Spaceflight Vol 55 No 12 – December 2013

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Peake practice
Keeping track of UK ESA astronaut Tim Peake, Spaceflight reports on training sessions with the remote manipulator system in Canada and on familiarization checks with the Orlan space suit and Russia’s unique EVA equipment.

End of a 40 year Countdown
Bart Hendrickx tells the story of Russia’s NK-33 rocket engine programme, beginning when it was designed for the fated N-1 Moon rocket launcher. Now the NK-33 powers the first stage of the Antares rocket used by Orbital Sciences to place the Cygnus resupply module in orbit.

Mixed messages from Curiosity
The Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) box on NASA’s Curiosity rover has produced results which, while not precluding the fact that life could have existed on Mars in the first aeon of its evolution, may make it more difficult to detect traces of such activity on later missions.

MAVEN to Mars
Continuing our coverage of news from Mars, MAVEN is set to launch mid-November on a mission to find out why the atmosphere of Mars is so rare today, helping to unravel indications of a very different environment in the past. Set to reach Mars in September 2014, MAVEN will complement earlier spacecraft and target the Sun-Mars interaction in a unique way.

The 2013 IAC in Beijing
Scott Hatton reports from Beijing on the 64th International Astronautical Congress where politics had a part to play but where the BIS made ground on exerting an international stance through agreements consolidating cooperation with new groups. With a memorandum of understanding between the BIS for the UK and the NVR for the Netherlands, a great deal of progress was made toward expanding mutual interests within the IAF and between respective organisations. .

Nelson Bridwell takes us into the speculative world of space faction, where possibilities for the future collide with the realities of the present. Arguing for a balanced view of why we go into space, and that real space exploration need not be profitable, he sets the bar at a realistic level and supports an early Moon base as the way to proceed.

Regular Features

Britain in Space – UK scientist unlocks Mars secret – Goodbye to GOCE

World News Analysis – ISS gets new supply chain

In brief – news shorts from around the world

Satellite Digest – 491 September 2013

ISS Operations Summary – 11 September to 20 October 2013

Inbox – A call to arms – A new future – No time to sit back! – Critiquing Inspiration – To boldly go – Legacy of an innovative mission

Off the shelf – Integrating Women into the Astronaut Corps

Obituaries – Malcolm Scott Carpenter – Milton Silveira – John Billingham – Mike Wargo

Society News – BIS History Committee – Northern Branch event in Space Week – Apollo veteran at South-West Special – Icarus Concept Design Workshop – Odyssey Evolves – BIS and IET at Warwick for Space Week

Diary Notices

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