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Thursday’s CSExtra offers the latest reporting and commentary on space related activities from around the world. U. S., Canadian and Russian astronauts lift off for the International Space Station. The U. S. Senate Appropriations Committee will get a new chairwoman: Maryland’s Barbara Mikulski has a strong interest in space. NASA responds to end of the world predictions. An Ariane 5 rocket boosts British and Mexican communications satellites. A glance back at NASA’s Apollo era lunar rovers. The just concluded GRAIL lunar gravity mapping mission is paying science and exploration dividends. Experts size up the physical and mental challenges confronting U. S. and Russian astronauts assigned to a year long mission aboard the International Space Station.
1. From CBS News and Spaceflightnow.com: Astronauts from the United States, Canada and Russia lift off for the International Space Station early Wednesday. NASA’s Tom Marshburn, Canada’s Chris Hadfield and Russia’s Roman Romanenko are expected at the orbiting space lab early Friday.
A. From USA Today: Video of the Soyuz TMA-07M spacecraft with its U.S., Canadian and Russian crew.
2. From The Hill: U. S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski, a Maryland Democrat, will succeed Hawaii’s Daniel Inouye as chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee. Inouye, the Senate’s longest serving member, died earlier this week.
A. From Spacepolicyonline.com: Maryland’s Barbara Mikulski previously chaired the Senate appropriations subcommittee with jurisdiction over NASA.
3. From The Washington Post: NASA tackles a global anxiety over end of the world fears prompted by the Mayan calendar. In brief, the world is not coming to an end on Friday.
A. From The Los Angeles Times: U. S. space agency does all it can to address concerns over end of the world predictions based on the Mayan calendar.
4. From Spaceflightnow.com: An Ariane 5 rocket, launched from French Guiana, places British and Mexican communications satellites into orbit.
5. From The Los Angeles Times: A look back at NASA’s Apollo-era lunar rovers. Boeing and General Motors collaborated on the battery powered vehicles that accompanied the Apollo 15,16 and 17 astronauts to the moon’s surface.
6. From The Economist: NASA’s GRAIL mission ended Monday. Findings from the year long mission are helping experts understand how the Earth’s moon evolved.
7. From Space.com: In late November, NASA and Roscosmos announced their selections of Scott Kelly and Mikhail Kornienko for a year-long mission to the International Space Station. The two men will face psychological as well as physical challenges as they go where only a few men have gone before.
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