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Thursday’s CSExtra offers the latest reporting and commentary on space related activities from across the globe. In Dallas, the four-day Icarus Interstellar Starship Congress opens Thursday with opportunities for the public to view sessions over YouTube. Buzz Aldrin: national prestige can fuel Mars colonization. Experts identify a dozen small asteroids within reach of retrieval using current technologies. Next year promises to bring major strides in NASA sponsored Earth science investigations. SpaceX succeeds with test of Grasshopper, the prototype for a reusable rocket first stage. Student experiments take flight from NASA’s Wallops Island Flight Facility. California and Florida lawmakers seek changes in FAA regulation of commercial space operations. In Virginia, the U. S. Navy joins NASA in an opening round of Orion water recovery operations.
1. From Space.com: The 4-day Icarus Interstellar Starship Congress opens Thursday in Dallas, Tex. Sponsors bill the event as the “first-ever assemblage of international interstellar space science organizations and proponents.” Topics will range from interstellar space travel to warp drive science. Participants will examine near to far term strategies for interstellar travel. Space.com and the Starship Congress are offering live presentations through YouTube. Check the website for links.
2. From The Associated Press via The Houston Chronicle: National prestige should underpin the current generation’s efforts to colonize Mars, Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin tells an audience hosted by the Clinton School of Public Service in Little Rock, Ark.
3. From Wired.com: Engineers identify a dozen asteroids, ranging from two to sixty meters in length, that could be captured with spacecraft using current technologies. 2006 RH120 might be the most easily redirected of the group. A single rocket burn in 2021 would be enough to place this roughly 4-meter-wide asteroid into a stable accessible orbit by 2026. Currently, NASA is proposing an Asteroid Redirect Mission to place a small space rock in a stable lunar orbit, perhaps in time to become a destination for a piloted test flight of the new Orion/Space Launch System rocket in 2021.
4. From The Los Angeles Times: NASA managed climate science is poised for an advance in 2014. During a visit to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory earlier this week, Administrator Charles Bolden underscored the importance of RapidScat, an International Space Station-based wind sensor expected to depart for the orbiting lab in April; the Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2, which is scheduled to launch in July; and SMAP, which will launch in October to monitor soil moisture levels from orbit.
5. From Space News: SpaceX carries out a vertical/lateral test of Grasshopper, the company’s Falcon 9 reusable first stage prototype. Grasshopper rose 250 meters and maneuvered 100 meters laterally earlier this week at the company’s McGregor, Tex., proving grounds. The testing simulates the final stages of an actual recovery.
A. From New Scientist: NASA joins with Masten Space Systems in Mojave, Calif., to test new vertical landing strategies. Masten’s Xombie vertical takeoff, vertical landing vehicle will participate in efforts to establish fuel saving options.
6. From Universe Today: Dozens of experiments assembled by university students rocket into space from NASA’s Wallops Island Flight Facility in Virginia earlier this week. The pre-dawn suborbital flight offered an unusual opportunity for the students to carry out “hands on” spaceflight research.
7. From The Houston Chronicle: A look at U. S. billionaire Bill Gate’s recent comments about investments in rocket systems by wealthy entrepreneurs. In a recent interview with Bloomberg Business Week, Gates explains why he’s taken a different course.
8. From Spacepolitics.com: California and Florida congressmen introduce legislation to steam line FAA regulation of orbital as well as suborbital commercial space vehicle operations.
A. From the El Paso Times, of Texas: At the University of Texas at El Paso, former NASA astronaut Danny Olivas signs on as director of the Center for the Advancement of Space Safety and Mission Assurance Research (CASSMAR). The newly organized CASSMAR will focus on risk reduction research to make commercial human spaceflight safer.
9. From The Hamptons Road Virginian Pilot: The Navy joins NASA in dockside recovery trials for the Orion capsule at the Norfolk Naval Station.
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.spacecoalition.com or contact us via e-mail at Info@spacecoalition.com.