CSExtra – Tuesday, April 16, 2013
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Tuesday’s CSExtra offers the latest reporting and commentary on space related activities from across the globe. Astronauts aboard the International Space Station offer condolences to Boston. Global government spending on space peaks. Two essays suggest it’s time to move beyond the traditional government-led model. A preliminary FAA Environmental Impact Statement looks favorably on a possible decision by SpaceX to establish a commercial launch site in South Texas. Monday marked the U. S. tax deadline. Where does most of the money go? Russia launches a Canadian communications satellite. A federal judge rules in favor of holding a Chinese national at the center of a Congressional inquiry involving NASA’s Langley Research Center. Who names extra terrestrial planets? Vets from NASA’s Apollo era raise new doubts about global warming. A Japanese satellite unravels a stellar explosion.
1. From Space.com: Boston receives condolences from International Space Station commander Chris Hadfield and his crew following Monday’s fatal bomb blasts.
2. From Space News: Global government spending on space has likely peaked at around $70 billion and will likely decline until 2015, according to a new report from Euroconsult, Government Space Markets, World Prospects to 2022. This year will see the first decline in a dozen years, writes Euroconsult CEO Steve Bochinger in an op-ed. Increased spending in Russia, China and India are helping to steady overall investments, he writes.
A. From Space News: In an op-ed, U. S. Sen. Mark Udall, of Colorado, finds his state headed toward an evolving commercial, state and federal partnership that will advance the economic potential of the nation’s aerospace sector.
3. Two essays from The Space Review find private sector the new driver in space exploration.
A. In “Human space exploration: Why Godot isn’t coming, but Golden Spike Is,” two long time exploration enthusiasts, Alan Stern and Homer Hickam, declare the wait for the next round of government financed human deep space exploration over. The formula that propelled the U. S. past the former Soviet Union to the moon has come and gone, they write. ”Fortunately, 21st century industry and entrepreneurs are stepping up to the plate, creating exciting new models for how human space explorations can be launched commercially,” they suggest. Golden Spike’s recently announced plans for human missions to the moon, sponsored by foreign powers, major industry and wealthy individuals, will test their theory that it’s not technology but capital that presents the biggest obstacle.
B. In “Crowdfunding space,” TSR editor Jeff Foust looks at Kickstarter and similar techniques some in the private sector have turned to with success to raise early capital for new space ventures. “They’re all based on the idea, the vision, they’re something the community can get behind because they can do something, they can make a difference,” says Mark Longanbach of STAR Systems, a Phoenix-based suborbital rocket company with its eye on a hybrid propulsion system.
4. From The Brownsville Herald, of Texas: On Monday, the FAA released a draft Environmental Impact Statement with favorable results for SpaceX, which is considering Cameron County in south Texas for a new commercial launch complex.
5. From The New York Times: Monday marked the traditional U. S. deadline for the filing of federal income taxes on 2012 earnings. Where does the revenue go? If you paid $20,000, $7,000 went for defense; $6,400 for health programs; education and job training, received $940; and NASA, about $170.
6. From NASA Spaceflight.com: Russia successfully launches the Canadian communications satellite, Anik G1
7. From The Hampton Roads Virginia Pilot: Chinese contract worker Bo Jiang can be detailed until trial, a U. S. federal judge rules, reversing a previous court decision. His access to space technology at NASA’s Langley Research Center raised the concerns of U. S. Rep. Frank Wolf, chair of NASA’s House appropriations panel, earlier this year.
8. From Universe Today: Who has jurisdiction in the naming of extra solar planets? A discussion that emerged last year over the International Astronomical Union’s role and the standing of Uwingu’s sponsorship of contests to arrive at names remains unsettled.
9. From The Houston Chronicle: Apollo-era NASA vets form the nucleus of a group skeptical that human activity and global temperatures are linked in a detrimental way.
10. From Space.com: Scientists re-examine Kepler’s supernova explosion from 1604. Japan’s Suzaku satellite is making the X-ray observations possible. “One of the most recent Type Ia explosions known in our galaxy, it represents an essential link to improving our knowledge of these events ” said one scientist.
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