CSExtra – Tuesday, November 20, 2012
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Tuesday’s CSExtra offers a look at the latest reporting and commentary on space related activities from around the world. In Europe, the moon looks like an attractive human destination for the continent’s aerospace industry. Is Russia primed to cradle a lunar base initiative? Women on the rise in aerospace. In Florida, a NASA shuttle hanger undergoes a commercial transformation. A mega Jupiter. The French CoRoT exo-planet hunting mission appears to be on its heels. The recent conformation of a starless planet has astronomers pondering whether they are many more orphan planets. Poland becomes an official member of the European Space Agency. NASA’s next lunar mission will assess the status and the future of the tenuous lunar atmosphere. The General Accountability Office urges NASA to refine its contract performance reviews. Coronal mass ejections: sometimes they go your way, sometimes they don’t.
1. From The New York Times: In Europe, the aerospace industry likes the moon as a destination. European ministers will gather in Naples, Italy, this week to consider their options. At stake, $15.3 billion in spending over the next three years.
A. From Space.com: A strategically positioned U. S. human base in lunar orbit could pave the way to the future exploration of Mars, according to some experts.
2. From The Space Review: In “Back to the future: space and escaping the gravitational pull of economic crisis,” essayists Vid Beldavs and Jeffrey Sommers suggest Russia may be the best place to initiate a lunar base initiative that would serve to expand the global economic sphere on a range of fronts, including energy, agriculture and medicine. Europe is positioned as the catalyst for international support. In the U.S. voters would quickly dismiss the proposition as too expensive, writes Beldavs is a Latvian consultant to high tech start ups, and Sommers a University of Wisconsin professor of economics.
3. From The Los Angeles Times: Marillyn Hewson, of Lockheed Martin, is the latest in a number of women trained as engineers and scientists during the Cold War and now rising in the executive ranks of U.S. aerospace, the newspaper reports.
4. From Florida Today: Changes are under way within the Kennedy Space Center’s Orbiter Processing Facility-3, which once housed shuttle Discovery. The conversion to the Commercial Crew and Cargo Processing Facility will nurture Boeing’s efforts to develop the CST-100 spacecraft as part of a commercial crew orbital transportation system.
5. From Discovery.com: Astronomers identify a super Jupiter class alien planet. This out-sized planet is 13 times as large as Jupiter and circles a star, Kappa Andromedae, that is more than twice as large as the sun. The find was made using Japan’s Subaru Telescope atop Mauna Kea in Hawaii.
6. From Nature via Scientific American: The French space telescope launched in 2006 to chart alien planets may be on its last legs, multiple publications report. Launched in 2006, CoRoT encountered a computer problem earlier this month. The observatory recorded the first rocky exo planet.
7. From The Washington Post: Astronomers ponder the discovery of a “nearby” planet without traditional ties to a star.
8. From Spacepolicyonline.com: Poland formally joins the European Space Agency as the 20th member state.
9. From Space.com: In April 2013, NASA aims to launch the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer to assess the close in environment around the moon. Levitating dust would be a significant find.
10. From Spacepolicyonline.com: The U. S. General Accountability Office urges NASA to adopt an earned value strategy to curtail fraud in the services it contracts for.
11. From the Los Angeles Times: A primer on solar coronal mass ejections. Some of these solar storms take aim at the Earth. Others go elsewhere. When they come this way, however, the impact is something to behold.
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