CSExtra – Top Space News for Monday, March 10, 2014
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Today’s CSExtra offers the latest reporting and commentary on space related activities from across the globe. New generation of Cosmos television series premiers with U.S. presidential endorsement. Mars on Earth. Astronaut Wives Club will revisit early days of U.S. space program, film in Houston. Powerful NASA space telescope finds no sign of fabled PlanetX. Time for an asteroid defense? NASA lunar orbiter spots China’s Yutu moon rover. University of Texas to support construction of Giant Magellan Telescope in Chile with funding. Mars simulation project eyes Central Florida. Koichi Wakata becomes first from Japan to command the International Space Station. From space: it’s one Earth. NASA to study effects on long term spaceflight on twins Scott and Mark Kelly. Former NASA astronaut and geologist Kathryn Sullivan confirmed as National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration chief. Shuttle Carrier Aircraft, NASA 905, heads for display at Space Center Houston. Was dark matter a factor in the demise of dinosaurs? Falcon 9 fires up to qualify for March 16 International Space Station cargo launch. CubeSat beginnings. Virgin Galactic anticipates FAA licensing. Arizona, Colorado lawmakers look to space commerce. Major space activities scheduled for the week ahead.
Human Deep Space Exploration
NBC News.com (3/9): Cosmos, the popular PBS series hosted by astronomer Carl Sagan a generation ago, transitions Sunday to a new generation, with the Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, hosted by astronomer Neil DeGrasse Tyson. “America has always been a nation of fearless explorers, who dream bigger and reach farther than others imagine,” said President Obama, who introduced the first installment.
Coalition for Space Exploration (3/9): MarsFest 2014 coming to California’s Death Valley in late March. Three day festival will acquaint public with analog sites on Earth used to study conditions on the red planet.
Houston Chronicle (3/6): Forthcoming ABC TV series, based on the book of the same name, will focus on the women behind the men who led the U.S. to the moon in the 1960s and 70s. Astronaut Wives Club will film in Houston.
Unmanned Deep Space Exploration
Discovery.com (3/7): Data from NASA’s Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) fails to reveal a mysterious Planet X. Lurking beyond Pluto, this undiscovered planet has been blamed for a list of disasters and alien takeover plots.
CBC, of Canada (3/7): Three asteroid encounters in two days last week raises a question posed with an op-ed: Is an asteroid defense system justified?
Universe Today (3/7): NASA’s eagle-eyed Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter snaps picture of China’s Chang’e-3 lunar lander and Yutu rover.
Austin Business Journal (3/7): University of Texas regents’ vote to raise $50 million for the construction of the Giant Magellan Telescope in Chile. Developers say Magellan will be capable of exo-planet discovery.
Florida Today (3/8): Plans for simulated Mars scape takes shape in Central Florida as economy improves.
Nature (3/7): Gravitational influences of dark matter laced across the Milky Way may have triggered the large meteorite strikes believed to be responsible for the demise of the dinosaurs, according to a proposal from two theoretical physicists.
Low Earth Orbit
NASA (3/9): Astronaut Koichi Wakata becomes the first from Japan to assume command of the International Space Station, as his predecessor Russian Oleg Kotov prepares to return to Earth late Monday with NASA’s Mike Hopkins and fellow cosmonaut Sergey Ryazanskiy. Wakata will take responsibility for crew safety and performance through mid-May.
Russia Today (3/9): From space, it’s one Earth. The publication takes perspective on the 80th anniversary of Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin’s birth. Gagarin, who became the first human to reach space, was born March 9, 1934. He launched on April 12, 1961.
Los Angeles Times (3/7): NASA astronaut Scott Kelly is in training for a one-year mission aboard the International Space Station and scheduled to lift off with Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko in March 2015. Kelly will participate in a first ever study with his identical twin brother, Mark Kelly, a retired NASA astronaut. Much of the research announced March 7 is focused on genetic change.
Science Insider (3/7): The U.S. Senate confirms former NASA astronaut Kathryn Sullivan as head of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Sullivan, who was the acting administrator, became the first American woman to walk in space in 1984. She flew three times aboard NASA’s space shuttle.
Collectspace.com (3/6): NASA’s original space shuttle carrier aircraft, NASA 905, is dismantled at Ellington Airport in Houston, for ground transport to Space Center Houston, where it will become part of an educational display with a shuttle mock up named Independence.
Commercial to Low Earth Orbit
Spaceflightnow.com (3/9): SpaceX fires first stage booster engines on Saturday in preparation for 3rd Falcon 9/Dragon cargo delivery to the International Space Station. Lift off is scheduled for March 16.
Spaceflightnow.com (3/8): Then Stanford University professor Bob Twiggs conceived of the CubeSat in the late 1990s as a means of providing young engineers with hands on satellite experience. The concept is changing the equation for access to space.
Space News (3/7): Virgin Galactic reaches final stages of FAA licensing for SpaceShipTwo. Company chief executive George Whitesides provides an update at last week’s Goddard Memorial Symposium.
Spacepolitics.com (3/7): Lawmakers in both states consider incentives to attract commercial space activities.
Major Space Related Activities for the Week
Spacepolicyonline.com (3/9): The House and Senate are in session. U.S. and Russian astronauts are scheduled to return to Earth from the International Space Station late Monday. Annual satellite conference scheduled for Washington.
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