CSExtra – Top Space News for Friday, September 13
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Friday’s CSExtra offers the latest reporting and commentary on space related activities from across the globe. NASA provides emerging details on proposed Asteroid Redirect Mission to AIAA conference in San Diego this week. NASA’s Voyager probe, launched in 1977, becomes the first manmade object to enter interstellar space. The Hubble Space Telescope makes a star cluster discovery. Chemist points to a possible common denominator for life. New biological activity found deep in the Antarctic. NASA nears 55th birthday. DARPA unveils interest in reusable first stage rocket at AIAA conference. Russia pulls backs on Proton return to flight. Op-ed challenges possible single user NASA agreement for Launch Pad 39 A at the Kennedy Space Center. Houston taps space roots to seek FAA spaceport license.
1. From The Los Angeles Times. New details for NASA’s proposed Asteroid Redirect Mission emerge this week at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics meeting in San Diego. NASA spaceflight chief William Gerstenmaier urges aerospace community to consider the flight a demonstration of exciting future human space flight capabilities.- not a stand-alone foray beyond low Earth orbit.
A. From The Coalition for Space Exploration: A NASA panel outlines asteroid mission strategy before the AIAA Space 2013 Conference and Exposition in San Diego. After NASA robotically maneuvers a small asteroid into lunar orbit, two U. S. astronauts could visit after launching aboard an Orion spacecraft atop a Space Launch System (SLS) rocket. The 26-day Orion mission could launch as soon as 2021, demonstrating capabilities, some old, some new, that enable future human deep space exploration.
B. From Space.com via CBS News: NASA scientists point to three current candidate targets for the ARM mission during the AIAA conference in San Diego this week. The trio came from a lineup of 14 planetary objects. “We have two to three which we’ll characterize in the next year; and if all goes well, those will be valid candidates that could be certified targets. And we’ll pass by another in the year 2016. So we have three from the list of 14.” said Paul Chodas, the scientist leading the identification effort.
2. From Discovery.com: Voyager I, one of two NASA probes launched 36 years ago on a grand tour of the outer solar system, enters interstellar space, a new realm, scientists announce Thursday. The still functioning probe has traveled 13 billion miles. Voyager is expected to keep on observing and reporting. Nothing human is so distant.
A. From The New York Times: Voyager 1 achieves a “breath taking” first with technologies comparable to the old eight track audio player. The nuclear powered spacecraft continues to function far beyond its four year design life. The 1977 launch coincided with the first Star Trek feature film release.
B. From Space.com: The sights and sounds of Voyager 1 as the distant probe, launched in 1977, moved into interstellar space.
C. From The Los Angeles Times: Scientists and others who made Voyager’s mission possible reflect on the achievements. Voyager can fly on until 2035.
D. From USA Today: Humanity reaches interstellar space. “We are in a new region of space where nothing has been before,” declares Voyager project scientist Ed Stone of Caltech.
3. From Americaspace.com: The Hubble Space Telescope captures imagery of the largest known star cluster in Abdell 1689. The region containing 160,000 stars stretches 2.4 million light years across and displays interactions with dark matter.
4. From The New York Times: Chemist points to common roots for biological activity, perhaps emerging on Mars. Steven Benners finds a common path by which organic compounds could have formed self-replicating molecules.
5. From Discovery.com: Undiscovered biological activity is identified in the mud of an ice covered lake in the Antarctic. More than 300 feet deep, the find adds intrigue to the prospects for alien life.
6. From The Washington Post: NASA is days from marking the agency’s 55th birthday. In a video, the Post looks back at the space agency’s many achievements.
7. From Space News: DARPA plans to support a reusable first stage rocket development as a new propulsion source for medium class payloads. Wings may, or may not, be a design feature in the competition.
8. From Spaceflightnow.com: A Russian Rockot booster fashioned from ballistic missile components rises from Pletseksk with three communications relay satellites. The launch appears to clear the way for Europe’s delayed Swarm mission for studies of the magnetic field.
9. From Aviation Week & Space Technology: Russia postpones plans to launch a Proton rocket on a return to flight mission. The venerable booster experience a spectacular failure in early July. A Sept. 17 lift off had been planned. Pre-launch testing revealed hardware elements out of tolerance.
10. From Florida Today: NASA would do well to select SpaceX as the tenant for former space shuttle launch pad 39-A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, writes Jeffrey Harris, aerospace consultant and former director of the National Reconnaissance Office, in an guest op-ed. SpaceX seeks exclusive use of the historic launch pad. Rival Blue Origin, which has submitted a multi-user proposal, has protested. “No multi-user launch pad operated by a company has succeeded,” writes Harris in part.
11. From The Galveston County Daily News: Houston emerges as a contender in the U. S. commercial space port business. Houston’s Airport System plans to soon seek an FAA license for horizontal launch activities from Ellington Airport on the city’s southeast side. New space companies gathered in Houston recently to assess the prospects.
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].