Daily Archives: January 17, 2013

Space Launch System (11)



SPACE WATCH

Orion Service Module
NASA – This artist’s concept of the Orion Service Module was introduced today. When the Orion spacecraft blasts off atop NASA’s Space Launch System rocket in 2017, attached will be the ESA-provided service module – the powerhouse that fuels and propels the Orion spacecraft.

Orion will be the most advanced spacecraft ever designed and carry astronauts farther into space than ever before. It will sustain astronauts during space travel and provide safe re-entry from deep space and emergency abort capability. Orion will be launched by NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS), a heavy-lift rocket that will provide an entirely new capability for human exploration beyond low Earth orbit. Designed to be flexible for launching spacecraft for crew and cargo missions, SLS will enable new missions of exploration and expand human presence across the solar system.

The service module of the Orion spacecraft will provide support to the crew module from launch through separation prior to atmospheric re-entry.

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Housing, labor data provide upbeat signs on economy


By Lucia Mutikani – The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits tumbled to a five-year low last week, a hopeful sign for the sluggish labor market.

“This is a good sign for the January nonfarm payrolls,” said David Sloan, an economist at 4CAST in New York.

While last week’s decline ended four straight weeks of increases, it may not signal a material shift in labor market conditions as claims tend to be very volatile around this time of the year. more> http://tinyurl.com/b5374nu

EU’s strategy for cloud computing needs to expand


By Karafillis Giannoulis – On 16 January, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) announced that EU blueprint for cloud computing falls short.

EESC reports that the Commission should widen its strategy and invest in the development of cloud computing software and infrastructure. According to Eric Pigla, EESC rapporteur, EU “should help businesses and public administrations to become ‘cloud active’ by offering cloud-based services and make Europe ‘cloud productive’ by providing cloud infrastructure.” EESC believes that if EU accomplishes these objectives, then a “European digital energy production” will be established. more> http://tinyurl.com/bfst5rw

AT&T mulls takeover in Europe


Reuters – AT&T executives were considering a takeover in Europe, and some believed an opening existed now to buy a carrier in a major European market such as Britain, Germany or the Netherlands, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Big telecom companies such as AT&T could benefit from buying European rivals and create economies of scale, similar to the international expansion strategy of British carrier Vodafone, said analyst Jos Versteeg of Dutch private bank Theodoor Gilissen. more> http://tinyurl.com/bylo5e7

GOP and the blue state buget time bomb


By Grover G. Norquist and Patrick Gleason – Many economists and analysts are concerned that the next candidate for a federal bailout is not still-too-big-to-fail banks but financially irresponsible states. We have written about the threat that failed states such as California, Illinois, Connecticut, Maryland and New York pose to the fiscal health of the nation.

Skyrocketing unfunded state pension liabilities, up to $4 trillion according to some estimates, are driving already financially troubled states down the path to insolvency, and there appears to be no political will to address the problem. States in the most dire fiscal situations are high-tax, left-leaning and Democratic-controlled, and according to University of Chicago economics professor Brian Barry pose a “long-term threat to the permanent national majority that many Democrats believe they see emerging from the past two presidential elections.” more> http://tinyurl.com/belsetu

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CONGRESS WATCH< Sen. Franken’s Statement on Fiscal Cliff Agreement, US Senate MPR: “Franken: Student mental health key in helping school security”, US Senate Sen. Franken’s “Stalking Apps” Bill One Step Closer to Becoming Law, US Senate Helping 10,000 Minnesotans, US … Continue reading

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CONGRESS WATCH Asia and the Pacific, Steve Chabot