CSExtra – Wednesday, May 23, 2012
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Wednesday’s CSExtra offers the latest reporting and commentary on space related activities from around the world. The SpaceX resupply mission to the International Space Station draws wide interest as it closes in on a rendezvous. Russia and Japan agree on a new destination for humans in space: the moon. The latest on DARPA’s 100-year Star Ship Study. At SETI, long time lead researcher Jill Tarter turns to fundraising. Looking for Planet X. Science fiction and cinema, a winning formula for space exploration?
1. From Spaceflightnow.com: Following a successful launch early Tuesday, the SpaceX Dragon is pursuing a rendezvous with the International Space Station early Thursday. A number of navigation and propulsion elements on the spacecraft are undergoing check outs. For independent mission updates see: http://www.spaceflightnow.com/falcon9/003/status.html
A. From Politico: Larry Williams, who handled strategic affairs for SpaceX until earlier this year, predicts Tuesday’s successful launch of the SpaceX Falcon 9/Dragon mission will encourage lobbyists to call on Congress to increase space spending. See item 2 in Politico’s column. http://www.politico.com/politicoinfluence/0512/politicoinfluence267.html
B. From Science Insider: Space policy is a hard sell, John Holdren, the White House science policy adviser, tells an audience of science communicators. Keeping the message simple, is essential element of success, he explains http://news.sciencemag.org/scienceinsider/2012/05/space-policy-is-a-hard-sell-says.html?ref=hp
C. From Spacepolicyonline.com: The successful launch of the SpaceX Falcon 9/Dragon early Tuesday prompts a flurry of supporting statements from Capitol Hill and industry groups. http://www.spacepolicyonline.com/news/accolades-abound-for-spacex-launch-iss-berthing-due-on-friday
D. From the Christian Science Monitor: Young engineering students are beginning to look to the New Space movement for potential employment, say educators. http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/2012/0522/SpaceX-launch-private-industry-inspires-new-generation-of-rocketeers-video
2. From Space News: What’s next for human space explorers? Russia and Japan favor the moon, a destination the U.S. turned away from two years go The U. S. has its sights set on a yet to be designated asteroid. The moon is more affordable, say its supporters during the Global Space Exploration Conference in Washington. http://www.spacenews.com/civil/120522-roscosmos-jaxa-officials-advocate-lunar-exploration.html
3. From The Washington Post: The newspaper checks in on the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency’s 100-year Star Ship Study, a government endorsed effort to advance the technologies and cultural changes that will be needed to journey beyond the solar system. Mae Jemison, the former NASA astronaut, leads the $500,000 effort. http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/starship-dreamers-launch-100-year-mission-with-darpa-grant/2012/05/22/gIQA2k8wiU_story.html
4. From the San Jose Mercury News of California: Jill Tarter, the determined scientist who led and popularized the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence at the SETI Institute, steps down as director after 35 years. Tarter served as the inspiration for the Jodi Foster character in the feature film Contact based on the book by Carl Sagan. Tarter will turn her attention to fund raising. http://www.mercurynews.com/science/ci_20683260/after-35-years-jill-tarter-will-no-longer
A. From Nature.com: Tarter turns to fund raising after SETI’s Allen Telescope Array in northern California was forced to go months without funding last year after the University of California at Berkeley withdrew from the project. http://blogs.nature.com/news/2012/05/seti-pioneer-jill-tarter-retires.html
5. From Space.com: Seeking planet X, a large planet beyond Pluto. New studies of gravitational influences of outer solar system bodies suggest the presence of a mysterious planet. http://www.space.com/15822-planet-edge-solar-system.html
6. From the Wall Street Journal: In an op-ed, screenwriter Jon Spaihts finds new signs of cultural interest in space travel flowing through the current popular cinema. Can that fiction become fact? http://blogs.wsj.com/speakeasy/2012/05/22/will-real-science-follow-sci-fi-back-into-space/?mod=google_news_blog
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