CSExtra – Monday, December 10, 2012
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Monday’s CSExtra offers the latest reporting and commentary on space related matters, including a roundup from the weekend. NASA and NOAA satellites offer drought indicators. NASA’s role in growing the national economy. Talk of life on Mars raises questions of humanity’s response. December features a pair of anniversaries for NASA’s Apollo program. Gullies on the large asteroid Vesta stir debate. Auditors raise new concerns over the James Webb Space Telescope. More problems for Russia’s Proton rocket upper stage. Multiverses. SpaceX rolls out commemorative mission patches. The Geminid meteor show promises a memorable December display.
1. From MSNBC.com, Dec. 7: NASA, NOAA satellites offer drought indicators from plant stress signs picked up by NASA, NOAA satellites. Researchers at the U. S. Department of Agriculture are leading the effort.
2. From Forbes, Dec. 8: NASA should be focused on activities that grow the national economy, according to an op-ed from Jonathan Salem Baskin.
3. From The Huffington Post, Dec. 7: Thoughts of life on Mars trigger a discussion on humanity’s response.
A. From Spaceflightnow.com, Dec. 9: The presence of clay minerals offers more evidence of water on Mars in the past. NASA’s Opportunity rover, which landed on Mars in early 2004, is evaluating the clay content of Endeavour crater on the red planet.
4. From The Seattle Times, Dec. 7: Bill Anders, one of three Apollo 8 crew members, recalls the historic voyage 44 years ago this month. Frank Borman, James Lovell and Anders became the first humans to leave Earth orbit as they blasted off on a Christmas journey around the moon.
A. From The Houston Chronicle, Dec. 7: December also marks the 40th anniversary of humanity’s last mission to the moon. Apollo 17 commander Gene Cernan reflects.
B. From Collectspace.com via Space.com, Dec. 7: Apollo 17 commander Gene Cernan, lunar module pilot Harrison “Jack” Schmitt and Ron Evans lifted off on mankind’s most recent journey to the moon on Dec. 7, 1972.
5. From Discovery.com, Dec. 7: NASA’s Dawn mission spots two kinds of gullies gracing the crater walls of the large asteroid Vesta. One resembles the channels formed by flowing water on the Earth. The findings were presented at last week’s American Geophysical Union conference in San Francisco.
6. From Florida Today, Dec. 8: Columnist John Kelly finds new cause for concern for the James Webb Space Telescope in the findings of a new General Accountability Office report. The report finds too many pre-launch tests scheduled too close to the planned 2018 launching of the designated successor to the Hubble Space Telescope.
7. From Space News, Dec. 9: A Russian Proton rocket fails to place a domestic communications satellite in the proper orbit — a sign Russia’s aerospace ills linger.
8. From Space.com, Dec. 7: For those who find one universe is not enough, five reasons why we may live in a multiverse.
9. From Collectspace.com, Dec. 7: SpaceX follows a NASA tradition with the introduction of patches to commemorate its commercial missions to the International Space Station.
10. From Space.com, Dec. 7: December’s Geminid meteor shower may offer the best sky show of the year. The peak on Dec. 13, coincides with a new moon, which means darker skies.
11. From Spacepolicyonline.com, Dec. 10: A look at space policy activities scheduled for the week ahead.
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