CSExtra – Friday, August 10, 2012
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Friday’s CSExtra offers the latest reporting and commentary on space related activities from around the world. NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory snaps its first panorama. NASA’s Morpheus prototype moon lander crashes and burns at the Kennedy Space Center. NASA’s Commercial Crew space transportation program initiates an early safety certification process. The Mojave Air and Space Port of California reaches for a major upgrade. Texas beckons an emerging commercial space industry. A Russian rocket failure stings. The Perseids peak.
1. From CBS News: Now that NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory/Curiosity lander is safely on the Martian surface, NASA ground control teams plan to replace the spacecraft’s landing software with an exploratory load. In the meantime, the lander beams to Earth its first 360 degree color panorama of the Gale Crater landing zone. Sharper images are coming soon. http://www.cbsnews.com/network/news/space/home/spacenews/files/080912_msl_update.html
A. From Time Magazine: Why is NASA’s MSL on Mars? The news weekly summaries the landing events, then notes, “The successful landing of the rover is what smart looks like, what visionary looks like. A country that can pull that kind of thing off should be capable of well-nigh anything. The commitment and competence we bring to the Red Planet could also be applied to the blue one. http://science.time.com/2012/08/09/what-the-curiosity-rover-can-teach-us-about-mars-and-earth/#ixzz236YrH33p
B. From National Public Radio: A look behind the control room scene at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory as the Mars Science Laboratory barrelled toward a landing in Gale Crater early Monday. Success or failure? It was Adam Steltzner’s call. Some years ago, Steltzner gave up his pursuit of a rock music career for rocket science, as his flare revealed. http://www.npr.org/2012/08/10/158515499/so-you-landed-on-mars-now-what
C. From Spacepolicyonline.com: In some quarters, NASA’s spectacular Mars Science Laboratory mission is overwhelming other news about the solar system, the distant cosmos and even the Earth sciences. Check out significant developments here. http://www.spacepolicyonline.com/news/nasa-science-its-not-just-about-mars
2. From CNN.com: Morpheus, a prototype automated lunar lander developed by NASA’s Johnson Space Center, explodes during a flight test at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. There were no injuries. http://www.cnn.com/2012/08/09/us/nasa-test-crash/index.html
3. From Space News: NASA unveils a commercial crew space transportation safety certification strategy, just days after selecting Boeing, SpaceX and Sierra Nevada as partners in further development activities. NASA is aiming for 2017 to start the commercial transportation of astronauts to the International Space Station. http://www.spacenews.com/civil/120809-comm-crew-safety-certification.html
4. From Parabolicarc.com: The Mojave Air and Space Port, of California, plans upgrades to attract new commercial spaceflight activities. The airport has $4.3 million in FAA monies to work with. http://www.parabolicarc.com/2012/08/09/mojave-space-port-moves-ahead-with-extensive-improvements-program/
5. From the New York Times and Texas Tribune: XCOR and SpaceX are leading what may be a new wave of commercial space activities in Texas, a state with a business friendly reputation. The two California companies recently announced plans for operations in Midland and Brownsville. Blue Origin has had a development facility in West Texas for several years. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/10/us/the-private-space-industry-eyes-texas-land.html
6. From Reuters: Russia’s recent Proton rocket failure is costing the country cash and prestige, according to Prime Minister Dimtry Medvedev. Two communications satellites were stranded in useless orbits. “We are losing our authority and billions of rubles.” Medvedev complained Thursday. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/08/09/us-russia-space-idUSBRE8780OI20120809
7. From Spaceweather.com: The annual Perseid meteor shower is peaking. With a waning moon, the prospect for viewing where skies are clear is promising. Late Saturday/early Sunday should produce the most activity. The debris comes from the tail of comet Swift-Tuttle. www.spaceweather.com
Brought to you by the Coalition for Space Exploration, CSExtra is a daily compilation of space industry news selected from hundreds of online media resources. The Coalition is not the author or reporter of any of the stories appearing in CSExtra and does not control and is not responsible for the content of any of these stories. The content available through CSExtra contains links to other websites and domains which are wholly independent of the Coalition, and the Coalition makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy, completeness or authenticity of the information contained in any such site or domain and does not pre-screen or approve any content. The Coalition does not endorse or receive any type of compensation from the included media outlets and is not responsible or liable in any way for any content of CSExtra or for any loss, damage or injury incurred as a result of any content appearing in CSExtra. For information on the Coalition, visit www.spacecoalition.com or contact us via e-mail at [email protected].