CSExtra – Wednesday, October 31, 2012
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Wednesday’s CSExtra offers the latest news and commentary on space related activities from around the world. In Kazakhstan, a Russian Progress supply ship lifts off overnight on a fast track mission to the International Space Station. Martian soil is much like Mauna Kea’s, according to the first soil analysis carried out by NASA’s Mars Curiosity rover. Super storm Sandy’s devastation raises concerns over the vulnerability of the U.S. weather satellite fleet. Hurricane Sandy nicks NASA’s New York-based Enterprise shuttle flight test orbiter. NASA goes public with data from Kepler’s exo-planet hunting mission. A large asteroid will skim close to Earth in mid-February. New Mexico’s former governor urges less restrictive California liability laws for commercial space companies. Amateur astronomers: a disappearing breed?
1. From Spaceflightnow.com: Overnight Russia launches its second one day Progress mission to the International Space Station within the past three months. The Progress and a cargo of nearly three tons of fuel, water, oxygen and other gear lifted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome at 3:41 a.m., EDT. The un-piloted freighter is scheduled to dock with the six person space station at 9:40 a.m., EDT. Russia carried out the same exercise on Aug. 1. The website is providing updates on the four orbit flight.
2. From The Los Angeles Times: NASA’s Mars Curiosity rover examines its first soil sample. The mobile lab finds the Martian soil has volcanic qualities like those of the Hawaiian Islands.
3. From Time Magazine: Sandy, the late season hurricane that delivered a devastating punch to the U. S. East Coast this week, has heightened concerns over the vulnerability of an aging U. S. weather satellite fleet. Coming gaps in scheduled launches could leave the U.S. “flying blind,” warns Time.
4. From Collectspace.com: Hurricane Sandy’s East Coast assault leaves NASA’s shuttle orbiter Enterprise exposed and possibly damaged after a protective pavilion deflates on the deck of the Intrepid Sea Air and Space Museum. The flight test orbiter was delivered to New York City by NASA earlier this year and subsequently parked on the deck of the carrier Intrepid. The orbiter went on public display there in July.
A. From the Houston Chronicle: The Chronicle calls out New York over damage to Enterprise. Houston lost out on a bid to provide a retirement display venue for one of NASA’s shuttle orbiters.
5. From The Coalition for Space Exploration: NASA makes all data gathered by its three-year-old Kepler exo-planet hunting mission available to the public. Some 77 alien planets have been identified so far with Kepler’s observations. However, another 2,300 planet candidates await confirmation.
6. From The Atlantic: NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory director Charles Elachi finds every reason to believe there are alien life forms. ”We have the same laws of chemistry and physics. If there are any locations where there are the basic ingredients, there should be the basic ingredients for life,” Elachi notes during a science summit in San Jose, Calif.
7. From Cosmos Magazine of Australia: Asteroid, 2012 D14, as large as a city block, will sail within 15,000 miles of the Earth in mid-February. The size and distance are records, according to Cosmos.
Brought to you by the Coalition for Space Exploration, CSExtra is a daily compilation of space industry news selected from hundreds of online media resources. The Coalition is not the author or reporter of any of the stories appearing in CSExtra and does not control and is not responsible for the content of any of these stories. The content available through CSExtra contains links to other websites and domains which are wholly independent of the Coalition, and the Coalition makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy, completeness or authenticity of the information contained in any such site or domain and does not pre-screen or approve any content. The Coalition does not endorse or receive any type of compensation from the included media outlets and is not responsible or liable in any way for any content of CSExtra or for any loss, damage or injury incurred as a result of any content appearing in CSExtra. For information on the Coalition, visit www.spacecoalition.com or contact us via e-mail at [email protected].