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These news clips on global space news are provided by the Coalition for Space Exploration for distribution by the Space Foundation to our constituents. You can also subscribe to receive a daily email version.

CSExtra – Friday, August 16, 2013

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Friday’s CSExtra offers the latest reporting and commentary on space related activities from across the globe. NASA’s Kepler space telescope has pointing problems that cannot be overcome, ending the mission’s search for alien planets. Auditors find concerns with NASA’s Orion/Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle development strategy. NASA extends work with three Commercial Crew Program partners under current contract. NASA Administrator Charles Bolden on the agency’s mission. White House gaining solar panels. New evidence suggests Voyager left the solar system. The U. S. Suomi Earth observation satellite tracks a global dust ring created by the Feb. 15 meteor explosion over Russia. Russia falls out of India’s Chandrayaan-2 lunar mission plans.


1. From The New York Times: The Kepler Space Telescope’s planet hunting days are over, NASA announces Thursday. In May, the observatory experienced a second reaction wheel failure. Equipped with four,  Kepler needs three of the spinning wheels to meet precision pointing requirements. Launched in 2009, Kepler was tasked with identifying Earth-like planets circling distant stars. Much of the data Kepler gathered has yet to be processed. Kepler has discovered over 3,500 planet candidates. The announcement followed unsuccessful efforts to mount a recovery.

A. From The Los Angeles Times: Yet to be processed Kepler data likely includes evidence for an Earth like planet circling a sun like star in the habitable zone, according to Kepler project scientist William Borucki.,0,761221.story

B. From National Geographic: Efforts by scientists to comb through Kepler data could take three to four years, said mission project scientist William Borucki, of NASA’s Ames Research Center.

C. From NASA seeks proposals for a secondary Kepler mission.

2. From Space News: NASA’s Orion/Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle development faces likely cost overruns and delays, according to the agency’s inspector general. Test flight milestones are in jeopardy. Without landers and bases, the U. S. cannot expect to land astronauts on other planetary bodies until the late 2020s at the earliest, according to IG Paul K. Martin.

A. From Funding constraints are to blame for Orion development threats. Cuts imposed after the cancellation of the Bush Administration’s Constellation Program forced NASA to pursue an incremental rather than a parallel development strategy.

B. From USA Today: Orion drawing too little in funding, $1 billion annually for the foreseeable future, to address technical risks, according to NASA IG Paul K. Martin.

C. From The Orlando Sentinel: Costs risks faced by NASA’s Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle as part of the previous administration’s Constellation Program have not been remedied, according to an audit from the space agency’s inspector general.,0,1655833.story

3. From Flight NASA’s Commercial Crew Program expands the contract goals for its partners, SpaceX, the Boeing Co., and Sierra Nevada Corp. The additional price tag for the safety and performance oriented new duties is $55 million. The overall contract activities are to wrap up in 2014, or just before the Critical Design Review point.

4. From The Washington Post: NASA Administrator Charles Bolden explains President Obama’s directive to reach an asteroid with human explorers by 2025 and other issues facing the agency.

5. From The Houston Chronicle: In Washington, the White House is fitted with solar panels. A White House official described the move as part of a broader energy retrofit, designed to boost overall efficiency inside the historic building.

6. From A new study suggests that NASA’s distant Voyager 1 spacecraft, entered interstellar space last year, a finding that not all experts agree on. Voyager and its twin traversed the outer solar system following their 1977 launches.

7. From The Washington Post: The U. S. Suomi National Polar Orbiting Partnership mission satellite tracked a global dust ring created by the powerful Feb. 15th  bolide meteor explosion above Chelyabinsk, Russia. Much of the Earth’s northern hemisphere was draped by the thin dust cloud.

8. From Space News: Russia and India part ways as partners in India’s Chandrayaan-2 lunar mission. Russia was to provide a lander, India the rocket launcher, an orbiter and a rover. Russia wished to increase the mass of its hardware to improve reliability. A new launch date for the 2013 mission is anticipated.

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 or contact us via e-mail at [email protected].


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