October 6, 2014

India Mars Mission: New York Times Apologizes for Cartoon (Source: BBC)
The New York Times newspaper has apologised for a cartoon on India's Mars Mission following readers' complaints that it mocked India. The cartoon showed a farmer with a cow knocking at the door of a room marked Elite Space Club where two men sit reading a newspaper on India's feat. The cartoon was carried with an article titled India’s Budget Mission to Mars.

Last month, India successfully put the Mangalyaan robotic probe into orbit around Mars. The total cost of the Indian mission was put at 4.5bn rupees ($74m; £45m), which makes it one of the cheapest interplanetary space missions ever. Only the US, Russia and Europe have previously sent missions to Mars, and India succeeded in its first attempt - an achievement that eluded even the Americans and the Soviets.

Andrew Rosenthal, editorial page editor of the New York Times, wrote that a "large number of readers" had complained about the cartoon. "The intent of the cartoonist, Heng Kim Song, was to highlight how space exploration is no longer the exclusive domain of rich, Western countries," Mr Rosenthal said. "Mr Heng, who is based in Singapore, uses images and text - often in a provocative way - to make observations about international affairs. We apologise to readers who were offended by the choice of images in this cartoon." (10/6)

Opinion Divided on Spaceport Plan for Llanbedr Airport (Source: BBC)
A four-month consultation which could help decide the location of the UK's first spaceport ends today with Gwynedd being one possible site. Eight shortlisted sites include one at Llanbedr Airfield and Gwynedd council says it would fully support the development. Other sites include six in Scotland and one in England - considered in a four-month consultation with some of the organizations involved.

By the year 2030 the global space economy is expected to be worth £400bn a year - and the UK government wants a slice. But it needs a port, from where it is thought satellites and space tourism flights will be launched. Opinion on Llanbedr is divided, with the Snowdonia Society opposed to the potential impact on the national park. The views of local people - who have yet to be consulted - will be sought if the site is identified as a serious contender, reports Brendon Williams. (10/6)

China, Venezuela Sign Deal to Launch Third Satellite: Reports (Source: RIA Novosti)
Chinese state-owned company China Great Wall Industry Corporation and the Venezuelan government have signed an agreement to build and deliver into orbit Venezuela's third satellite. "I want to celebrate the agreement to build and launch our third satellite in cooperation with China. Now we'll be more technologically independent with this new tool," Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, who attended the signing of the agreement, was quoted as saying by the agency.

The third Venezuelan satellite will be named after independence hero Antonio Jose de Sucre. The cost and exact time frame for the project have not been revealed. The first Venezuelan satellite, a telecommunications satellite, named after independence leader Simon Bolivar, was launched from China in 2008. Venezuela's second satellite, a remote sensing satellite, named after independence hero Francisco de Miranda, was launched from China in 2012. (10/6)

Is Orbital Sciences (ORB) Stock a Solid Choice Right Now? (Source: Zacks)
One stock that might be an intriguing choice for investors right now is Orbital Sciences Corp. (ORB). This is because this security in the Aerospace Defense Equipment industry is seeing solid earnings estimate revision activity, and is in great company from a Zacks Industry Rank perspective.

This is important because, often times, a rising tide will lift all boats in an industry, as there can be broad trends taking place in a segment that are boosting securities across the board. This is arguably taking place in the Aerospace Defense Equipment industry space as it currently has a Zacks Industry Rank of 45 out of more than 250 industries, suggesting it is well-positioned from this perspective, especially when compared to other segments out there. (10/6)

The Stray Dogs That Became Soviet Space Heroes (Source: WIRED)
Laika, Belka, and Strelka. These stray dogs, plucked from the streets of the USSR, were the first creatures to reach orbit, enduring inhumane tests and then either perishing in space or finding themselves the adored darlings of the Motherland when they returned home. They were pioneers for human kind–characters in a new mythology that connected the USSR’s utopian ideology with its achievements in space. Those achievements were a concrete manifestation of that utopia and the dogs were its hero-mascots.

And boy, people put those dogs on everything. Cigar bands, stamps, tin toys, chocolate wrappers, plates, badges. In Soviet Space Dogs, Olesya Turkina collects this trove of memorabilia in one place. They’re cute, a little kitschy, and actually still kind of inspiring. (10/6)

NASA Eyes Crew Deep Sleep Option for Mars Mission (Source: Space.com)
A NASA-backed study explores an innovative way to dramatically cut the cost of a human expedition to Mars -- put the crew in stasis. The deep sleep, called torpor, would reduce astronauts' metabolic functions with existing medical procedures. Torpor also can occur naturally in cases of hypothermia. Click here. (10/4)

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