CSExtra – Thursday, February 14, 2013
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Thursday’s CSExtra offers the latest reporting and commentary on space related activities from around the world. President Obama’s State of the Union Address skips mention of space exploration. Orbital Sciences Corp. will re-set a “hot fire” test for its International Space Station Antares re-supply mission rocket. Astronomers prepare to observe as the Asteroid 2012 DA 14 skims past the Earth on Friday. The U. S. Senate assigns duties to members of legislative panels responsible for NASA’s oversight. NASA’s Chandra X-Ray Observatory characterizes a surprisingly youthful black hole not that far away. Mike Griffin, the former NASA administrator, challenges the prospects of commercial space markets. Space changes a rose. Robotic operations aboard the International Space Station establish a groundwork for future satellite re-fueling operations. Russia and Kazakhstan move toward with an agreement on upgrades to the Baikonur Cosmodrome.
1. From Space.com: The topic of space exploration did not surface explicitly in President Obama’s State of the Union Address on Tuesday. Don’t be concerned, say experts a day later.
2. From NasaSpaceFlight.com: Orbital Sciences Corp. expects to join SpaceX this year as a commercial provider of supplies to the International Space Station with its Antares rocket and Cygnus cargo capsule. As a preliminary step, Orbital planned a launch pad engine test of the Antares first stage at the company’s Virginia launch site on Wednesday. However, the ignition was aborted moments before the “hot fire.” Orbital will likely try again next week.
3. From Discovery.com: A day now separates the Earth from a close pass by the asteroid 2012 DA14. On Earth, astronomers are prepared to track the mid afternoon encounter with radar.
A. From Forbes.com: The publication challenges an assertion this week that asteroid 2012 DA14 has resources with a value of nearly $2 billion.
4. From Spacepolicyonline.com: In the U. S. Senate , Senator Bill Nelson, a Florida Democrat, will resume his chairmanship of the subcommittee that authorizes NASA and NOAA. U. S. Senator Ted Cruz, of Texas, replaces John Boozman, of Arkansas, as the panel’s ranking Republican. The chemistry between Nelson and Cruz is off to a shaky start.
5. From the Los Angeles Times: Astronomers using NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory spot a young black hole within the Milky Way and just 26,000 light years away. Others speculate about the possibilities it could serve as a “worm hole” passage way to another place in the universe, or another universe all together.
6. From The Huntsville Times: Mike Griffin, NASA’s former administrator, discounts the significance of emerging orbital commercial space markets. The U. S. government, the only customer, is playing the role of venture capitalists, he says.
7. From Scientific American: A rose, is a rose. But if it’s cultured in space, it may not smell as fragrant.
8. From AmericaSpace.com: Aboard the International Space Station, robotic operations controlled by ground teams demonstrate the value of refueling aging satellites in space.
9. From Ria Novosti, of Russia: Russia and Kazakhstan reach an agreement on improvements to the Baikonur Cosmodrome. Kazakhstan is host to the Russian launch complex.
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