CSExtra – Wednesday, November 28, 2012
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Wednesday’s CSExtra offers the latest reporting and commentary on space related activities from around the world. Can NASA win new Congressional support for the agency’s commercial crew and cargo initiatives? Should the U. S. forge stronger ties with China in space? Wednesday morning brings a partial lunar eclipse. More speculation over a forthcoming announcement from NASA’s Mars Curiosity rover science team. All rivalries in space face a common threat: manmade orbital debris. Lamar Smith, a Texas Republican, could be the House Science, Space and Technology Committee’s next chair. Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield looks at the challenges of staying physically fit. A joint U. S./Japanese mission could be crucial to the forecasting of extreme weather events. Apollo 11 moon rocks surface in a St. Paul, Minn., warehouse. China launches a European-build communications satellite. European Space Agency ministers explore the prospects for space electric propulsion. NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center celebrates a FASTSAT success.
1. From Space News: NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver says the agency must do more to convince Congress of the merits of its commercial crew and cargo initiatives. Garver addressed the NASA Advisory Council’s Commercial Space Committee in Washington earlier this week. http://www.spacenews.com/article/garver-defends-nasa%E2%80%99s-commercial-programs#.ULU9u-Rjp49
2. From Discovery.com: In an op-ed, a former NASA executive and astronaut urge U. S. policy makers to forge ties with China that would bring the Asian power into the International Space Station as a partner. Leroy Chiao, a former ISS commander, and George Abbey, a space policy expert at Rice University in Houston, make the case. http://news.discovery.com/space/opinion-nasa-partner-china-politics-spaceflight-gap-121127.html#mkcpgn=rssnws1
3. From Space.com: Those in the far western U. S. can witness a partial lunar eclipse Wednesday morning. Others may watch by web cast as the Earth’s shadow falls across part of the moon. Best viewing will be in Alaska, Hawaii, Australia and East Asia. The eclipse peaks at 9:15 a.m., EST. http://www.space.com/18640-lunar-eclipse-full-moon-webcast.html
4. From The New York Times: The Times joins in the speculation over forthcoming science findings from NASA’s Mars Curiosity rover. The findings are scheduled for disclosure at a science conference next week. However, a recent National Public Radio broadcast set off waves of speculation after the mission’s chief scientist suggested one of the rover’s instrument had discovered something for the “history books.” http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/28/science/space/undisclosed-finding-by-mars-rover-fuels-intrigue.html?ref=science&_r=0
5. From The Space Review. TSR editor Jeff Foust reviews a new book, “Near Earth Objects: Finding Them Before They Find Us.” Author Donald Yeomans, who manages NASA’s Near Earth Object Program Office at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, writes on the origins and threat of the small often undetected planetary bodies that pass close to the Earth. http://www.thespacereview.com/article/2192/1
6. From Spacepolicyonline.com: U. S Rep. Lamar Smith, a Texas Republican, appears to have the edge in becoming the chair of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee. The panel is responsible for NASA oversight. http://www.spacepolicyonline.com/news/rep-lamar-smith-all-but-certain-to-be-new-house-ss-t-committee-chair
A. From The Huffington Post: U. S. Rep. Lamar Smith, the prospective chair of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee, has expressed doubts about manmade global warming. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/27/lamar-smith-global-warming-house-science_n_2200408.html?utm_hp_ref=nasa
7. From The Wall Street Journal: Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield will join American and Russian astronauts as they launch to the International Space Station on Dec. 19. Hadfield talks about staying in shape on Earth and in space, where astronauts exercise to maintain bone and muscle strength. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324851704578137424129925676.html
8. From Aviation Week & Space Technology: The upcoming Global Precipitation Measurement mission, a joint effort between the U. S. and Japan, promises to improve forecasting for extreme weather events like Hurricane Sandy’s recent assault on the U. S. East Coast. http://www.aviationweek.com/Article.aspx?id=/article-xml/AW_11_26_2012_p54-516520.xml
9. From The Minneapolis Star and Tribute: Small encased moon rocks from the Apollo 11 mission turn up in a St. Paul, Minnesota storage room. Authorities have turned them over to the Minnesota Historical Society. http://www.startribune.com/local/180864731.html?refer=y&refer=y
10. From Spaceflightnow.com: China launches a European-built communications satellite. http://www.spaceflightnow.com/news/n1211/27longmarch/#.ULU87-Rjp49
11. From Spaceflightnow.com: In their meeting last week, European Space Agency ministers agree to forge a commercial partnership to develop an electrical propulsion system for a communications satellite. http://www.spaceflightnow.com/news/n1211/26electra/#.ULU9NORjp49
12. From The Huntsville Times: NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center celebrates the success of FASTSAT, a highly adaptable satellite platform capable of launching and returning data within two years of conception. Launched in November 2010, FASTSAT eventually deployed a solar sail experiment. After overcoming some initial difficulties, Nanosail-D relayed data to scientists for 240 days. http://blog.al.com/breaking/2012/11/nasa_in_huntsville_celebrates.html
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