CSExtra – Wednesday, March 7, 2012
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Wednesday’s CSExtra offers the latest reporting and commentary on space related activities from around the world. The director of the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space, a non-profit created to manage the National Lab portions of the International Space Station, resigns over management differences. An influential lawmaker warns NASA Administrator Charles Bolden to steer clear of China as a future partner. NASA’s Administrator appears before Senate and House committees today to address the agency’s proposed 2013 budget. GOP presidential contender Newt Gingrich re-embraces a space theme as he campaigns in Alabama. Scientists find evidence for a comet collision with Earth just 13,000 years ago. A NASA astronaut takes on a key space post at Rice University. The moon and Mars converge in the night sky.
1. From Space News: The director of the recently established non-profit organization to manage research aboard the National Laboratory portions of the International Space Station, the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space, resigns over a dispute on the long term role of a consulting company involved in the initial creation of the Florida-based organization. Jeanne Becker departed the $15 million a year organization on Feb. 29, six months after it was established. http://www.spacenews.com/civil/120306-director-iss-lab-resigns.html
2. From Spacepolicyonline.com: NASA is not to invite China into the International Space Station partnership, U. S. Rep. Frank Wolf, who chairs NASA’s appropriations panel, informed NASA Administrator Charles Bolden in a letter this week. The letter was in response to media reports emanating from an ISS heads of agency meeting in Quebec last week. http://www.spacepolicyonline.com/news/rep-wolf-tells-bolden-no-to-china-on-iss
3. From Space.com: NASA Administrator Charles Bolden is scheduled to testify before the Senate and House today on NASA’s budget. The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee hearing will likely also address recent concerns about NASA cyber-security. Neil deGrasse Tyson, the astrophysicist and author who favors a doubling of NASA’s budget, is expected to testify as well. http://www.space.com/14807-nasa-future-congress-hearings.html
A. From Space News: In an op-ed, space policy consultant James Muncy finds NASA’s Space Launch System and the Orion/Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle ill suited to serve as a back up to emerging commercial crew space transportation services. Commercial crew is a higher funding priority, he writes. http://spacenews.com/commentaries/120305-sls-never-back-up-commercial.html
B. From Discovery.com: The International Space Station is safe from those who stole laptops with NASA software, according to a top space agency official. In congressional testimony last week, NASA’s Inspector General said the agency has become an increasing target of cyber-attacks. Forty eight NASA mobile computing devices were lost or stolen between April 2009 and April 2011, the IG said in testimony prepared for lawmakers. http://news.discovery.com/space/stolen-laptop-iss-120306.html
4. From Spacepolitics.com: American has a destiny in space, GOP presidential contender Newt Gingrich asserts during a campaign stop in Huntsville, Ala., home to NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center. Gingrich did not call for a lunar colony as he did in January during Florida’s primary. Spacepolitics.com offers a roundup of news reports from the Space Camp campaign stop. The U. S. should not back off, leaving the final frontier to the Chinese, Gingrich said. http://www.spacepolitics.com/2012/03/06/gingrich-america-has-a-destiny-in-space/
A. From the Washington Post: Gingrich’s remarks were meant to define him as the only candidate in the presidential race with a vision that will bring “lots of creativity” to Washington, according to a campaign spokesperson. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/election-2012/post/gingrich-at-space-camp-in-huntsville-america-has-a-destiny-in-space/2012/03/06/gIQAtRsDvR_blog.html
5. From Space.com: New research suggests a comet collided with the Earth over Central Mexico 13,000 years ago, disrupting the atmosphere, lowering temperatures as well as killing off humans and other mammals. http://www.space.com/14793-comet-earth-impact-younger-dryas.html
6. From the Houston Chronicle: NASA astronaut Mike Massimino will lead Rice University’s Space Institute for the next year in a bid to establish closer relations and create more opportunities for students to work at NASA. http://www.chron.com/default/article/Rice-lands-star-astronaut-to-lead-its-space-3387159.php
7. From Space.com: The moon and Mars converge in the night sky on Wednesday. http://www.space.com/14805-moon-mars-skywatching-tips.html
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