CSExtra – Top Space News for Wednesday, September 18
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Wednesday’s CSExtra offers the latest reporting and commentary on space related activities from across the globe. A look at the moon close up. Orbital Sciences Corp. poised to expand ranks of private sector providing the International Space Station with cargo. Is space too costly, too harsh for Americans? NASA turns to World Makers Faire for help in thwarting asteroid threat. Florida Congressional delegation backs NASA plans to lease former space shuttle launch pad. U.S. Air Force launches third in series of new communications satellites. Inflatable antenna could open interplanetary space to CubeSats. NASA space telescope exposes comet masquerading as asteroid. Has the sun taken a breather from the solar max? DARPA looks to new spaceplane for suborbital launches.
1. From The Coalition for Space Exploration: The moon as you’ve never seen it before. NASA releases video from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter launched in 2009.
2. From USA Today: Orbital Sciences Corp. is on the verge of becoming the second U. S. International Space Station commercial re-supply service fostered by NASA. The Dulles, Va., based company’s new Antares rocket and Cygnus cargo carrier is poised to lift off from the Mid Atlantic Regional Spaceport on the Virginia shore Wednesday at 10:50 a.m. With a weekend rendezvous and berthing at the space station, Orbital would join SpaceX as a commercial cargo provider. “When two companies have done it, it will prove that we have an industry, not just one success,” notes one commercial space policy consultant.
A. From Spaceflightnow.com: Virginia launch site comes to life with federal, state and private sector investments. Virginia’s Mid Atlantic Regional Spaceport will host Wednesday’s scheduled launching of Orbital Science Corp’s Antares/Cygnus launch vehicle and cargo vessel. A 10:50 a.m., EDT, lift off would start the spacecraft on its way to a weekend rendezvous with the International Space Station.
B. From New Scientist: Orbital Sciences space station mission promises to provide SpaceX with a rival. Orbital Science’s will seek commercial, national security payloads with new Antares rocket.
C. From Space.com: How does Orbital Sciences’ Antares/Cygnus compare with NASA’s first commercial cargo provider to the International Space Station, SpaceX and the Falcon 9/Dragon? The website takes a look.
3. From The Washington Post: Space is not the frontier Americans are accustomed to — too expensive and too harsh, according to an op-ed from political cartoonist Tom Toles. Comments are based on a recent Post cost/benefit assessment of U. S. involvement in the International Space Station.
4. From Space.com: NASA will join the World Makers Faire in New York City this weekend to seek innovative ideas to protect the Earth from asteroid collisions. “Unlike traditional NASA missions of exploration and science, this grand challenge is driven by the idea that protecting our planet is an issue bigger than any one program, mission or country,” according to NASA chief technologist Mason Peck. NASA issues the challenge in June.
A. From Sky and Telescope: NASA remains upbeat about future of Asteroid Retrieval Mission featuring new Space Launch System and Orion hardware. A space agency panel reports new mission details at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics conference in San Diego last week.
5. From Space News: Florida’s Congressional delegation backs NASA plan to lease former shuttle launch pad at the Kennedy Space Center to a commercial operator. NASA is weighing proposals from SpaceX and Blue Origin.
6. From Florida Today: A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket lifts off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., on Wednesday at 4:10 a.m., EDT, with an advanced U. S. Air Force communications satellite.
A. From Space News: U. S. military space enterprise in jeopardy because of the budget sequester, Gen. William Shelton, commanding officer for the U. S. Air Force Space Command, warns a Washington gathering of the Air Force Association.
7. From Physics World.org: New inflatable antenna might permit CubeSats to embark on interplanetary missions.
8. From Space.com: NASA’s Spitzer Infrared Space Telescope finds comet once thought dead, 3552 Don Quixote, still full of water and sporting a coma. Initially believed to be a near Earth asteroid, 3552 Don Quixote raises the question: are other comets masquerading as asteroids.
9. From Discovery.com: We may be in the midst of the Solar Max, but the sun seems to have taken a breather.
10. From Space.com: The U. S. Defense Advanced Projects Agency invests in the Experimental Spaceplane, or XS-1, a suborbital launcher for orbital payloads. DARPA plans were outlined at the Aerospace Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics conference in San Diego last week.
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].