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Today’s CSExtra offers the latest reporting and commentary on space related activities from across the globe. Animation shows NASA’s Asteroid Redirect Mission concept. NASA pursues oxygen recycling advances for U.S. explorers launched on future deep space missions. The U.S. sits in the midst of an international debate over whether humans should head for the moon or an asteroid all in pursuit of Mars. NASA’s Orion deep spacecraft clears avionics testing. Planetary tilts may advance the prospects for life on alien planets. NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover pauses for science. New research headed for the International Space Station includes bacteria from U.S. landmarks. American astronaut Steve Swanson checks out the Instagram engagement early in his mission aboard the International Space Station. NASA Administrator Charles Bolden urges Congress to invest in the agency’s Commercial Crew Program. SpaceX plans to debut Falcon Heavy rocket next year in launch from former Florida shuttle launch pad leased from NASA. U.S. and European innovators pursue different means of reusable launch vehicles. U.S. Senate panel favors more flexibility in suborbital RLV permits, licenses.
Human Deep Space Exploration
Aviation Week (4/13): This animation focuses on what astronauts would do to study an asteroid in the targeted distant retrograde orbit around the Moon — find it, rendezvous with it and spacewalk to it — all in an area of space never visited by humans before. They would use a heavy-lift Space Launch System (SLS) and an Orion capsule to get there.
NASA (4/11): The U.S. space agency solicits proposals for a critical human long duration human exploration technology — the recycling of breathable oxygen. Winning proposals could receive up to $750,000 to support a first round of development and evaluation.
Huffington Post (4/15): An international initiative, assembled under the banner of the International Space Exploration Coordination Group, a consortium of 14 nations, quietly plots a path to Mars. One branch starts with the moon, the other with the asteroids.
Spaceflight Insider ( 4/15): NASA’s Orion crew capsule clears ground based avionics testing, all in preparation for the spacecraft’s first unpiloted test flight late this year, Orion, launched atop NASA’s Space Launch System heavy lift rocket, will start U.S. explorers on future missions to deep space destinations.
Spacepolicyonline.com (4/15): The General Accountability Office, congressionally chartered auditors, warn NASA and its overseers to be cautious of cost growth in major programs, including the Space Launch System heavy lift rocket, Orion crew capsule and James Webb Space Telescope.
Unmanned Deep Space Exploration
NASA (4/15): Studies suggest that alien planets with an unusual tilt to their axis with changes to their orientations, or “wobbles” could be quite habitable. NASA astrobiologists participated in the modeling that produced a surprising result.
Spaceflightnow.com (4/15): On Mars, NASA’s Curiosity rover suspends its trek to the base of three mile high Mount Sharp to check a rocky outcrop for evidence of past habitability.
Low Earth Orbit
Huffington Post (4/15): Bacteria from famous landmarks get shot at spaceflight as part of experiment awaiting launch to the International Space Station. The investigation will examine how bacteria fare in the absence of gravity.
Universe Today (4/15): NASA astronaut Steve Swanson embraces “Firefly” in his first Instagram posting from the International Space Station. Look for the T-shirt.
Commercial to Low Earth Orbit
Bay Area Citizen, of Texas (4/15): In Houston to inspect changes to Mission Control, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden urges Congress to invest in a vibrant commercial crew initiative that permits U.S. aerospace companies rather than Russia to launch American astronauts into orbit.
Spaceflightnow.com (4/15): SpaceX plans to debut the launching of the company’s Falcon 9 Heavy rocket next year at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center Launch Complex 39A. NASA signed a long term lease agreement with SpaceX for use of the former space shuttle launch pad earlier this week.
Space News (4/15): U.S. and European commercial space companies pursue competing strategies for reusability in space operations.
Spacepolitics.com (4/15)) A U.S. Senate oversight panel approves legislation providing reusable suborbital vehicle operators with more flexibility in their acquisition of experimental permits and launch licensing.
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.space.com or contact us via e-mail at Info@space.com.
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