CSExtra – Thursday, June 6, 2013
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Thursday’s CSExtra offers the latest reporting and commentary on space related activities from across the globe. NASA’s Mars Curiosity mission takes a new turn. The European Space Agency successfully launches the ATV-4, or Albert Einstein, the latest un-piloted resupply mission to the International Space Station. Russia accelerates space spending with an emphasis on Earth observations. In Florida, NASA’s retired orbiter Atlantis nears opening night. Consumer technologies may help to reduce mission costs, says NASA. White House plans to consolidate STEM initiatives across several federal agencies, including NASA, meet resistance in Congress. Time now to start interstellar space travel plans, say experts.
1. From CBS News: NASA’s Mars Curiosity rover, which landed in Gale Crater on Mars last August, is prepared for the first long trek of its two year mission. That means a five mile roll to the base of Mount Sharp, a sedimentary three mile rise that juts from the crater flour. It’s difficult to say how long the drive will take, say engineers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
A. From Discovery.com: The rocks and soil of Mount Sharp, the Curiosity rover’s next destination on Mars, is thought to hold a record of the planet’s changing environment.
2. From AmericaSpace.com: The European Space Agency’s fourth Automated Transfer Vehicle begins a long unpiloted re-supply mission to the six-person International Space Station. The ATV-4, or Albert Einstein, should rendezvous for a docking early on June 15. The ATV-4 lifted off from Kourou, French Guiana late Wednesday.
A. From Space.com: Europe’s ATV-4 carries seven tons of research equipment, fuel, water, food and other gear. Once docked, the Albert Einstein will remain at the station through late October.
3. From Space News: Russia accelerates annual spending on space to eclipse China and pull even with the 20 nation European Space Agency. Earth observations and weather observations are due a boost, according to Vladimir Popovkin, head of Roscosmos, the Russian federal space agency. Human activities will face greater value for cost scrutiny, he said.
4. From Spacepolicyonline.com: In Washington, the House Science, Space and Technology Committee endorses efforts to improve science, technology, engineering and math education but not with the Administration’s latest approach. The White House proposes to consolidate a range of federal initiatives, including NASA’s.
5. From Florida Today: NASA’s retired shuttle orbiter Atlantis nears opening day as the center piece of a $100 million public display at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. The exhibit opens June 29.
6. From The Wall Street Journal: NASA goes in search of suitable consumer technologies to cut the cost of future missions.
7. From Space.com: If humans intend to pursue interstellar space travel in the future, they should begin to prepare now, say experts.
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