CSExtra – Top Space News for Friday, March 7, 2014
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Today’s CSExtra offers the latest reporting and commentary on space related activities from across the globe. Tensions over Ukraine may prompt policy makers to hasten efforts to restore U.S. capabilities to launch astronauts. Third small asteroid in two days zips past the Earth. NASA’s Kepler alien planet hunter marks fifth anniversary on Thursday. Europa beckons. NASA’s Cassini mission makes landmark pass by Saturn’s moon Titan. Hubble astronomers watch as asteroid crumbles. First Japanese astronaut to take command of International Space Station. NASA radar technology predicts sink hole damage.
Deep Space Exploration
NASA (3/6): NASA’s Kepler mission marks its fifth year in space on Thursday. So far, the space telescope has discovered 3,600 possible planets circling stars in the Milky Way galaxy.
Space.com (3/6): Third asteroid in two days passes close to the Earth. Asteroid 2014 EC sails within 38,000 miles of the Earth Thursday afternoon.
USA Today (3/6): NASA’s proposed $17.5 billion budget for 2015 short changes planetary science, according to a USA Today editorial. Investments in robotic missions to the planets to fall by $100 million in new budget, the publication reports.
Space News (3/6): NASA aims for mission to the Jovian moon Europa in the mid-2020s for less than $1 billion. The agency plans to seek advice from astronomers on mission formulation.
Houston Chronicle (3/6): Texas congressman champions search for life on Europa. “I got on this incredible committee where I will be in exactly the right place at the right time to be able to help turn NASA around, to not only preserve America’s leadership role in space, but I also hope to be a key part in discovering life on another world for the first time,” says U.S. Rep. John Culbertson, who is in line to chair the House appropriations subcommittee that oversees NASA spending.
Space.com (3/6): NASA’s Cassini spacecraft makes its 100th flyby of Saturn’s moon Titan. Titan resembles a primordial Earth and may hold clues about how life emerged in the solar system.
Los Angeles Times (3/6): Using the Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers watch as a main belt asteroid breaks into pieces. The subtle forces of photons are responsible, say experts.
Low Earth Orbit
Politico (3/6): Tensions in the Ukraine could be enough to prompt the U.S. Congress to accelerate efforts to restore American capabilities to launch humans into space. NASA was forced to turn to the Russia to place U.S. astronauts in Earth orbit following the shuttle’s retirement in 2011. Boeing, Sierra Nevada and SpaceX are partnered with NASA to establish commercial human space transportation services, perhaps by 2017.
CNBC (3/6): Tensions between the U.S. and Russia over the Ukraine could mean more money for NASA, the network reports. The U.S. has relied on Russia to launch U.S. astronauts to space since the mid-2011 retirement of the NASA’s space shuttle fleet.’
Florida Today (3/6): U.S. and Russia share close ties in space. So far, tensions over Russia’s actions in the Ukraine have not spread to the far frontier.
America Space (3/6): Koichi Wakata is set to become the first astronaut from Japan to command the International Space Station. He will assume the responsibilities early next week with departure of three U.S. and Russian astronauts.
NASA (3/6): NASA demonstrates that airborne synthetic aperture radar can predict imminent sink hole damage.
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