CSExtra – Top Space News for Friday, November 22
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Today’s CSExtra offers the latest reporting and commentary on space related activities from across the globe. President Obama updates U.S. space transportation policy, one that endorses commercial activity in Earth orbit, freeing NASA to turn to human deep space endeavors. The Coalition for Space Exploration congratulates the Administration for their balanced approach (see attached statement). NASA F/A -18 Hornet research flights shape guidance software for NASA’s Space Launch System. Recalling John Kennedy’s commitment of 1961 to reach the moon with human explorers. Inspiration Mars says it will partner with Russia or China to send human explorers around Mars if the U.S. in not interested in a public private partnership; NASA finds Inspiration Mars’ plans too aggressive to support with finances. NASA and Planetary Resources announce asteroid search partnership that will involve the public. NASA Chief Scientist says search for life in solar system a priority. Taking a second look at NASA’s Viking Mars mission data. Some U.S. scientists concerned China’s lunar lander could interfere with NASA LADEE lunar orbiter mission. NASA 2020 Mars mission will attempt to extract oxygen from a carbon dioxide rich atmosphere. Astronomers find odd dust ring in the orbit of Venus. Astronomers report brightest gamma ray burst. Ice covered observatory in Antarctic makes discovery in distant universe. Russian rocket launches satellites for Korea, host of other nations. NASA calls on U.S. industry to participate in next phase of commercial transportation services for travel to low Earth orbit destinations. NASA announces opportunities to expose science payloads to low Earth orbit.
Human Deep Space Exploration
Spacepolicyonline.com (11/21): President Obama announces a new space transportation policy influencing future exploration objectives and commercial space development.
NASA Administrator Charles Bolden’s blog (11/21): The national space transportation policy statement signed by President Obama will keep the United States at the lead in the exploration of space, writes Bolden. It will also cement the space agency’s role in fostering commercial space activities and technical innovation, according to the administrator.
AmericaSpace.com (11/21): A NASA F/A-18 research aircraft tests flight software for NASA’s Space Launch System heavy lift rocket development. The mammoth rocket is to become the most powerful and capable heavy-lift launch vehicle ever designed. A recent in flight test over NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center in southern California evaluated the big rocket’s autonomous flight control system.
CBS News (11/21): The U.S. will mark the 50th anniversary of President John Kennedy’s death on Saturday. JFK is credited with committing the United States to an historic manned moon landing in 1961. The directive came in response to Soviet strides in space.
Universe Today (11/21): Inspiration Mars, the U.S. nonprofit behind a plan to send a man and a woman on a spaceflight around Mars following an early 2018 lift off, says he will look to Russia or China for support if the U. S. fails to back his endeavor.
Spacepolitics.com (11/21): Wealthy American Dennis Tito says his Inspiration Mars Foundation will turn away from the U.S. if the Administration and Congress do not provide financial support for his plans to send a man and a woman on a mission around Mars. The launch date is early 2018.
NASA balks at billionaire’s request for Mars mission aid: First “space tourist” Dennis Tito asks agency to chip in with some new rockets and cash for a 2017 manned mission. NASA says thanks, but no thanks.
CNET (11/21): NASA finds Inspiration Mars’ mission schedule to aggressive to address life support system needs, space radiation and human psychology concerns, according to an agency spokesman. ”The agency is willing to share technical and programmatic expertise with Inspiration Mars, but is unable to commit to sharing expenses,” according to a statement.
Unmanned Deep Space Exploration
NBC News (11/21): NASA and Planetary Resources, a nonprofit group interested in mining asteroids, join forces to sponsor an asteroid search. The effort involves fundraising through Kickstarter to establish Asteroid Zoo. Internet users will be enlisted to scan through the many Catalina Sky Survey images to identify near-Earth asteroids that could pose an impact threat, a goal of NASA’s Asteroid Grand Challenge initiative.
NASA (11/21): Using sky survey data generated with NASA resources, the space agency and Planetary Resources will develop opportunities, including contests that enlist the public to help identify asteroids that pose a collision risk to the Earth. The effort was announced as part of NASA’s Grand Challenge. The partnership was announced at NASA’s Asteroid Initiative Ideas Synthesis Workshop in Houston.
Los Angeles Times (11/21): NASA’s priorities include seeking evidence for life and its evolution beyond the Earth, agency Chief Scientist Ellen Stofan explains during a visit to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The agency is focused on Mars at the moment to address the question, said Stofan, who once worked at JPL as a planetary geologist. Like NASA’s other missions, the search is paced by budget uncertainties.
Astrobiology Magazine (11/21): Scientists re-examine the findings from NASA’s Viking Mars landers of the mid-1970s. The goal: find whether the Martian environment appeared habitable.
Space.com (11/21): As China prepares for the early December launch of its Chang’e 3 lunar mission, which includes a lander and rover, U.S. scientists grow concerned the activities will contaminate the moon’s atmosphere for NASA’s LADEE orbiter. The Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer is orbiting the moon to better characterize the forces at work in the moon’s thin atmosphere. The U.S. concern is for the exhaust from propellant used to lower the Chinese spacecraft to the lunar surface.
NASA (11/21): NASA’s Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer, launched Sept. 6, maneuvered to its science orbit around the moon’s equator this week. The spacecraft will spend the next 100 days gathering information about the lunar environment from its low altitude orbit.
Space News.com (11/21): The development of NASA’s 2020 Mars rover includes plans for an experiment that will generate oxygen from the planet’s carbon dioxide rich atmosphere.
Space.com via Discovery.com (11/21): Astronomers discover strange dust ring near the orbit of Venus. A similar phenomenon was noted around the Earth’s orbit two decades ago.
Xinhuanet of China (11/22): Scientists report brightest “nearby” gamma ray explosion. The blast, which unfolded on April 27, is offering new insight into how the explosions occur.
National Public Radio (11/21): An Antarctic observatory, buried deep in the ice, makes discovery in distant universe. Observation illuminates early universe for first time.
Low Earth Orbit
Business Korea (11/22): The STSAT-3 is the country’s first satellite equipped with infrared radar. The spacecraft, launched aboard a Russian Dnepr rocket, is equipped to monitor geological activities such as volcanoes and earthquakes.
Russian Space Web (11/23): A Russian Dnepr, a converted Soviet ballistic missile, launches satellites from Pakistan, Japan, Spain, Peru and other nations.
Commercial to Low Earth Orbit
Red Orbit (11/20): NASA calls on U.S. industry to submit proposals for NASA certified commercial launch services that would transport human passengers to the International Space Station and other orbital destinations. Part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, the initiative will hasten a resumption of U. S. human space launches. The capability was interrupted by the retirement of NASA’s shuttle fleet in 2011.
Parabolic arc (11/21): NASA issues opportunities for research payloads to make suborbital flights.
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 [email protected].