Best Space Stories of the Week - Feb. 12, 2012

NASA Eyes Plan for Deep-Space Outpost Near the Moon

NASA and John Frassanito & Associates

NASA is pressing forward on assessing the value of a "human-tended waypoint" near the far side of the moon — one that would embrace international partnerships as well as commercial and academic participation, has learned.According to a Feb. 3 memo from William Gerstenmaier, NASA's associate administrator for human exploration and operations, a team is being formed to develop a cohesive plan for exploring a spot in space known as the Earth-moon libration point 2 (EML-2). [Full Story]

NEXT: Europe's Newest Rocket to Launch on Maiden Voyage Monday

Europe's Newest Rocket to Launch on Maiden Voyage Monday

ESA - J.Huart, 2011

The new Vega rocket from Europe may be small, but it promises to do the job of at least twice that of most other rockets its size.

The European Space Agency's (ESA) first Vega rocket is now fully assembled on its launchpad at Europe's spaceport in French Guiana, on the northern Atlantic coast of South America. Vega's maiden launch, dubbed VV01, is expected to occur on Feb. 13. The launch window extends from 5:00 a.m. to 7:00 a.m. EST (1000 to 1200 GMT). [Full Story]

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