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Wednesday’s CSExtra offers the latest reporting and commentary on space related activities from across the globe. Spending cuts and losses of skilled managers and workers threaten to take aerospace toll, cautions longtime observer. The manager of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program steps aside. NASA’s Mars Curiosity rover reaches valued rock outcrop on trek to base of Mount Sharp. NASA unveils imagery cache from Chandra X-Ray Observatory. The International Space Station’s “Top 10″ in science. Sierra Nevada Corp. makes case for success in Saturday’s Dream Chaser glide test. Recently discovered space rock, about the size of a tractor trailer truck, speeds by Earth within radius of the moon. Auroral activity on the upswing.
1. From Space News: Budget reductions in the U.S. space programs and the loss of experienced managers, skilled workers could lead to greater technical malfunction, supply chain and production line disruptions, writes experienced journalist Paul Dykewicz in an op-ed.
2. From Space News: NASA’s Commercial Crew Program manager Ed Mango steps down. Mango will tend to personal matters. The program is responsible for efforts to develop a U.S. commercial crew capability to launch Americans to destinations in Earth orbit, including the International Space Station.
A. From Florida Today: Kathy Lueders, Mango’s deputy, takes over as acting NASA Commercial Crew Program manager.
3. From NASA.gov: On Mars, NASA’s Curiosity rover reaches Cooperstown, a rock outcrop. The rover, on its way to the base of Mt. Sharpe, will stop to study the terrain.
A. From Reuters via the Washington Post: NASA’s next Mars mission, MAVEN, is set for launching on Nov. 18 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. Upon arrival in September 2014, the orbital probe will study the thin Martian atmosphere and look for evidence that atmospheric conditions on the red planet were once conducive for microbial life.
4. From the Seattle Post-Intelligencer via The Houston Chronicle: NASA releases new images from its Chandra X-Ray Observatory program.
5. From the Coalition for Space Exploration: Program scientist counts down NASA’s “Top 10″ International Space Station contributions to research.
A. From Space.com: International Space Station astronaut Karen Nyberg spots volcanic activity coming from Mount Edna.
6. From AmericaSpace.com: Sierra Nevada Corp’s Dream Chaser flew a successful low altitude glide test on Saturday before experiencing a runway landing gear failure, Mark Sirangelo, the company’s vice president, tells a news briefing on Tuesday. ”We don’t think it’s actually going to set us back, in some interesting way it may actually accelerate our progress,” he says. Sierra Nevada is one of three companies partnered with NASA’s Commercial Crew Program to establish a commercial orbital transportation service for astronauts.
A. From Discovery News: The primary goal of Dream Chaser’s weekend glide test was to validate the aerodynamic design of the first “lifting body” human spacecraft to fly since the space shuttle prototype Enterprise 40 years ago. Other objectives included validation of capabilities to autonomously fly and land. “We accomplished all those, so from our perspective it was a successful test,” Sierra Nevada Corp. vice president Mark Sirangelo told Discovery News.
B. From the Washington Post: An inelegant end masks success of Dream Chaser flight test, according to Mark Sirangelo, Sierra Nevada’s vice president.
C. From Universe Today: Dream Chaser repairable and may fly again, says Sierra Nevada’s Mark Sirangelo. With video clip of Saturday’s test glide.
7. From Space.com: An asteroid, about the size of a tractor trailer and discovered just days ago, speeds past the Earth on Tuesday. Small asteroid 2013 UV3 dashed by within the orbit of the moon.
8. From Spaceweather.com: Auroral activity is on the upswing in response to solar eruptions this week.
A. From the Los Angeles Times: It’s a ritual for Steve Padilla, a shaky ascent to the top of Mt. Wilson to reach the telescope that enables him to sketch sun spots. A long history of the drawings contributes to a better understanding of the blotchy solar features and their influence on the Earth.
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.