CSExtra – Friday, July 26, 2013
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Friday’s CSExtra offers the latest reporting and commentary on space related activities from across the globe. Astronomers have unveiled a bonanza of alien planets. Do they host biological activity? NASA’s hobbled Kepler alien planet hunting observatory makes recovery strides, but a full recovery seems in doubt. NASA and its International Space Station sustaining engineers at Boeing see a long life for the six person orbital outpost. A Russian Progress cargo ship departs the space station, clearing the way for a new freighter on Saturday. A new NASA mission probes the sun’s secrets. A French Ariane 5 launches European and Indian satellites. European space food research identifies a cholesterol diminishing bacterium. A new feature film, Gravity, raises questions about survival in space. In Florida, the first U. S. space station, Skylab, is the focus of a weekend forum.
1. From The New York Times: Scientists have expanded humanity’s perspective over the last two decades with discoveries of alien planets that suggest exo-planets are common. Life, though, is still elusive for those in search of alien intelligence. At least we are learning where to look with abundance, writes Caleb Scharf, director of astrobiology at Columbia University in New York.
A. From CBS News: Engineers are hard at work on efforts to revive NASA’s Kepler space telescope, a four-year-old alien planet hunter. The mission has been hobbled since May by multiple reaction wheel failures. Some recovery is likely, but the telescope is unlikely to regain the full aiming capability crucial to a continued search for Earth-like planets circling other stars.
2. From Space.com: NASA and Boeing, the space agency’s contractor for sustaining engineering, see a bright future for International Space Station operations through 2020 and likely beyond.
3. From Space.com: A Russian Progress re-supply ship departed the International Space Station Thursday, clearing a berthing port for a successor. Russia’s Progress 52 is expected to launch and dock on Saturday, delivering 2.8 tons of supplies, including repair tools for the space suit that leaked water during a July 16 spacewalk.
4. From Discovery.com: You guessed it: solar physics are more complex that long imagined. NASA’s Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph, a spacecraft mission launched just last month, begins to unravel one mystery, why the sun’s outer atmosphere is so hot.
5. From Xinhuanet, of China: An Ariane 5 rocket successfully launches European mobile communications and Indian weather satellites from French Guiana on Thursday.
6. From The Coalition for Space Exploration: European Space Agency research identifies a bacterium that reduces the harmful form of cholesterol. “Red” bacterium’s properties were discovered during research on food and nutrition for astronauts on long deep space missions.
7. From Collectspace.com: The website previews some Intriguing scenes from Gravity, a major feature film scheduled to debut in theaters in October. The film explores the outcome of a shuttle struck by space debris and the outcome for two survivors.
8. From Florida Today: In Florida, the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex will feature a panel discussion on America’s first space station, Skylab, during a weekend program. The former space lab is marking a 40th anniversary.
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].