Marc Boucher: December 2012 Archives

Further up Yonder

A Message from the International Space Station to All Humankind, (Video) NASA

"NASA Television shares this inspiring production by Italian videomaker, Giacomo Sardelli, about the International Space Station, its inhabitants, and its role in space exploration. Sardelli writes of the video, "I'm not the first one to use NASA's pictures taken from the International Space Station to craft a Timelapse video. You can find many of them on the Internet, that's where my inspiration came from. What I wanted to do, though, was to look beyond the intrinsic beauty of those pictures, and use them to tell a story and share the messages sent by the astronauts who worked on the station in the last 11 years."

CuriousMars: Curiosity Begins Rock Triage to Avoid Dangers of "Martian Honey", SpaceRef

From Craig Covault and A.J.S. Rayl "The first use the rover Curiosity's drill to obtain subsurface samples from inside a rock on Mars will be delayed until mid to late January to reduce risk to the rover during its first drilling operations."

"The delay is needed to complete extensive target rock "triage" to ensure that the heat from drilling friction will not cause the pounded rock sample to turn into a kind of gooey "Martian honey" that would foul rover components, perhaps fatally."

Expedition 34 Launches

Soyuz Rocket Launches Expedition 34 to the International Space Station (With video), SpaceRef

"At 7:12 a.m. ET this morning the Soyuz TMA-07M rocket with the Expedition 34 crew of Chris Hadfield (Canada), Tom Marshburn (USA) and Roman Romanenko (Russia) launched to the International Space Station on Expedition 34 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan."

This Year at NASA 2012 (Video), NASA

"A look back at the year that was at NASA in 2012. Highlights include the successful landing of the Mars Curiosity rover, the flight of the SpaceX Dragon to the International Space Station and much more."

Smallsats on the Rise

Smallsats on the Rise, Space Quarterly Magazine

"In the last decade, and especially in just the last few years, the pendulum has started to swing back to smaller satellites, at least for some applications. Advances in electronics and the miniaturization of other spacecraft components now make it possible for smaller satellites--weighing from a few hundred kilograms down to as little as a few kilograms--to perform missions that previously required much heavier spacecraft. While there are many applications that will still require large spacecraft, smallsats are carving out a growing share of the market among users in universities, governments, and industry."

Marc's note: The following article is a free sample from the current issue of Space Quarterly Magazine. It is our hope that if you enjoy this article you will consider subscribing to the magazine.

CuriousMars: Opportunity Hunts for Clay Minerals on Matijevic HillCuriousMars: Opportunity Hunts for Clay Minerals on Matijevic Hill, A.J.S. Rayl and Craig Covault, SpaceRef

"The Mars rover Curiosity has been commanding headlines with its every move from its historic, breathtaking landing last August to its first major discovery of an ancient stream bed formed by fast flowing water. In recent week's rumors, speculation, and wild conspiracy theories about what Curiosity has found have demonstrated, if nothing else, just how much the public is interested in Mars.

Curiosity is this week zeroing in on its first drilling target, but driving downhill toward it slower than planned because of difficult terrain, said Rick Welch mission manager at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).

But on the other side of the planet, the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Opportunity has been quietly soldiering on in her younger sibling's shadows."

India Races China in Space For Asian Prestige, Military SecurityIndia Races China in Space For Asian Prestige, Military Security, Space Quarterly Magazine

"A surging space race between India and China is underway amidst nearly a dozen other Asian nations, like India, trying to avoid a loss of prestige or military security to China's aggressive space program."

Marc's note: A timely piece in light of North Korea's launch. You'll find more timely and thought provoking articles in the December issue of Space Quarterly Magazine which we just released. The following article is a free sample. It is our hope that if you enjoy this article you will consider subscribing to the magazine.

SQ-Dec-2012-USA-cover-200x260.jpgSpace Quarterly Magazine December Issue Available

Space Quarterly December 2012 U.S. Edition Table of Contents

  • - Interview: NanoRacks: Providing a Commercial Pathway for Research in Low Earth Orbit
  • - Business Briefs
  • - The Commercial Crew Program Enters the Next Phase
  • - NewSpace: Turning the Corner?
  • - JPL Curiosity Team Challenged by Exciting Data, Sampling Workload
  • - The A-Train and Formation Flying
  • - Current State of the Satellite Industry
  • - Earth Observation: Presence and Future
  • - Hosted Payloads
  • - Smallsats on the Rise
  • - India Races China in Space for Asian Prestige, Military Security
  • - The Chris Hadfield Story
  • - Future Space: Ionizing Radiation and Space-born Electronics

CuriousMars: Martian Science Detectives Aid Curiosity and OpportunityCuriousMars: Martian Science Detectives Aid Curiosity and Opportunity, SpaceRef Mars Today

"Mysteries on opposite sides of Mars are drawing the Curiosity and Opportunity rover science teams closer together in a search for habitable environments that could have supported Martian life early in the planet's history."

Marc's note: Today SpaceRef debuts CuriousMars by Craig Covault and A.J.S. Rayl. CuriousMars is a major new weekly feature with authoritative and insightful reporting and analysis on all aspects of current and future robotic operations on the Martian surface and in Martian orbit. CuriousMars will report on the adventure of exploration and science combined with the realities of policy, cost, politics and international cooperation.

Also of note the new features coincides with the relaunch of Mars Today (, SpaceRef's dedicated site to Mars with over 5700 Mars mission reports categorized by mission and at times by instrument.



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