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Today’s CSExtra offers the latest reporting and commentary on space related activities from across the globe. NASA’s proposed $17.5 billion budget for 2015 draws mixed reviews, with concerns for Space Launch System, Orion and planetary science funding levels, enthusiasm for commercial space transportation spending and for a new mission to Europa. New Cosmos series set to premier wonders of space, science. Asteroid 2014 DX110, all 100 feet, comes and goes on Wednesday. Black hole spins near physical limits. U.S. and Russian cooperating in Earth orbit — if strained in their relations over Ukraine. The view of Earth from the International Space Station. U.S. military satellite launch forecast declines; United Launch Alliance and SpaceX square off in congressional hearing. Interest of wealthy in space tourism on the rise. Europe plans key Space plane flight test in May.
2015 NASA Budget
America Space (3/5): Proposed $17.5 billion 2015 NASA budget likely to face opposition in Congress over reductions to Space Launch System heavy lift rocket and Orion crew capsule development, which face seven percent reductions over 2014, writes America Space editor James Hillhouse. Both SLS and Orion are cornerstones of NASA’s future human deep space exploration plans. At the same time, funding for the agency’s commercial crew program is expected to rise.
USA Today (3/5): In an op-ed, John Grunsfeld, NASA associate administrator for science, urges support for the agency’s budget based on a recent track record that includes more than $100 billion in budget support over the past half-dozen years. Breakthroughs are coming from Mars to the International Space Station, he writes.
Colorado Springs Business Journal: Space Foundation endorses NASA’s proposed $17.5 billion budget for 2015, plus an augmentation available through the proposed Opportunity, Growth and Security Initiative that would raise spending to $18.4 billion. “With NASA’s budget at a historic low as a percentage of the federal budget, we strongly support the $18.4 billion proposal as a bare minimum,” said Elliott Pulham, the foundation’s CEO.
Florida Today (3/5): NASA’s Kennedy Space Center can expect slightly more funding from NASA in 2015, while it keeps plans for inaugural test flights of the agency’s Space Launch System and Orion/Multi-Purpose Crew Exploration Vehicle on track, while pursuing Commercial Crew Program development.
Pasadena Star-News, of California (3/4): U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff, whose district includes NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, finds the Administration’s proposed $17.5 billion budget for 2015 lacking in its support for planetary science.
Human Deep Space Exploration
Los Angeles Times (3/5): Tyson set to reprise Carl Sagan’s 1980 Cosmos television science series on Sunday night on Fox, National Geographic and other channels. “I want this to be interesting to people who have no preexisting interest in science and are going to watch just for the spectacle,” said MacFarlane, who produces the new series, Cosmos A Spacetime Odyssey.
Unmanned Deep Space Exploration
Space.com (3/5): The 100-foot-long asteroid 2014 DX110 sailed within 217,000 miles of the Earth on Wednesday about 4 p.m., EST. Slooh Community Observatory cameras recorded the safe but close passage.
Sky and Telescope (3/5): Astronomers measure fast spinning black hole six billion light years from Earth.
Planetary Society (3/5): NASA’s 2015 budget proposal furthers early definition of mission to the Jovian moon Europa, an ocean covered satellite that might harbor some form of life. The agency may eventually invest less than a $1 billion in the venture expected to lift off in the mid-2020s.
Washington Post (3/4): NASA serious about Europa as a destination for a planetary mission and will study concepts that would avoid a $1 billion or more, flagship status.
Low Earth Orbit
Moscow Times (3/6): U.S. and Russia fare well in International Space Station partnership — if not over Russia’s posture with the Ukraine.
CBS News via Spaceflightnow.com (3/4): NASA Administrator Charles Bolden finds U.S. and Russian relations steady in operation of the International Space Station in spite of tensions in Ukraine.
National Public Radio (3/5): The view from the International Space Station include the cities of Earth, major highways, jet aircraft shuttling passengers from one continent to another.
Commercial to Low Earth Orbit
Space News (3/5): Pool of available U.S. military satellite missions shrinks as SpaceX advances the company’s eligibility to launch U.S. Air Force missions. Existing U.S. Global Positioning Satellite System satellites are lasting longer than projected, a major factor.
NASAspaceflight.com (3/5): Competing commercial U.S. launch service providers pull no punches as they debate the merits of SpaceX and United Launch Alliance before a U.S. Senate appropriations subcommittee.
CNBC (3/4): World’s wealthy turning to suborbital spaceflight for holiday getaways, according to analyst.
Space.com (3/4): European suborbital test plane set for high altitude drop test in May. EADS of Europe plans to build and sell its Spaceplanes to operators for space tourism.
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