CSExtra – Friday, December 14, 2012
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Friday’s CSExtra offers the latest reporting and commentary on space related activities from across the globe. NASA plans a Dec. 17 end to its successful GRAIL A and B lunar gravity studies mission. The U.S. and its allies warn North Korea of new sanctions after a provocative rocket launch. The Aerospace Industries Association warns of major NASA job losses if the U.S. Congress and White House fail to reach a deal on the budget and deficit reduction. NASA wins top honors as the best federal agency to work for in a worker poll. The House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, which holds a NASA oversight responsibility, looks to a major turnover in the new Congress. In Russia, controllers gradually recover a communications satellite placed in an improper orbit. NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco announces her departure from the agency responsible for weather satellites. The Curiosity rover copied in gingerbread.
1. From Space.com: NASA looks to a Dec. 17 end to its successful GRAIL mission to the moon. Launched in September 2011, two probes, Ebb and Flo, have orbited the moon developing a high-resolution map of the lunar gravity field. Now out of fuel, the two spacecraft will be directed to crash into a mountain near the moon’s North Pole. http://www.space.com/18895-nasa-grail-spacecraft-moon-crash.html
A. From CNN.com: NASA’s GRAIL mission has helped to confirm the moon’s origins while providing future planners of human and robotic missions with important navigational data. http://lightyears.blogs.cnn.com/2012/12/13/moon-probes-to-be-blown-apart-in-monday-mountain-crash/?hpt=hp_t3
2. From The New York Times: The U.S. and its Asian allies warn of new sanctions against North Korea, following a provocative rocket launch earlier this week. The launch was widely considered a test of a North Korean ballistic missile. Allies caution China that the launch may lead to a greater U.S. military presence in the region. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/13/world/asia/north-korea-rocket-launching.html?src=un&feedurl=http%3A%2F%2Fjson8.nytimes.com%2Fpages%2Fscience%2Fspace%2Findex.jsonp
3. From Government Executive: An Aerospace Industries Association study suggests more than 20,000 NASA jobs could be lost if the White House and Congress jump off the “fiscal cliff.” http://www.govexec.com/management/2012/12/study-thousands-would-lose-jobs-nasa-noaa-budget-cuts/60154/?oref=river
A. From The Houston Business Journal: In Texas, more than 5,600 aerospace positions are in jeopardy as the White House and Congress march toward the Jan. 2 “fiscal cliff.” http://www.bizjournals.com/houston/news/2012/12/13/will-nasa-fall-off-the-fiscal-cliff.html
B. From the Huntsville Times: Job losses from the “fiscal cliff” may approach 1,300. http://blog.al.com/breaking/2012/12/1300_aerospace_jobs_said_at_ri.html
4. From Spacepolicyonline.com: Within the vast federal government, where is the top place to work? It’s NASA, according to an Office of Personnel Management survey. For NASA it’s familiar territory. http://www.spacepolicyonline.com/news/nasa-wins-top-spot-on-opm-list-of-best-places-to-work-in-federal-government
5. From Spacepolitics.com: The new U.S. Congress will feature a turnover within the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, whose responsibilities include NASA oversight. http://www.spacepolitics.com/2012/12/13/new-and-familiar-faces-joining-the-house-science-committee/
6. From Spaceflightnow.com: Controllers work to correctly position a Russian energy company’s communications satellite after it was released in the wrong orbit following a Proton rocket launch last Saturday. The problems were attributed to another Breeze M upper stage mishap. http://www.spaceflightnow.com/proton/yamal402/121212update/#.UMr9jeRjp48
7. From the Associated Press via The Washington Post: NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco will depart the agency in February. She will return to academia. Lubchenco was part of the White House response to the British Petroleum Gulf oil spill in 2010. http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/noaa-chief-lubchenco-is-leaving-her-post-at-end-of-february-known-for-gulf-oil-spill-crisis/2012/12/12/8b12923e-447d-11e2-8c8f-fbebf7ccab4e_story.html
8. From The Los Angeles Times: NASA’s Curiosity rover inspires a holiday gingerbread clone. http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2012/12/caltech-gets-anothers-mars-rover-but-this-ones-gingerbread.html