CSExtra – Top Space News for Friday, January 3
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Today’s CSExtra offers the latest in reporting and commentary on space related activities from across the globe. Challenges facing NASA in 2014 include an extension of International Space Station operations and push for commercial human low Earth orbit space transportation services. Golden Spike adds robotic rovers to its commercial human lunar exploration planning. Utah hosts Mars mission simulations. Small asteroid burns up in Earth’s atmosphere shortly after its discovery. European Space Agency introduces a wall climbing robot. Astronomers detect clouds in atmospheres of “super Earths.” Year’s first meteor shower to peak Friday. Are experts looking in the wrong place for dark matter? International Space Station astronauts begin 2014 with medical research. NASA looks to Jan. 7 for the lift off of Orbital Science’s Antares/Cygnus duo on the company’s first commercial cargo delivery to the International Space Station. Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo conducts ground-based full duration propulsion test.
Human Deep Space Exploration
Wired.com (1/2): In the year ahead, NASA will be challenged to define its direction in a budget constrained environment, the website reports. The challenges include reaching a decision on an extension for the International Space Station and nurturing commercial launch services that can transport astronauts to low Earth orbit.
Space.com (1/2): Golden Spike, the U.S. commercial human lunar exploration company, announces it will add robotic rovers to the capabilities it plans for two person missions underway by 2020. After reaching the moon ahead of Golden Spike’s astronauts, rovers developed by Honeybee Robotics will scout the terrain to expand the reach of the human explorers.
Space.com (12/2): Volunteers, scientists and engineers gather in Utah under Mars-like conditions to simulate life on the Red Planet. The Mars Desert Research Station is a project of the Mars Society.
Unmanned Deep Space Exploration
Discovery.com (1/2): Experts discover small asteroid, Asteroid 2014 AA, hours before it strikes Earth this week. Just a couple of meters across, 2014AA was the first pre-impact discovery of an asteroid since 2008.
European Space Agency (1/2): Compact robots with “sticky feet” could shoulder spacecraft repair duties in the future.
Space.com (1/2): Two astronomy teams report evidence for clouds in the atmospheres of distant “super Earth” and “warm Neptune” planets, based on observations with the Hubble Space Telescope. The observations, reported this week in the journal Nature, offer new clues about planet classes recently characterized as the most common in the Milky Way galaxy. However, neither is present in our solar system.
Space.com (1/2): The annual Quadrantid meteor shower peaks on Friday, but at a time unfavorable for prospective observers in the Northern Hemisphere.
Scientific American (1/2): Where’s the unseen dark matter believed to comprise 25 percent of the observable universe. Turns out it’s so difficult to detect that some experts believe it will soon be time to look in a different direction for evidence of its existence.
Low Earth Orbit
NASA (1/2): Astronauts join medical experts in pursuit of explanation for space vision changes.
Commercial to Low Earth Orbit
Orbital Sciences (1/2): The Virginia based company looks to Jan. 7 for the launching of its first cargo delivery mission to the International Space Station under the terms of a NASA commercial resupply services agreement. An on time lift off from the Mid Atlantic Regional Spaceport in Virginia would place Orbital’s Cygnus cargo capsule and its payload at the space station three days later. The launch, scheduled for December, was delayed by space station thermal control system problems.
NBC News (1/2): Virgin Galactic ends 2013 with a dramatic 56 second, full duration test of the passenger rocket’s propulsion system.
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.