CSExtra – Tuesday, June 19, 2012
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Tuesday’s CSExtra offers the latest reporting and commentary on space related activities from around the world. In the U. S., NASA and the FAA unveil a new Memorandum of Understanding outlining their respective responsibilities in the regulation of commercial human spaceflight. The latest on China’s Shenzhou 9 astronauts and their mission to the Tiangong-1 space lab. Jill Tarter, long a prominent figure in the SETI community, looks back and ahead at the quest to find intelligent life in the universe. Two essays examine CBS anchor Walter Cronkite’s role in popularizing human spaceflight and the obstacles that loom in forging a new global Space Code of Conduct. Melting Arctic sea ice. Stephen Hawking, M-Theory and the Nobel Prize.
1. From Space News: NASA and the FAA announce on Monday how they will oversee the regulation of commercial human space flight. NASA, an early customer, will watch over the safety of the agency’s astronauts. The FAA, as it has traditionally, will protect the public and the safety of the airways, by licensing the launches and re-entries. NASA will play no role in the missions its astronauts are not involved in. http://www.spacenews.com/civil/120618nasa-faa-spaceflight-regulation.html
A. From Spacepolicyonline.com: A Senate hearing scheduled for Wednesday on commercial space activities may shed additional light on the NASA/FAA division of responsibilities. http://www.spacepolicyonline.com/news/nasa-and-faa-agree-on-who-ensures-passenger-safety-on-commercial-space-taxis
2. From Spaceflightnow.com: The latest on China’s Shenzhou 9 mission. The capsule docked with China’s Tiangong 1 space lab early Monday. All three Shenzhou 9 crew members floated aboard the lab hours later. http://www.spaceflightnow.com/china/shenzhou9/120618docking/
A. From Spacepolicyonline.com: Through the years, June has featured the launch of the first Soviet, U. S. and now Chinese female astronauts. The Shenzhou 9 crew includes Liu Yang, a female Chinese fighter pilot. http://www.spacepolicyonline.com/news/june-good-month-for–first-women-astronauts
3. From The New York Times: Few share an association with the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence closer than Jill Tarter’s. Recently retired from the SETI Institute, Tarter now leads efforts to raise private funding for the quest of determining whether the universe is filled with intelligent life. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/19/science/seti-research-head-retires-after-long-search-for-alien-life.html?_r=1
4. From Monday’s The Space Review: Two essays examine broadcaster Walter Cronkite’s ties to the early U. S. space program and the latest prospects for a global Code of Conduct in the use of orbital space.
A. In “And that’s the way it was in space,” TSR editor Jeff Foust looks back at CBS Anchor Walter Cronkite’s role in the popularization of America’s early manned space program through the eyes of historian Douglas Brinkley’s biography, Cronkite. The broadcast pioneer was either journalist or publicist, say those who worked with him and watched from afar. http://www.thespacereview.com/article/2103/1
B. In “Code of conduct: corrections, updates and things going forward,” Michael Listner, space legal expert, examines the road ahead as the European Union, the United States and presumably others attempt to forge agreements on the use of Earth orbital space. The self imposed deadline for an agreement is late 2013. The world’s developing nations as well as China and Russia represent just some of the potential obstacles. http://www.thespacereview.com/article/2101/1
5. From Discovery.com: Arctic sea ice levels are below the seasonal average. The record minimum was established in September 2007. Earth orbiting satellites are providing the observations of the melting that is underway. http://news.discovery.com/earth/arctic-sea-ice-extent-120618.html#mkcpgn=rssnws1
6. From MSNBC and Cosmic Log: A look at physicist Stephen Hawking, M-Theory and his prospects for a Nobel Prize. http://cosmiclog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/06/17/12267310-stephen-hawking-is-keeping-his-eyes-on-the-prize-nobel-prize-that-is
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