CSExtra – Top Space News for Monday, October 28
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Monday’s CSExtra offers the latest reporting and commentary on space related activities from across the globe. NASA Administrator Charles Bolden defends investments in Space Launch System, extended International Space Station operations. NASA weathers stretch of political divisiveness. World’s astronauts urge global effort to find, fend off asteroid threat. NASA fuels MAVEN for Mars. Cassini finds lakes of methane, ethane at North Pole of Saturn’s moon, Titan. Long running Voyager 1 mission discovers, inspires. Boeing adjusts to budget challenges to develop the CST-100 commercial crew vehicle. Sierra Nevada’s unpiloted Dream Chaser glides to runway, but experiences landing gear damage. Orbital Sciences looks to new business after International Space Station cargo delivery. Europe’s ATV-4 re-supply capsule departs the International Space Station. Star system with record seven planets discovered. Russia, China launch satellites. A historian recalls crucial early decision in U.S. Apollo mission strategy. A look at space related activities planned for the week ahead.
1. From Spacepolicyonline.com: NASA Administrator Charles Bolden defends development of the Space Launch System heavy lift rocket and extended International Space Station operations as necessary for the U.S. to advance in the human exploration of space. He spoke before the National Research Council’s Committee on Human Spaceflight last week. The panel, established by Congressional directive, is to report on the nation’s human exploration endeavors next spring.
A. From the Washington Post: Investments in the International Space Station are beginning to pay off, according to an op-ed by William Bianco, a professor of political science at the University of Indiana. ”There is no guarantee that research on the ISS will cure cancer, end global warming, or earn their (principal investigators) a Nobel Prize. However, the data show that ISS research satisfies the basic conditions for good science: attracting outside researchers, engaging disciplinary debates, and generating publishable results,” he writes.
2. From the Houston Chronicle: NASA, long buoyed in its activities by bi-partisan support, weathers a stretch of divisive politics in Washington, as Congress struggles with budgets and deficits.
A. From Florida Today: A continuation of the U.S. budget sequester could devastate NASA’s human space program, caution lawmakers, including U.S. Senator Bill Nelson, of Florida. A budget Continuing Resolution in place through December will limit 2014 spending to 2013 levels, of $16.9 billion annually. The White House seeks $17.7 billion for 2014; the House, $16.6 billion, the Senate $18 billion for NASA.
B. From the Huffington Post: In an op-ed, “All the Above,” space advocate Rick Tumlinson urges more unity among those in the exploration movement who are divided over destinations and strategies. Those in favor of space exploration can find agreement across three fronts, writes Tumlinson: low cost access to space; use of space resources; governments that understand and support space development.
3. From Popular Mechanics: Former astronauts and asteroid experts gather in New York City on Friday to urge creation of an International Asteroid Warning Network and an Impact Disaster Planning Advisory group to warn the globe of potential asteroid impacts. The world’s nations know far too little about the threat posed by small difficult to detect asteroids like the space rock that exploded over Chelyabinsk, Russia in mid-February, they caution.
A. From Space.com: The Earth’s water may have been supplied by asteroid strikes during the solar system’s planet forming period rather than a post formation period that featured comet impacts, according to a Japanese research team. The findings are based studies of a meteorite that stuck the Canadian Yukon during 2000.
4. From Florida Today: NASA’s MAVEN spacecraft is fueled for Nov. 18 lift off for Mars. Upon arrival, MAVEN will study interactions between the thin Martian atmosphere and the solar wind.
5. From the Los Angeles Times: NASA’s Cassini missions finds lakes of methane and ethane surrounding the north pole of Saturn’s moon, Titan.
6. From the Planetary Society via the Houston Chronicle: Launched in 1977, NASA’s distant Voyager 1 spacecraft has successfully combined scientific discovery with inspiration for exploring the most distant reaches of the universe, writes Chris Gibbons in an op-ed.
7. From Florida Today: Boeing works with NASA’s budget stretched Commercial Crew Program to develop the CST-100 crew capsule and prepare for spacecraft assembly at the Kennedy Space Center.
8. From NBCNews.com: Sierra Nevada’s unpiloted Dream Chaser prototype glides through the air on Saturday, then experiences a landing gear collapse on the runway a NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center in California.
9. From the Washington Post: Orbital Sciences looks to new commercial customers for its Antares rocket, following the company’s successful Cygnus cargo delivery mission to the International Space Station. ”With two really good launches now under our belt, things are picking up in terms of customer interest,” according to Orbital president and chief executive David W. Thompson.
10. From NASAspaceflight.com: The European Space Agency’s unpiloted ATV-4 resupply capsule departs the International Space Station.
11. From Science News: A star system with seven planets discovered. Star KIC 11442793 is about 2,500 light-years from Earth.
12. From Ria Novosti: Proton rocket launches U.S. Sirius FM-6 telecommunications satellite on Saturday after six day delay.
A. From Spaceflightnow.com: China launches experimental space technology satellite on Friday.
13. From Wired.com: Space historian David Portree looks back to NASA’s Apollo program and how the launch and lunar landing strategies came together more than a half century ago.
A. From Salon.com: NASA space flight record holder Jerry Ross found inspiration in Apollo 13 commander James Lovell.
B. From Collectspace.com: The lunar spacesuit worn by Apollo 11 commander Neil Armstrong will be featured on the cover of the Smithsonian Magazine as part of a feature, 101 Objects That Made America.”
14. From Spacepolicyonline.com: A look at major space related activities scheduled for the week ahead.
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