CSExtra – Friday, February 15, 2013
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Friday’s CSExtra offers the latest reporting and commentary on space related activities from around the world. This afternoon, as the asteroid 2012 DA14 skims close to the Earth, astronomers will observe. NASA is among organizations offering a play by play of the unusual encounters through NASA-TV and assorted web casts. Early Friday, a meteor burned up in the atmosphere over the Chelyabinsk Region of Russia, prompting reports of damage and injuries from the blast wave. Automatic cuts in the U. S. federal budget, narrowly averted before New Year’s Day, now loom on March 1. NASA is among U. S. federal agencies facing spending cuts under a possible sequester. NASA turns to Aerojet for further definition of a booster rocket for the Space Launch System, the large rocket that could launch astronauts on future missions of deep space exploration. SpaceX looks to March 1 for the launch of the third commercial re-supply mission to the International Space Station. Why scientists covet soil and rocket samples to study the history of planetary bodies.
1. From The Washington Post: Asteroid 2012 DA14 will skim past the Earth with a miss distance of 17,000 miles on Friday afternoon.
A. From Bloomberg News: The United Nations outlines responsibilities for tracking, and perhaps fending off, an asteroid headed for an impact with the Earth.
B. From Slate.com: NASA should be assigned the responsibility for ensuring future 2012 DA14 sized asteroids do not strike the Earth.
C. From Space.com: Asteroid 2012 DA14, half the length of a football field, will skim past the Earth on Friday afternoon. Space.com offers opportunities to follow the passage live.
D. From Discovery.com: Asteroid 2012 DA14 will skim close to the Earth Friday afternoon. Next time, perhaps, the world’s space powers can capture an asteroid of its size, maneuvering the space rock into orbit for exploration and scientific research.
2. From Ria Novosti, of Russia: Regions of Russia and Kazakhstan are struck by a shower of meteors on Friday.
A. From Ria Novosti, of Russia: Dozens of people are injured Friday as a shower of meteors pounds the Chelyabinsk Region of Russia.
B. From Xinhuanet, of China: Officials report a meteor burned up in the Earth’s atmosphere over the Chelyabinsk Region creating a shock wave that damaged windows in the region and causing injuries.
C. From Ria Novosti, of Russia: Asteroid 2012 DA14 is not responsible for meteor fall over Russia, according to the European Space Agency.
3. From Spacepolitics.com: The threat of automatic U. S. budget cuts averted by Congress and the White House before New Year’s Day returns March 1. Worrisome spending cuts throughout the federal government will take effect automatically unless lawmakers reach another compromise to postpone or settle their differences on spending. At NASA, the loss of funds would stall work on the agency’s commercial crew space transportation initiative.
A. From Spacepolicyonline.com: At NASA, a March 1 sequester could drain the space agency of $727 million in spending through the remainder of the 2013 fiscal year.
4. From The Sacramento Bee: Aerojet receives a $23.3 million contract to continue the development of strap on boosters for NASA’s Space Launch System, a large rocket that would send astronauts on the Orion capsule on future missions of human deep space exploration.
5. From Space.com: SpaceX looks to March 1 for the launching of its third commercial cargo delivery mission to the International Space Station.
6. From Once and Future Moon/Air & Space Museum Magazine: The column explains why samples of rock and soil collected from the moon — and perhaps one day from Mars– and returned to Earth for analysis reveal important information about a planetary body that cannot be learned by instruments on a robotic probe.
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