CSExtra – Tuesday, June 18, 2013
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Tuesday’s CSExtra offers the latest reporting and commentary on space activities from across the globe. NASA selects eight to join America’s astronaut corps. On Tuesday, the White House and NASA will announce a public-private initiative to find asteroids that threaten the Earth. A U. S. House panel likes six-year terms of office for NASA’s administrator. Bill Nye, warrior for science. Engineering undergrads favor career with NASA. Experts from NASA, the U. S. Navy seek remedies to motion sickness. Florida 64-year-olds look forward to suborbital spaceflight. NASA’s Dawn asteroid mission closes in on record second destination. Newly formed Aerojet Rocketdyne assures client Orbital Sciences of steady supply of Russian rocket engines.
1. From The Christian Science Monitor: NASA marks a changing of the guard with the selection of eight new astronauts on Monday. Half are women. All were born during the recently concluded space shuttle era. More than 6,300 competed for the eight openings.
A. From Spaceflightnow.com: NASA adds eight to its astronaut corps, five with military experience, half of them women. Spacefightnow.com offers a brief look at the new candidates, who range in age from 34 to 39.
B. From Xinhuanet.com, of China: NASA’s latest astronaut selections are half women, the largest percentage ever.
C. From Space.com: NASA’s newest “deep space” astronauts will join 49 veteran fliers at the Johnson Space Center in August.
D. From The Los Angeles Times: Can NASA’s newest astronauts count of missions beyond the International Space Station?
2. From The Washington Post: The White House and NASA on Tuesday will ask the public to help find asteroids with the potential to slam into the Earth with catastrophic consequences. The Obama administration has decided that the search for killer space rocks should be the latest in a series of “Grand Challenges,” in which the U. S. government sets an ambitious goal, helps create public-private partnerships and sometimes offers prize money for innovative ideas. “This is really a call to action,” said NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver.
3. From Spacepolicyonline.com: A draft for a new NASA authorization bill from the House Science, Space and Technology Committee would establish a six-year term for NASA’s administrator. Annual budgets of $16.8 billion would be authorized. NASA would be restricted from pursuing an asteroid retrieval mission.
4. From The New York Times: Bill Nye, aka the Science Guy, is a warrior for science. The newest executive director of the Planetary Society, is waging his campaign on several fronts, including planetary science and climate change linked to rising carbon levels in the atmosphere.
5. From The Houston Chronicle: NASA is top choice among U.S. engineering undergrads as the favored place to work. Computing, energy lag behind.
6. From The Wall Street Journal: Scientists from NASA participate in efforts to develop remedies for motion sickness.
7. From Collectspace.com: New details emerge on the death of the world’s first space traveler, Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin. The 1968 jet crash that claimed his life involved the reckless flight of a second Russian aircraft, according to Alexei Leonov, the cosmonaut who became the first human to walk in space.
8. Essays from The Space Review examine the merits of rocket powered hoppers on Mars and the promise of nanotechnology.
A. In “ISRU hopper: an idea whose time has come?’ Essayist Eric Shear examines the merits of rocket powered hoppers as part of a Mars exploration strategy. Powered by carbon-based gases in the Martian atmosphere, these hoppers might cover more ground than rovers and serve as valuable precursors for human missions. Shear is an undergrad in space science at York University, of Canada.
B. In “The coming era of atomically precise manufacturing and its implications for space,” essayist Vidvuds Beldavs re-examines the promise of nanotechnology for changing the economy, addressing climate change and opening space for lucrative exploration activities. Beldavs is president of Kaija Consulting, Ltd, a Riga, Latvia based consultancy.
9. From USA Today: The excitement is growing for Marc and Sharon Hagel, a Winter Park, Fla., couple who decided to purchase a pair of tickets to fly aboard Virgin Galactics SpaceShipTwo for $400,000 in 2007. With test flights under way in Mojave, Calif., the prospects for their flight nears.
10. From AmericaSpace.com: Launched in 2007, NASA’s Dawn mission seeks to become the first spacecraft to visit two planetary bodies, a pair of large main belt asteroids. Dawn departed Vesta last year for Ceres. Arrival is expected in early 2015.
11. From Space News: Aerojet Rocketdyne, newly formed, assures Orbital Sciences Corp that it can supply Russian manufactured rocket engines for the Antares rocket. The kerosene/liquid oxygen rockets emerged from the Soviet Union’s abandoned moon program. NASA is counting on Orbital missions to keep International Space Station crews supplied.
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