asteroid?. On Mars, NASA’s Curiosity rover hints at signs of wear and tear. Also on Mars, NASA’s aging Opportunity rover finds signs of a past watery environment. Russia looks to 2017 to start tests of a new reusable rocket. NASA’s Cassini mission completes a topographical map of Saturn’s moon Titan. The European Space Agency opens a center to track hazardous asteroids. Virgin Galactic looks to late 2013 for the possible first suborbital flight with passengers. NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center backs up NASA’s Space Launch System. Lawmakers from the Houston area converge on Washington to rally support for human space exploration. Coming soon to Florida’s space coast: the opening of the Space Shuttle Atlantis exhibit. A rare piece of Mars heads to auction. The earliest Martian explorers might do well to hold off on children.
1. From The New York Times: Youthful interest in space surges thanks to Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, who returned to Earth recently after serving as commander and flight engineer aboard the International Space Station. The first Canadian skipper turned to song and social media to awaken interest.
2. From Space News: Congress hears strong disagreement over where NASA should aim for next on its eventual mission with human explorers to Mars. Some embrace the idea of corralling an asteroid into a stable lunar orbit. Others favor the lunar surface as the first stop for eventual missions to Mars.
3. From Discovery.com: In Gale Crater on Mars, NASA’s Curiosity rover begins to show signs of wear and tear. Curiosity landed in Gale in August to start a two year mission to determine whether the red planet once harbored conditions suitable for some form of life.
4. From Space.com: At Endeavour crater on Mars, NASA’s aging Opportunity rover finds more evidence of a past habitable environment in a rock altered by water. “‘Esperance, is a relic of a wetter time on Mars when life may have been possible,” the website reports.
5. From Ria Novosti, of Russia: The Energia Rocket and Space Corp looks to 2017 for the start of test flights of a successor to the Soyuz carrier rocket. The reusable rocket will be designed for up to five missions.
6. From Discovery.com: Cassini, the NASA spacecraft orbiting Saturn creates a topographical map of Titan, a moon that resembles a primordial Earth. Titan has a hazy atmosphere; the surface supports icy features and flowing hydrocarbons.
7. From Space.com: The European Space Agency opens a new center dedicated to the discovery and tracking of asteroids that could pose a collision threat to the Earth. The opening follows the Feb. 15 explosion of a small space rock over Russia. That same day a larger asteroid passed within 18,000 miles of the Earth.
8. From the Las Cruces Sun News of Sun-News, of New Mexico: Might Virgin Galactic launch the company’s first commercial space passengers prior to the start of 2014?
9. From The Huntsville Times: NASA invests in a Marshall Space Flight Center test stand. At Marshall, engineers are preparing the Space Launch System for tests that will enable the U. S. to embark on future human missions of deep space exploration.
10. From The Galveston Daily County News, of Texas: Regional policy makers converge on Washington to stir up support for human space exploration,
11. From AmericaSpace.com: The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex readies the retired space shuttle orbiter Atlantis for display at the end of June.
12. From Space.com: A small piece of Mars, blasted off the red planet long ago on a trajectory that ended with a landing in Morocco, goes to auction.
13. From Space.com: Mars is no place to start a family early in a future colonization period. That’s the view of Bas Lansdorp, co-founder of Mars One, the Dutch-based initiative established colonize the red planet early in the 2020s.
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].