CSExtra – Friday, October 5, 2012
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Friday’s CSExtra offers the latest reporting and commentary on space related activities from around the world. On Mars, NASA’s Curiosity rover prepares to scoop up its first sample of Martian soil. Russia looks to 2020-21 for a second attempt at a mission to retrieve soil samples from the Martian moon Phobos. In Naples, Italy, China’s first female astronaut discusses her mission to the Tiangong-1 space station earlier this year. SpaceX readies a Falcon 9/Dragon launcher and capsule for the Sunday launch of a re-supply mission to the International Space Station. United Launch Alliance successfully launches a U. S. Global Positioning System satellite early Thursday. CBS’s Big Bang Theory strives for realism on space.
1. From The Los Angeles Times: NASA’s Curiosity rover is poised in Gale Crater to scoop up and analyze its first sample of soil, mission scientists said Thursday. http://www.latimes.com/news/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-rocknest-curiosity-mars-rover-scoop-20121004,0,1648197.story.
2. From Spacepolicyonline.com: Russia intends to make a second attempt at the Phobos Grunt Mars mission that never departed Earth orbit after it was launched late last year. The mission was to retrieve a sample of the Martian moon Phobos and return the materials back to Earth for analysis. Russia plans to try again in 2020-21.
3. From Space.com: Liu Yang, China’s first female astronaut, talks about her mission at the International Astronautics Congress in Naples, Italy this week. She was impressed most of all by the Earth’s beauty from orbit.
4. From The Associated Press via the Washington Post: SpaceX is poised to launch the first of its contract re-supply missions to the International Space Station late Sunday. The lift off of the Falcon 9/Dragon mission is set for 8:35 p.m., EDT. SpaceX carried out a successful NASA-sponsored cargo demonstration mission to the ISS in May. Most of Dragon’s cargo is research hardware. http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/spacex-encore-private-company-set-to-launch-2nd-dragon-capsule-with-space-station-supplies/2012/10/04/5642212a-0e48-11e2-ba6c-07bd866eb71a_story.html
5. From Spaceflightnow.com: A United Launch Alliance Delta 4 rocket lofts a GPS system replacement satellite into orbit for the U. S. Air Force on Thursday. http://www.spaceflightnow.com/delta/d361/
6. From The Houston Chronicle: Youthful perceptions of NASA, space exploration and the CBS sitcom The Big Bang Theory. NASA astronaut Mike Massimino is involved in making the show’s episodes on space travel realistic. http://blog.chron.com/sciguy/2012/10/is-nasa-getting-its-best-publicity-from-a-tv-sitcom-these-days/
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