CSExtra – Monday, March 11, 2013
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Monday’s CSExtra offers the latest reporting and commentary on space related activities from around the world. Taking humans to Mars as a reality show. An asteroid as large as a city block zips past the Earth. Chinese anti-satellite debris slams into a Russian satellite. The White House 2014 budget proposal could be headed to Congress in April; NASA struggles with its current science budget under sequestration. Dennis Hope sells moon plots. SpaceX founder Elon Musk negotiates with Texas over a Brownsville launch site. The Columbia tragedy and NASA’s culture revisited. NASA and Lockheed Martin reach to students for a collaboration on Orion spacecraft testing. Robert Bigelow’s housing suited for space. A NASA exploration vet gravitates to Boeing. Endeavour’s move to California in photos. A look at major space policy activities scheduled for the week ahead.
1. From The New York Times, March 8: When it comes to mounting a human expedition to Mars, the technology is close to the challenge. But finances, not so much. Bas Lansdorp, a young Dutch engineer, believes a reality based television show based on the voyage might deliver the revenues.
2. From Reuters via The Huffington Post, March 9: Discovered just a few days ago, Asteroid 2013 ET cruised past the Earth on Saturday at 600,000 miles. As large as a city block, 2013 ET is involved in the latest in a series of Earthly asteroid encounters.
3. From Space.com, March 9: Debris from 2007 Chinese Anti-satellite weapons test blamed for loss of Russian satellite.
4. From Spacepolicyonline.com, March 8: Speculation over White House delivery of a 2014 budget proposal shifts toward early April.
A. From Spacepolitics.com, March 8: NASA wrestles with impact of sequestration on its science programs, officials explain at a Washington National Research Council gathering.
B. From Florida Today, March 9: Should NASA slim down? Columnist John Kelly looks at the forces suggesting the agency may have to look at closing part of its 10 center network. Cost and budget may be trumping the politics of a politically popular, multi-state presence, Kelly writes.
5. From The New York Times, March 10: Since 1980, Nevada salesman Dennis M. Hope has been selling plots on the moon. Land on Mars and Venus is available as well.
6. From The Los Angeles Times, March 9: SpaceX makes strides in efforts to develop a reusable rocket. The company’s Grasshopper prototype hovers like a helicopter over a proving ground near Waco, Texas, according to SpaceX founder Elon Musk. Musk addresses the South by Southwest tech gathering in Austin, Texas.
A. From The San Antonio News Express, March 8: SpaceX founder Elon Musk offers hope to Texas lawmakers of his company’s interest in the Brownsville area for a possible commercial launch site. Rivals in the competition for SpaceX include Florida, Georgia and Puerto Rico, said Musk, who is seeking state and local incentives.
B. From CNN, March 10: The future of low cost space travel depends on reusable spacecraft, SpaceX founder Elon Musk tells the South by Southwest tech conference in Austin.
7. From Spacepolicyonline.com, March 10: In Washington, many of those involved in the investigation of the Feb. 1, 2003 Columbia tragedy gather at George Washington University’s Space Policy Institute to check in during a March 8 seminar. Ultimately, investigators pointed to a troubled NASA culture blindsided by shuttle program risks as the cause. Has the culture changed? Difficult to say, says the lead investigator.
8. From AmericaSpace.com, March 8: Lockheed Martin and NASA team to involve students in testing of the Orion spacecraft, the capsule in development to transport future astronauts to deep space destinations.
9. From The Las Vegas Review-Journal, of Nevada, March 10: Youthful discussions of UFOs fuel businessman Robert Bigelow’s fascination with space. One of Bigelow’s habitable inflatable space structures will soon be tested on the International Space Station. Eventually, Bigelow hopes they are sheltering people on the moon.
10. From Politico, March 8: In Washington, Doug Cooke, who retired recently as NASA’s Exploration chief, moves to Boeing, where he will participate in legislative affairs.
11. From The Los Angeles Times, March 8: The Times documents with photographs shuttle Endeavour’s California tour before the orbiter reaches Los Angeles for display at the California Science Center.
12. From Spacepolicyonline.com, March 10: A look at space policy related activities on the docket for the week ahead. In Washington, the House and Senate are set to address budget issues.
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