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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 – Tuesday, March 12, 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.

Tuesday’s CSExtra offers the latest reporting and commentary on space related activities from around the world. NASA’s Mars Curiosity rover confronts a mystery in organic chemistry. Earth vs. asteroids. NASA and Lockheed Martin seek help from students in addressing a radiation challenge to human deep space exploration. Astronomers point to Brown dwarfs as latest close star discoveries. NASA ponders an extension for a productive Mercury mission. Essayists reflect on the shuttle Columbia tragedy and the risk of launch. Editorial backing for a new Florida commercial launch site. The moon as a private sector destination. Life in the habitable zone.


1.From NASA’s Curiosity rover, moving around Gale Crater on Mars since early August, is poised to address a major mystery: Where are the carbon-based organic chemicals that could address the issue of Martian habitability.

A. From the Associated Press via The Los Angeles Times: NASA assembles its experts in Washington for a Tuesday news briefing to discuss Curiosity’s analysis of material drilled from the interior of a Martian rock earlier this year.

2. From The New York Times: Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson ponders Feb. 15, a day that featured the explosion of a small asteroid over Russia and a close pass from a larger cosmic sibling. “Think of it,” reflected the director of Manhattan’s Hayden Planetarium.  “As a shot across our bow.”

3. From NASA joins with contractor Lockheed Martin to launch the Exploration Design Challenge, a collaboration with the nation’s students to develop radiation shielding for the Orion crew capsule. Orion is under development to start U. S. astronauts on future missions of human deep space exploration.

4. From Scientific American: A pair of brown dwarfs lurk close to the sun, a discovery revealed by NASA’s WISE mission, launched in 2009.

A. From USA Today: No stars have been discovered as close to Earth since 1916.

5. From NASA ponders an extension for the MESSENGER mission spacecraft in orbit around Mercury. MESSENGER, authorized for operations through March 17, maneuvered into orbit around Mercury two years ago.

6. From The Space Review: Essayists reflect on the Columbia tragedy and changing risks associated with spacecraft launches.

A. In “Community, lenses, and learning: the Columbia +10 workshop,” essayist Mary Lynne Dittmar reflects on the 2003 shuttle Columbia tragedy — the integrity and culture within NASA as the disaster unfolded and where the lessons learned stand today.

B. In “Launch failures: what’s changed?,” former U. S. Air Force officer Wayne Eleazer examines that risk surrounding the launch of any spacecraft. Have decades of experience and design adjustments made a difference?

7. From The Orlando Sentinel: In an editorial, the Sentinel urges state and federal officials to consider converting a small corner of the  Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge into a commercial launch site.,0,2511136.story

8. From The U. S. private sector looks to the moon as a human destination.

9. From Planets in habitable zones around distant stars may not necessarily translate into alien life.

10. From The European Space Agency’s GOCE satellite detects sound waves from the Tohoku earthquake that struck Japan in 2011.

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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