CSExtra – Thursday, January 31, 2013
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Thursday’s CSExtra offers the latest reporting and commentary on space related activities from around the world. In Florida, a United Launch Alliance Atlas V starts a NASA Tracking and Data Relay Satellite on its way to geosynchronous orbit. A look at the difficult recovery faced by the families of the shuttle Columbia astronauts, who perished 10 years ago Friday. South Korea emerges as a space power this week. Canada’s space program struggles with spending cuts. Some experts question the significance of Iran’s primate launch earlier this week. Concern lingers over NASA’s budget outlook and the future of the agency’s Mars exploration program. Lockheed Martin teams with Sierra Nevada on the Dream Chaser, a participant in NASA’s commercial crew initiative. The physics of space bubbles.
1. From Spaceflightnow.com: TDRS-K, the first of a new generation of NASA communications satellites, lifts off atop an Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., late Wednesday. The satellite will support communications for International Space Station crews, the Hubble Space Telescope as well as U. S. Earth observations spacecraft.
2. From The Associated Press via The Washington Post: Friday will mark the 10th anniversary of shuttle Columbia’s fatal breakup over East Texas as the seven astronauts aboard headed for a landing at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. The Columbia astronauts left wives, husbands and a dozen children behind. For all, recovery has been difficult.
A. From the Jerusalem Post: A decade after the Columbia tragedy claimed the life of Israel’s first astronaut, Ilan Ramon, the country’s space agency looks to a second flight for a native astronaut.
3. From CNN.com: Earlier this week, South Korea launched a satellite into orbit from its own boundaries for the first time. Some believe the launch signals a space race with North Korea, China and Japan. China plans the launching of a lunar lander later this year.
A. From the Yonhap News Agency of South Korea: The U. S. State Department acknowledges a successful satellite launch by South Korea, while drawing a distinction with North Korea’s weapons oriented space program and nuclear ambitions.
B. From China Daily: China acknowledges South Korea’s entry into the space age.
4. From Space.com: The Canadian Space Agency, facing budget cuts, struggles with uncertainty over its future, particularly in its human spaceflight programs.
5. From Discovery.com: Earlier this week, Iranian leaders reported the successful launch of a primate into suborbital space. Some western experts discount the significance of the accomplishment, and one believes it’s an indication of competition among Iran, China and India to gain an edge in space.
6. From The Pasadena Star-News, of California: Among those close to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, concern grows over NASA’s budget and the future of the agency’s Mars exploration program. Much of the anxiety is focused on uncertain plans for a robotic mission to gather rocks and soil from Mars for return to Earth and analysis.
7. From Spacepolicyonline.com: Lockheed Martin joins Sierra Nevada in the development of the Dream Chaser, the lone winged entry in NASA’s commercial crew initiative. The competitors include Boeing’s CST-100 and the SpaceX Dragon. Dream Chaser is looking to the Atlas V as its launch vehicle.
8. From The Houston Chronicle: The physics of water bubbles in space.
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