CSExtra – Top Space News for Wednesday, August 21
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Wednesday’s CSExtra offers the latest reporting and commentary on space related activities from across the globe. In Washington, NASA joins 11 global space agencies in the release of a proposed Global Exploration Roadmap that counts the moon, the asteroids and Mars among prospective destinations for humans working under an international umbrella of exploration. In Houston, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden welcomes eight new astronaut candidates to the space agency. NASA’s Mars Opportunity Rover finds a refuge for the Martian winter. The sun unleashes a Coronal Mass Ejection which heads in the Earth’s direction early Tuesday.
1. From The Coalition for Space Exploration: NASA is among a dozen global space agencies that propose a cooperative blue print for the exploration of the moon, the asteroids and Mars. The strategy offers support among the participating agencies without committing all of them to the same destinations. The first edition of the new Global Exploration Roadmap for 2013 was issued two years ago.
A. From Spacepolicyonline.com: The moon grows as a favored destination for future human explores in the Global Exploration Roadmap for 2013. However, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden says the U. S., a participant, has no plans to participate in human missions to the lunar surface. Bolden explains as much in an op-ed published by the Houston Chronicle.
B. From the Houston Chronicle: In an op-ed, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden explains the agency will support its international partners and the U.S. commercial sector in their plans to reach the lunar surface, but NASA will focus instead on the asteroids and Mars. “…NASA chooses to do something new, as it always has,” writes Bolden. “With bipartisan support from the President and Congress, we’re implementing a strategic plan that invests in technology development, exploration missions and cutting-edge science.”
C. From the Washington Post: NASA’s quest for political consensus on future destinations for human exploration faces a fiscal dilemma. Mars may not be a realistic destination.
D. From Forbes.com: Former NASA astronaut Bonnie Dunbar, now director of the University of Houston’s STEM Center, offers an assessment of the U. S. space program with university colleague Larry Bell, who also writes for Forbes on climate, energy, the environment and space policy. “The nation is quickly losing the institutional technical expertise and facilities to put itself in the position of exploring,” writes Dunbar, a scientist astronaut who endorses the value of past space investments. “America’s space leadership role is questionable at this point.”
2. From The Houston Chronicle: NASA Administrator Charles Bolden welcomed eight new astronaut candidates to Houston, where they began a two year training program at the Johnson Space Center on Tuesday. ”They not only have the right stuff, they represent the full tapestry of American diversity,” noted Bolden during the event.
A. From Florida Today: NASA’s newest astronaut recruits profess a readiness for whatever mission comes their way. Eight men and women gather in Houston to begin two years of basic astronaut training.
3. From The Huffington Post and Scientific American: The Earth’s moon is a dark realm compared to other planetary bodies in the solar system, and the gritty soil that covers it, largely a mystery. NASA’s Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer mission, set for a Sept. 16 lift off, will seek answers while orbiting the moon.
4. From Space.com: NASA’s Opportunity Rover, exploring Mars since January 2004, has reached its latest winter haven, a place called Solander Point. Perched on a North facing slope, Opportunity’s solar panels will be able to generate electricity until the Martian spring arrives.
5. From Space.com: The sun unleashed a coronal mass ejection towards the Earth’s vicinity early Tuesday. The SOHO spacecraft observes.
A. From Spaceweather.com: CME could deliver the Earth a glancing blow.
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].