CSExtra – Friday, August 3, 2012
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Friday’s CSExtra offers the latest reporting and commentary on space related activities from around the world. NASA nears major Mars moments. A report from NASA’s Mars Program Planning Group shaping future exploration around a reduction in spending will be complete by the end of August. Meanwhile, anticipation grows as NASA’s flagship Mars Science Laboratory/Curiosity rover closes in on a landing early Monday. Arianespace successfully launches two communications satellites. Russia looks to proposals for a new moon rocket. Russia and Great Britain talk cooperation in space. Healthy markets await commercial suborbital rocket operations, according to a report prepared for the FAA.
1. From Spacepolitics.com: At NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Doug McCuistion, the head of NASA’s Mars Program, says recommendations for future Mars exploration missions should take shape by late August. The re-planning was initiated earlier this year in response to spending cuts and a decision to withdraw from a pair of joint Mars missions with the European Space Agency. http://www.spacepolitics.com/2012/08/02/mars-replanning-group-to-deliver-report-this-month/
2. From Space.com: The Mars Science Laboratory landing early Monday may be NASA’s biggest public moment since the agency’s final shuttle mission in mid-2011. The success of a complex landing strategy will be revealed Monday at 1:31 a.m., EDT, on the big screen in New York City’s Times Square, at smaller community gatherings, around the nation, on NASA-TV and other venues. Space.com offers a selection of opportunities to follow the action. http://www.space.com/16868-mars-rover-landing-curiosity-events-webcasts.html
A. From MSNBC and Cosmic Log: NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory rover is carrying 17 high tech cameras that promise full color views of the Martian terrain. The website explains what they will transmit back to Earth and when. http://cosmiclog.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/08/02/13080174-what-well-see-from-mars-and-when?lite
B. A. From Sky and Telescope: Mars is a tough place to land. Only six probes have reached the Martian landscape since 1971, when a spacecraft launched by the former Soviet Union’s touched down, then went silent. Fifteen landers have been launched. http://www.skyandtelescope.com/news/Martian-Landings-Then-and-Now-164759246.html
C. From USA Today: Once safely on the ground at Mars in Gale Crater, NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory rover will turn its attention to the three mile high peak Mount Sharp. Sharp received its name, how? http://content.usatoday.com/communities/sciencefair/post/2012/08/mount-sharp-on-mars-at-odds-with-official-name/1#.UBriVESbRZg
D. From the Los Angeles Times: What the Earth has been telling us about Mars. John Grotzinger, NASA MSL project scientists, has been studying the similarities. http://www.latimes.com/news/science/la-sci-mars-curiosity-jpl-john-grotzinger-20120802,0,4530050.story
E. From The Washington Post: Eleven things about NASA’s MSL mission that will help to explain what is at stake. http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/nasas-mars-curiosity-11-things-you-may-not-know/2012/08/02/gJQA2VCYSX_gallery.html#photo=2
F. From The Smithsonian.com: NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory prepares to deal with a social as well as a traditional media storm. You can’t get much closer than this. http://blogs.smithsonianmag.com/smartnews/2012/08/how-to-follow-every-second-of-the-curiosity-mars-mission-despite-nasas-social-media-lockdown/
2. From AFP via Yahoo.com: A European Ariane 5 rocket launches telecommunications satellites for global provider Intelsat and Avanti Communications of Europe. http://news.yahoo.com/ariane-rocket-two-telecom-satellites-lifts-off-235919890.html
3. From Ria Novosti of Russia: Russia seeks proposals for a heavy lift rocket that can propel humans to the moon. http://en.rian.ru/science/20120802/174931753.html
A. From Ria Novosti of Russia: Russia and Britain talk cooperation in space. http://en.rian.ru/science/20120802/174935700.html.
4. From Spacepolicyonline.com: A consultant’s report, prepared for the FAA, predicts a healthy market for suborbital rockets. The study examined eight markets and included some caveats. http://www.spacepolicyonline.com/news/tauri-group-forecasts-robust-suborbital-market-house-hearing-examines-issues
5. From The New York Times: “Why is there something, rather than nothing?” It’s an old question, with some new answers. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/05/books/review/why-does-the-world-exist-by-jim-holt.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all
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