CSExtra – Wednesday, January 9, 2013

January 9th, 2013

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Wednesday’s CSExtra offers latest reporting and commentary on space related activities from around the world. Asteroid Apophis, once considered a collision threat, passes close to the Earth tonight.  Florida’s Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and the U. S. Eastern Range anticipate a busy year for the rocket launch industry. Last year marked the warmest year on record for the Earth. At the American Astronomical Society meeting in Long Beach, Calif., scientists express concerns over constrained future budgets. In the U. S. House, the chair of the Science, Space and Technology Committee, selects subcommittee chairs. Aboard the International Space Station, Canadian astronauts aims his camera toward the Earth with a practiced eye.  Robotic hedgehogs offer mobility for the exploration of Phobos, a moon of Mars. NASA’s Johnson Space Center deals with more infrastructure than mission. Mars One, a nonprofit based in The Netherlands, seeks astronauts qualified to settle the red planet in 2023. A simulated Mars mission is changing the way experts view the metabolism of salt.


1. From USA Today: Scientists will be observing closely as the asteroid Apophis passes within nine million miles of the Earth on Wednesday. Some scientists once considered Apophis a future collision threat.  Nearly 900 feet across, Apophis will return on its journey through the solar system for close passes in 2029 and 2036. The Slooh Space Camera plans web views of the pass late Wednesday.

2. From The year ahead promises to be a busy one for Central Florida’s Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and the Eastern Range — even though NASA’s shuttle is retired.  In all, 15 rocket launches in support of military, commercial and science missions are anticipated, plus classified activities. “There’s still a viable space business on this coast and it’s not going anywhere,” according to  U. S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Anthony Cotton, commander of the 45th Space Wing.

3. From Last year marked the warmest year on record for the United States, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. 2012 also ranked high for extreme weather events.

4. From Scientists gathered this week in Long Beach, Calif., for the American Astronomical Society meeting, express concern over constrained future budgets. Rising costs for the James Webb Space Telescope, the designated successor to the aging Hubble Space Telescope, and the impact of those expenses on other astronomy programs are shaping future research agendas.

A. From The Los Angeles Times: “We are operating in a zero sum game right now,” NASA’s chief astrophysicist informs astronomers gathered in Long Beach.,0,4527004.story

B. From Spending cuts jeopardize existing and new astronomical observatories, among them telescopes in Arizona, Hawaii, Chile and Puerto Rico.

5. From New House Science, Space and Technology Committee chairman Lamar Smith, of Texas, assigns chairs to six subcommittee panels and divides a former single panel into two, one for Energy and a second for the Environment. Steve Palazzo, of Mississippi, will chair the Space and Aeronautics subcommittee.

6. From Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, a resident of the International Space Station since early December, impresses with his eye for intriguing subjects to photograph.

7. From the Coalition for Space Exploration: Robotic hedgehogs may be perfect for the exploration of Phobos, the moon of Mars. They may solve a mystery surrounding the origin of the lop-sided moon.

8.  From The Houston Chronicle: NASA’s Johnson Space Center looks to the private sector and other agencies to share facilities once required to support the space shuttle program, which retired in mid-2011.

9. From Mars One, a nonprofit organization based in The Netherlands, plans to establish a colony on Mars by 2023. A campaign to qualify astronauts is under way. The group is looking to those 18 years and older.

10. From New Scientist: A simulated 520-day mission to Mars, hosted by Russia for a half-dozen volunteers, may change the way health experts view the body’s assimilation of salt.

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