CSExtra – Tuesday, January 15, 2013
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Tuesday’s CSExtra offers the latest reporting and commentary on space related activities from around the world. NASA’s Kepler mission marks a “golden age” for new planet discovery. Might the search for biological activity beneath the Antarctic ice pack foreshadow a similar discovery in the distant solar system? 2012 set records for warm temperatures and extreme weather. The White House delays presentation of the administration’s proposed 2014 budget to Congress. The Mohawk Guy, who stirred a passion for space exploration with the landing of NASA’s Curiosity rover on Mars, will march next week in the inaugural parade in Washington. NASA releases pre-crash video of the moon’s far side from the GRAIL mission Ebb spacecraft. The first launch from Russia’s new Vostochny Cosmodrome will be a moon probe. New York’s Sea, Air and Space Museum prepares NASA’s test shuttle orbiter Enterprise for a public debut this week. An active weekend on the sun may light up the Northern Lights. Leaping to hyperspace, the non cinematic way.
1. Essays from The Space Review find NASA’s Kepler mission a catalyst in an explosion of exo-planet discovery and the Saturn V first stage F-1 engine the inspiration for a renaissance in heavy lift propulsion.
A. In “A golden age of exo-planet science,” TSR editor Jeff Foust points to NASA’s Kepler space telescope as the catalyst in an unfolding major discovery: planets well beyond the solar system are common. Since its launching in 2009, Kepler has revealed 2,700 exo-planet candidates.
B. In “SLS Block II drives hydrocarbon engine research,” essayist Anthony Young finds NASA’s Space Launch System looking to the first stage engines of the Saturn V as the inspiration for the mightiest of the space agency’s planned versions of the super rocket. The SLS may start future human explorers on journeys to the asteroids and Mars. Young has written a book on the theme.
2. From The New York Times: Research teams are probing deep below the Antarctic snow cap in search of life. The results could hasten efforts to search other extreme environments for biological activity, including distant Enceladus, the icy moon of Saturn.
3. From Spacepolicyonline.com: Expect a healthy slip in the Administration’s 2014 fiscal year federal budget submission to Congress. NASA is one of the many federal agencies whose budgets must wait for consideration.
4. From The New York Times: 2012 marked the warmest year on record in many places as well as the 12 month period with the most extreme weather, The findings, were compiled by 13 federal agencies, including the Pentagon, State Department and NASA. The memories include Hurricane Sandy, and drought in the U. S. Midwest and Antarctic warming.
5. From Discovery.com: Act now to deal with climate change, warn British scientists.
6. From Politico.com: The Mohawk guy, famous for his control room presence at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory during the landing of the Curiosity rover on Mars, will march in the inaugural parade in Washington next week. His real name, Boback Ferdowski.
7. From Space.com: NASA’s successful dual spacecraft GRAIL mission to produce a gravity map of the moon came to an end on Dec. 17, as the Ebb and Flow probes slammed into a lunar rise. On Monday, NASA released video from the middle school student inspired MoonKAM aboard Ebb as it circled the moon’s far side three days before the mission ended.
A. From MSNBC’s Cosmic Log: Sally Ride, the first U. S. female astronaut, organized the successful MoonKAM program through her initiative Sally Ride Science. Ride died of cancer in 2012.
8. From Xinhuanet, of China: In Russia, Roscosmos chief Vladimir Popovkin says the country’s federal space agency will inaugurate the new Vostochny Cosmorome in 2015 with the launch of an unpiloted lunar orbiter, Luna-Globe, and a lander. Russia is looking to the moon as a step in the eventual exploration of Mars.
9. From Collectspace.com: New York’s Sea, Air and Space Museum will debut the display of NASA’s test space shuttle orbiter Enterprise on Thursday.
10. From Space.com: The Earth’s Northern Lights may glow this week in response to a significant solar eruption over the weekend.
11. From MSNBC’s Cosmic Log: Leaping to hyperspace the Millennium Falcon way. A group of physics students at Britain’s University of Leicester describe the experience as the Star Wars character Hans Solo would experience it.
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