January 6, 2014

CASIS to Induct Four New Board of Director Members (Source: CASIS)
The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS), the nonprofit organization promoting and managing research onboard the International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory, announced it will induct four new members to the organization’s Board of Directors. They include Lt. General James A. Abrahamson (USAF Retired); Joseph Formichelli; Ioannis (Yannis) Miaoulis, Ph.D.; and Philip Schein, M.D. (1/6)

Britain's First Astronaut Hails 'Exciting Times' for UK's Place in Spaceflight (Source: The Guardian)
The man who will become Britain's first official astronaut experienced "a wild mix of emotions – elation, excitement, shock and trepidation" on learning that he had beaten 10,000 other applicants to win a place next year in the International Space Station.

Major Tim Peake, a former British army air corps helicopter pilot, said he never seriously contemplated a career as an astronaut, since the chances of becoming one were so limited – particularly since the UK had opted out of the European program for human space flight. Click here. (1/5)

Sriharikota to Get Third Launch Pad (Source: Business Standard)
India has lined up around 50 missions in the next five years. To support these, the organisation was planning to set up a “high-tech” third launch pad at the Sriharikota space station, near Chennai, before 2016. K Radhakrishnan, ISRO chairman, said: “We require one more launch pad to carry heavy payloads and that would come up here in two years.” (1/6)

The Artists Who Own the Moon (Source: The Guardian)
With China sending the Jade Rabbit rover and Google egging on private companies to make their own landings, the race for lunar ownership is hotting up. But has a group of artists got there first? With as much land as Africa, the moon is a new frontier. Lured by its natural resources, China sent the Jade Rabbit rover there last month. Meanwhile, Google is sponsoring a competition to spur private companies into landing similar vehicles by 31 December 2015. Yet the question of who owns the moon and its exploitation rights is a vexed one.

In law, there may be nothing to stop the competitors from claiming the moon, or at least part of it, for their own commercial exploitation. It could be the start of corporate imperialism in space. With nations hamstrung from competing, this would inevitably lead to private companies holding power over national governments.

This situation has emboldened a group of artists to trump everyone and claim the moon for themselves. On Friday, the Arts Catalyst opens The Republic of the Moon, an exhibition in London's Bargehouse. The exhibition is their Earthbound embassy and the artworks are their celebration of this new territory. (1/5)

What's a Space Exploration Program For? (Source: Space Review)
As heads of space agencies meet in Washington this week for a space exploration conference, some in the US call for a change in direction in NASA's human spaceflight program.  Jeff Foust reports on several views of what NASA should be doing, as proposed in a new book. Visit http://www.thespacereview.com/article/2430/1 to view the article. (1/6)

Interview with Mark E. Brender of the DigitalGlobe Foundation (Source: Space Review)
The news media has become one of the major users of imagery from commercial satellites. Dwayne Day interviews one of the pioneers of such use of commercial imagery, offering his perspectives as someone who worked first in the media and then for one of the commercial remote sensing companies. Visit http://www.thespacereview.com/article/2429/1 to view the article. (1/6)

GSLV-D5 Success: A Major "Booster" to India's Space Program (Source: Space Review)
On Sunday, India launched successfully for the first time a version of its large GSLV rocket with an indigenously-developed cryogenic upper stage. Ajey Lele discusses the significance of this milestone for India's space program and its future plans. Visit http://www.thespacereview.com/article/2428/1 to view the article. (1/6)

First West, Then East (Source: Space Review)
Government agencies and companies have struggled for decades to develop feasible one- or two-stage reusable launch vehicles (RLVs). Ronald Menich describes how a three-stage RLV, while seemingly more complex, could be done today without any major technological breakthroughs. Visit http://www.thespacereview.com/article/2427/1 to view the article. (1/6)

US Citizens: Demand Maximum Support for NASA's Commercial Crew Program (Source: Space Review)
This is a key year for NASA's commercial crew efforts, and funding decisions in the coming weeks could determine the future of the program. Rick Boozer argues why the program deserves full funding. Visit http://www.thespacereview.com/article/2426/1 to view the article. (1/6)

French-UAE Intel Satellite Deal in Doubt (Source: Defense News)
A United Arab Emirates (UAE) deal to purchase two intelligence satellites from France worth almost 3.4 billion dirhams ($930 million) is in jeopardy after the discovery of what was described as “security compromising components.” A high-level UAE source said the two high-resolution Pleiades-type Falcon Eye military observation satellites contained two specific US-supplied components that provide a back door to the highly secure data transmitted to the ground station. (1/5)

Indian Launch Group Expects 15 % Growth in Turnover (Source: Business Standard)
Antrix Corporation Limited, the commercial arm of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), said it was expecting around 15 percent growth in turnover as more countries were using ISRO’s infrastructure and expertise to launch satellites. Antrix Corporation said in 2012-13 the corporation clocked a revenue of Rs 1,300 crore and expects about 15 percent growth in 2014-15. Contracts have been signed to launch large satellites for France, Germany and the UK. (1/6)

Triple Star System 'Can Reveal Secrets of Gravity' (Source: BBC)
Astronomers have discovered a unique triple star system which could reveal the true nature of gravity. They found a pulsar with two white dwarfs all packed in a space smaller than Earth's orbit of the Sun. The trio's unusually close orbits allow precise measurements of gravity and could resolve difficulties with Einstein's theories.

"This triple system gives us a natural cosmic laboratory far better than anything found before for learning exactly how such three-body systems work and potentially for detecting problems with general relativity that physicists expect to see under extreme conditions," said Scott Ransom. (1/5)

Jet in 'Near Miss' With UFO (Source: The Telegraph)
It was certainly a close encounter, but with precisely what remains a mystery. An airline pilot has reported a near miss in which a “rugby ball”-shaped UFO passed within a few feet of his passenger jet while flying near Heathrow Airport. The captain told the aviation authorities who have investigated the incident that he was certain the object was going to crash into his aircraft and ducked as it headed towards him.

The investigation has been unable to establish any earthly identity for the mysterious craft, which left the aircrew with no time to take evasive action. The incident occurred while the A320 Airbus was cruising at 34,000ft, around 20 miles west of the airport, over the Berkshire countryside. (1/5)

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