CSExtra – Top Space News for Tuesday, April 22, 2014
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Today’s CSExtra offers the latest reporting and commentary on space related activities from across the globe. Flurry of op-eds find Mars the focus of future human deep space exploration, with robots playing an essential role. NASA plans June test of new atmospheric re-entry technology in Hawaii that could place heavy payloads on the Martian surface. Cost, schedule issues contribute to possible gap in satellite weather coverage, U.S. Commerce Department officials’ cautions. Time for an Earth Day selfie. NASA veteran Kathy Lueders to lead Commercial Crew Program. SpaceX launch slips prompt change from May to June for launch of next Orbital Sciences cargo mission to the International Space Station.
Human Deep Space Exploration
Space.com: (4/22): The path to Mars for humans begins with extended operations of the International Space Station and an asteroid visit, writes NASA’s administrator Charles Bolden in an op-ed prior appearing prior to the Humans to Mars Summit in Washington this week. The trail could tell us much about the Earth’s past and future, he reasons. “For one thing, Mars’ formation and evolution are comparable to Earth’s, and scientists know that at one time Mars had conditions suitable for life. What NASA learns about the Red Planet may tell humanity more about its own home planet’s history and future, helping to answer a fundamental human question does life exist beyond Earth?” Bolden writes.
Space News (4/21): “If we’re going to send people into space and have them explore, Mars has far more to offer than any other location we can reach” Carberry tells Space News in a question and answer report. Though closer, the moon has less to offer, says Carberry. “Mars is far more scientifically and geologically interesting. Because it has an atmosphere and because it has water we can access now, it’s a far better target for sending humans.”
The Space Review (4/121): The long term goal for the world’s space faring nations seems to be Mars, writes TSR editor Jeff Foust. It’s the intermediate steps that seem to confound, especially in the U.S., he notes. While the White House favors the Asteroid Redirect Mission as the next step, it has so far not satisfied those who believe the moon should play a role. Then there is the question of whether there is funding and public support to reach Mars in the 2030s.
The Space Review (4/21): Surface robots placed on the moon and Mars and operated by astronauts in orbit around the two planetary bodies, could establish outposts for future human activities, writes John Strickland, a National Space Society board member. Writing independently of the NSS, he calls for a policy of international, government sanctioned human exploration in collaboration with commercial interests that recognize the value of a human, robot collaboration.
Space News (4/21): New film Noah prompts discussion of human space settlement, writes Steven Wolfe, a former U.S. congressional aide, in a biblically themed op-ed. Wolfe cites several personalities and organizations leading the way through their space advocacy.
Unmanned Deep Space Exploration
New Scientist via Washington Post (4/21): NASA prepares flight test of the Low Density Supersonic Decelerator, an inflatable disk that could one day make it possible to place heavy payloads on the surface of Mars in support of human exploration. High altitude test planned for Hawaii in June.
Low Earth Orbit
Space News (4/21): The United States faces a weather satellite gap of 10-16 months, warns Commerce Department inspector General Todd Zinser, who cites cost overruns, schedule delays and aging spacecraft as the reasons. “NOAA’s medium-range weather forecasting (3-7 days) could be degraded during the period of time…” Zinser said as part of written testimony submitted to a U.S. Senate appropriations panel earlier this month. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is part of the U.S. Department of Commerce.
Los Angeles Times (4/21): Tuesday is Earth Day. In celebration, NASA urges people to take photos of themselves outside, as part of a #globalselfie campaign, and share the results using social media.
Commercial to Low Earth Orbit
Florida Today (4/22): NASA appoints Kathy Lueders as manager of the agency’s Commercial Crew Program. Lueders has been the acting manager since 2013. CCP is partnered with Boeing, Sierra Nevada and SpaceX to develop new human orbital space transportation services.
Spacepolicyonline.com (4/21): With the delayed launch of SpaceX’s third commercial re-supply mission to the International Space Station, NASA and Orbital Sciences move their unmanned cargo mission from May to a June 9 lift off.
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].