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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 Wednesday, April 30, 2014

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Today’s CSExtra offers the latest reporting and commentary on space related activities from across the globe. House appropriators poised to boost NASA spending; human exploration initiatives among beneficiaries. House Science, Space and Technology Committee adopts NASA authorization measure. NASA Exploration Forum.  NASA Mars plan on course. Universe likes uniformity in expansion. Asteroids promising source of resources beyond the Earth. Russia’s deputy prime minister suggests NASA look to trampolines for crew access to the International Space Station in response to U.S. space sanctions over Ukraine. NASA IG troubled by aging orbital communications network. Orbital Sciences, ATK announce space merger. Defense appropriations measure includes startup funding to replace Russian RD-180 rocket engine. Kazakh satellite launches late Tuesday. Cast for new Star Wars film announced.

NASA’s 2015 Budget

$17.9 billion NASA budget proposed by House CJS Appropriators

Space News (4/29): House Appropriations Committee will consider a $17.9 billion spending measure for 2015, or $400 million more than proposed by the White House. The figure is 1.5 percent more than the agency received for 2014. The beneficiaries include Space Launch System, Orion and Commercial Crew program development. There’s also $100 million for new mission concept missions for Europa, the ice and water covered moon of Jupiter.

Science, aeronautics, explorations all receive increases in draft House NASA appropriations bill (4/29): House appropriators look to “rather generous” increase in NASA spending for 2015. NASA Space Launch System and Orion developments fare especially well in draft spending bill, Washington website reports.

House Science Committee swiftly approves new NASA authorization (4/30): House Science, Space and Technology committee acts on first NASA authorization measure since 2010 in bipartisan manner. Some features of the House version call for easing access to U.S. National Laboratory facilities on the International Space Station, studies of orbital debris, a formal policy for use of commercial suborbital vehicles for NASA activities that considers risks to participants and continued operations of the SOFIA airborne observatory.

Human Deep Space Exploration

NASA Exploration Forum details human path to Mars

NASA (4/29): NASA Exploration Forum outlines NASA’s Mars mission planning. Key goals of future human exploration of the red planet include search for evidence of past life. Presentations cover progress NASA is making in developing the Space Launch System heavy lift rocket and Orion crew capsule and as well as efforts to explore an asteroid with test flights of the new human exploration systems. NASA hosted the Washington forum on Tuesday.

NASA Mars plan on course

Euro Weekly News (4/29): In testimony before U.S. Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation panel, NASA associate administrator William Gerstenmaier outlines U.S. plans for human deep space missions, including exploration of Mars. “With the technologies and techniques we develop, we will enable expeditions to multiple destinations, ultimately allowing us to pioneer Mars and other destinations as we lay the groundwork for permanent human settlements in the solar system.”

Unmanned Deep Space Exploration

Universe expanding symmetrically, real-time analysis shows (4/29): New observations suggest the universe is expanding in all directions at the same rate. Good news for the standard model of cosmology.

Can asteroids be mined for satellite fuel?

Bloomberg TV (4/29): Planetary Resources looks to Near Earth Asteroids as abundant source of natural resources for Earth and exploration.

Low Earth Orbit

Trampoline to space? Russian official tells NASA to take a flying leap

NBC News (4/29): In a sobering reaction to U.S. sanctions against Russia over Ukraine, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin suggests U.S. astronauts may have to rely on a trampoline for access to the U.S. led International Space Station.

Audit: Age, costs challenge NASA’s Space Network

Florida Today (4/29): NASA’s inspector general finds the agency’s orbital network of communications satellites and their ground stations jeopardized by delayed upgrades and inadequate budgeting. Network supports the International Space Station, Hubble Space Telescope as well as Defense and some commercial missions.

Commercial to Low Earth Orbit

Orbital, ATK, announce $5 billion merger

Aviation Week & Space Technology (4/29): The merger will form a space, defense and aviation systems development and manufacturing company of 13,000 workers that the companies said is worth about $4.5 billion. The transaction is expected to close by the end of this year. The new company, Orbital ATK, Inc., will serve U.S. and international customers of spacecraft hardware, including launch vehicles and propulsion systems, tactical missiles and defense electronics, satellites and space systems, armament systems and ammunition, and commercial and military aircraft structures and related components, the company said.

ATK to merge with Orbital Sciences in $5 billion deal, spin off sports division

Washington Post (4/29): Deal seen by two companies as mutually beneficial.

Budget cutbacks spurring defense mergers

Los Angeles Times (4/29): Forecast for slimmer defense and NASA budgets prompting aerospace company mergers, according to the Times. Merger and acquisition count stands at 56 so far in 2014, a 14 percent increase over last year, according to one analyst.

Draft House bill recommends $220 million next year for RD-180 alternative

Space News (4/29): U.S. House appropriations measure would include $220 million in U.S. Defense spending to develop an alternative to the Russian RD-180 rocket engine imported by United Launch Alliance for the Atlas V rocket.

Late-night Vega launch lofts Kazakh satellite into space (4/30): Vega rocket launches Earth observing satellite for Kazakhstan into polar orbital from French Guiana late Tuesday.

Star Wars: Episode VII’ cast announced (12/29): Cast for Star Wars: Episode VII announced with many in the original cast returning. Filming in London. Release in December 2015, the website reports.

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 or contact us via e-mail at [email protected].

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