CSExtra – Thursday, December 13, 2012
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Thursday’s CSExtra offers the latest reporting and commentary on space related activities from across the globe. The Hubble Space Telescope spots seven galaxies that formed near the dawn of the universe. NASA’s Cassini mission finds evidence for a mini Nile-like river on Saturn’s moon, Titan. A day after North Korea completes a successful rocket launch, experts suggest the payload it placed in orbit has become unstable. Experts tell a House oversight panel that NASA is in need of a strategic road map orchestrated by the White House and Congress. In Alaska, authorities recover missing Apollo moon rock fragments. NASA deals with a multi-agency computer hacking incident. Addressing predictions that the world will soon end, based on the Mayan calendar.
1. From The Los Angeles Times: NASA’s 22-year-old Hubble Space Telescope spots the most distant galaxy cluster ever discovered. This collection of seven galaxies, which is 13.3 billion light years away, formed 380 million years after the big bang. Caltech astronomers led the effort. http://www.latimes.com/news/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-hubble-most-distant-galaxy-universe-cosmic-dawn-big-bang-20121212,0,3909411.story
A. From USA Today: Hubble squints to make this discovery at the limits of its optical capabilities. http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2012/12/12/hubble-cosmic-dawn-first-galaxy-oldest/1764455/
2. From Discovery.com: NASA’s Cassini spacecraft spots a small version of the Nile River on Titan, the large moon of Saturn that resembles a primordial Earth. http://news.discovery.com/space/titans-nile-river-discovered-121212.html#mkcpgn=rssnws1
3. From MSNBC.com: One day after North Korea marks a successful but globally provocative rocket launch, U. S. experts suggest the object placed in orbit by the booster is tumbling out of control. http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/12/12/15866530-north-korean-satellite-tumbling-out-of-control-us-officials-say?lite
4. From Florida Today: The House Science, Space and Technology Committee hosts a hearing on Wednesday in which experts suggest NASA is in need of better strategic direction from the White House and Congress. The committee suggests the agency deal with tight budgets by forging partnerships with the private sector, academia and other space-faring nations. U. S. civil space goals should be ambitious, yet technically feasible, according to a National Research Council report on NASA that served as a focus of the hearing. http://www.floridatoday.com/article/20121212/SPACE/121212027/House-hearing-examines-future-space-program?nclick_check=1
A. From Spacepolicyonline: The website offers links to statements and presentations from those who sponsored and participated in the House hearing. http://www.spacepolicyonline.com/news/links-to-documents-from-todays-house-committee-hearing
B. From the Houston Chronicle: Texas will have seven elected representatives on the House Science, Space and Technology Committee in the next session of Congress – the most from any state. The panel shapes science legislation, including NASA’s activities. http://blog.chron.com/txpotomac/2012/12/seven-texans-give-lone-star-state-outsized-clout-on-house-science-committee/
5. From Collectspace.com: In Alaska, small pieces of moon rock from NASA’s Apollo 11 mission that went missing are recovered. The materials disappeared 40 years ago. http://www.collectspace.com/news/news-121212a.html
6. From Space.com: New reports of computer hacking identify NASA, the Pentagon, and the Federal Reserve as victims. http://www.space.com/18878-ghostshell-data-breach-nasa-pentagon.html
7. From The New York Times: The Mayan calendar and the end of the world: The Times attempts to clear up some misconceptions, some of which have led to panic buying. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/13/opinion/collins-another-boom-year.html?_r=0