CSExtra – Wednesday, December 19, 2012
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Wednesday’s CSExtra offers the latest reporting and commentary on space related activities from around the world. In Kazakhstan, a Russian rocket awaits a lift off at 7:12 a.m., EST. Aboard are U. S., Canadian and Russian astronauts bound for the International Space Station. The star Tau Ceti appears to harbor a planet in its habitable zone. More warnings of sudden reductions for NASA and NOAA, if the White House and Congress cannot come to terms on an alternative to the Fiscal Cliff. Experts super size the notion of super massive black hole with new observations. NASA’s newest Tracking and Data Relay Satellite reaches its Florida launch site. China launches a satellite for Turkey. Next year, space station crews will assess the ability to remotely control a robot on a planetary surface. Use of a NASA technology creates a place on the Internet for the Dead Sea Scrolls.
1. From Spaceflightnow.com: NASA astronaut Tom Marshburn, Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield and Russian cosmonaut Roman Romanenko climbed aboard a Soyuz rocket in Kazakhstan early Wednesday as they prepared to lift off for the International Space Station. Lift off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome is set for 7:12 a.m., EST. Their docking with the space station is set for Friday at 9:10 a.m., EST. SFN offers mission updates.
A. From The Toronto Star: A look at Chris Hadfield, one of three astronauts headed for the International Space Station early Wednesday from Kazakhstan aboard a Russian Soyuz rocket.
B. From Space.com: Canadian researchers seek a countermeasure for the bone damage that afflicts many of the world’s elderly. The International Space Station is playing a role in those studies.
2. From the San Francisco Chronicle: Astronomers announce the discovery of five planets circling Tau Ceti, a star a dozen light years from the Earth. One of these planets resides in the “habitable zone,” a region where water, if present, could exist in liquid form and potentially support biological activity.
A. From Space.com: At 4.3 times the mass of the Earth, this habitable planet candidate would be the smallest world discovered in the habitable zone of another star.
3. From The Washington Post: NASA and NOAA face budget cuts and personnel losses if the White House and Congress cannot avoid the Fiscal Cliff. The Post joins those looking into a report on the topic from the Aerospace Industries Association.
A. From Scientific American: America’s planetary science community is in jeopardy because of funding cuts. The success of NASA’s Curiosity moon rover mission is not enough to weather the economic storm, according to some scientists.
4. From Discovery.com: Astronomers are super sizing the notion of super massive black holes, which lurk in the hearts of most if not all star systems. The Milky Way’s black hole weighs in at 4 million solar masses. But those in the distant universe are weighing in at 10 to 40 billion solar masses.
5. From Spaceflightnow.com: NASA’s next Tracking and Data Relay Satellite reaches the Kennedy Space Center, where it will be prepared for a late January lift off. The Boeing made spacecraft is part of a fleet that provides a communications link with the International Space Station and other U. S. satellites and their control centers.
6. From Xinuanet, of China: China launches a Turkish Earth observing satellite.
7. From Space.com: Next year, astronauts aboard the International Space Station will test their orbital perch for the control of remote robots for scientific activities.
8. From The New York Times: Experts develop a digital copy of the Dead Sea Scrolls using a NASA technology. The documents can now be studied on line.
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