CSExtra – Thursday, May 3, 2012
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Thursday’s CSExtra offers the latest reporting and commentary on space related activities from around the world. Without adequate funding, NASA’s commercial crew development initiative will not have the resources to foster competition, agency managers caution. SpaceX acknowledges a likely slip in plans to launch the first U. S. commercial re-supply mission to the International Space Station. In Washington, a National Research Council report finds U. S. Earth observation efforts falling behind the goals outlined in a five-year-old blue print. The European Space Agency looks to Jupiter’s ice-covered moons as a destination for a new missions. Astronomers observe a distant massive black hole rip apart a star that comes too close. NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter tracks the moon’s expansions and contractions. California’s Death Valley offers a science analogue for NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory. The nearly full moon, Saturn and a bright star gather in the night sky.
1. From Spaceflightnow.com: Leaders of NASA’s commercial crew development initiative say the effort needs sufficient funding to foster the competition that will keep development and operational costs low. The House version of NASA’s 2013 budget calls for a down select from four competitors to a single provider. http://www.spaceflightnow.com/news/n1205/02commercialcrew/
2. From the Associated Press via Yahoo.com: SpaceX on Wednesday acknowledges a likely delay in efforts to launch the first U. S. commercial re-supply mission to the International Space Station. Plans for a May 7 lift off are likely to slip to accommodate more software testing, the company says in a statement. http://news.yahoo.com/1st-private-cargo-run-space-station-delayed-173443749–finance.html
3. From Spacepolicyonline.com: In a progress report, the National Research Council finds U. S. Earth observations programs falling behind a decadal road map unveiled in 2007. The assessment panel blames the Office of Management and Budget and Congress for failing to provide adequate resources. Other factors include a lack of affordable launch vehicles. The NRC study panel credits NASA with responding to the objectives of the five-year-old road map before the agency was overcome by spending constraints. http://www.spacepolicyonline.com/news/u-s-earth-observation-systems-in-precarious-situation-says-nrc
A. From the New York Times: The decline in U. S. Earth observing missions imperils weather observations, natural disaster planning and studies of climate change, the Times reports. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/05/02/lights-out-for-research-satellites/
4. From Science Insider: The European Space Agency looks to Jupiter as the destination for its next major robotic scientific mission. JUICE, the Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer, will study the moons Europa, Ganymede and Callisto, each a place that scientists believe is a prospective home for primitive life. http://news.sciencemag.org/scienceinsider/2012/05/jupiter-picked-for-next-major.html?ref=hp
5. From the Los Angeles Times: Astronomers using ground and space based telescopes watch as a distant massive black hole rips a nearby star apart. The drama, which unfolded two billion years ago, has been followed by astronomers since 2010 using ground and space-based observatories. The observations were reported in the science journal Nature. http://www.latimes.com/news/science/la-sci-black-hole-20120503,0,6876637.story
6. From Discovery.com: Scientists involved in NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter mission find the moon growing and shrinking in response to internal forces once thought dormant. http://news.discovery.com/space/our-growing-shrinking-moon-120502.html#mkcpgn=rssnws1
7. From Space.com: NASA’s $2.5 billion Mars Science Laboratory is barreling toward Mars, where it is expected to land in early August. This week, the MSL mission scientist led a small group of journalists through Death Valley in California to give them a preview of what the major U. S. science mission is all about. http://www.space.com/15511-mars-rover-death-valley-science.html
8. From MSNBC: Look for a rare conjunction in the night sky an hour after sunset on Thursday. The moon, nearly full, the planet Saturn and the bright star Spica, appear to merge. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/47268603/ns/technology_and_science-space/
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 Info@spacecoalition.com.