CSExtra – Thursday, September 20, 2012
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Thursday’s CSExtra offers the latest reporting and commentary on space related activities from around the world. Endeavour, NASA’s retired space shuttle orbiter, begins a closely followed Florida to California trek atop a Boeing 747 carrier aircraft on Wednesday, with an overnight stop in Houston. Arctic Sea ice levels reach a record low due to rising temperatures, say scientists. On Mars, NASA’s Curiosity rover turns to its first contact science target. Astronomers combine the Hubble Space Telescope’s observing powers with extraordinary physics to identify the youngest galaxy. China balks at identifying a target date for a human lunar landing. Poland triples the nation’s space investment. Will religion play a role in shaping the first interstellar voyage? House legislation clarifies the ownership rights of astronauts and the equipment assigned to them for their missions.
1. From Spaceflightnow.com: NASA’s Endeavour became the final shuttle orbiter to fly out of the Kennedy Space Center and into retirement on Wednesday. After an overnight stay in Houston, Tex., Endeavour will head for the Los Angeles area. Endeavour is headed for public display at the California Science Center in Los Angeles in October. http://www.spaceflightnow.com/shuttle/sts134/120919depart/
A. From The Houston Chronicle: Orbiter Endeavour’s Wednesday night stopover in Houston is a hit with space enthusiasts. http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/article/Thousands-gather-for-chance-to-see-shuttle-3877195.php
B. From Collectspace.com: Endeavour’s journey from Florida to Texas documented with photos. http://www.collectspace.com/news/news-091912b.html
C. From ABCNEWS.com: NASA’s Shuttle Carrier Aircraft, with the retired orbiter Endeavour fixed atop, will circle low over Phoenix, Ariz., on its way from Houston to Los Angeles. Phoenix is home to Mark Kelly, the commander of Endeavour’s final spaceflight, and his wife, Gabrielle Giffords, the former congresswoman and target of an assassination attempt. NASA also adds Austin, Tex., to its list of fly over destinations. http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/technology/2012/09/space-shuttle-endeavour-gabby-giffords-asks-nasa-to-fly-it-over-tucson/
D. From The Los Angeles Times: Will Endeavour’s arrival in the Los Angeles area on Friday create a traffic jam? Some public officials worry that curious motorists could bring traffic to a momentary halt. http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2012/09/shuttle-endeavour-flyover-could-jam-la-freeway-traffic.html
2. From The New York Times: The Arctic Sea has just recorded a record seasonal loss of ice, the National Snow and Ice Data Center reported on Wednesday. Record keeping with satellite observations began in the 1970s, say scientists who attribute the change to rising temperatures. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/20/science/earth/arctic-sea-ice-stops-melting-but-new-record-low-is-set.html
3. From CBS News.com: NASA’s Curiosity science team selects a rock on Mars to carry out the mission’s first “contact science.” http://www.cbsnews.com/network/news/space/home/spacenews/files/091912_msl_update.html
4. From The New Scientist: At Johns Hopkins University, a researcher combines the viewing prowess of the Hubble Space Telescope and the magic of gravitational lensing to image the oldest known star system, a galaxy that formed 13.2 billion years ago, or a brief 400,000 years after the theorized big bang. http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn22286-most-distant-galaxy-hails-from-mysterious-cosmic-dawn.html
5. From Xinhuahnet of China: China’s space experts hedge on setting a date for a human lunar landing, with a base to follow. http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/sci/2012-09/19/c_131861211.htm
6. From Space News: Poland triples space spending to spur a listless economy. http://www.spacenews.com/civil/120919-poland-tripling-space-spending.html
7. From Space.com: What role should religion play in the preparations for the first human interstellar mission? The 100 year Starship Symposium addressed the question earlier this month in Houston. http://www.space.com/17659-interstellar-travel-religion-conflict.html
8. From Spacepolicyonline.com: A U. S. House passed measure grants NASA astronauts ownership rights to equipment flown on their missions. http://www.spacepolicyonline.com/news/house-passes-bill-to-let-astronauts-keep-certain-artifacts-from-their-spaceflights
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