CSExtra – Top Space News for Thursday, May 15, 2014
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Today’s CSExtra offers the latest reporting and commentary on space related activities from across the globe. NASA’s Space Launch System tailored for human, robotic missions to distant destinations. Astronauts look to leadership formula borrowed from U.S. Marines. Astronomers gaze through galactic dust to determine shape of the Milky Way. Finding evidence for a multi-verse. International Space Station astronauts prepare for weekend departure of Dragon cargo capsule. U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson urges timely response to Russian threat to halt exports of the RD-180 rocket engine. United Launch Alliance stocked with Russian rocket engines to fulfill future national security launch commitments. U.S. publishes plans for easing of export rules for space technologies. Two U S. companies, apparently, will be prepared to square off for U.S. national security launch business.
Human Deep Space Exploration
Motherboard (5/14): NASA’s Space Launch System heavy lift rocket is designed to open new exploration vistas for unpiloted as well as human missions, say experts. With the first mission just three years away, new larger versions of the SLS should be ready to support the human exploration of Mars in the 2030s.
Washington Post and Fox News (5/14): Service as a NASA astronaut engenders both team work and the principles of leadership, explains Ellen Ochoa, a former astronaut and now director of the Johnson Space Center. The U.S. Marines have the formula correct, says Ochoa, accomplish the mission, take care of the people. “I find myself coming back to that because I think it’s a great thing to remember,” she says.
Unmanned Deep Space Exploration
Discovery.com (5/14): Astronomers puzzle at the shape of the Milky Way beyond the star system’s center. Dust obscures the vision.
Space.com (5/14): Testing the notion of multi-verses. It’s a bit of a stretch.
Low Earth Orbit
NASA (5/14): Now at three members, the U.S. and Russian crew of the International Space Station is prepared to release the latest SpaceX Dragon commercial re-supply capsule on Sunday. SpaceX will be positioned to recover the spacecraft from the waters of the Pacific just after 3 p.m., EDT. Three of the station’s crew descended to Earth earlier this week after more than six months in orbit. Replacements are due in late May.
Commercial to Low Earth Orbit
Spacepolitics.com (5/15): U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson notes domestic policymakers must act soon in response to Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin’s threats this week to block the export of rocket engines to the U.S. if they are used for military missions. The remarks Tuesday were made in retaliation for U.S. sanctions against Russia over the annexation of Crimea. Nelson is a member of the Senate’s Armed Services and Commerce, Science and Transportation committees.
Aviation Week & Space Technology (5/13): United Launch Alliance has stock piled enough Russian RD-180 rocket engines to fulfill a recently awarded contract to ULA for 36 U.S. national security launches. The RD-180 powers the first stage of ULA’s Atlas V rocket.
Space News (5/14): Coming in six months: an easing of U.S. technology export restrictions that promises to bring new satellite business to the U.S.
Space News (5/14): U.S. Air Force certification processes point to United Launch Alliance and SpaceX as certified contenders next year in competitions for the launch of U.S. national security payloads.
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