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Friday’s CSExtra offers the latest reporting and commentary on space related activities from around the world. Outside the International Space Station, spacewalking cosmonauts prepare the Russian segment for a future science module. China sets a launch date for the next Shenzhou mission to the Tiangong 1 space lab. New commentary on NASA’s proposed 2013 budget urges wise investments in space technology to help secure the nation’s economic future. The European Space Agency overcomes difficulties with its Mars Express probe. Florida Gov. Rick Scott signs legislation assisting commercial space launch activities. The Labor Department channels funds to laid off space shuttle workers in the Houston area. Draper Lab and Masten Space team to demonstrate new rocket landing and guidance systems. The European Space Agency makes Georges Lemaitre the namesake for a future spacecraft. Pursuing the Wow signal.
1. From Space.com: Two cosmonauts re-locate an external cargo crane during a six hour spacewalk outside the International Space Station on Thursday.
2. From The People’s Daily of China: China looks to June for the next launch of a Shenzhou spacecraft to the prototype orbital space lab, Tiangong 1.
3. From Roll Call: Board members from the Coalition for Space Exploration make the case for a well funded NASA budget, based on a future U. S. global leadership and a strong economy.
A. From the Pasadena Sun of California: In an op-ed the newspaper urges Congress to look beyond NASA’s Mars program for budget cuts. The newspaper suggests there are other NASA programs that merit reductions. Unveiled this week, NASA’s 2013 budget includes a deep reduction in Mars mission spending to help pay for cost overruns in the James Webb Space Telescope initiative.
4. From Spaceflightnow.com: The European Space Agency’s Mars Express overcame difficulties with the probe’s mass memory unit this month. Science collection was halted for four months.
5. From Florida Today: Florida Governor Rick Scott signs a bill broadening the definition of launch support facilities. The measure is intended to help fund the commercial space launch industry flourish in the state.
6. From the Houston Chronicle: The Labor Department issues $3.1 million to the Texas Workforce Commission to assist laid off NASA workers in Houston.
7. From Space.com: Draper Laboratory and Masten Space Systems’ Xombie suborbital rocket passed a milestone vertical landing demonstration this month as part of NASA’s Flight Opportunities Program. In a test spanning 67 seconds, Xombie rose 164 feet, maneuvered laterally the same distance and descended exercising a Draper guidance and navigation system. The flight effort could improve planetary landing systems.
8. From Collectspace.com: The European Space Agency selects Belgian physicist Georges Lemaitre as the name sake for a future cargo vessel destined for the International Space Station. Lemaitre is credited with initiating the Big Bang discussion.
9. From The Atlantic: Pursuing the “Wow” signal. In 1977, radio astronomers logged an intriguing signal as they scanned the skies for evidence of extraterrestrial life. The source remains a mystery, and the topic of a new book, The Elusive Wow.
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