CSExtra – Top Space News for Wednesday, November 20
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Today’s CSExtra offers the latest reporting and commentary on space related activities from across the globe. Now on its way to Mars, NASA’s MAVEN spacecraft promises to open doors for future human explorers. This era’s moonshot – catching an asteroid. The stars are our destiny, the idea of moving into space. U.S. Congressional Budget Office suggests the nation save $73 billion by dropping human space exploration. Ad Astra Rocket Co., experiments with advanced propulsion for human deep space exploration, orbital debris cleanup and other missions. NASA drops research on advanced energy source for deep space probes. Comet ISON displays wings. Large galactic structure confounds astronomers. NASA and its partners join in 15th birthday celebration for the International Space Station. Will U.S. and its partners extend space station operations beyond 2020? Student satellite reaches orbit late Tuesday, following lift off from U.S. East Coast. Sally Ride, America’s first female astronaut and advocate for STEM education, among Presidential Medal of Honor recipients at White House. NASA initiates next phase of Commercial Crew Program.
Human Deep Space Exploration
Spaceflightinsider.com (11/19): NASA’s just launched Mars mission, MAVEN, promises to make discoveries at the red planet that will help to pave the way for future human missions.
Florida Weekly (11/19): NASA is developing a first-ever mission to identify, rendezvous with, capture and redirect a small asteroid into a stable orbit in the lunar vicinity, and then send humans to visit it using the Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft. This mission represents an unprecedented technological feat and allows NASA to affordably pursue the Administration’s goal of visiting an asteroid by 2025.
The Corsair (11/19): One of the great inescapable truths about human progress is that as we advance technologically, we will need to seriously consider the idea of moving out into space.
Space News (11/19): The U.S. could save $73 billion between 2015 and 2023 by ending human space exploration efforts, according to the Congressional Budget Office. “The main argument for this option is that increased capabilities in electronics and information technology have generally reduced the need for humans to fly space missions” according to the CBO.
Unmanned Deep Space Exploration
Space.com (11/19): In Houston, Ad Astra Rocket Co., led by former NASA astronaut Franklin Chang Diaz, pioneers the development of VASIMR, a plasma rocket engine, that could whisk humans to Mars, boost the International Space Station or address the Earth’s orbital debris threat.
Space News (11/19): NASA turns to plutonium fueled Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators as a source of electrical power for deep space missions rather than investing in an alternative. Change in course addresses budget challenges.
Los Angeles Times (11/19): Check in on comet ISON. Now visible to the naked eye, ISON is barreling toward a late November encounter with the sun. If ISON swings around, the comet could become a prominent feature in the night skies of Earth.
Discovery.com (11/19): Astronomers have found a mind-bogglingly large structure — so big it takes light 10 billion years to traverse — in a distant part of the universe. Scientists found the new structure by mapping the locations of gamma ray bursts.
Low Earth Orbit
NASA (11/19): Zarya, or “Sunrise,” the first piece of the International Space Station soared into orbit atop a Russian Proton rocket 15 years ago today. NASA’s first contribution, Node 1 or Unity, soon followed aboard the space shuttle Endeavour.
Houston Chronicle (11/19): International Space Station marks 15th birthday on Wednesday, with future uncertain. Just as the six person orbiting science laboratory is beginning to become productive in science, questions about its future emerge. Unless the partners agree to an extension, the station could be de-orbited in 2020.
Universe Today (11/19): Partners in International Space Station mark 15th anniversary since launch of first module.
ESA (11/20): The European Space Agency, one of the space station’s major partners, marks the program’s 15th year.
CBS News (11/19): Twenty-nine small payloads climb to orbit aboard an Orbital Sciences Corp. Minotaur rocket launched from Virginia’s eastern shore Tuesday night.
Washington Post (11/19): Minotaur rocket carries TJCubeSat, the first satellite designed and built by high school students, into space, with launching from Virginia’s eastern shore on Tuesday night. The spacecraft was the result of seven years of work by more than 50 students from Thomas Jefferson High School.
USA Today (11/19): Sally Ride, America’s first female astronaut, is among 16 recipients of the Presidential Medal of Honor honored at the White House.
Xinhuanet (11/20): China launches an Earth observing satellites that some report may have a military mission.
Commercial to Low Earth Orbit
NASA (11/19): NASA moves ahead with the next phase of the Commercial Crew Program. The Commercial Crew Transportation Capability initiative seeks proposals from U.S. companies for the development of a NASA certified capability to transport U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station and other orbital destinations. Given adequate budgeting, NASA’s goal is to inaugurate launches in 2017.
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.