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Today’s CSExtra offers the latest reporting and commentary on space related activities from across the globe. House bill would shift money to work on NASA’s Space Launch System heavy lift rocket and Orion spacecraft. Budget cuts threaten NASA’s planetary science programs. Hubble finds evidence of water in the atmospheres of five alien planets. Scientists find theory to explain craggy nature of Europa’s ice covered oceans. U.S. House to hear testimony of prospects for alien life. Debris from China launch of Chang’e-3 lunar probe strikes homes of farmers. Apollo era data quantifies dust build up on the moon. Italy facing steep space cuts. Blue Origin reports advances with home grown rocket engine for commercial suborbital, orbital passenger flights. Contestants in contest for commercial suborbital spaceflight gather in Florida.
Human Deep Space Exploration
Huntsville Times (12/3): Brooks’ bill would provide the funds to NASA’s Space Launch System heavy lift rocket, Orion/Multi-Purpose crew vehicle and the International Space Station. The funds have been appropriated but held in reserve to cover possible termination costs, the Times reports.
Unmanned Deep Space Exploration
The Atlantic (12/3): Sequestration and other budget pressures could jeopardize NASA’s planetary sciences program. In discussions with workers, NASA says future reductions in spending may come from a pursuit that provides new knowledge and advances in technology. Cassini, a long running mission to Saturn, could be among the programs in jeopardy.
Huntsville Times (12/3): Astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope detect the signature of water in the atmospheres of five exo-planets. The study published in the Astrophysics Journal marked the first time scientists have been able to conclusively measure and compare water’s presence among multiple planets.
Discovery (12/4): Scientists find theory to explain “craggy” nature of Jupiter’s ice covered moon, Europa. The Jovian satellite is considered a potential habitat by astrobiologists. Yet, shrinking budgets threaten efforts to reach the surface of Europa with spacecraft.
Huffington Post (12/3): The House Committee on Science, Space and Technology will hear testimony from experts Wednesday on the prospects for life on alien planets. The session falls close to the end of the first year of the 113th Congress.
Global Times (12/4): Debris from the rocket launch that started China’s Chang’e-3 lander mission to the moon falls to Earth damaging the homes of two farmers, authorities report. No injuries, reported.
Science News (12/3): A re-examination of measurements gathered by Apollo astronauts quantifies dust build up. The accumulation of the dust is considered an obstacle to human lunar activity.
Low Earth Orbit
Space News (12/3): Italy’s defense ministry warns of proposed 2014 cuts that will prevent it from doing no more than maintaining in orbit assets and ground facilities. Some officials say they will oppose cuts estimated at 43 percent over two years.
Commercial to Orbit
Seattle Times (12/3): Blue Origin reaches rocket test milestone. The high performance BE-3 liquid hydrogen/oxygen rocket engine figures in the company’s suborbital and orbital commercial space passenger planning.
Space News (12/3): Third try is a charm for SpaceX as it places its first commercial telecommunications satellite in geosynchronous transfer orbit with a launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., late Tuesday. The launch was for SES of Luxembourg.
Space.com (12/3): Over 100 contestants from all over the world will gather at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center for the AXE Apollo Space Academy, part of a commercial contest developed to launch 25 people on a XCORP Aerospace Lynx spacecraft.
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