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Monday’s CSExtra offers the latest reporting and commentary on space related activities from around the world, plus a roundup from the weekend. As NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory nears an Aug. 5-6 landing on Mars, scientists suggests the rover may be able to detect underground organics. Scientists knock down claims of an arsenic loving life form. Jose Hernandez, California congressional candidate and former NASA astronaut, will carry the Olympic Torch for a stretch run outside London. In Southern Arizona, astronomers mobilize to keep the night skies dark. SpaceShipTwo finds a featured spot at the Farnborough International Air Show. Volunteers will gather in Hawaii for an analog Mars mission. They will evaluate food choices for the long mission. An active sun unleashed its most intense solar flare of the summer late Friday. NASA waves off efforts to coordinate a Cocoa Beach air show with the departure of shuttle Endeavour to a Los Angeles museum. Erie, Colo., plans a tribute to Mercury astronaut Scott Carpenter. A look at major space policy events planned for the week ahead.
1. From Space.com, July 6: Evidence of underground organics may be within reach of NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory/Curiosity rover, say scientists. The study suggests radiation levels at the Martian surface may fall off at depths the rover can access. MSL/Curiosity is barreling toward an Aug. 5/6 landing at Gale Crater on Mars.
2. From MSNBC and Cosmic Log, July 8: Scientists, in new studies, counter claims of a life form that can live on arsenic. The arsenic claim, made in late 2010, ignited speculation about potential varieties of alien life.
3. From ABC News.com, July 8: Jose Hernandez, a California congressional candidate and a former NASA shuttle astronaut, will run with the Olympic Torch outside London on July 9. London is hosting the 2012 Summer Olympics.
4. From the Los Angeles Times, July 7: Southern Arizona, noted for its astronomy friendly dark skies, finds itself in conflict with a mining concern that plans to operate around the clock.
5. From Aviation Week & Space Technology, July 9: SpaceShipTwo, developed by Scaled Composites for Virgin Galactic’s suborbital passenger service, takes center stage at the Farnborough Air Show in England this week.
6. From the Coalition for Space Exploration, July 6: The University of Hawaii and Cornell University announce the selection of six volunteers to participate in an analog Mars mission in Hawaii to test food for long human deep space exploration. Instant as well as space made selections will be evaluated for taste and nutrition. The analog mission begins early next year.
7. From Space.com, July 7: The sun unleashed its strongest solar flare of the summer late Friday. It came from an enormous sun spot, AR1515, which was especially active last week.
8. From The Orlando Sentinel, July 7: So far, NASA has rejected efforts by an air show promoter to time the departure of the retired shuttle orbiter Endeavour from the Kennedy Space Center around a Cocoa Beach, Fla., air show. Endeavour is scheduled to be ferried to Los Angeles for public display. The two-day air show begins Sept. 22.
9. From the Associated Press via The Denver Post., July 7: Erie, Colorado prepares a tribute to Mercury astronaut Scott Carpenter, the second American to orbit the Earth.
10. From Spacepolicyonline.com, July 7: A look at major space related activities planned for the week ahead,
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