CSExtra – Thursday, April 4, 2013
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Tell the nation why space matters to our future! The Coalition for Space Exploration, in partnership with the NASA Visitor Centers Consortium has launched the “Why Space Matters to the Future” video contest encouraging U.S. residents to visualize what life will be like in 10, 25, or 50 years if the boundaries of space continue to expand. Entrants can submit a short video capturing their vision of why exploring space matters and how it will benefit future generations. Three winners will receive a VIP trip to one of three NASA’s visitor centers: Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida, the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Alabama or Space Center Houston in Texas. Winning videos will be shared with the public and national leaders. The contest submission period ends on April 7. Get more details here.
Thursday’s CSExtra offers the latest reporting and commentary on space related activities from across the globe. The International Space Station based Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer offers new evidence for dark matter. Orbital Sciences Corp readies a test launch as it prepares to begin supply missions to the International Space Station later this year. SpaceShipTwo closes in on powered test flights. NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter spots the parachute that slowed NASA’s Curiosity rover to an August landing on Mars. Lawmakers in New Mexico and Texas enlist support for commercial space. The International Space Station rises. Florida firefighters fend off wildfires south of the Kennedy Space Center. A U. S. House committee will hear more on the collision threat posed by Near Earth Objects. Long lived spiral galaxies. Home Sweet Mars.
1. From The New York Times: NASA’s long running shuttle program was winding to a close in 2011, when shuttle Endeavour’s crew took flight for the final time with the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer. The exotic cosmic observatory was fastened to the outside of the International Space Station. On Wednesday, AMS principle investigator Sam Ting said the AMS has found evidence that “dark matter” permeates the universe. The evidence is positrons, the antimatter equivalent of the electron. Their source could be collisions between dark matter particles.
A. From The Washington Post. The Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer moves “dark matter” beyond the realm of the theoretical.
B. From Spaceflightnow.com: The AMS finds positrons coming from all directions in the universe, more than hinting at pervasive dark matter collisions as the source.
C. From AmericaSpace.com: AMS principal investigator Sam Ting acknowledges an alternate explanation for the AMS observations — pulsars.
D. From Space.com: AMS findings led by Nobel prize winning physicist Sam Ting, of MIT, raise the stature of the International Space Station as a science platform.
2. From Space News: Orbital Sciences Corp. plans to roll its Antares rocket to a launch pad at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport in Virginia on Sunday as it prepares for an inaugural launch. Orbital plans to join competitor SpaceX as a commercial provider of supplies for the International Space Station this year. An orbital test flight launched under NASA’s Commercial Orbital Transportation Services initiative is scheduled for April 17-19.
3. From Parabolic Arc: SpaceShipTwo completes the second of three planned drop and glide flights over California’s Mojave Desert before the start of powered test flights later this year. Virgin Galactic plans suborbital passenger missions aboard SpaceShipTwo from New Mexico.
4. From MSNBC News and CosmicLog: Cameras aboard NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter spot the discarded parachute that helped lower the Curiosity rover to Gale Crater on Mars in early August. Martian winds have blown the parachute around but the fabric appears intact.
5. From Spacepolitics.com: New Mexico’s governor signs legislation extending liability protection for commercial space transportation companies. Virgin Galactic is among the beneficiaries. In Texas, lawmakers rally behind a provision that would permit authorities to close off Brownsville area beaches for rocket launches. SpaceX is eyeing Brownsville as a prospective commercial launch complex.
6. From Ria Novosti, of Russia: Russia’s Mission Control oversees a boost in the altitude of the International Space Station on Wednesday. The increase sets up the departure and return to Earth of three crew members in May, and the launch of three replacements.
7. From Central Florida News 13: Firefighters protect NASA’s Kennedy Space Center from a wild fire to the south.
8. From Spacepolitics.com: The House Science Committee will convene April 10 for its second hearing on the collision threat to Earth posed by asteroids and comets. The session will feature testimony from experts who study the odds and the consequences. The proceedings were prompted by the mid-February explosion of a small asteroid over Russia that sent hundreds to area hospitals with injuries.
9. From Space.com: Spiral galaxies appear to outnumber their elliptical counterparts. New computer simulations may explain why the spiral features are long lived.
10. From Discovery.com: As the Earth’s population surges, some talk turns to annexing and turning Mars more Earth-like.
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.