CSExtra – Friday, August 17, 2012
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Friday’s CSExtra offers the latest reporting and commentary on space related activities from around the world. In a new study, the National Research Council suggests experts look to smaller, less expensive space missions to keep track of solar activity. Changes in the U. S. Senate are likely to influence future U.S. civil space policy. The James Webb Space Telescope reaches a optical milestone in the observatory’s development. California researchers refine a technique for assembling a human shelter on the moon. Far from Earth, celestial forces are breaking a record for star formation. Retired shuttle orbiters Endeavour and Atlantic cross paths for perhaps the final time.
1. From Space News: Future studies of solar/Earth interactions will rely on small less expensive missions, the National Research Council reports in a study released this week, Solar and Space Physics: A Science for a Technological Society, The NRC was asked to develop a 10-year road map on the future of solar observations. http://www.spacenews.com/civil/120816-heliophysics-decadal-survey.html
A. From Space.com: Determining the sun’s shape is more difficult than it might seem. New studies suggest the sun is rounder, yet flatter at the poles than previously thought. http://www.space.com/17143-weird-sun-shape-revealed.html
2. From Spacepolicyonline.com: Changes are taking shape in the U. S. Senate that promise to influence support for civil space. U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, is retiring this year. U. S. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., has drawn a Republican challenger in his race for re-election this year, Connie Mack IV. Working together, Hutchison and Nelson have helped to shape NASA’s current authorization act, legislation that extended International Space Station operations and established support for the Space Launch System and the Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle. http://www.spacepolicyonline.com/news/senator-bill-nelson-to-face-rep-connie-mack-in-november-as-hutchison-retires
3. From The Denver Post.: The James Well Space Telescope reaches a development milestone. The large surface mirrors, prepared by Ball Aerospace and Technologies, are complete. The JWST will succeed the Hubble Space Telescope. www.denverpost.com/business/ci_21323068/ball-finishes-mirrors-space-telescope
4. From The Washington Post: At the University of Southern California, engineering professor Behrokh Khoshnevis pioneers the construction techniques for a human lunar base. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/innovations/post/is-a-moon-colony-on-the-horizon/2012/08/15/e1af23be-e717-11e1-936a-b801f1abab19_blog.html.
5. From CNN: Some 5.7 million light years from Earth, the star forming process is breaking records. NASA’s Chandra X-ray Telescope spots the action. http://lightyears.blogs.cnn.com/2012/08/15/galaxy-cluster-is-a-star-forming-powerhouse/?hpt=us_bn4
6. From Collectspace.com: Retired space shuttle orbiters Endeavour and Atlantis are moved along side one another outside their protective hangars for a final time on Thursday. Endeavour is under going preps for public display at the California Science Center in Los Angeles. Departure for the West Coast is scheduled for Sept. 17. Atlantis will head for display near the Kennedy Space Center on Nov. 2.
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