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Wednesday’s CSExtra offers the latest reporting and commentary on space related activities from around the world. The clouds part over Australia affording spectacular though remote views of Tuesday’s solar eclipse. NASA’s Mars Curiosity rover analyzes its first soil sample. Google brings Mars into focus. Hawaii invests in a rugged space systems test facility. A commercial launch liability extension clears the U. S. House. Moving beyond the Vision for Space Exploration by leveraging the assets of cislunar space. In Denver, strange aerial activities captured on video spark a mile high debate.
1. From Cosmos Magazine: The clouds part and regions of Australia witness a solar eclipse on Tuesday.
A. From Space.com: A photo gallery from the eclipse.
B. From The Washington Post: Eclipse enthusiasts look to the Internet for live views of the remote event.
2. From Spaceflightnow.com: NASA’s Mars Curiosity rover studies its first Martian soil. The soil met science instruments on Friday, and a multi-instrument analysis followed. Curiosity began a two year primary mission with an Aug. 6 landing in Gale Crater on Mars.
A. From Popular Science: A look at the reasoning behind NASA’s decision to develop the sky crane, the device that lowered Curiosity to the surface of Mars.
B. From Discovery.com: Google Mars, bring ground truth from the red planet to Mars. NASA satellites make the hi resolution imagery possible.
3. From the Associated Press via The Houston Chronicle: The state of Hawaii places nearly $2.5 million toward development of the Pacific Island Space Center for Exploration Programs. PICSES will provide a test site that resembles the lunar and Martian terrains.
4. From Spacepolicyonline.com: The U. S. House on Tuesday passes a two-year extension of commercial launch liability protection. The measure places U.S. commercial launch providers on a level field with their foreign competitors, say supporters.
5. From Spudislunarresources.com: In an era of constrained budgets and shattered strategies to move humans beyond low Earth orbit, a buildup of resources in cislunar space may provide a formula to moving beyond the achievements of Apollo, writes Paul Spudis, a veteran lunar scientist and participant in post-Apollo human deep space exploration efforts. This is the 5th in a series of essays from the scientist on the topic.
A. From Florida Today: Exploration advocacy groups must look to an affordable space agenda, writes columnist John Kelly. The economic environment is too constrained to accommodate the grand visions favored by the most passionate advocates, he writes.
6. From Discovery.com: In Denver, the news media and aviation experts debate a UFO mystery. Optical illusions are the likely source, the website suggests.
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