CSExtra – Wednesday, February 13, 2013
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Wednesday’s CSExtra offers the latest reporting and commentary on space related activities from around the world. NASA’s Orion/Multipurpose Crew Vehicle clears a parachute recovery system milestone. Asteroid 2012 DA14, which is on course to skim past the Earth on Friday, earns an impressive price tag. Legislators from two key space states secure more influence on U. S. Senate panels with responsibility for NASA oversight. Congressional efforts to ease export controls sought by satellite manufacturers remain a work in progress. Russian investigators pinpoint the cause of a December Proton Breeze M upper stage mishap. NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory unmasks a solar fury. Longtime British space correspondent Reginald Turnill has died. NASA’s Mohawk Guy sports a new hair style for President Obama’s State of the Union Address. Google snares a Mars rover driver.
1. From AmericaSpace.com: The parachute recovery system for NASA’s Orion capsule demonstrates robustness in an Arizona drop test this week. NASA awards California-based Ares Technical Service Corp., a contract to support integration requirements for the four person spacecraft that is to serve as a cornerstone of future U. S. human deep space exploration plans. http://www.americaspace.com/?p=31289.
A. From Space.com: NASA’s Orion capsule is a key to a future human mission to Mars, say those preparing a prototype for a 2014 unpiloted test mission. http://www.space.com/19749-orion-spacecraft-nasa-manned-missions.html
B. From The Huffington Post: Is there a Mars Generation? They may be everywhere among us. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/chris-carberry/enter-the-mars-generation_b_2668861.html
2. From Space.com: Deep Space Industries, the new asteroid mining start up, places the value of Asteroid 2012 DA14 at nearly $200 billion in recoverable water and metals. The 150 foot long space rock is on course to skim past the Earth on Friday. http://www.space.com/19758-asteroid-worth-billions-2012-da14-flyby.html
A. From The Washington Post: Asteroid 2012 DA14 is on course to skim within 17,000 miles of the Earth on Friday. The Post poses the question: Why aren’t the world’s innovators working on a strategy to fend off a future asteroid that might slam into the planet with devastating consequences? http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/innovations/post/why-youre-not-working-on-an-asteroid-shield/2013/02/11/20068686-7190-11e2-ac36-3d8d9dcaa2e2_blog.html
B. From Discovery.com: Asteroid 2012 DA14′s ‘s brush with Earth will occur between the orbits of crucial communications and GPS satellites. The spacecraft do not appear to be at risk of impact by the space rock, say NASA experts. http://news.discovery.com/space/asteroids-meteors-meteorites/asteroid-2012-da14-satellite-collision-130213.htm
C. From USA Today: Another worrisome collision threat, this one from Asteroid 2012 YQ1 in 2106, now looks less likely, say U. S. astronomers. Some Russian astronomers suggest otherwise. http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/sciencefair/2013/02/12/asteroid-2106-relax/1914255/
D. From The Los Angeles Times: Several Internet organizations plan online coverage of Asteroid DA14′s close approach on Friday. http://herocomplex.latimes.com/video/asteroid-flyby-online/#/0
3. From Spacepolicyonline.com: U. S. Sen. Barbara Mikulsk, a Maryland Democrat, will retain her chairmanship of the Senate Appropriations Commerce-Justice-Science (CJS) subcommittee in addition to her new duties as chair of the full appropriations committee. Similarly, Senator Richard Shelby, the Alabama Republican , will pull double duty as top Republican of the full committee and the CJS subcommittee. The veteran lawmakers represent states that host the Goddard Space Flight Center and the Marshall Space Flight Center. http://www.spacepolicyonline.com/news/senate-appropriations-committee-announces-subcommittee-assignments-for-113th-congress
4. From Spacepolictics.com: Congressional efforts to redefine, ease export controls on U. S. satellites remain a work in progress in spite of an ease up in December. http://www.spacepolitics.com/2013/02/12/the-world-series-of-export-control-reform-is-yet-to-come/
5. From Spaceflightnow.com: Russian investigators point to a turbo pump bearing failure as the cause of a Proton Breeze M upper stage failure in December. The failure prompted the loss of a Russian energy company communications satellite. Launchings are scheduled to resume in March. http://www.spaceflightnow.com/proton/yamal402/130212frob/#.URry0B1_F48
6. From Discovery.com: A look at the imagery generated by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory mission — launched three years ago. The sun’s ups and downs influence the Earth’s climate and weather. http://news.discovery.com/space/astronomy/nasa-sdo-solar-sun-favorite-pictures-130212.htm
7. From Astronomy Now: Longtime BBC aerospace space correspondent Reginald Turnill has passed away. He died Monday at 97, the website reports. Turnill shuttled between the U. S. and former Soviet Union in the earliest days of human spaceflight. http://astronomynow.com/news/n1302/12reg/#.URtlGh1_F48
8. From the New York Times: The Mohawk Guy, aka Bobak Ferdowsi, alters his now famous hair style for Tuesday night’s State of the Union address. On one side a tribute to the USA; on the other a tribute to Mars. Ferdowsi energized NASA’s Mission Control room at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory on Aug. 5-6 as NASA’s Mars Curiosity rover touched down for a two year mission. http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/02/12/for-sciences-sake-its-mohawk-guy/?ref=science
9. From CNN: Mars rover driver Scott Maxwell departs NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory for Google. Maxwell will take his software writing skills with him. http://lightyears.blogs.cnn.com/2013/02/12/mars-rover-driver-leaves-the-steering-wheel/?hpt=us_t2
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