CSExtra – Tuesday, February 26, 2013
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Tuesday’s CSExtra offers the latest reporting and commentary on space related activities from around the world. SpaceX conducts a countdown rehearsal, setting the stage for its third re-supply mission to the International Space Station. Essays call on the U.S. to lead a global response to the asteroid collision threat and find stock in Space Station science climbing. NASA to furnish instruments for a European mission that will study three of Jupiter’s moons. Mars, the target of a comet collision? The U.S. and Russia negotiate passage for U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station into 2017. India launches a Canadian asteroid hunting satellite. The U.S. House passes a measure to rename NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center for Neil Armstrong. Record-setting NASA astronaut Jerry Ross never lost touch with the thrill of his profession. Actor William Shatner, famed for his portrayal of Star Trek’s Captain Kirk, campaigns to name a moon of Pluto.
1. From the Los Angeles Times: Hawthorne, California-based SpaceX aims for a Friday launch of its third cargo mission to the International Space Station under a $1.6 billion, 12-flight contract signed with NASA in late 2008. The Dragon capsule, to be launched on a two stage Falcon 9 rocket, will reach the six-person orbiting lab on Saturday. http://www.latimes.com/business/money/la-fi-mo-spacex-launch-20130225,0,5172785.story?track=rss&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+MoneyCompany+%28Money+%26+Company%29
A. From Spaceflightnow.com: SpaceX conducts a countdown rehearsal and launch pad hot fire test on Monday from Launch Complex 40 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. http://www.spaceflightnow.com/falcon9/005/130225staticfire/#.USwgl6LQq6o
B. From Collectspace.com: The SpaceX CRS-2 mission unveils a pair of mission patches. http://www.collectspace.com/news/news-022513a.html
C. From Aviation Week & Space Technology: An investigation points to a likely cause of an abort maneuver by Japan’s HTV-II cargo capsule as it departed the International Space Station on Sept. 12. It was friction between the station’s Canadian robot arm and the grapple fixture on the supply capsule. http://www.aviationweek.com/Article.aspx?id=/article-xml/asd_02_25_2013_p07-01-552089.xml
2. Essays from The Space Review call on the U.S. to lead a global response to the asteroid impact threat and assess the International Space Station as a space laboratory.
A. In “It’s time for a real policy on asteroids,” Peter Garretson, a U.S. Air Force strategist, finds the Feb. 15 explosion of an asteroid over Russia and the close pass of the larger asteroid 2012 DA14 a “wake up call.” “The longer we go without a proactive space policy on asteroids, the more we sacrifice international leadership, hold back our industry, and reduce our chances of being able to effectively deal with the threat,” writes Garretson. http://www.thespacereview.com/article/2248/1
B. In “Turning the ISS into a full-fledged space laboratory,” TSR editor Jeff Foust finds reason to believe the International Space Station has a strong research potential from presentations by a featured panel at the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Boston earlier this month. For instance, the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer, an observatory installed outside the station by a shuttle crew in 2011, is poised to unravel mysteries involving dark matter and galactic anti-matter. http://www.thespacereview.com/article/2247/1
3. From The Pasadena Star-News of California: NASA will provide three science instruments for the European Space Agency’s JUICE mission, a long running study of Jupiter’s ice-covered moons, Europa, Callisto and Ganymede. The mission is set to launch in 2022 and to arrive at Jupiter eight years later. A NASA-furnished radar instrument will probe the oceans beneath the ice during flybys and orbits of the Jovian satellites. http://www.pasadenastarnews.com/news/ci_22669000/jpl-radar-instrument-selected-jupiter-moon-mission
4. From Discovery.com: Mars is due a close pass from comet c/2013 A1 on Oct. 19, 2014. The odds of impact are low, say the experts who discovered the comet on Jan. 3. http://news.discovery.com/space/astronomy/could-a-comet-hit-mars-in-2014-130225.htm
A. From Ria Novosti of Russia: Russian scientists recover a two-pound fragment from the asteroid that exploded over Russia on Feb. 15. More than 100 fragments, which could furnish new clues about the intruder’s origins, have been found so far. http://en.rian.ru/science/20130225/179671129/One-Kilo-Meteorite-Fragment-Found.html
5. From Interfax of Russia: NASA negotiates with Russia for seats aboard Soyuz spacecraft headed for the International Space Station through 2017. NASA is fostering the development of U.S. commercial space transportation systems capable of carrying astronauts to the station by 2017– a timeline driven by funding levels. http://rbth.ru/news/2013/02/25/nasa_to_buy_soyuz_seats_until_mid-2017_-_roscosmos_23216.html
6. From Nature News: India successfully launches a Canadian asteroid hunting satellite. http://blogs.nature.com/news/2013/02/canada-launches-first-asteroid-hunting-space-telescope.html
A. From Flightglobal: India places seven satellites in polar orbit with a single launch on Monday. http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/india-launches-seven-satellites-382712/
7. From Spacepolicyonline.com: The U.S. House has passed a measure that would rename NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center for Neil Armstrong. The measure now goes to the U.S. Senate. http://www.spacepolicyonline.com/news/houses-passes-bill-to-rename-dryden-frc-after-armstrong
8. From National Geographic News: Record-setting astronaut Jerry Ross never lost touch with the thrill of his first flight into space. Ross, who shares the record for the most trips into space, 7, explains in a new book, Spacewalker: My Journey in Space and Faith as NASA’s Record Setting Frequent Flier. http://newswatch.nationalgeographic.com/2013/02/25/full-moon-in-space-astronaut-jerry-ross/
9. From USA Today: Actor William Shatner, Captain Kirk in the U.S. television series Star Trek, wages a social media campaign to name one of distant Pluto’s moons Vulcan, the mythical home to Mr. Spock, his Enterprise science officer. Vulcan would join the moons Charon, Nix, Hydra and another unnamed moon of Pluto. http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/sciencefair/2013/02/25/pluto-moon-vulcan-shatner/1947565/
10. From the Los Angeles Times: A glance through a telescope in 1908 changed life for Griffith J. Griffith, who believed the same opportunity might do so for others as well. http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-harnisch-observatory-20130226,0,3814997.story