CSExtra – Wednesday, March 21, 2012
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Wednesday’s CSExtra offers the latest reporting and commentary on space related activities from around the world. The commercial space industry seeks extended liability shielding to keep U. S. companies competitive. The FAA’s commercial space office forecasts a $1 billion commercial passenger transportation market within a decade. The U. S. planetary science community expresses its displeasure over proposed NASA funding cuts at a Houston science conference. Astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson’s case for a larger NASA budget and more U. S. innovation finds a long running internet presence. The proposed salvage of a wayward Russian communications satellite for South Pole scientists could serve as a paradigm for a lunar base. NASA and its International Space Station partners look to the orbital lab as the site for a future Mars analog mission. Tracing the origins of the flying saucer.
1. From Space News: The U. S. commercial launch industry must extend and consider strengthening a liability shield for the domestic commercial space launch industry if it is to compete with global rivals, Wilbur Trafton, the chair of the Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee, tells a House oversight panel in testimony Tuesday. http://www.spacenews.com/policy/120320-faa-office-urges-action-launch-indemnity.html
A. From Reuters via Aviation Week & Space Technology: The head of the FAA’s commercial space office predicts that the U. S. commercial space passenger market will reach $1 billion within a decade. The FAA’s George Nield presented the forecast in testimony before a House oversight panel on Tuesday.
http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/story_channel.jsp?channel=space&id=news/awx/2012/03/20/awx_03_20_2012_p0-438438.xml&headline=U.S. Space Tourism Set for Takeoff by 2014: FAA
2. From Scientific American: The country’s top planetary scientists, gathered at the annual Lunar and Planetary Science Conference north of Houston, voice their displeasure with NASA’s proposed 2013 budget. The spending plan makes a significant cut in NASA’s planetary science program, and specifically the money tied to a U. S./European collaboration on a pair of upcoming Mars missions.
A. From Space.com: NASA’s top planetary scientists point to the success of the agency’s $2.5 billion Mars Science Laboratory mission as crucial to a future funding increase for the Mars program. James Green, NASA’s planetary sciences program director, outlines the strategy before the annual Lunar and Planetary Science Conference. http://www.space.com/14959-mars-rover-curiosity-nasa-planetary-science.html
3. From The Washington Post: Astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson’s campaign to raise NASA’s budget finds life on the web. It began with a book tour to promote his latest work, Space Chronicles, and an appearance before the Senate. Tyson urges a doubling of NASA’s budget, the equivalent of one penny of every tax dollar collected. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/innovations/post/neil-degrasse-tyson-asks-us-how-much-the-universe-is-worth-the-web-responds/2012/03/19/gIQAvw34NS_blog.html
4. From the Air and Space Museum Magazine: Plans to re-purpose a wayward Russian launched communications satellite win an endorsement from prominent lunar scientist Paul Spudis. Launched in August, the Astrium Express-AM4 spacecraft could be maneuvered into a polar orbit that would furnish a much needed communications satellite for science teams posted in Antarctica. The salvage could serve as valuable experience for meeting the communications needs for a future lunar base, Spudis writes in his blog Once and Future Moon. http://blogs.airspacemag.com/moon/2012/03/can-we-repurpose-space-assets/
5. From the Associated Press via Yahool.com: The six person International Space Station may participate in a future simulated mission to Mars, according to NASA’s station program manager. The simulation, which is probably a few years away, would study the impact of the long journey on the physical and mental health of the space travelers. http://news.yahoo.com/nasa-considering-space-station-mars-dry-run-181214087.html
6. From Discovery.com: Discovery traces the fanciful notion for flying saucers to an 1898 patent issued to F.A. Jone. http://news.discovery.com/space/real-flying-saucer-plans-date-back-to-19th-century-120321.html#mkcpgn=rssnws1
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