CSExtra – Tuesday, May 7, 2013
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Tuesday’s CSExtra offer the latest news and commentary on space related activities from across the globe. In Washington, the three-day Human2Mars Summit opens with NASA Administrator Charles Bolden among the speakers. NASA needs time to develop the capabilities for the challenging journey, Bolden tells the summit. NASA legislative supporters split over exploration and commercial space transportation priorities. Merits of corralling an asteroid. Orbital Sciences Corp. looks to August/September for its next Antares test mission to permit a rocket engine exchange. Space observatories spot a record stellar blast. Arianespace’s second Vega launch unfolds successfully. Kepler mission scientists William Borucki earns recognition for his innovation. NASA’s Morpheus prototype planetary lander on the comeback trail. The test shuttle orbiter Enterprise gets a July opening date. Red Bull daredevil Felix Baumgartner’s capsule and pressure suit go on display. Entertainer Sarah Brightman looks toward orbital flight.
1. From The Washington Post: Mars may be an inspirational destination for the U. S. human space program, but NASA’s program to reach the red planet is far from mature. That’s because the technologies are yet to be developed along with the formulation of a budget. That’s why the U. S. is not ready to go all out on Mars, explains NASA Administrator Charles Bolden on the opening day of the Human2Mars Summit at George Washington University. In the near term, the U. S. needs a commercial capability to deliver astronauts to low Earth orbit destinations, including the International Space Station, says Bolden.
A. From U. S. News & World Report: As a stepping stone to Mars, NASA can corral an asteroid, perhaps demonstrating capabilities that will be necessary to deflect a potentially catastrophic collision, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden informs the opening session of the three day Human2Mars Summit.
2. From The Space Review: In “Drawing the lines for NASA’s FY 2014 budget,” TSR editor Jeff Foust finds legislative allies on the value of human space exploration at odds over funding for the cornerstones of NASA’s future human space exploration plans, the Space Launch System and Orion, and the Commercial Crew Program.
3. From SpaceNews.com: Space exploration occupies an essential part of the nation’s future, writes U. S. Rep. Lamar Smith, chairman of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee, in an op-ed. Part of NASA’s mission should address the asteroid deflection issue raised with the explosion of a small near Earth object over Russia earlier this year, Smith notes.
A. From Space News: NASA must demonstrate its proposed asteroid capture mission is serious and more than a place holder for better defined objectives, the trade publication writes in an editorial.
4. From Spacepolicyonline.com: Orbital Sciences Corp., will push back its next test flight of the emerging Antares/Cygnus cargo delivery service for the International Space Station from late June/July The new target, August/September, will permit an engine swap prior to the seminal test of Orbital Sciences’ ability to rendezvous with the ISS and berthing of the Cygnus supply ship. The flight will set the stage for regular ISS cargo deliveries by the Dulles, Va., based company.
5. From Space.com: NASA’s Swift and Fermi space telescopes spot a record stellar explosion 3.6 billion light years from Earth. The powerful gamma ray burst lasted several hours — long enough to alert ground based telescopes to join the observing campaign.
6. From Spaceflightnow.com: Arianespace successfully launches the company’s second Vega rocket from French Guiana late Monday. The four stage Vega placed satellites from the European Space Agency, Vietnam and Estonia into orbit for Earth observing missions.
A. From The Associated Press via The Houston Chronicle: Landsat 8, launched in February for the U. S. Geological Survey, is working well early in its Earth observation missions.
7. From The Partnership for Public Service via The Washington Post: William Borucki, project scientist for NASA’s Kepler space telescope mission, receives recognition for his innovative approach to the search for alien planets that resemble the Earth.
8. From The Examiner.com: NASA rebounds from the loss of its Morpheus prototype planetary lander in August 2012 in a crash at the Kennedy Space Center. After a series of static tests at NASA’s Johnson Space Center, the ungraded replacement could soon be ready for another trial at Kennedy.
9. From Collectspace.com: July 10 will mark the opening for the public display of the shuttle test orbiter Enterprise aboard the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum in New York City. The new venue will replace a temporary display.
A. From Collectspace.com: The capsule and pressure suit that made Felix Baumgartner’s record parachute leap possible last year is now on public display at Space Center Houston.
10. From The Associated Press via The Houston Chronicle: British entertainer Sarah Brightman has not lost her passion for a trip to the International Space Station as a space flight participant aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft. Her flight may come within the next two years, according to Brightman.
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