CSExtra – Top Space News for Tuesday, December 3
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Today’s CSExtra offers the latest reporting and commentary on space related activities from across the globe. Might the U.S. and China learn to cooperate in space? The answer may depend on the scope of U.S. ambitions. The launch of China’s Chang’e-3 lunar lander and rover, raises questions about future U.S. mission options. Teaming crucial to press new U.S. investments in research and development, including space. Canada announces new measures aligning the country’s industry with national space objectives. Europe embraces ambitious new X-ray and gravity wave missions. Comet ISON fades. The tale of a solar system twin. NASA marks 20th anniversary this week of urgent 1st Hubble Space Telescope repair mission. Connecticut museum to auction bronze work to fund student satellite project. Russia’s Putin replaces ROSCOSMOS with new state space development apparatus after string of failures. SpaceX looks to Tuesday for commercial communications satellite launching.
Human Deep Space Exploration
Space News (12/2): The U.S. and China may find an opening for cooperation as each sets a course for future human exploration, say experts. “To have leading space countries going their separate paths does not make sense in today’s world,” John Logsdon, director emeritus of the George Washington University Space Policy Institute, tells Space News. What worked for the U.S. and Russia, once adversaries and now working side by side on the final frontier, could work for the U.S. and China, notes Michael Griffin, a former NASA Administrator who made a landmark trip to China seven years ago. China will not be lured, however, unless U.S. objectives are sufficiently grand in scope, according to Griffin.
The Space Review (12/2): China’s early December launch of the Chang’e-3 lunar lander spotlights opportunities for future U.S. plans to return to the lunar surface for science, technology or geopolitical reasons. Essayist Dwayne Day looks at the options, including a robotic sample return mission to the South Pole Aitken Basin, new seismic sensors and rovers equipped to identify resources.
The Space Review (12/2): America’s best hope for reversing an economic decline in an era of ineffective national leadership is more investment in research and development, writes Eric R. Hedman, chief technology officer of Logic Design Corporation, in an essay. Those who favor more investment in space exploration must ally more closely with those who back other areas of R & D if they are to succeed in a difficult political environment, he adds.
Canada News Center (12/2): Canada’s minister of industry announces new measures to align the objectives of the nation’s aerospace industry and government in space research. Canada’s aerospace and space sectors contribute more than 170,000 well-paid jobs and over $27 billion to our economy every year,” said James Moore, Canada’s minister of industry. “The new measures announced today are the result of our close work with the industry to ensure that our Canadian companies can continue to compete internationally and be global leaders.”
Unmanned Deep Space Exploration
Spaceflightnow.com (12/2): The European Space Agency embraces future astrophysics mission projects, an X-ray observatory and a mission to explore gravity wave predictions dating back to Albert Einstein. The price tags are estimated at $1.3 billion each. Launches are planned for the 2028 and 2034 time frames.
National Public Radio (12/2): Comet Ison appears to have fragmented as it nudged close to the sun last Thursday, a NASA-led research team concluded Monday. All that’s left may be dust. Hope among amateur sky watchers that ISON might emerge in the night skies of the Northern Hemisphere, have faded.
NASA (12/2): With observations gathered by U.S. and European spacecraft like STEREO, the Solar Dynamics Observatory and SOHO, experts intended to piece together the life and demise of comet ISON.
Associated Press via Houston Chronicle (12/2): Once the small remnants of ISON move well away from the sun, the Hubble Space Telescope will likely go in search for any vestiges. The sun is too bright for Hubble’s optics to look too soon.
AmericaSpace.com (12/2): The story of the first seven exo-planet system discovery using data from NASA’s the Kepler space telescope mission. KOI-351 lies 2.500 light years from Earth in the constellation Draco. The system circles a dwarf sun-like star. The work by European astronomers eases concerns our solar system may be an odd one.
Low Earth Orbit
Space.com (12/2): The Hubble Space Telescoped launched with high expectations as a shuttle mission delivered it to orbit in 1990. Within weeks, however, problems with the primary mirror emerged. A shuttle mission crew trained to make repairs to the landmark observatory and restore NASA’s reputation lifted off 20 years ago Monday, and succeeded to righting Hubble.
Associated Press via The Day, of Connecticut (12/3): The Discovery Museum and Planetarium in Bridgeport, Conn. prepares for the auction of a massive bronze statue in hopes of raising the money to fund an educational NanoSat as a secondary payload on a future NASA mission. “This is the most valuable piece we have,” said museum board chair Joe D’Avanzo. “It was very contentious to get rid of this piece. It was gut-wrenching to make this decision.” The museum changed its focus from the arts to science two decades ago.
Spacepolicyonline.com (12/2): The House votes Monday for a one year extension of indemnification provisions for U.S. commercial launch companies. The current liability protection was to expire Dec. 31.
Ria Novosti, of Russia (12/2): President Vladimir Putin signs law creating a state corporation that will consolidate developers and manufacturers of Russian spacecraft. The new United Rocket and Space Corporation will take over manufacturing facilities from ROSCOSMOS, the Russian Federal Space Agency, whose reputation has been tarnished over several years by a string of rocket failures.
CBS News (12/2): SpaceX will make a third attempt to launch an SES telecommunications satellite from Cape Canaveral, Fla., Tuesday at 5:41 p.m., EST, the opening of an 86 minute launch window.
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