CSExtra – Tuesday, August 13, 2013
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Tuesday’s CSExtra offers the latest reporting and commentary on space related activities from across the globe. Commercial space entrepreneur Elon Musk sets his sites on hyperloop, a new means of solar powered ground transportation. Stratolaunch sizes up possible runway operations in Florida, California and Virginia for its Air Launch Vehicle. Sizing up the collision hazards from near Earth objects. Essays check in on the younger generation’s enthusiasm for space exploration and the power of technical innovation in the pursuit of exploration. Dutch call for one way Mars volunteers reaches 100,000. Global temperatures rise in the East.
1. From The Wall Street Journal: SpaceX founder Elon Musk proposes ground transportation by hyperloop, a solar powered approach that would rapidly accelerate short to medium distance travel (less than 900 statute miles).
A. From The Los Angeles Times: Elon Musk unveils surface travel strategy that would reduce the Los Angeles to San Francisco travel time to 30 minutes. Musk, noted for his enthusiasm for commercial space and a revolutionary electric car, unveils the plan in a much anticipated blog.
2. From Florida Today: Space start up Stratolaunch Systems looks to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport in Virginia and Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., as possible bases for its air launched rocket system. Stratolaunch was founded in 2011 by Paul Allen and Burt Rutan, who combined to win the X-Prize in 2004. This venture would launch satellites and possibly human passengers. On Monday, the venture selected ATK to provide the first and second stages for Stratolaunch’s Air Launch Vehicle.
3. From Discovery.com: Sizing up the hazards of “potentially hazardous” asteroids. A NASA graphic places the numbers in context.
4. Essays from The Space Review ponder the future of space exploration and the leverage that new technologies brings to the pursuit.
A. In “Exploring space, finding ourselves: Why we must always have an ‘Out There’ out there,” essayist Bob Mahoney raises the prospect that the enthusiasm for the pursuit is fading. The nation’s youth, many anyway, “lack an interest as well as the know how” to make advances, writes Mahoney, a middle school science teacher and former spaceflight instructor at NASA.
B. In “Technology’s role in space innovation,” TSR editor Jeff Foust sorts through some prospects from satellite servicing to 3-D printers. In each case, an adequate business case is a must, he writes.
5. From The Washington Post: Mars One, the Dutch nonprofit group soliciting global volunteers for a one way voyage to Mars, surpasses the 100,000 mark. That’s since April.
6. From The Washington Post: Temperatures rise in new global hot spots.
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