CSExtra – Wednesday, March 27, 2013
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Wednesday’s CSExtra offers the latest reporting and commentary on space related activities from across the globe. The U. S. commercial space company Space X scores a second round trip success to the International Space Station under the company’s Commercial Resupply Services contract with NASA. Russia looks to a piloted lunar flyby mission in the 2030s. Scientists find data in NASA’s GRAIL lunar impact mission that could clarify the source and quantify water on the Earth’s moon. Russia looks at the prospect of recycling International Space Station modules into a new Russian orbital lab. Russia launches a Mexican communications satellite. The U. S. Senate looks at the asteroid impact threat. A Chinese citizen faces a five to 10 years sentence in New Jersey for providing China with files on a new miniaturized navigation device.
1. From Spaceflightnow.com: SpaceX wraps up the Hawthorne, Calif., based company’s second commercial supply mission to the International Space Station. The unpiloted Dragon capsule splashes down in the Pacific Ocean off Baja, Calif., on Tuesday, concluding a 25-day flight. Dragon returns with nearly 2,700 pounds of science gear and other equipment from the station.
A. From The Los Angeles Times: The SpaceX Dragon capsule descends under parachute with near 2,700 pounds of scientific research gear and other International Space Station equipment. Recovered in the Pacific waters off Baja, Calif, the Dragon capsule is hoisted aboard a SpaceX recovery vessel and heads for port in the Los Angeles area.
B. From Spacepolicyonline.com: Orbital Sciences Corp., of Dulles, Va., is readying a mid-April test flight of the company’s Antares rocket with a mock up of a Cygnus cargo craft on board. Orbital is NASA’s second U. S. commercial international Space Station resupply service. The company expects to launch a Cygnus demonstration mission to the space station from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport in Virginia later this year.
2. From Xinhuanet.com, of China: Russia intends to launch cosmonauts on a lunar flyby mission after 2030, according to a Russian space industry official. The mission will include exploration tasks. In the U. S., NASA is looking at a similar mission in 2021 using the new Orion crew capsule for deep space exploration.
3. From The Coalition for Space Exploration: NASA’s twin GRAIL mission probes, Ebb and Flow, were intentionally guided into a mountainous rise close to the moon’s North Pole on Dec. 1. 7 NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter observed the impact plumes, finding hydrogen and other volatiles that may help to explain the origin of ice at the moon’s poles.
4. From Ria Novosti, of Russia: Russia looks to a recycling of its late addition research lab and power modules to the International Space Station as a foundation for a new orbiting science laboratory.
5. From AmericaSpace.com: Russia launches an American-built Mexican telecommunications satellite atop a Proton rocket. Satmex-8 will provide C and Ku-band links to customers in North and South America.
6. From Spacepolitics.com: The website re-visits a U. S. Senate hearing last week called to assess the impact threat to Earth posed by asteroids and comets. The hearing follows the Feb. 15 explosion of a small asteroid over Chelyabinsk in Russia that sent more than 1,000 to area hospitals for treatment.
7. From the Washington Post via Space News: In New Jersey this week, a Chinese national receives a federal court sentence of five to 10 years for turning files on a miniaturized navigation device over to the Chinese. The accused was an defense contractor employee.
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