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These news clips on global space news are provided by the Coalition for Space Exploration for distribution by the Space Foundation to our constituents. You can also subscribe to receive a daily email version.

CSExtra – Top Space News for Tuesday, April 1, 2014

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Today’s CSExtra offers the latest reporting and commentary on space related activities from across the globe. NASA’s Asteroid Redirect Mission gains definition, but slowly; for instance, asteroid capture and maneuver into lunar orbit could take two courses. U.S. Navy christens research vessel for Apollo 11 commander Neil Armstrong. Scientist Sara Seeger energizes search for extra-terrestrial life. Sun erupts. Experts on the lookout for terrestrial disturbances. India edges toward independent human launch capability. NASA announces contract extensions for International Space Station commercial re-supply companies, SpaceX and Orbital Sciences Corp. Florida space launches stalled to mid-April by ground tracking station damage.

Human Deep Space Exploration

After a year, NASA’s asteroid mission still seeks definition

The Space Review (3/31): In a Congressional hearing and special Washington forum last week, NASA provided updated details on the proposed Asteroid Redirect Mission unveiled nearly a year ago. The space agency remains in the thick of planning, including the selection of an asteroid target, technical details and mission dates. However, one top official ventured the costs would be closer to $1.3 billion, rather than the $2.6 billion initial estimate from the Keck Institute for Space Studies. Congress, for the most part, seems skeptical. And NASA now suggests a date later than 2021 for an astronaut encounter with the captured asteroid once it has been maneuvered into a stable lunar orbit. NASA plans a Mission Concept Review early next year.

Incredible technology: How to grab an asteroid and park it near Earth

Space.com (3/31): NASA weighs two strategies to maneuver an asteroid into a stable lunar orbit, where it could be accessible to U.S. astronauts. The target could be an entire small asteroid or a piece of a much larger asteroid.

R/V Neil Armstrong: Navy christens ocean research ship for first moon walker.

Collectspace.com (3/31):  New U.S. Navy research vessel christened in honor of Neil Armstrong, Apollo 11 commander, first human to walk on the moon and a Navy aviator.

Unmanned Deep Space Exploration

MIT’s Sara Seager aims to find extraterrestrials

La Prensa (3/31): MIT astrophysicist Sara Seager, an acclaimed scientist, is convinced that exo-planets host some form of life and has vowed to find the evidence. Seager fell in love with space when she was little and saw the moon for the first time through a telescope.

Major solar flare erupts from the Sun (video)

Space.com (3/31): NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory spots major solar flare on Saturday that was powerful enough to silence Earthly radio transmissions briefly. More flares and Earthly disturbances might be in store.

Chance of storms

Spaceweather.com (3/31): Prospects for geomagnetic storms increase Tuesday and Wednesday from multiple solar flares expected to deliver glancing blows to the Earth’s magnetic field.

Low Earth Orbit

Prospects for the Indian human spaceflight program

The Space Review (3/31): The 30th anniversary of the first spaceflight by an Indian approaches, with came in 1984 with Rakesh Sharma’s participation in a Russian mission. Recently, India has shown signs of establishing an independent human launch capability, which seems increasingly inevitable given the current international nature of human spaceflight. With its large population, India seems destined to become a force in the field, writes Gurbir Singh.

Commercial to Low Earth Orbit

NASA says it will extend private ISS cargo delivery contracts through 2017

Space News (3/31): NASA announces planned two year extensions of the Commercial Resupply Services contracts it awarded SpaceX and Orbital Sciences Corp. in late 2008 to provide cargo to the International Space Station. Extensions, considered on a 12 month basis, would stretch the delivery work from December 2015 through 2017, according to the report. SpaceX is preparing for its 3rd launch under a 12 mission, $1.6 billion contract awarded in late 2008. Orbital is preparing for its second launch under a nine mission, $1.9 billion agreement, there is no cost to the agency for the changes, SN reports.

Florida launches grounded for up to three weeks

Spaceflightnow.com (3/30): Florida space launches are expected to be grounded until mid-April by a recent electrical problem in a U.S. Air Force ground tracking station. At least one U.S. cargo mission to the International Space Station will be delayed while repairs are made.

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].

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