CSExtra – Thursday, May 30, 2013
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Thursday’s CSExtra offers the latest reporting and commentary on space related activities from across the globe. In Seattle, Planetary Resources looks to Kickstarter to raise money for a public telescope. NOAA troubleshoots a key weather satellite involved in tropical weather forecasts. NASA closes in on a decision to use a surplus spy satellite for dark energy studies. Bigelow Aerospace joins with NASA to assess commercial capabilities for future human space exploration endeavors. Scientists suggest Venus holds clues to why some planets are habitable and others not. Tricks of light and shadow on Mars.
1. From Florida Today: Planetary Resources, a company that plans ultimately to mine asteroids for valuable resources, announces a $1 million crowd sourcing campaign on Wednesday to launch a small telescope capable of snapping photos of contributors against the Earth as a backdrop. The campaign’s goal is $1 million by the end of June.
A. From Space.com: Early fund raising results by Planetary Resources are impressive. More than $160,000 is raised on the campaign’s first day. If the fund raising goal is met, the company will aim for an early 2015 lift off.
2. From Spacepolicyonline.com: NOAA re-activates GOES-13, the weather satellite that faltered last week with the start of the U. S. hurricane season approaching, for a troubleshooting session. Meanwhile GOES-14, an orbital spare, takes on the responsibility for watching weather developments over the eastern part of the North American continent.
3. From Space News: NASA closes in on a decision whether a former U. S. National Reconnaissance Office spy satellite might carry out a scientifically recommended mission to investigate dark energy.
4. From Space News: NASA looks to Bigelow Aerospace to broker prospective contributions from the private sector to push human explorers into deep space.
5. From The Christian Science Monitor: Planetary scientists dig deep to learn why the Earth and Venus are so similar in composition, though so environmentally different. Had Venus been just a few million miles more distant from the sun, it may have been much more habitable. Experts believe the comparative study will help to determine which planets circling other stars are habitable.
6. From Discovery.com: NASA’s Curiosity rover spots a rock on Mars that resembles a small rat, according to UFO enthusiasts.
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