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Wednesday’s CSExtra offers the latest reporting and commentary on space related activities from around the world. Are humans ready to reach out to Mars? Experts ponder strategies to deal with future asteroid impact threats. Unraveling the causes and consequences of the Feb. 15 asteroid explosion over Russia. Binary stars may serve as favorable hosts to habitable planets. Should NASA’s administrator serve six years or a decade under proposed legislative changes? Could 3-D printers repair a spacecraft on a deep space mission, or create parts to repair a dryer? Russia points to the Ukraine for failed Zenit rocket components. The U. S. New Horizons mission to Pluto gathers support for a U. S. Postal Service stamp.
1. From Space.com: Behind the scenes, the U. S. military and NASA are teamed in efforts to detect and deal with Near-Earth objects that could pose a collision threat to the Earth.
A. From Ria Novosti: The small asteroid that detonated over Russian on Feb. 15 was the product of previous collisions between space objects, say experts.
B. From Discovery.com: Columbia researchers trace the suspected origin of the object that exploded over Chelyabinsk, Russia on Feb. 15 to the Apollo-class asteroids, a well known family of near Earth objects. The Apollo’s include more than 5,000 objects, some quite large.
C. From NBC News.com: The Feb. 15 asteroid detonation over Russia was a surprise, according to a NASA executive involved in Near Earth Object studies.
D. From Ria Novosti: In Russia, authorities in Chelyabinsk discuss plans for a monument to commemorate the Feb. 15 explosion of an asteroid and those who were injured.
2. From Space.com and Astrobiology magazine: Some binary stars may host large numbers of exo-planets, according to researchers. Properly sized, two stars may extend the “habitable zone” further into space than a single host star.
3. From Spacepolicyonline.com: Congress ponders a change to proposed legislation, a change that raises the question: Should NASA’s administrator serve a six-year or a 10-year term.
4. From Popular Mechanics: NASA joins the 3-D printer craze. NASA Administrator Charles Bolden finds the technology’s potential revolutionary.
5. From Ria Novosti, of Russia: Russian officials point to defective parts from the Ukraine as responsible for the Feb. 1 loss of a Zenit rocket with an Intelsat communications satellite on board.
6. From Collectspace.com: Prospects for a U. S. postal service stamp commemorating NASA’s New Horizons mission, a voyage to Pluto, gains support for a stamp.
7. From Wall Street Journal: Investor Dennis Tito, recognized as the world’s first space tourist, is expected to unveil a bold step for human spaceflight in Washington on Wednesday — a piloted trip around Mars that could be launched in 2018 , according to WSJ sources and technical documents.
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