CSExtra – Monday, October 1, 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 offerings. Russia confronts a space industry decline. Presidential candidates strike a similar note on space. Solar activity invigorates Northern Lights. SpaceX readies a second milestone supply mission to the International Space Station. U. S. ” big science” walks a Congressional tight rope. Surgery in space. An Earth themed deep space propulsion source. Global warming and asteroid dust.
1. From NBC News.com, Sept. 28: Russia confronts a domestic space industry decline, whose dimensions have begun to sound a bitter public note. Russia’s space technology is stuck in the previous century, warns one cosmonaut. The nation’s space aspirations are unclear, and the industry lacks appeal to the brightest talent, say critics. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/49217472/ns/technology_and_science-space/#.UGdr1pjR7Lp
A. From Itar-Tass of Russia, Oct. 1: Long-standing issues in quality control plague Russia’s aerospace industry, notes the country’s deputy prime minister, Dmitry Rogozin. http://www.itar-tass.com/en/c154/533395.html
B. From Space News, Sept. 28: France will boost its contribution to the 20 nation European Space Agency in 2013. A 3.7 percent increase will allow France to retain its current share of agency programs. http://www.spacenews.com/civil/120928-france-boost-esa-contribution.html
C. From Space News, Sept. 28: In Japan, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries takes over responsibility for launches of the H-2B rocket from Japan’s government, a move that will introduce the booster to the global commercial marketplace. http://www.spacenews.com/launch/120928-japan-privatizes-h2b.html
D. From Reuters.com, Sept. 28: In the U. S., the Pentagon awards United Launch Alliance a $1.17 billion contract for Atlas 5 and Delta 4 launches through the 2013 fiscal year. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/09/28/us-lockheed-boeing-launches-idUSBRE88R1HY20120928?feedType=RSS&feedName=innovationNews&rpc=43
E. From Florida Today, Sept. 28: United Space Alliance, NASA’s shuttle program prime contractor, lays off 157 personnel, most of them in Florida, as activities to distribute the retired orbiters to museums around the nation wind down. Only Atlantis, which will move to the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in November, remains. USA’s workforce drops to 2,263 with the reduction. http://www.floridatoday.com/article/20120928/NEWS01/120928009/United-Space-Alliance-cuts-more-jobs-today?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|Space%20News
2. From Florida Today, Oct. 1: President Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney differ little in their views of space exploration, while speaking of the topic infrequently, say experts. One exception: Republicans say additional spending is unnecessary. http://www.floridatoday.com/article/20121001/NEWS05/309290051/Obama-s-Romney-s-visions-space-vary-little
3. From Spaceweather.com, Oct. 1: The Earth’s magnetosphere is struck twice on Sunday by Coronal Mass Ejections from the sun, illuminating auroral activity around the Arctic Circle. http://www.spaceweather.com/
4. From Spaceflightnow.com, Sept 29: SpaceX prepares for its first supply mission to the International Space Station under the terms of a $1.6 billion NASA contract awarded in late 2008 with a weekend launch pad hot fire test. Lift off of a Falcon9/Dragon for the ISS from Cape Canaveral, Fla., is set for late Oct. 7. SpaceX carried out a successful demonstration mission to the ISS in May under NASA’s Commercial Orbital Transportation Systems program. www.spaceflightnow.com/falcon9/004/120929staticfire/
A. From Space.com, Sept. 28: The European Space Agency’s third Automated Transfer Vehicle departed the International Space Station late Friday. The craft will re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere on Oct. 2, ending a six month re-supply mission to the station. http://www.space.com/17832-huge-space-station-cargo-ship-undocks-x-wing.html
B. From Xinhuanet of China, Sept. 29: China launches an Earth observing satellite for Venezuela. http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/china/2012-09/29/c_131881721.htm
C. From NASAspaceflight.com, Sept. 28,: A commercial Ariane 5 rocket lifts European television and Indian telecommunications satellites into orbit from Kourou, French Guiana on Friday. http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2012/09/ariane-5-eca-launch-with-astra-2f-and-gsat-10-satellites/
5. From The New York Times, Sept. 30: It’s difficult to find larger “big science” in the U. S. than a fusion laser project at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. But there are some rivals, including NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, whose price is now forecast at $8 billion. A frugal Congress has them under a microscope. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/30/science/fusion-project-faces-a-frugal-congress.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
6. From New Scientist, Sept. 29: Medical experts work on surgical procedures suitable for use on humans during a deep space voyage. The Aqueous Immersion Surgical System is one of them. http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21528843.600-space-surgery-possible-with-zerogravity-tool.html
7. From Discovery.com, Sept. 28 : Discovery examines a potential interstellar spacecraft propulsion source, a stream of energy beamed from the Earth. http://news.discovery.com/space/beam-me-to-the-stars-scotty-120928.html#mkcpgn=rssnws1
8. From MSNBC.com, Sept. 29: Could asteroid dust counter global warming? Some experts believe so. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/49226984/ns/technology_and_science-science/#.UGhQrJjR7Lo
9. Spacepolicyonline.com, Sept. 30: A look ahead at major space related activities scheduled for the week ahead. http://www.spacepolicyonline.com/news/events-of-interest-week-of-october-1-5-2012
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