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Monday’s CSExtra offers a collection of the latest reporting and commentary on space related activities from around the world, plus a roundup from the weekend. Congressional appropriators press the White House science advisor on NASA’s commercial crew development strategy. Cyber attacks buffet NASA, the agency’s inspector general informs Congress. A European supply mission to the International Space Station faces delay. China anticipates the country’s first human space docking mission this summer. Space Station cosmonauts vote in Russia’s presidential election. The child of migrant workers turned NASA astronaut campaigns for a seat in the U. S. House of Representatives. A fireball lights up the night sky over the United Kingdom. A look at space policy related activities planned for the week ahead.
1. From Space News, March 2: White House science adviser John Holdren faces questions from Congress over NASA’s commercial crew development initiative. Some of the questioning suggests NASA should consider uniting the companies it has partnered with under a single teaming arrangement to lower costs. Other lawmakers seek assurance NASA has sufficient safety oversight. http://www.spacenews.com/policy/120302-comm-crew-concerns-congress.html
2. From The Los Angeles Times, March 2: In testimony before Congress last week, NASA’s inspector general outlines 5,400 computer security breaches in 2010-11. Nearly 50 came from highly sophisticated sources, including one from a Chinese internet address that succeeded in breaching NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and critical mission accounts. http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2012/03/jpl-computers-hacked-repeatedly-in-2010-and-2011-nasa-report-says.html
A. From Time Magazine, March 2: NASA Inspector General Paul K. Martin suggests in testimony before Congress last week that NASA is the target of cyber attacks from Europe, Eastern Europe and the United States as well as China, even though NASA’s is vigilant in efforts to thwart the intrusions. http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,2108215,00.html
3. From Spaceflightnow.com: The European Space Agency’s plans to launch a third re-supply ship to the International Space Station on March 9 are postponed so internal cargo can be re-secured. The mission will be re-scheduled for around March 23. http://www.spaceflightnow.com/ariane/va205/120302delay/
A. From Florida Today, Mar. 4: Columnist John Kelly notes the progress SpaceX is making in preparations to launch the first U. S. commercial supply mission to the International Space Station. Much at NASA beyond the space station is riding on the success of SpaceX, Kelly writes. http://www.floridatoday.com/article/20120304/COLUMNISTS0405/303040029/John-Kelly-We-should-all-cheer-SpaceX-success?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|Space
4. From Xinhuanet of China, March 3: China anticipates the launch of three astronauts on the Shenzhou 9 spacecraft between June and August. The mission will be China’s first human docking flight. The target will be the Tiangong-1 spacelab launched in late 2011. http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/china/2012-03/03/c_131444180.htm
A. From Xinhuanet of China, March 5: China’s Chang’e 3 mission, which is designed to place a lander and roving robot on the moon, will be launched next year. The lander will be expected to function for three months, say Chinese space experts. http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/china/2012-03/05/c_131447340.htm
5. From Ria Novosti of Russia, March 4: Three cosmonauts aboard the International Space Station vote in Russia’s presidential election a special communications session. http://en.rian.ru/russia/20120304/171720653.html
6. From The Houston Chronicle, March 3: Jose Hernandez, son of migrant workers, aerospace engineer and former NASA astronaut, runs for Congress from California. Hernandez faces an early June primary opponent before he can look toward the November ballot. http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/article/Space-wasn-t-final-frontier-for-3380115.php
7. From Universetoday.com, March 4: Cameras in the United Kingdom catch a bright fireball on March 3. http://www.universetoday.com/93964/massive-fireball-witnessed-over-the-uk-by-countless-observers/
8. From Spacepolicyonline.com: A look at space policy related events scheduled for the week ahead. Both the Senate and House have scheduled hearings on NASA’s budget and other matters. http://www.spacepolicyonline.com/news/events-of-interest-week-of-march-5-9-2012
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