CSExtra – Wednesday, June 27, 2012
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Wednesday’s CSExtra offers the latest reporting and commentary on space related activities from around the world. China’s Shenzhou 9 crew receives praise from the country’s president. Virgin Galactic looks beyond passengers to commercial satellite launches, according to a report. In The Netherlands, backers look to a one way human journey to Mars as a reality show. Researchers organize a mock Mars mission to develop the best menu — for a long round trip. Boeing’s CST-100, the company’s entrant in NASA’s commercial crew space transportation development initiative, reaches a propulsion milestone. Astronomers observe as the Milky Way’s central black hole encounters a cosmic gas cloud.
1. From China Daily: Chinese president Hu Jintao praises the crew of the Shenzhou 9 spacecraft during a three minute exchange on Tuesday. Hu characterized as an “excellent performance” the efforts of the two man, one woman crew to execute manual and automated dockings with the orbiting Tiangong 1 space habitat. http://usa.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2012-06/27/content_15524513.htm
A. From Spaceflightnow.com: China places a $6 billion price tag on its manned space program. Currently, China’s Shenzhou 9 crew of three is docked with the Tiangong-1 orbiting space lab. http://www.spaceflightnow.com/china/shenzhou9/120626cost/
2. From Space.com: Virgin Galactic, the suborbital space passenger pioneer, is prepared to announce a commercial satellite launch capability, according to the space website. http://www.space.com/16295-virgin-galactic-cargo-new-design.html
3. From the Los Angeles Times: Mars One, a Netherlands based initiative, proposes the launch of four people on a one way trip to Mars by 2023. The project could be financed with a reality show. http://www.latimes.com/news/science/sciencenow/la-na-nn-mars-one-colony-reality-show-20120626,0,5100060.story
4. From Space.com: Early next year, six volunteers will gather in Hawaii for a mock Mars mission. Their goal is to evaluate a menu for an extended journey to the red planet comprised of instant and self-prepared food items. Researchers have found that astronauts return to Earth “under fed.” http://www.space.com/16299-mock-mars-mission-astronaut-food.html
5. From the Huntsville Times: Boeing’s CST-100 passes a thruster test. Boeing is one of four U. S. companies currently partnered with NASA to develop competing commercial crew transportation services to the International Space Station. http://blog.al.com/space-news/2012/06/boeing_says_its_space_taxi_eng.html
6. From MSNBC and Cosmic Log: Scientists are watching as a giant gas cloud approaches Sagittarius A, the massive black hole at the center of the Milky Way galaxy. Whatever unfolds, the encounter is unlikely to affect the Earth, an estimated 27,000 light years distant. http://cosmiclog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/06/26/12423938-countdown-to-a-black-hole-show?lite
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