CSExtra – Friday, June 29, 2012
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Friday’s CSExtra offers the latest reporting and commentary on space related activities under way around the world. China’s three member Shenzhou 9 crew descends safely to Earth following a 13-day mission that included the nation’s first manual space docking. U. S., Russian and European astronauts prepare to descent to Earth early Sunday, ending a 193-day trip to the International Space Station. In Silicon Valley, a team of experts turns to philanthropy to fund a mission to chart and track asteroids that pose a collision threat to the Earth. Saturn’s moon Titan harbors evidence of a global ocean, say scientists. In the U. S., sequestration threatens the viability of the nation’s weather satellite and Earth observing network of satellites. The fully assembled International Space Station has reached a promising junction for research, according to NASA. The Martian moon Phobos may hold clues to past Martian life, say experts. A look at the White House reaction to suggestions that a larger NASA budget would enrich innovation, improve the economy. .
1. From Spacefightnow.com: China’s Shenzhou 9 crew, Jing Haipeng, Liu Wang and Liu Yang, lands in the country’s northern region early Friday — late Thursday in the U. S., ending an historic 13-day mission for the Asian power. The flight to China’s orbiting Tiangong 1 space lab included the first manual docking by Chinese astronauts and the first space flight by a Chinese female astronaut, Liu Yang. http://www.spaceflightnow.com/china/shenzhou9/120629landing/
A. From Xinhuanet of China: Premier Wen Jiaboa and other Chinese leaders congratulate the Shenzhou 9 crew for a mission they declare a complete success. http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/china/2012-06/29/c_131684028.htm
B. From CNN: Among the Chinese, the Shenzhou 9 success awakens an urge to explore. http://edition.cnn.com/2012/06/28/world/asia/china-space-discovery-stout/index.html?hpt=hp_c1
2. From The Air & Space Museum Magazine: Sunday marks the scheduled return to Earth of the 29 Soyuz crew, Oleg Kononenko, Don Pettit and Andre Kuipers, following a 193-day mission to the International Space Station. Pettit, in addition to his regular duties, blossomed into one of the station’s most prolific blogger/photographers. The magazine offers a collection of the NASA astronaut’s reflections on the views out the station’s observation deck, his science experiments and life in space. Touchdown of the Russian Soyuz capsule with the U.S., Russian and European crew is scheduled for 4:14 a.m., EDT.
3. From The Los Angeles Times: In Silicon Valley, the B612 Foundation outlines a philanthropic/commercial strategy to identify up to a half million inner solar system asteroids with a potential to collide with the Earth. http://www.latimes.com/news/nation/nationnow/la-na-nn-asteroid-telescope-20120628,0,5547614.story
A. From Nature.com: Identifying the asteroid threat will depend on the volume of private donations. http://www.nature.com/news/private-foundation-plans-space-telescope-1.10918
4. From The Christian Science Monitor: Saturn’s moon Titan exhibits evidence of an ice covered ocean, comprised perhaps of water and/or ammonia. The finding adds to the intrigue of Titan, already found to host organics — the building blocks of life in a primordial Earth-like environment. http://www.csmonitor.com/Science/2012/0628/Life-on-Saturn-moon-Discovery-of-hidden-ocean-on-Titan-tantalizes.-video
A. From Discovery.com: Saturn’s moon Titan has qualities similar to those of an early, pre-biotic Earth. http://news.discovery.com/space/cassini-titan-oceans-120628.html#mkcpgn=rssnws1
5. From The Orlando Sentinel: In an op-ed, Marion Blakey, president of the Aerospace Industries Association, outlines the issues facing underfunded U S. initiatives focused on weather prediction and Earth observation. They are at added jeopardy if budget cuts included in the sequestration measure are allow to go into effect, Blakey writes. http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/opinion/os-ed-weather-satellites-nasa-062912-20120628,0,7544451.story
6. From Space.com: The U. S. led International Space Station has reached a promising juncture in its ability to support science research, according to participants on the topic at a Denver conference. http://www.space.com/16346-space-station-science-crossroads.html
7. From the Coalition for Space Exploration: The Martian moon Phobos could hold evidence of extraterrestrial life that originated on Mars, say Purdue University researchers. http://spacecoalition.com/blog/moon-of-mars-%e2%80%93-rife-with-life
8. From Spacepolitics.com: What does the White House think of a proposal from U. S. astrophysicist Neil de Grasse Tyson that NASA’s budget be doubled? Tyson spoke out earlier this year on the value of spending 1 percent of the U. S. budget on space exploration as a means of improving education, U. S. technical prowess and the economy. http://www.spacepolitics.com/2012/06/28/a-penny-for-nasa-thats-what-that-petition-was-worth/
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