CSExtra – Thursday, November 8, 2012
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Thursday’s CSExtra offers the latest reporting and commentary on space related activities from around the world. A look at how the just completed U. S. elections might influence NASA’s future. Astronomers find a “super Earth” that could have an ocean. Russia and Vietnam forge cooperative agreements in space. Russia probes alleged losses linked to the country’s GLONASS global navigation network. In Seattle, another piece of NASA’s shuttle history, a full scale fuselage mock up, goes on public display this weekend. United Launch Alliance prepares an Atlas 5 launch pad in Florida for potential human spaceflight use. A look at the B612 Foundation’s aspirations of charting near Earth asteroids. A look back at Moonrise, a proposed mission to gather samples from a gigantic impact basin on the moon’s far side.
1. From Spacepolitics.com: The next two months could bring changes to U. S. space policy, as lawmakers and the White House strive for a post election agreement on a 2013 budget and a budget deficit reduction strategy. Without concessions from each, NASA along with the rest of the federal government faces the “fiscal cliff” in early January, automatic spending cuts that could trim 8 percent from the space agency’s budget.
A. From Space.com: Another post election outcome in the U. S. may bring confirmation from NASA that a human mission to the lunar environment is in the works.
B. From Science Insider: The House Science, Space and Technology Committee, which is responsible for NASA oversight, faces changes in membership as a new Congress convenes in January. Ralph Hall, a Texas Republican, will step aside as chairman because of term limit provisions. Ten members of the panel were defeated in their bids for re-election.
C. From Collectspace.com: Jose Hernandez, an aerospace engineer, former NASA astronaut and the son of migrant farm workers, loses in his bid to join Congress from the Stockton, Calif., area.
2. From USA Today: Astronomers discover a “super Earth” sized planet circling its star in an orbit that may support the presence of a liquid ocean. The alien world is one of six planets circling HD 40307, a star 43 light years away.
3. From Voice of Russia: Top Russian and Vietnamese officials agree to cooperate on space, energy and other areas.
4. From Itar-Tass of Russia: Authorities in Russia pursue financial losses associated with the development of the GLONASS global navigation satellite system.
5. From The Seattle Times: A public display featuring NASA’s former Space Shuttle Trainer opens Saturday at the Museum of Flight in Seattle. The trainer, once housed at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, is a full scale replica of the shuttle’s fuselage. Like the actual orbiters Discovery, Endeavour and Atlantis, the big trainer departed NASA for a display venue after the agency retired the shuttle program in 2011.
6. From Spaceflightnow.com: United Launch Alliance prepares its Cape Canaveral, Fla., Atlas 5 launch pad for human missions.
7. From The Huffington Post: NASA participates as the B612 Foundation, a Silicon Valley nonprofit, ramps up a Near Earth Object mapping mission to chart and track potential asteroid collision threats.
8. From Wired.com: A look back at Moonrise, a proposed U S. robotic mission to gather and return samples from the South Pole Aitken Basin of the moon. The huge depression was created by an asteroid strike during the solar system’s early era.
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