CSExtra – Monday, July 8, 2013
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Monday’s CSExtra offers the latest reporting and commentary on space related activities from across the globe, plus activities from the weekend. Russian reports suggest the country’s space apparatus is in serious disarray. Is the U.S. spending enough on civil space? NASA’s Opportunity Mars rover, still going strong on the red planet a decade after launching, reaches the midway point of its latest trek. Great Britain makes plans to join in the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence. Astronauts aboard the International Space Station prepare for a spacewalk. Seaweed tracking satellite imagery assists authorities in Galveston, Tex., in their efforts to counter a hurricane surge. Saturn’s rings star in new IMAX feature about the NASA-led Cassini mission. A look at space policy events scheduled for the week ahead.
1. From Itar-Tass, of Russia, July 5: Russia’s space industry is in trouble, according to an op-ed. While revenues are growing, the leadership is increasingly ineffective, as evidenced by a series of launch failures and other problems, according to an Audit Chamber report. The report emerges in the aftermath of a spectacular July 2, Proton rocket failure with three Russian global navigation satellites on board.
A. From Ria Novosti, of Russia, July 7: Following a spectacular explosion of a Proton rocket earlier this month, Russia says it plans to maintain plans for two upcoming missions involving the International Space Station, the July 27 launch of a Soyuz rocket with a Progress cargo vessel and a late 2013 launch of a Progress with Russia’s Nauka Multipurpose Laboratory Module.
B. From Florida Today, July 6: Diligence, and good fortune, have permitted a decade of largely successful rocket operations in the United States, notes columnist John Kelly. Russia faces reforms similar to those forged in the U. S. after a series of rocket disasters in the 1990s, he writes.
C. From Ria Novosti, July 7: Millions in Russia go without broadcast television services last week because of a major telecommunications satellite failure. Officials blame an antenna alignment issue for the difficulties with the spacecraft launched in 2009.
2. From AmericaSpace.com, July 7: Is the U.S. spending enough on civil space? An op-ed compares the current vs. past NASA spending and the missions.
3. From Space.com, July 5: NASA’s Mars Opportunity rover is still going strong a decade after it was launched. The golf cart sized rover is midway in a trek along the rim of the Endeavour crater. Opportunity was launched 10 years ago Sunday and reached the Martian surface with its twin, Spirit, in January 2004. Both rovers were expected to operate for just 90 days.
4. From Discovery News, July 5: Great Britain plans to join the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence. In the U. S., the search for signals broadcast by intelligent aliens is restricted to support from private sources. Great Britain will look to public funding as a resource if the plan goes forward.
A. From USA Today, July 6: Aliens, if they are out there, may be too busy to listen for Earthly broadcast signals, speculates an Italian SETI expert. Claudio Maccone believes these extraterrestrials are communicating through a galactic Internet.
5. From Florida Today: Astronauts Chris Cassidy, of NASA, and Luca Parmitano, of the European Space Agency, will team for the first of two spacewalks on Tuesday. The two men are prepared to address a range of tasks, including the extension of power and data cables for a new Russian science module expected later this year.
6. From The Associated Press via The Washington Post, July 6: In Galveston, Tex., researchers from Texas A&M University used satellite imagery to track the movements of ocean going sea weed. Experts believe the vegetation can be harvested and mixed with sand to improve protection against storm surges like those experienced during Hurricane Ike in 2008.
7. From Time, July 5: Coming soon to IMAX theaters, In Saturn’s Rings, a documentary that assembles stunning imagery from NASA’s Cassini mission.
8. From Spacepolicyonline.com, July 7: A look at major space related activities scheduled for the week ahead.
A. From Spacepolitics.com, July 7: Wednesday could be a key legislative day for NASA in the House as oversight panels consider authorization and appropriations measures. The deliberations have been contentious so far.
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