CSExtra – Monday, January 16, 2012
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Monday’s CSExtra offers the latest reporting and commentary on space related activities from across the world, plus a roundup of weekend activities. A failed Russian Mars probe plummets back to Earth. In Florida, Republican presidential contender Newt Gringrich tells an Orlando editorial board he’d prefer a bolder space program. NASA looks to a commercially furnished upper stage for early test flights of the Space Launch System. NASA accelerates up work on the revamped James Webb Space Telescope. Mission Control teams elevate the altitude of the International Space Station to avoid a space debris impact. Japan’s space agency investigates a computer hacking. NASA’s radio station partnership finds young listeners.
1. From Spaceflightnow.com, Jan. 15: Russia’s ill-fated Mars sample return mission, Phobos-Grunt, plummets back to Earth on Sunday, striking the Pacific Ocean west of Chile. The spacecraft was launched on Nov. 8 on a mission that was to land on the Martian moon Phobos, gather soil samples and return to Earth. The upper stage engine, however, did not ignite, and the spacecraft was stranded in a very low Earth orbit. http://bit.ly/xbuYYD
A. From Ria Novosti of Russian, Jan. 16: Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin is overseeing a failure investigation into the loss of the Phobos-Grunt mission failure, one in a series of recent aerospace mishaps. http://bit.ly/wxCInf
B. From Collectspace.com, Jan. 15: Russia’s Mars 96 mission met a similar fate. http://bit.ly/y9Y9DK
2. From The Orlando Sentinel, Jan. 13: Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich envisions more risk taking in NASA’s missions. Gringrich discussed his ideas with the editorial board of the Orlando Sentinel. “I love the romance of space,” says Gingrich, who also opened an Orlando campaign office. http://thesent.nl/yEpGw5
A. From Spacepolitics.com, Jan. 13: Gingrich favors setting 5 to 10 percent of NASA’s budget aside for prizes to spur advances in space exploration by the private sector. http://bit.ly/zueCwH
3. From Space News, Jan. 13: NASA planners turn to possible commercial upper stages for early test flights of the new Space Launch System, the heavy lift rocket that will power the Orion/Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle on missions beyond low Earth orbit. Un-piloted and piloted test flights are planned for 2017 and 2021. http://bit.ly/zJxPzT
4. From Spaceflightnow.com, Jan. 12: The pace of activity to prepare the James Webb Space Telescope for a 2018 launch picks up. The project has been challenged by budget and technical issues. Current price tag, $8.8 billion. The observatory is considered the successor to the Hubble Space Telescope. http://bit.ly/zjzW0X
5. From Florida Today, Jan. 13: NASA and Roscosmos raise the altitude of the International Space Station to avoid an impact threat from a satellite fragment. http://bit.ly/AhWeaA
6. From the Mainichi Daily News of Japan, Jan. 15: The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency says a computer was infected and information about the agency’s un-piloted HTV International Space Station re-supply craft extracted during 2011. http://bit.ly/zy6yR5
7. From The Huffington Post, Jan. 13: NASA’s web-based radio station partnership, Third Rock, finds a young audience base with music and news of the Earth and space. http://huff.to/wuQPCU
8. From Spacepolicyonline.com, Jan. 15: Space policy activities scheduled for the work week ahead: http://bit.ly/zmNmqo
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