CSExtra – Monday, March 19, 2012
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Monday’s CSExtra offers the latest reporting and commentary on space related activities from around the world, including a roundup of weekend events. North Korea’s plans for an April satellite launch cause international unease. India considers a Mars orbital mission probe, with a launch as soon as November 2013. CBS’s 60 Minutes features SpaceX founder Elon Musk. A lost Russian communications satellite draws the interest of a salvage team. NASA holds off on the launch of the NuStar mission. U. S. researchers go airborne to measure Greenland and Arctic sea ice. The forecast on the early Earth: clear, then hazy. A look at space related activities planned for the week ahead.
1. From Space.com, Mar. 16: A March 16 announcement from nuclear capable North Korea creates widespread unease. North Korea announces it will launch an Earth observing satellite, between April 12-16. Western experts suspect the launch is a cover for a missile test. http://www.space.com/14945-north-korea-rocket-launches-space-program.html
A. From Itar-Tass of Russia, Mar.16: Russia’s foreign ministry calls on North Korea to cancel the satellite mission. http://www.itar-tass.com/en/c154/368244.html
B. From Spacepolicyonline.com, Mar. 16: The U. S. State Department calls the North Korean launch provocative and in violation of two U. N. Security Council resolutions that prohibit North Korea from using ballistic missile technologies. http://www.spacepolicyonline.com/news/north-korea-plans-to-launch-satellite-next-month
2. From The Hindu of India, Mar 16: The Indian Space Research Organization’s latest budget includes funding for a Mars orbiter. The probe would study the Martian atmosphere. A possible November 2013 launch is under consideration. http://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/technology/article3003109.ece
3. From CBSNews.com, Mar. 18: “60 minutes” profiles SpaceX founder Elon Musk and his dream of commercial human spaceflight. “What we’re hoping to do with Space X is to push the envelope and provide a reason for people to be excited and inspired to be human,” Musk tells correspondent Scott Pelley. “I think it’s important that humanity become a multi-planet species.” http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-18560_162-57399210/spacex-entrepreneurs-race-to-space/?tag=pop;stories
4. From Discovery.com, Mar. 17: Russia plans to guide the stranded Express AM4 telecommunications satellite out of orbit starting March 20. The spacecraft was stranded in a useless orbit in August. http://news.discovery.com/space/russian-satellite-controlled-descent-120217.html#mkcpgn=rssnws1
A. From Aviation Week & Space Technology, Mar. 16: A alliance of Russian agencies and companies discuss a possible salvage of the Express AM4 satellite for use as a broadband link for scientists working in Antarctica. The spacecraft can no longer reach its intended geosynchronous orbit, but a compromise orbit could provide a communications 10-year link. http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/story_channel.jsp?channel=space&id=news/asd/2012/03/16/11.xml&headline=Stranded%20Satellite%20Could%20Be%20Salvaged
5. From Space News, March 16: NASA holds off on the launch of NuStar. Experts are assessing the mission’s Pegasus launch vehicle for possible software issues. The Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array mission, which will study black holes, neutron stars and supernova remnants, had been set for a March 21 air launch over the Pacific. http://www.spacenews.com/launch/120316-delay-pegasus-launch-nustar.html
6. From MSNBC.com, Mar 17: NASA’s Operation IceBridge using a P-3 Orion aircraft is measuring Greenland ice cover as well as Arctic sea ice. The IceBridge mission is filling a gap between a pair of NASA Earth observing satellite missions, ICEsat, which stopped collecting data in 2009, and ICAsat-2, which could launch in 2016. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/46769668
7. From Discovery.com, Mar. 18: It was clear, then hazy on the early Earth. Conditions were oxygen rich, then hazy with methane — not unlike present-day Titan, the moon of Saturn — during the two cycles. The extrapolations come from studies of South African rocks and soil, which may reflect early microbial activity. The rocks, ranging up to 2.5 billion years in age, suggest that cyanobacteria in the Earth’s oceans produced the oxygen we breathe today. http://news.discovery.com/earth/early-earth-atmosphere-120318.html#mkcpgn=rssnws1
8. From the Baltimore Sun, Mar. 18: Johns Hopkins University offers a new undergraduate minor in space research and engineering to help students like Jessica Noviello find careers in the field. Successful completion of the coursework includes a space-related internship. http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/breaking/bs-md-hopkins-space-minor-20120318,0,1967318.story
9. From Spacepolicyonline.com, March 18: A look at space policy related events scheduled for the week ahead. http://www.spacepolicyonline.com/news/events-of-interest-week-of-march-18-23-2012
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