CSExtra – Wednesday, November 21, 2012
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Wednesday’s CSExtra offers the latest reporting and commentary on space related activities from around the world. European Space Agency ministers back off plans for a German-inspired lunar lander. In Europe, the direction of future space investments may be in turmoil as ESA ministers discuss future priorities New research suggests the Earth and Mars shared a common source of water — meteorites, not comets. Russian lofts a communications satellite for Echo Star. Investigators point to root case for a pair of Orbital Sciences Corp. satellite losses that could influence a second source of U. S. commercial re-supply services to the International Space Station. Is NASA’s Curiosity rover on the verge of a momentous finding on Mars?
1. From Spaceflightnow.com: As European Space Agency ministers gather in Naples, ESA powers reject plans for a robotic lunar lander in favor of investments in a partnership with the Russians for a mission to gather samples of Martian soil and rock and return them to Earth.
A. From Spacepolitics.com: In Europe, ministers of the European Space Agency face momentous decisions over the next days, including a possible role in the development of NASA’s Orion/Multipurpose Crew Vehicle, a cornerstone in U. S. plans to revive human deep space exploration.
B. From Aviation Week & Space Technology: European ministers face potentially momentous decisions as they gather to discuss future investments, including operations of the International Space Station beyond 2015, plans for a new or upgraded rocket launcher. Economic concerns loom in the background.
2. From Space.com: New research suggest the Earth and Mars shared a similar source of original water: meteorites, not comets.
3. From Ria Novosti, of Russia: A Russian Proton rocket launches an Echo star communications satellite for Dish Net, the North American satellite services provider.
4. From Aviation Week & Space Technology: Investigators point to a root cause in the loss of two NASA Orbital Carbon Observatory spacecraft. The findings may affect contractor Orbital Science Corp’s plans to service the International Space Station with commercial re-supply services.
5. From National Public Radio: Top scientists involved in NASA’s Curiosity rover mission to Mars hint at a major finding just around the corner. The details will be presented at the American Geophysical Union conference in San Francisco in early December.
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