CSExtra – Wednesday, June 20, 2012
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Wednesday’s CSExtra offers the latest reporting and commentary on space related activities from around the world. Now docked to the Tiangong-1 space lab, China’s Shenzhou 9 crew looks to June 24 to carry out the country’s first manual space docking. A U. S. reconnaissance satellite awaits launch early Wednesday. The National Research Council will consult current and former NASA administrators on the agency’s strategic direction. Apollo 11 Lunar Module pilot Buzz Aldrin outlines an exploration blue print. Private sector investors rally to produce a commercial space suit. University of Michigan researchers will lead an Earth observation mission to measure ocean surface winds during tropical storms. On Mercury, a collection of craters channel a famous cartoon character.
1. From Aviation Week & Space Technology: China’s Shenzhou 9 crew looks to the weekend for its first attempt at a manual spacecraft docking. The three member Shenzhou 9 crew participated in an automated docking of their capsule with the Tiangong-1 space lab early Monday. The crew will disengage and attempt to manually re-dock with the lab on June 24, a first for China’s emerging human space program. http://www.aviationweek.com/Article.aspx?id=/article-xml/asd_06_19_2012_p02-01-468934.xml
A. From Xinhuanet.com of China: If Internet responses are an indication, China is awash in pride over the accomplishments of the Shenhzou 9 crew in Earth orbit and the members of a lesser known undersea expedition. http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/china/2012-06/19/c_131663690.htm
2. From Florida Today: A U. S. reconnaissance satellite awaits a launch early Wednesday from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., atop an Atlas V rocket. http://www.floridatoday.com/article/20120619/SPACE/120619021/Spy-satellite-set-Wednesday-morning-launch-from-Cape?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|Space%20News
A. From Spaceflightnow.com: Updates on the Atlas V launching scheduled for 8:28 a.m., EDT. http://www.spaceflightnow.com/atlas/av023/status.html
3. From spacepolicyonline.com: Current NASA Administrator Charles Bolden will be joined by three of his predecessors, Sean O’Keefe, Richard Truly and James Beggs in an appearance before the National Research Council next week to discuss NASA’s strategic direction. NASA’s Inspector General selected the NRC to carry out the strategic direction assessment under a 2012 Congressional directive. http://www.spacepolicyonline.com/news/current-and-three-former-nasa-administrators-to-share-perspectives-with-nrc-committee-next-week
4. From Space News: Buzz Aldrin offers his views on America’s uncertain space exploration future in a question and answer session. He applauds the recent SpaceX success as an example of commercial sector achievement. He believes NASA’s Orion capsule could be put to use early, demonstrating aero capture technologies. Aldrin touts the value of a lunar orbit infrastructure as a stepping stone to Mars. The Martian moon Phobos would play a prominent role in establishing a settlement. http://www.spacenews.com/profiles/061812-buzz-aldrin.html
5. From Space.com: U. S. and Russian entrepreneurs raise funds to develop a low cost protective space suit for prospective commercial space flight passengers. Don’t lift off without this $10,000 piece of fashion. http://www.space.com/16197-spaceflight-startup-fund-spacesuits.html
6. From Space News: A University of Michigan researcher will lead NASA’s Cyclone Global Navigation Satellite System, a constellation of eight small satellites designed to measure ocean surface winds during tropical storms and hurricanes. http://www.spacenews.com/earth_observation/120619-nasa-wind-monitoring-smallsat.html
7. From the Los Angeles Times: A growing collection of Mercury imagery from NASA’s MESSENGER spacecraft finds a grouping of craters that resembles “Mickey Mouse”. http://www.latimes.com/news/science/sciencenow/la-sci-mercury-mickey-mouse-20120619,0,2897421.story
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