CSExtra – Tuesday, February 5, 2013
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Tuesday’s CSExtra offers the latest reporting and commentary on space related activities from around the world. Where next in space for the U. S., why and with whom? The New York Times presents views from a half-dozen experts. Asteroid 2012 DA14′s skim past the Earth on Feb. 15. NASA’s Curiosity rover drills into a Martian rock, a first for robotic planetary exploration. Sizing up Felix Baumgartner’s leap from the edge of space. Assessing the options for a successor to the Hubble Space Telescope and South Korea’s space ambitions. Buy commercial, U. S. satellite services companies urge the Pentagon. Keeping up with Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield. Voyagers distant journey. Iran’s PM volunteers for spaceflight.
1. From The New York Times: The newspaper offers a range of expert opinions for the United States in the future exploration of space. Now off limits, U. S. cooperation with China may protect the rights of all space faring nations, according to one view. Russia’s comfort with low technology may leave the country boxed out of the high tech benefits of space exploration, notes another expert. Life on Earth may depend on the resources we harvest from space, writes another. http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2013/02/03/a-new-space-race-or-chances-to-collaborate?hp
A. From The New York Times: The world’s space faring nations should work together to forge new missions of exploration, writes Bill Nye, the Science Guy and executive director of the Planetary Society. http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2013/02/03/a-new-space-race-or-chances-to-collaborate/collaboration-in-space-is-the-only-path
2. From The Los Angeles Times: Asteroid 2012 DA14 will buzz the Earth on Feb. 15. The 150 foot rock poses no threat, though it will slide by closer than a satellite in geosynchronous orbit. Collisions with rocks this size occur about once every 1,200 years. The last collision occurred in 1908 over Tunguska in Siberia. http://www.latimes.com/news/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-asteroid-near-earth-20130201,0,358674.story?track=rss
3. From Universe Today: NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover carries out an exploration first by drilling into a rock on the red planet. The drilling should expose clues about the planet’s past environment and whether it was suitable for life. http://www.universetoday.com/99731/curiosity-hammers-into-mars-rock-in-historic-feat/
A. From Discovery.com: Exposed minerals in Martian rock could reveal how long the region where Curiosity is working, known as “Yellowknife Bay,” was exposed to water in the planet’s past. Curiosity landed on Mars in early August to begin a two-year mission. http://news.discovery.com/space/curiosity-drills-into-pristine-mars-rock-130204.htm
4. From The Associated Press via the Houston Chronicle: In October, Felix Baumgartner stepped from a high altitude balloon and set a new altitude record for a parachute jump. Turns out he shattered the sound barrier as well during the free fall phase of his breath taking plunge. Red Bull sponsored the leap from just under 128,000 feet. http://www.chron.com/default/article/Supersonic-skydiver-reached-844-mph-in-record-jump-4249463.php
5. Essays from The Space Review examine the options for space observatories beyond the James Webb Space Telescope as well as South Korea’s recent strides in space.
A. In “The future of space telescopes beyond JWST,” TSR editor Jeff Foust addresses the log jam over future NASA astrophysics initiatives represented by NASA’s constrained budget, the decadal survey outlined by the National Research Council and other steering currents. Foust looks well beyond the aging Hubble Space Telescope to missions under evaluation beyond Hubble’s successor, the James Webb Space Telescope. A pair of satellite donations from the National Reconnaissance Agency could be equipped to investigate dark energy or to expand the search for extra-terrestrial planets. http://www.thespacereview.com/article/2232/1
B. In “How geopolitical factors overshadow South Korea’s space success,” essayist Ajay Lele examines the hard won success of South Korea’s recent satellite mission launch, speculation over North Korea’s space and nuclear programs and Japanese reconnaissance missions. Then, there are rumors of another Chinese Anti-satellite weapons test. It all adds up to instability in the region, and anxiety beyond. Lele watches from the Institute for Defense Studies and Analysis in New Deli. http://www.thespacereview.com/article/2230/1
6. From The Washington Post: U. S. domestic satellite service providers urge the Pentagon to purchase their services rather than develop military satellite. http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/capitalbusiness/commercial-satellite-companies-push-for-pentagon-attention/2013/02/01/f6d96082-6706-11e2-9e1b-07db1d2ccd5b_story.html
7 .From MSNBC.com and The CosmicLog: Keeping up with Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, who is speaking out about his mission aboard the International Space Station through social media. In March, Hadfield will move up to commander of the six person orbiting science laboratory. http://photoblog.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/02/04/16842407-astronauts-artistry-hits-warp-speed?lite
8. From Space.com: Voyager 1, launched in 1977, is now the most distant object in the solar system and right on the border of interstellar space, the first spacecraft to achieve the milestone. NASA project scientist Edward Stone discusses the significance. http://www.space.com/19440-voyager-spacecraft-solar-system-interview.html
9. From Reuters news service: In Iran, prime minister Mahmoud Ahmadinejad declares himself ready to become the country’s first astronaut, Iran’s Mehr news agency reported on Monday. The declaration follows Iran’s suborbital launch and recovery of a primate. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/02/04/us-iran-space-idUSBRE90R0DV20130204
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