CSExtra – Top Space News for Friday, January 17, 2014
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Today’s CSExtra offers the latest reporting and commentary on space related activities from across the globe. U.S. Senate passes $1.1 trillion 2014 Omnibus appropriations measure for 2014, a measure that lifts NASA from sequestration. House to start work on new NASA authorization bill. U.S. at work on GINORMOUS Space Launch System. NASA Orion capsule achieves parachute deployment milestone. Mars suitable for growth of some terrestrial plants. The Saturn V third stages are where? Retired astronauts push U.N. asteroid warning alliance. NASA prototype Morpheus planetary lander completes flight test at Kennedy Space Center. NASA open to development partnerships for commercial lunar landers. Chemistry’s leap to biology and life. Russian flight controllers postpone space station maneuver. Russian spacewalk set for July 27 to install commercial Earth observing cameras. Feature film Gravity pulls in mega Oscar nominations. NASA’s Commercial Crew Program poised for strides in 2014. Dream Chaser entry in NASA’s Commercial Crew Program reaches test milestone. SpaceShipTwo engine test.
Human Deep Space Exploration
Washington Post (1/16): U.S. Senate approves and sends to White House a $1.1 trillion compromise Omnibus appropriations bill that will fund the federal government through Oct. 1, the end of the 2014 fiscal year. The legislation, passed by the U.S. House earlier this week, lifts NASA from sequestration with $17.6 billion in spending. President Obama is expected to sign the measure that cleared the Senate 72-26.
Spacepolicyonline.com (1/16): President Obama expected to sign $1.1 trillion U.S. omnibus appropriations bill for 2014, lifting threat of another government shutdown.
Spacepolitics.com (1/16): With a budget for 2014 all but behind it, the U.S. House is expected to turn its attention toward an authorization bill for NASA. The most recent measure providing the space agency with policy guidance was passed in 2010.
Huntsville Times (1/16): Nelson praises Republican Shelby and fellow Democrat Mikulski in Senate floor Thursday for shaping $1.1 trillion U.S. Omnibus appropriations measure for 2014, easing NASA from budget sequester restrictions.
Catholic online (1/16): Feature with photos outlines plans for and history of NASA’s Space Launch System heavy lift rocket. “The system will be capable of lifting 130 tons into orbit – and eventually take humanity to the red planet Mars,” the publication reports.
NASA (1/16): NASA’s Orion project completes parachute descent trial on Thursday. The test in the Arizona desert involved the jettison of the capsule’s protective forward bay cover.
Xinhuanet, of China (1/16): Dutch scientist believes Earthly plant nutrition can adapt and grow on Mars to supply food for future human explorers.
Discovery.com (1/16): The answer is: The third stages ended up in different places for different missions — solar and Earth orbit, the website explains.
Unmanned Deep Space Exploration
Scientific American (1/16): The U.N. grows convinced that global advanced warnings are justified to deal with asteroid impact threat. Ed Lu, the former NASA astronaut, is among those pushing for international strategies. The Feb. 15 explosion of a small asteroid over Chelyabinsk in Russia moves supporters to action.
Florida Today (1/16): NASA’s prototype for a planetary lander, Morpheus, carries out the latest in a series of test flights at the Kennedy Space Center. Morpheus is in development at the Johnson Space Center as an autonomous ground hazard avoiding lander for future human and robotic planetary missions.
NASA (1/16): NASA looks for prospective Space Act Agreements with commercial partners for the delivery of payloads to the moon’s surface. The space agency will offer the technical expertise of NASA staff, access to NASA center test facilities, equipment loans, or software in exchange for lander development and testing.
Time (1/16): How did chemistry become biology? Did that transition happen on planets throughout the galaxy and the universe, allowing life to thrive?
Low Earth Orbit
Interfax, of Russia (1/16): Flight control teams in Moscow postpone an orbital maneuver of the six person International Space Station to avoid a possible close pass of an old U.S. Delta rocket stage.
Spaceflightnow.com (1/16): Cosmonauts aboard the International Space Station look to Jan. 27 for a spacewalk to deploy commercial Earth observing cameras. Efforts to deploy the imagers on Dec. 27 were unsuccessful.
Space.com (1/16): Popular space film drama wins accolades with Hollywood nominations on Thursday for best film, lead actress and director among other categories.
Commercial to Low Earth Orbit
Spaceflight Insider (1/16): NASA is looking to late summer for contract awards to commercial companies that could begin transporting astronauts to and from the International Space Station. It’s a national capability lost in 2011 as NASA retired the space shuttle fleet.
NASAspaceflight.com (1/16): Sierra Nevada Corp’s Dream Chaser reaches development milestone as participant in NASA’s Commercial Crew Program.
Parabolic Arc (1/16): Scaled Composites test fires an engine for SpaceShipTwo in California’s Mojave Desert on Thursday. The burn substitutes a nitrous oxide/nylon solid propellant as a potential alternative fuel to nitrous oxide and rubber, the website reports.
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