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Wednesday’s CSExtra features the latest headlines on space related activities from around the world: From the U.S. perspective, 2010 marked a difficult year for the space community, discord over space policy and triumph for an emerging commercial space transportation sector. NASA prepares for an upswing in Earth science missions. In Russia, top space officials are fired following a Proton rocket failure in early December. Robonaut 2 impresses the Silicon Valley set. Christmas offers a welcome break for a half-dozen men on a virtual mission to Mars.
1. From Florida Today: 2010 marked a year of change, even upheaval for the space community: There was discord over President Obama’s new direction for space policy; the International Space Station neared completion, but shuttle missions are on hold because of a technical issue. SpaceX provided optimism for the advance of commercial space transportation.
2. From Space News: NASA plans an increase in Earth science missions. Under the agency’s latest budget blue print, 16 missions are planned between 2011 and 2021. Next up is Glory, a climate monitoring spacecraft set for launching in February.
3. From the Associated Press via the Orlando Sentinel: Russian president Dmitry Medvedev fires two Russian space officials and reprimands a third over the Dec. 5 loss of a Proton rocket with three Glonass navigation satellites. An investigation revealed the Proton’s upper stage was improperly fueled.
4. From the San Jose Mercury News of California: A look at the first humanoid destined for a place in space. Robonaut 2 awaits launch on the shuttle Discovery, perhaps in early February. The robot was fashioned in part from technologies nurtured at NASA’s Ames Research Center and Silicon Valley.
5. From MSNBC and Cosmic log: The six members of an international crew on a virtual 520 day mission to Mars celebrate the holidays in make shift style. The French, Russian, Italian and Chinese crew are locked away at the Institute for Medical and Biological Problems in Moscow. They are six months into their difficult experiment.
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 Info@spacecoalition.com.