CSExtra – Top Space News for Thursday, August 29
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Thursday’s CSExtra offers the latest reporting and commentary on space related activities from across the globe. Health risks may have been a factor in NASA’s embrace of the Asteroid Redirect Mission strategy. In California, United Launch Alliance launches most powerful U. S. rocket on classified mission. China looks to late 2013 for lunar mission and first attempt to land a spacecraft on another planetary body. Mars One applications lag; Include name on Mars-bound MAVEN spacecraft. U. S. Air Force Space Command explains move to close some orbital tracking assets. Icy crust on Saturn’s moon Titan surprises Cassini mission scientists. Canadian newspaper endorses country’s continued investments in space exploration. Virgin Galactic submits application for FAA license to conduct suborbital passenger flight operations from New Mexico. Astronomers spot an aging solar twin.
1. From Spacepolitics.com: NASA embraces Asteroid Redirect Mission strategy, in part, because medical experts are not comfortable with sending astronauts to a distant asteroid, according to NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver in an interview with Discover Magazine. ARM proposes that robotic spacecraft retrieve and maneuver a small asteroid into lunar orbit where it could be reached by NASA astronauts launched on the new Orion spacecraft.
2. From Spaceflightnow.com: A United Launch Alliance Delta IV heavy rocket launches a U. S. National Reconnaissance Office payload into orbit from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.
A. From The Associated Press via Yahoo.com: Delta IV heavy carries U. S. spy satellites into orbit from Vandenberg.
3. From Xinhuanet.com, of China: China announces launch of lunar lander mission in late 2013. The Chang’e-3 mission will feature China’s first attempt to land on another planetary body.
4. From Space.com: Mars One applications lag well behind expectations as an Aug. 31 deadline nears. The Dutch nonprofit expects to launch a first round of settlers to the red planet in 2023. So far, about 165,000 Earthlings, not the one million initially anticipated, have applied to make the one way trip.
A. From Discovery.com: In Italy, experts make the case that life in the solar system emerged on Mars, then migrated to Earth. Can you say molybdenum?
B. From The Coalition for Space Exploration: The MAVEN Going to Mars campaign is accepting names for a DVD disc that will be included aboard NASA’s next Mars mission. MAVEN is undergoing preparations for a November lift off. The deadline for submitting names through a website is Sept. 10. The University of Colorado Boulder’s Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP) is sponsoring.
5. From Space News: U. S. Air Force Space Command ranking officer, Gen. William Shelton, explains decisions leading to the close of the current space fence, a network of sensors that tracks objects orbiting the Earth.
6. From Science News: NASA’s Cassini spacecraft finds rigid icy crust covering Saturn’s hazy moon, Titan.
7. From The Los Angeles Times: Studies of star light from NASA’s Kepler space telescope mission reveal distinctive flicker patterns that can be used to make more accurate estimates of star masses, according to scientists. Better stellar mass estimates mean more accurate mass estimates for planets. Launched in 2009, Kepler’s alien planet hunting days ground to a halt in May due to problems with the observatory’s pointing mechanisms. The space agency is weighing proposals for new uses of Kepler.
8. From The Toronto Star: In an editorial, the newspaper endorses Canadian participation in future deep space human exploration plans.
9. From the Las Cruces Sun-News, of New Mexico: Virgin Galactic makes new progress in an application for license to carry out commercial space operations from Spaceport America. The company is looking to 2014 for the start of suborbital passenger launches from Las Cruces.
10. From Space.com: Sun like star HIP 102152 lies 250 light years from Earth. However, this star is nearly four billion years older than the sun, offering a rare glimpse at what might be in store for our solar system and its central star.
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 Info@spacecoalition.com.