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These news clips on global space news are provided by the Coalition for Space Exploration for distribution by the Space Foundation to our constituents. You can also subscribe to receive a daily email version.

CSExtra – Friday, June 15, 2012

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Friday’s CSExtra offers the latest reporting and commentary on space related activities from around the world.  China’s fourth human space mission nears a lift off on Saturday. The sun unleashes two massive flares headed toward Earth. Europe invests more in its troubled Exo-Mars program, a multi-mission initiative that NASA recently pulled out of.  A U. S. Senate oversight panel will take another look at NASA’s commercial cargo and crew space initiatives. The hearing scheduled for next week follows the successful SpaceX re-supply mission to the International Space Station in May. NASA’s long running Cassini mission detects methane lakes near the equator of Saturn’s moon Titan. A look at the challenges of mining the solar system. Copenhagen Suborbital’s once fanciful plans to start a space passenger service take shape.

1. From China’s Shenzou 9 mission,  with three crew — including the country’s first woman astronaut, is nearing a Saturday lift off. China announced the astronauts will attempt a manual rather than an automated docking with China’s orbiting Tiangong-1 Space lab.

A. From China’s upcoming mission will mark the country’s fourth human spaceflight, but its first in four years. The docking mission has experts speculating how rapidly China’s space program is advancing and whether it poses a security threat to western nations like the United States.

2. From and Cosmic Log: An active sun unleashes two coronal mass ejections toward the Earth this week. Impact with the Earth’s magnetic field is expected on Saturday.  Auroral displays should become more intense.

A. From A look in words and pictures at how satellite missions monitor solar activity, including massive sun spot eruptions and flares that can send massive amounts of plasma hurtling into the solar system.

3. From Space News: The European Space Agency finds $104 million to fund its Exo-Mars project through the end of the year. Budget challenges remain,  however.  NASA, faced with sending constraints of its own, dropped out of the joint  project to launch Mars orbiting and roving spacecraft in 2016 and 2018. Russia is moving head with plans to replace NASA as a partner in what is ultimately to become an effort to retrieve soil and rock samples from the red planet and return them to Earth for analysis.

4. From The Senate Commerce Committee schedules a June 20 hearing on NASA’s commercial cargo and crew initiatives. The hearing follows the first commercial re-supply mission to the International Space Station  — flown by SpaceX in May. So far, the House and Senate have not provided all of the funding requested by the White House for NASA’s commercial crew initiative, The commercial programs are the centerpiece of a U. S. strategy to replace the space shuttle..

A. From The Los Angeles Times: NASA Administrator Charles Bolden offers praise to SpaceX workers in his visit to the company’s Hawthorne, Calif., headquarters. SpaceX flew the first U. S. commercial re-supply mission to the International Space Station in May. More than a thousand workers received Bolden’s thanks.,0,5805190.story

5. From the Los Angeles Times: NASA’s long running Cassini mission to Saturn detects shallow methane filled lakes near the equator of the moon Titan. On Titan, methane acts much as water does on the Earth. Lakes of the organic fluid were previously found near Titan’s poles.,0,3705613.story

6. From Popular Mechanics: Tom Jones, planetary scientist and former NASA astronaut, looks at the challenges and rewards of extracting valuable resources from the asteroids, the moon and Mars. They include over coming risk, finding the right technologies and identifying markets for resources like water and minerals.

7. From Four years ago, Kristian von Bergston and Peter Madsen may have seemed a bit odd as they climbed into a home built submarine docked in Copenhagen and emerged with a plan to build a suborbital rocket. After a successful unmanned test flight, it seems they were not so fanciful after all.

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 or contact us via e-mail at [email protected].


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