CSExtra – Wednesday, March 28, 2012
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Wednesday’s CSExtra offers the latest reporting and commentary on space related activities from around the world. Confronting the hazards of space debris has its challenges, according to a U. S. State Department official and other experts assigned to the task. NASA and the European Space Agency ask the public for help in identifying iconic imagery gathered by the 22-year-old Hubble Space Telescope. NASA wins recognition for the agency’s use of Twitter as an external communications tool. A pair of exo-planets has astronomers scratching their heads. Looking for an unusual greeting card? United Launch Alliance prepares for a lift off from the U. S. West Coast with a new version of the Delta 4. SpaceX’s soon to be launched first U.S. commercial cargo mission to the International Space Station wins praise from Forbes magazine. The Obama Administration receives an editorial pat on the back for its proposal to restrict greenhouse gas emissions.
1. From the Daily Beast: Early last Saturday, the six astronauts aboard the International Space Station were instructed to take refuge in their Soyuz transport capsules as a piece of difficult to track Russian satellite debris dashed close to the orbiting science lab. In an interview, Frank Rose, deputy assistant Secretary of State for space and defense policy, and others explain the difficulties of convincing the world’s space powers to address a growing orbital debris hazard. http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/03/26/space-station-s-near-miss-underlines-the-dangers-of-debris-in-space.html
2. From Wired News: NASA and the European Space Agency, partners in the Hubble Space Telescope’s amazing 22-year run, ask the public to compete in two contests to find over looked iconic images of the observatory’s discoveries. The competition closes on May 31. http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/
3. From The Hill: NASA wins a “Shorty” award for the agency’s effective use of the Social Media Twitter in its external communications. http://thehill.com/blogs/twitter-room/other-news/218381-nasa-wins-award-for-best-twitter-use
4. From Discovery.com: A pair of large planets circling the star H. P. 11952, 375 light years away, have astronomers scratching their heads. The host star is composed of only the lightest elements. As such, H. P. 11952 may have formed in another galaxy and 13 billion years or so ago, when the universe was very young. http://news.discovery.com/space/most-ancient-impossible-alien-worlds-discovered-120327.html
5. From Collectspace.com: The Association of Space Explorers offers a new greeting card service. AstroNotes, part of the ASE, global science and education outreach, include birthday greetings. The greetings arrive with the signature and words of inspiration from an ASE member astronaut who has flown in space. http://www.collectspace.com/ubb/Forum6/HTML/002219.html
6. From Spaceflightnow.com: A new configuration of the United Launch Alliance’s Delta 4 rocket is poised for lift off from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., on Thursday. The military payload is secret.
7. From Forbes.com: The business publication predicts that SpaceX will make history as the company carries out the first U. S. commercial supply mission to the International Space Station. The arrival of the Dragon capsule with its payload will mark a commercial milestone, according to Forbes. The launch and berthing are tentatively set for late April/early May. http://www.forbes.com/sites/alexknapp/2012/03/27/spacexs-docking-mission-will-be-a-historic-moment-for-space-travel/
8. From the Los Angeles Times: In an editorial, the Times praises the Obama Administration for a proposal to limit green house gas emissions from power plants. The proposal, released Tuesday, will limit emissions from coal-fired plants without banning the construction of new facilities. That is progress in an election year, the Times notes. http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/opinionla/la-ed-epa-emissions-power-plants-20120328,0,2045399.story
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