CSExtra – Friday, May 31, 2013
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Friday’s CSExtra offers the latest news and commentary on space related activities from across the globe. Radiation levels between the Earth and Mars are an obstacle spacecraft designers must contend with if humans to are make the voyage, according to measurements made by NASA’s Curiosity rover. Scientists confirm earlier suspicions that Curiosity discovered an ancient Martian stream bed. Perspectives on NASA’s proposal to find and retrieve an asteroid. NOAA’s GOES 13 weather satellite, a hurricane sentry, may have been damaged by a micrometeoroid strike. Support grows for a U. N. sponsored network of observatories to chart asteroids that pose a potential collision threat. The vintage Hubble Space Telescope shows every sign of having a long future. NASA hands Landsat 8 operations over to the U. S. Geological Survey. NASA’s recently concluded GRAIL mission points to asteroid impacts as responsible for the moon’s lumpy gravity field. The White House hosts a Google+hangout for 1998 QE2 – a large asteroid with a moon – that will fly safely by the Earth today.
1. From The New York Times: Human explorers will confront radiation hazards as they travel to Mars, new measurements made with instruments aboard NASA’s Curiosity rover reveal. The readings gathered between Curiosity’s November 2011 launching and August 2012 landing on Mars are the first made behind shielding like that used in current spacecraft. The findings were published in Friday’s editions of the journal Science.
A. From the Associated Press via CBS News: Radiation exposures during Mars roundtrip are equivalent to a full body scan every five to six days, say researchers.
2. From Discovery.com: NASA’s Curiosity rover found surprisingly familiar looking pebbles at the spacecraft’s Gale Crater landing site on Mars last fall. Further analysis, outlined in Friday’s editions of the journal Science, confirm suspicions the rocks where rounded by a sustained flow of water on ancient Mars. The determination that Curiosity had discovered an ancient stream bed was made with close-up images and a spectral analysis that accompanied laser pulses aimed at the pebbles.
3. From The Orlando Sentinel: The Florida newspaper presents two perspectives on NASA’s proposed mission to retrieve an asteroid and maneuver it into a stable orbit near the moon to prepare explorers for an eventual voyage to Mars.
A. From The Orlando Sentinel: The bold asteroid mission proposal is just what NASA needs, quirky and brilliant, writes Frank DiBello, president of Space Florida, a business development group.
B. From The Orlando Sentinel: The moon makes more sense than an asteroid as the next step for human space exploration, writes planetary geologist and lunar expert Paul Spudis.
4. From Aviation Week & Space Technology: A NOAA officials points to a possible micrometeoroid impact as to blame for the latest difficulties with GOES-13 weather satellite. Difficulties with the U. S. East Coast storm sentry emerged as the 2013 Atlantic hurricane season begins.
5. From Space News: At the United Nations, support grows for an international network of observatories to monitor the collision threat from Near Earth Objects.
6. From CBS News: It’s been four years since the most recent upgrades to the Hubble Space Telescope by space shuttle astronauts. However, the famed 23-year-old observatory is in good shape and may well operate through the end of the decade.
A. From AmericaSpace.com: The Hubble Space Telescope and Europe’s Hershel Space Observatory join forces to provide new insights into the Ring Nebula. New imagery may have implications for the future of the sun as well as provide information on galactic evolution three billion years ago.
7. From Spaceflightnow.com: NASA hands operations of the recently launched Landsat 8 spacecraft over to the U. S. Geological Survey. Launched by NASA as the Landsat Data Continuity Mission in February, Landsat 8 will continue a long tradition of providing imagery of the Earth’s surface to a variety of global users.
8. From Space.com: NASA’s recently concluded GRAIL mission points to ancient asteroid impacts as reason for the moon’s uneven gravity field. GRAIL’s Ebb and Flow spacecraft ended their lunar mission in December with a crash of their own.
9. From Spacepolitics.com: In a bid to stir interest in NASA’s future asteroid exploration plans, the White House Office of Science and Technology will host a Google+hangout on the topic. The activities coincide with the flyby of 1998 QE2, a large asteroid that will pass a safe distance from the Earth today.
A. From The Los Angeles Times: Asteroid 1998 QE2 has a small moon in tow, astronomers discover.
B. From Space.com: Radar images gathered Wednesday by NASA reveal asteroid 1998 QE2 has a moon.
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 [email protected].