CSExtra – Thursday, November 15, 2012
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Thursday’s CSExtra offers the latest reporting and commentary on space related activities from around the world. NASA’s Kepler prolific alien planet hunter mission receives a four-year extension. Astronomers identify a young homeless planet traveling on a not so distant course through the Milky Way. NASA’s International Space Station program manager discusses spacecraft issues linked to the October SpaceX cargo delivery mission. Mercury spacecraft artist Cecelia Bibby dies. Russia launches a military communications satellite. The annual Leonid meteor shower peaks this weekend. A Huntsville, Ala., contractor picks up new commercial space work, as does veteran contractor ATK, of Utah.
1. From Space.com: NASA’s Kepler space telescope alien planet hunting mission receives a potential four year extension after a more than three year prime mission. Kepler monitors approximately 150,000 Milky Way stars for signs of planets within the habitable zone — a region that would permit the possibility of liquid water on the surface.
2. From Discovery.com: French and Canadian astronomers identify a homeless planet wandering among a young and not so distant star group. The planet’s mass is measured at four to seven times Jupiter’s, its age at between 50 and 120 million years. More discoveries of the kind are likely as observation technologies improve, say scientists.
3. From Spaceflightnow.com: During a hearing before the NASA Advisory Council in Washington, International Space Station program manager Mike Suffredini outlines some lingering issues from the October SpaceX Dragon commercial re-supply mission. They include computer and GPS issues while the supply craft was docked to the station, a power loss during descent as well as a first stage engine shutdown during the launching.
A. From Reuters: A severed ground cable near Moscow interrupts communications between ground control teams and the Russian segment of the International Space Station and other satellites. However, Russian controllers were able to issue commands to the station through NASA’s Mission Control and other Russian assets, according to spokesmen.
B. From Ria Novosti of Russia: A severed communications cable affecting International Space Station and other satellite communications is repaired. Thursday’s difficulties will not interrupt plans for three U. S., Russian and Japanese station astronauts to return to Earth late Sunday/early Monday.
4. From Collectspace.com: Mercury spacecraft artist Cecelia Bibby dies. Her hand painted insignias adorned NASA’s Mercury spacecraft. Bibby was 84.
5. From Spaceflightnow.com: Russia launches a military communications satellite aboard a Soyuz rocket from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome on Wednesday.
6. From Space.com: This week will bring a peak in the annual Leonid meteor shower. The debris comes from the comet Tempel-Tuttle. A dearth of moon light should improve viewing where skies are clear.
7. From The Huntsville Times: Virgin Galactic selects Zero Point Frontier Corp of Huntsville for design and engineering support of the Launcher One satellite system.
A. From Flightglobal.com: The suborbital space transportation company XCOR selects ATK to fabricate composite wings and control surfaces for its Lynx Mark I space plane.
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 Info@spacecoalition.com.