CSExtra – Wednesday, February 1, 2012
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Wednesday’s CSExtra offers the latest reporting and commentary on space-related activities from across the globe. In Russia, space officials say plans for the next Soyuz crew launch to the International Space Station will be delayed by a ground test failure. NASA’s Interstellar Boundary Explorer makes the first detection of chemical elements from beyond the solar system. NASA astronaut Shannon Lucid, a space endurance record holder, retires. After weeks of speculation, Russian investigators point to poor computer hardware and lack of pre-launch testing as the cause of a recent Mars mission loss. Florida’s Space Coast shows signs of economic recovery. An advocate for the human exploration of Mars examines the issue of risk.
1. From Ria Novosti of Russia: Russian space officials say the next crew launch to the International Space Station will be delayed from late March to late April or mid-May. The postponement was blamed on the ground test failure of the Soyuz TMA-04M that was to launch an American and two Russians to the outpost. http://bit.ly/yqrWOt
2. From National Geographic Daily News: From its orbit 200,000 miles away, NASA’s Interstellar Boundary Explorer detects the first chemical elements from interstellar space. The particles of hydrogen, oxygen and neon came from the space between stars, scientists report. http://bit.ly/zdTZb8
3. From Spaceflightnow.com: Veteran astronaut Shannon Lucid follows colleague Jerry Ross in to retirement. Lucid, a former world record spaceflight holder for women, announced her retirement Tuesday. She follows vet Jerry Ross, the first human to launch into space seven times. Lucid was selected in 1978, Ross in 1980. http://bit.ly/w58uk5
4. From Spacepolicyonline.com: Russian experts point to cosmic ray interference and/or computer chips that were not space qualified or adequately vetted before launch for the heavy publicized loss of the Phobos Grunt mission. The spacecraft was stranded in Earth orbit after an early November launch. Scientists hoped to retrieve soil samples from the Martian moon Phobos. http://bit.ly/xEZvFg
A. From Spacepolicyonline.com and RussianSpaceWeb.com: Investigators find interference from the radar of foreign sources, the United States, for instance, was not the source of the Phobos Grunt mission loss. http://bit.ly/xoafNS
5. From Florida Today: New data suggests Florida’s Space Coast has started to rebound from the economic hit that accompanied the retirement of NASA’s 30-year shuttle program in mid-2011. A general improvement in the regional economy is expected, including net job growth and more spending, the newspaper reports in an article that appeared Jan. 28. Unemployment peaked at 12.8 percent in January 2010. http://on.flatoday.com/zQYkTj
6. From Reason Magazine: In an op-ed, Robert Zubrin, president of the Mars Society, examines NASA’s approach to risk and the prospects for reaching the Red Planet with human explorers. http://bit.ly/ywzZcr
A. From Wired.com: Life in space could alter the genes of astronauts, a European study using fruit flies as subjects suggests. Fruit flies have long been subjects of genetic studies. http://bit.ly/xlIQqK
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