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Today’s CSExtra offers the latest reporting and commentary on space related activities from across the globe. A U.S. House oversight panel lifts a spending ban on NASA’s Asteroid Redirect Mission as part of a 2014 authorization measure that also seeks more detail on cost and schedule for the initiative. In a U.S. Senate hearing, top NASA officials link ARM initiative technologies to the human exploration of Mars in the 2030s. NASA Administrator Charles Bolden to visit Mission Control. Moon man’s Corvette draws a crowd. The last piece of the James Webb Space Telescope‘s heart has been installed. Scientists study Jupiter’s influence on Earth life. Russian Progress re-supply mission reaches the International Space Station. Policy experts urge U.S. to avoid sanctions against Russia in space over Ukraine aggression. Experts call for closer U.S./Chinese ties in space. Israel launches a spy satellite.
NASA 2015 Budget
Spacepolicyonline.com (4/9): The Space Subcommittee of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee (SS&T) altered an emerging 2014 NASA authorization bill that previously prohibited spending on NASA’s proposed Asteroid Redirect Mission. Under the ARM initiative, NASA would find and capture a small asteroid — or piece of a larger asteroid — and maneuver the space rock into a stable orbit around the moon. There, it would be accessible to U.S. astronauts launched aboard the Space Launch System heavy lift rocket and Orion crew capsule in the 2020s. The latest version of the proposed authorization legislation would require NASA to weigh the merits of ARM against a lunar exploration mission as a valued stepping stone to Mars in the 2030s. The new version also calls for an independent analysis of a mission using the SLS and Orion for a human Mars flyby in 2021. The measure characterizes SLS, Orion and the James Webb Space Telescope as top priorities. Last year, Congress was unable to reach agreement on an authorization measure.
Space News (4/9): A one year NASA authorization measure quickly cleared the House Science Space Subcommittee on Wednesday, offering guidance to appropriators that would allow Space Launch System, Orion and James Webb Space Telescope projects to spend money previously set aside in the event the projects were cancelled. Unlike last year’s bill, the latest measure does not bar NASA from spending money on the White House-proposed Asteroid Redirect Mission. It does, however, require NASA to submit within 180 days of enactment a report detailing the mission’s cost and schedule, and what technologies it will use that could also be used for a human Mars mission.
Spacepolitics.com (4/9): Authorization bill as filed is amended Wednesday to require NASA to develop an exploration road map. NASA is no longer forbidden from spending on the Asteroid Redirect Mission. However, the agency must explain to Congress how ARM leads to a Mars mission in ways that lunar exploration does not. Safety is labeled as a crucial objective in NASA’s Commercial Crew Program.
Human Deep Space Exploration
Huffington Post (4/9): NASA officials link eventual human exploration of Mars to Asteroid Retrieval Mission. ARM would identify, capture and steer a small asteroid or a piece of a larger asteroid into a stable lunar orbit. Testimony was presented Wednesday before the U.S. Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Science and Space.
Florida Today (4/9): NASA making steady progress in development of Space Launch System heavy lift rocket and Orion crew capsule, the cornerstones of future U.S. missions of human deep space exploration. Early version of new House NASA authorization bill includes asteroid mission as a stepping stone to Mars in the 2030s. Bill requires NASA to compare benefits of asteroid vs. lunar exploration as a stepping stone.
NASA (4/9): NASA Administrator Charles Bolden to tour changes in NASA’s Mission Control Center intended to accommodate first unpiloted test flight of the Orion crew exploration module scheduled for late 2014.
Florida Today (4/9): 1969 model goes on display at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Central Florida.
Unmanned Deep Space Exploration
Heart Of The James Webb Space Telescope Complete
Red Orbit (4/9): The last piece of the James Webb Space Telescope‘s heart has been installed inside the world’s largest clean room at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.
Astrobiology Magazine (4/9): New studies examine the influence of the solar system’s largest planet on life on Earth.
Low Earth Orbit
Spaceflightnow.com (4/9): Russia’s unpiloted 55 Progress cargo mission was launched and docked to the International Space Station on Wednesday. There were no reports of the difficulties that slowed what was to be a similar six hour journey from launch pad to space station for three U.S. and Russian astronauts launched aboard a Soyuz rocket in late March.
Orlando Sentinel (4/9): NASA urged not to tamper with cooperative U.S., Russian ties for operation of the International Space Station. Susan Eisenhower is among those who appear before U.S. Senate panel on the matter. Last week, NASA announced it would sanction space ties with Russia with one exception, the six person International Space Station.
National Journal (4/9): It’s time for U.S. to consider cooperation in space with China, experts testify before the U.S. Senate Science and Space Subcommittee Wednesday. “China is in a position to provide hardware and capability in-kind,” retired NASA astronaut Leroy Chiao tells the panel.
Jerusalem Post (4/9): New Israeli launched satellite launched Wednesday will use radar for surveillance.
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