CSExtra – Friday, December 21, 2012
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Friday’s CSExtra offers the latest reporting and commentary on space related activities from around the world. U.S., Canadian and Russian astronauts prepare to dock with the International Space Station early Wednesday. In Washington, the National Research Council begins a long running study on future U. S. human space flight options. End of the world? Not so fast. In New York City, the shuttle test orbiter Enterprise undergoes repairs of damage from Super Storm Sandy. SpaceShipTwo takes flight for the first time with propulsion and thermal protection systems in place. Extreme weather dominates in 2012. Too much light has our bodies yearning for darkness.
1. From Space.com: A Russian Soyuz spacecraft carrying NASA astronaut Tom Marshburn, Russian cosmonaut Roman Romanenko and Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield was on course for an early Wednesday docking with the International Space Station. The three men lifted off Monday on a two day transit. The linkup is scheduled for 9:12 a.m. EST.
A. From Spaceflightnow.com: Updates on the Soyuz crew’s pre-docking rendezvous maneuvers.
2. From Spacepolicyonline.com: In Washington, the National Research Council kicks off a study into the future of U. S. human space exploration. Experts caution NASA could be in jeopardy as policy makers attempt to deal with the nation’s deficit. The study was set in motion by the 2010 NASA Authorization Act.
3. From Space.com: Many harbor concerns of a catastrophe on Friday based on interpretations of the Mayan calendar. The Slooh Space Camera is offering live web views of near-Earth space for those who wish to keep tabs, though experts have offered assurances there is no threat looming.
4. From Collectspace.com: NASA’s shuttle test orbiter Enterprise undergoes repairs in New York City. The test shuttle was slightly damaged during Super Storm Sandy while at the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum. The museum re-opens on Friday.
5. From Discovery.com: Virgin Galactic equipped its SpaceShipTwo with propulsion and heat shielding systems for a test glide this week in the skies over Mojave, Calif. The testing is part of an effort to develop a passenger craft capable of suborbital space flight. Powered flight tests could begin in the spring of 2013.
6. From The Associated Press via The Houston Chronicle: In 2012, the United States endured a round of costly extreme weather related events from — from wildfires to Sandy’s late season hurricane furry. For a second year in a row, the nation’s weather is one for the record books.
7. From The Los Angeles Times: In a 24 hour a day culture, the loss of darkness raises concerns for human health as well those in search of a rich view of the night sky.
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