CSExtra – Friday, November 16, 2012
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Friday’s CSExtra offers the latest reporting and commentary on space related activities from around the world. Using the combined powers of the Hubble Space Telescope and the Spitzer Infrared Space Telescope, astronomers find a new “earliest” star system. On Mars, NASA’s Curiosity rover finds radiation levels approximate those found in low Earth orbit, a surprise. In the U. S. House, three congressman vie for chairmanship of the Science, Space and Technology Committee. Space station crews struggle to raise the weekly average number of hours devoted to science and technology demonstrations, top NASA and program officials tell the NASA Advisory Committee in Washington. Is President Obama pulling his punches on human influenced climate change? Also of note, NASA astronaut Sunita Williams, Japanese astronaut Akihiko Hoshide and Russian cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko expect to return to Earth from a four month expedition to the International Space Station on Sunday night. Their Soyuz spacecraft is scheduled to descend by parachute into Kazakhstan just before 9 p.m., EST.
1. From Space.com: Using the combined resources of the Hubble Space Telescope and the Spitzer Infrared Space Telescope, the nascent star system MACS0647-JD lurks 13.3 billion light year away. The theorized big bang is dated at 13.7 billion years ago. Astronomers were assisted by the gravitational contribution of a collection of star systems which provided a gravitational lens.
2. From Space.com: Possible good news from NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover. Radiation levels measured so far on the Martian surface approximate those measured in low Earth orbit. Radiation levels measured during Curiosity’s cruise between the Earth and Mars were twice as much, say scientists on Thursday. Bottom line, the health risks facing Martian explorers may be less than previously believed.
A. From The Associated Press via the Washington Post: Curiosity will soon roll towards its next destination in Gale Crater.
B. From USA Today: Though not captured on video, Curiosity has been buffeted by dust devils as its instruments sample the thin Martian atmosphere.
3. From Science Insider: Three members of the U. S. are vying for chairmanship of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee, which has oversight responsibilities for NASA’s direction. They include Lamar Smith, of Texas; Dana Rohrabacher, of California; and James Sensenbrenner, of Wisconsin. One will succeed Ralph Hall, of Texas.
4. From Spacepolicyonline.com: Finding time to carry out research on the six person International Space Station is a challenge amid the demands of daily maintenance and operations; occasional spacewalks and the comings and goings of supply missions, according to NASA’s spaceflight chief and space station program official. The goal is an average of 35 hours of science per week; the current average is 26 hours.
5. From The New York Times and DotEarth: In his first post-election news conference this week, President Obama pulls his punches on human influenced climate change.
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.