CSExtra – Wednesday, March 13, 2013
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Wednesday’s CSExtra offers the latest reporting and commentary on space related activities under way around the world. In Washington, NASA announces a significant finding from the Curiosity rover mission: The Martian environment was once suitable for life. The U. S. Senate looks to more funding for NASA. An Earth-like planet may be a mere 6 to 7 light years away. Russia looks to year’s end to settle on a strategy to fend off threats from Near Earth Objects. Florida confident in competition for new SpaceX commercial launch complex. France looks to a new space agency chief. Finding faint Pan-STARRS.
1. From The New York Times: Earlier this year, NASA’s Curiosity rover drilled into a Martian rock. A mineral and chemical analysis of the material drilled from the rock suggests a past watery environment that would have been suitable for microbial activity, space agency scientists announce Tuesday. The analysis largely meets the objective of a two year mission that began with Curiosity’s landing in Gale Crater early August 2012.
A. From CBS News and Spaceflightnow.com: Whether life in fact evolved on Mars remains an open question, Curiosity scientists acknowledge.
B. From Discovery.com: Left to be addressed by scientists is the issue of organics — the carbon-based chemicals linked to life as we know it on Earth.
C. From Space.com: Curiosity’s work was seminal to understanding Mars. The website looks at the work ahead for NASA’s durable rover.
D. From The Los Angeles Times: Curiosity and its NASA science team will now address how Mars transitioned from warmer and wetter in the distant past into the cold dry realm, nearly airless realm of the present.
E. From Universe Today: Curiosity’s success rest with lessons learned from past Mars mission failures.
2. From Spacepolitics.com: The U. S. Senate approves a $17.86 billion budget for NASA for the remainder of the 2013 fiscal year, a top line above that approved by the House. However, plans for a rescission, or reduction, will draw down the total.
A. From Spacepolicyonline.com: Meanwhile, House appropriators fashion a Continuing Resolution in lieu of a budget for 2014. The White House looks toward April to submit a budget proposal for the 2014 fiscal year that begins Oct. 1.
3. From New Scientist: Scientists say a new analysis suggests a potentially habitable planet just 6 to 7 light years away. NASA’s Kepler space telescope is an essential part of the determination.
4. From Ria Novosti, of Russia: Russia works toward a strategy to fend off a threatening asteroid or comet by year’s end. A month ago, a small asteroid exploded over Russia.
5. From Florida Today: Florida economic development leaders say they’ve developed a compelling case for SpaceX to select their state for a new commercial space launch complex. The statements come days after SpaceX founder Elon Musk informs Texas lawmakers the Lone Star state is leading Florida and other states vying for the site.
6. From Space News: The French space agency, CNES, is in line for a new president. He’s Jean Yves Le Gall, director of Ariancespace.
7. From Space.com: Finding Comet Pan-STARRS. The website offers some pointers on locating this faint object in the western sky after sunset. Many report difficulties.
Brought to you by the Coalition for Space Exploration, CSExtra is a daily compilation of space industry news selected from hundreds of online media resources. The Coalition is not the author or reporter of any of the stories appearing in CSExtra and does not control and is not responsible for the content of any of these stories. The content available through CSExtra contains links to other websites and domains which are wholly independent of the Coalition, and the Coalition makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy, completeness or authenticity of the information contained in any such site or domain and does not pre-screen or approve any content. The Coalition does not endorse or receive any type of compensation from the included media outlets and is not responsible or liable in any way for any content of CSExtra or for any loss, damage or injury incurred as a result of any content appearing in CSExtra. For information on the Coalition, visit www.spacecoalition.com or contact us via e-mail at [email protected].