CSExtra – Monday, January 14, 2013
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Monday’s CSExtra offers the latest reporting and commentary on space related activities, plus a roundup from the weekend. The mysteries of the Martian past draw a global focus. NASA signs a commercial agreement to provide the International Space Station with an experimental inflatable module. Russia’s space industry raises the bar. The White House rejects the call for a Death Star. Three to enter U. S. Astronaut Hall of Fame in April. NASA’s Pluto bound New Horizons spacecraft checks out after a long electronic slumber. NASA offers assurances the once over budget James Webb Space Telescope is now on track. Superconducting magnets offer promise of protection to deep space explorers. Asteroid Apophis no longer a 2036 threat. The chair of a U. S. Senate oversight panel announces plans to retire. A look at major space related events scheduled for the week ahead.
1. From The Christian Science Monitor, Jan. 13: Mars becomes the destination of choice for most, after a pair of NASA mission failures in the late 1990s. The spectacular landing of NASA’s Curiosity rover in August is the latest in a string of mission successes since. The long quest is intended to determine whether the neighboring planet once hosted some form of life. The answer may be found in rock and soil samples gathered from Mars by robotic spacecraft and returned to Earth for study.
2. From Space.com, Jan. 11: NASA signs a $17.8 million agreement with Bigelow Aerospace for an inflatable module that will be attached to the International Space Station as a technology demonstrator. Based in Las Vegas, Bigelow expanded the inflatable module concept first developed at NASA. Two of the modules participated in orbital test flights.
3. From Ria Novosti, of Russia, Jan. 12: Russia’s space industry, in the midst of reforms, will attempt to double its output by 2020, according to a new blue print. The outline, published on the ROSCOSMOS website, affirms policies embraced in December. Objectives include development of a new launch vehicle, spaceport and upgrades to Russia’s Glonass satellite navigation system.
4. From The Los Angeles Times, Jan. 12: The White House rejects a petition calling for the U. S. creation of a Death Star, the infamous space base featured in the Star Wars film series. Too expensive, too ineffective, says the White House Office of Management in a response to those who gathered 34,000 signatures on a petition. Estimated price tag for the project, $850 quadrillion.
A. From space.com, Jan. 13: Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, one of a half dozen residents of the International Space Station, urges a more peaceful existence on Earth. Hadfield launched with an American and Russian in December and is in line to become the first from Canada to command the orbiting space lab.
5. From Collectspace.com, Jan. 11: Former NASA astronauts Curt Brown, Eileen Collins and Bonnie Dunbar will be inducted into the U. S. Astronaut Hall of Fame on April 20. The selection was directed by the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation. The Hall of Fame is located at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex near Titusville, Fla. Brown flew six shuttle missions, including command of a 1998 mission with a crew that included Mercury astronaut John Glenn, then a sitting U. S. Senator. Collins became the first woman to pilot and command shuttle flights in 1995 and 1999. Dunbar moved from Mission Control to NASA’s astronaut corps. On her fifth mission, she served as the payload commander
6. From The Coalition for Space Exploration, Jan. 11: NASA’s Pluto bound New Horizons mission emerged from an intended electronic hibernation last week. Launched in 2006, New Horizons is headed toward a first ever spacecraft encounter with Pluto in mid 2015.
7. From Space.com, Jan. 11: NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, the designated successor to the Hubble Space Telescope, is on track for a late 2018 launching and on budget, the JWST program director Eric Smith assures last week’s meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Long Beach, Calif.
8. From Aviation Week & Space Technology, Jan. 14: Superconducting magnets show promise as shields against the cosmic radiation that poses a health threat to human deep space explorers.
9. From The Los Angeles Times, Jan. 11: The asteroid Apophis, discovered in 2004, was once considered a possible collision threat to the Earth in 2029 or 2036. After further analysis, experts declared Apophis no threat in 2029. The 2036 threat has diminished as well, Don Yeomans, NASA’s Near Earth Object program manager says.
10. From Spacepolicyonline.com, Jan. 11. The Chair of the U. S. Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, Jay Rockefeller, of West Virginia, will not seek re-election in 2014. The committee has policy and funding responsibility for NASA.
11. From Spacepolicyonline.com: A look at the major space policy events scheduled for the week ahead.
http://www.spacepolicyonline.com/news/events-of-interest-week-of-january-14-19-2013-update 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 Info@spacecoalition.com.