CSExtra – Top Space News for Wednesday, July 2, 2014

July 2nd, 2014

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Today’s CSExtra offers the latest reporting and commentary on space related activities from across the globe. Rocket engine for advanced version of NASA’s Space Launch System completes hot fire testing. Hubble Space Telescope finds Kuiper Belt destinations beyond Pluto for NASA’s New Horizons mission. Mission managers prep NASA’s Cassini spacecraft for final mission activities in late 2016. Experts trace source of Australian meteorite. NASA’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory launches early Wednesday. International Space Station becoming catalyst for low Earth orbit commerce. Orbiter Atlantis an instant crowd pleaser at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. U.S. Air Force seeks dismissal of SpaceX lawsuit. Russia postpones debut launch of new Angara rocket family indefinitely. Editorial endorses efforts to streamline NASA’s Commercial Crew Program requirements.

Human Deep Space

NASA And Aerojet Rocketdyne Complete Final Hot-Fire Tests On J-2X Engine, Move Forward To RS-25 Testing

AmericaSpace (7/2): Engine testing sets the stage for an evolved version of NASA’s Space Launch System, the heavy lift rocket in development to start U.S. explorers on future missions of deep space exploration.

Unmanned Deep Space

Hubble Finds Worlds Beyond Pluto (and Looks for More)

NBC News (7/1): Using the Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers begin to identify prospective Kuiper Belt destinations for NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft. The probe is on a course to fly by Pluto in July 2015.

NASA Saturn Probe Will End Mission in Epic ‘Grand Finale’ NASA’s long running Cassini mission to Saturn will receive a name change for its final activities, Cassini Grand Finale. The final stages will take the probe between the large planet and its innermost ring starting in late 2016.

‘Unique’ Meteorite Likely Came From Long-Dead Asteroid (7/1): Experts trace source of Australian meteorite to long shattered asteroid.

Low Earth Orbit

ULA Delta II sets sail with OCO-2 NASA’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory lifts off early Wednesday from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. Launch of the spacecraft that will monitor carbon dioxide levels and sources in the Earth’s atmosphere took place at 5:56 a.m. EDT. Efforts to launch the spacecraft on Tuesday were halted because of a problem with the launch pad water sound suppression system.

Commercial to Orbit

Entrepreneurs Smell Profits In Low Earth Orbit

Aviation Week & Space Technology (7/1): The International Space Station is becoming an catalyst for entrepreneurs. Nanoracks and Sierra Nevada Corporation are just two of those participating in an expansion of the U.S. economy to low Earth orbit.

U.S. Air Force Seeks Dismissal of SpaceX Suit

Space News (7/2): U.S. Air Force seeks dismissal of suit filed in late April in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims linked to a large contract award to United Launch Alliance. In a June 30 filing, the Air Force claimed SpaceX waited too long to sue.

Atlantis boosts business at KSC

Orlando Sentinel (7/2): Attendance at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex soars with $100 million display of the shuttle Atlantis. The exhibit marked its first anniversary in late June.

Next Angara Launch Attempt Weeks Away

Space News (7/2): Russia faces a long, unspecified delay in the inaugural launching of its new Angara rocket family. The series will establish a break from Soviet-era launch vehicles for Russia.

Rockets’ red tape

Houston Chronicle (7/1): Editorial urges Washington lawmakers to unburden NASA’s Commercial Crew Program partners from pricing requirements that would be added to fixed price agreements.

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