CSExtra – Monday, January 30, 2012
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Monday’s CSExtra offers the latest reporting and commentary on space related activities from around the globe, including a roundup of weekend developments. In the Florida primary contest, a pledge from Republican presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich to develop a human lunar base within eight years of his election draws fire. Well known members of the space community endorse opponent Mitt Romney. The first re-supply mission of 2012 reaches the International Space Station. Then, the orbiting lab maneuvers to avoid Chinese satellite debris. Some experts question the viability of NASA’s heavy lift rocket initiative. Canadian teens aim high with a camera toting Lego figure. Japan readies a second asteroid sample return mission. Boeing credits the success of the Boeing 787, in part, to engineers from civil and military space programs. A look at major space related activities scheduled for the week ahead.
1. From CNN: Jan. 27: A group of eight prominent space community members endorse Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney in the Jan. 31 Florida primary. The nod from Apollo 17 commander Gene Cernan and former NASA administrator Mike Griffin, among others, followed a widely reported campaign pledge by GOP rival Newt Gingrich on the nation’s space future. While in Cocoa Beach, Fla., last week, Gingrich pledged to establish a human lunar base within eight years of his election, while lodging criticism at NASA’s leadership. Competitive cash prizes would be a centerpiece of his space planning. http://bit.ly/wd9c8h
A. From Spacepolicyonline.com, Jan. 27: In a Cape Canaveral, Fla., campaign speech, GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney says he will consult closely with the aerospace industry, NASA leadership and the military before formulating specific space exploration goals. However, Romney lists deeper knowledge of the universe, commercial success, science and national security as value points for a future space strategy. http://bit.ly/xvguBx
B. From Spacepolitics.com, Jan. 29: Eric Anderson, one of Romney’s endorsers, elaborates on the space policy views of the former Massachusetts governor. Commercial advance would be a focus. “NASA has been kicked around like a pinball. We can’t keep stopping and starting,” said Anderson. A new plan “can’t break the bank like Constellation, and it can’t be directionless”. http://bit.ly/zCgsQl
C. From The New York Times, Jan. 28: A look at Newt Gingrich’s lunar colony proposal. The goal is technically feasible, but expensive and politically challenging, the Times reports. http://nyti.ms/xNPcnj
D. From the Washington Examiner, Jan. 28: A wider look at how U. S. space policy became a predictable issue in Florida’s Jan. 31 Republican primary. http://bit.ly/yYSWwe
E. From Florida Today, Jan. 28: Space policy is a tough issue for politicians, writes columnist John Kelly, one that can be prone to grandiose speeches that are short on details and a lack of understanding. http://on.flatoday.com/zZK0Iz
2. From Florida Today, Jan. 27: The six person International Space Station receives its first supply craft of 2012. An un-piloted Russian Progress capsule docks late Friday. http://bit.ly/wwkMuT
A. From Ria Novosti of Russia, Jan. 29: U. S. and Russian flight control teams boost the orbit of the International Space Station late Saturday to avoid debris from China’s 2007 anti-satellite weapons test. The 64 second maneuver raised the station’s orbit to avoid a series of overnight close passes. http://bit.ly/xVcQPm
3. From The Houston Chronicle, Jan. 28: NASA’s Space Launch System, a heavy lift rocket intended to deliver the new Orion/Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle on missions to deep space destinations, appears to be too expensive to survive the current budget environment, according to a Chronicle assessment. http://bit.ly/wQtOCw
4. From Space.com, Jan. 28: Two Canadian teens send a Lego man with flag into the stratosphere aboard a balloon. Equipped with cameras, the imaginative mission captured hundreds of photos and a pair of videos watched by nearly one million YouTube viewers. The cameras parachuted back to Earth. http://bit.ly/yBqaP5
5. From Spaceflightnow.com, Jan. 29: Japan makes plans for a second mission to recover rocks from an asteroid. The Hayabusa-2 mission would reach the small planetary body 1993 JU3 in 2014. http://bit.ly/A2k82H
6. From the Huntsville Times, Jan. 28: The popularity of Boeing’s new 787 Dreamliner is due in part from the contributions of engineers once employed by civil and military space programs, say company officials. http://bit.ly/ywwJGL
7. From Spacepolicyonline.com, Jan. 29: A look at space policy related events scheduled for the week ahead: http://bit.ly/zfbmeT
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