CSExtra – Monday, March 12, 2012
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Monday’s CSExtra offers the latest reporting and commentary on space related activities from around the world, including a roundup of weekend activities. NASA prepares for delays in the Commercial Crew Development initiative. New solar storm activity could reach the Earth on Monday. Russia’s space chief is hospitalized. Opening arguments are set for Monday in a lawsuit filed by a former JPL computer scientist who alleges he was dismissed over his religious beliefs. GOP president hopeful Rick Santorum skips an opportunity to outline a space agenda. The California Science Center begins construction of a hangar for the public display of shuttle orbiter Endeavour. A bipartisan House bill would protect the ownership rights of space memorabilia held by Apollo-era astronauts. SpaceX eyes the Kennedy Space Center’s shuttle Launch Pad 39A for the Falcon Heavy rocket. A summary of space related activities scheduled for the week ahead.
1. From the Wall Street Journal, March 11: NASA is prepared to seek extensions of agreements with Russia for the launching of astronauts to the International Space Station through at least 2017, as funding levels fall for the development of U. S. commercial space transportation services. NASA’s position was outlined in written testimony last week to the Congress. At the outset of its commercial crew development initiative, NASA was looking to 2016 for the new service. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304537904577275581466719456.html?KEYWORDS=NASA
2. From Space.com, March 10: A more active sun unleashed two new Coronal Mass Ejections directed toward the Earth on Saturday. The plasma clouds should reach Earth on Monday. High altitude satellites could be affected. http://www.space.com/14861-solar-flare-active-sun-storms.html
A. From the Los Angeles Times. March 11: NASA’s Solar Probe Plus, will make Icarus-like contact with the sun to gather more information about the corona and solar wind. Launch is planned for 2018. http://www.latimes.com/news/science/la-sci-solar-probe-plus-20120311,0,6586972.story
B. From MSNBC.com, March 10: An active sun energizes the northern and southern lights. http://photoblog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/03/09/10623852-sky-lights-go-wild-north-and-south?chromedomain=cosmiclog
3. From Itar-Tass of Russia, March 11: Vladimir Popovkin, chief of the Russian federal space agency, Roscosmos, was hospitalized last week. Agency spokesmen attributes the concerns to job connected stress linked to frequent travel. http://www.itar-tass.com/en/c154/363271.html
4. From the Associated Press via the Washington Post, March 12: Opening statements are set for Monday in a law suit by a computer specialist alleging he was demoted then dismissed from his job at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory over his beliefs in an intelligent design. http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/nasas-jpl-computer-specialist-alleges-discrimination-over-his-belief-in-intelligent-design/2012/03/12/gIQANupd6R_story.html
5. From Spacepolictics.com, March. 8: GOP presidential hopeful Rick Santorum skips any substantial mention of space during a campaign stop in Huntsville, Ala., the home of NASA’s Marshall Spaceflight Center. Earlier in the week, Republican challenger Newt Gingrich stood by his call for a lunar base at the same U.S. Space and Rocket Center venue. http://www.spacepolitics.com/2012/03/08/santorum-mostly-silent-on-space-in-huntsville/
6. From the Los Angeles Times, March 12: The California Science Center will start construction of a hangar to house the shuttle orbiter Endeavour near the city’s downtown. The facility should be ready to house the winged ship for public display within weeks of its Los Angeles arrival in the fall. http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-space-shuttle-20120312,0,2996260.story
7. From Collectspace.com, March 9: A new House bill would protect the ownership rights to space memorabilia possessed by Mercury, Gemini and Apollo astronauts. The measure was introduced by the bi-partisan leadership of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee. http://www.collectspace.com/news/news-030912c.html
A. From The Huntsville Times, March 11: The U. S. Space and Rocket Center exhibit, “100 Years of Von Braun” will open in mid-May, then head for a European tour. The exhibit will examine Von Braun’s life in America, including his contributions to the Apollo-era of human spaceflight. http://blog.al.com/huntsville-times-business/2012/03/post_65.html
8. From Spaceflightnow.com, March 11: NASA and SpaceX discuss the company’s potential use of shuttle Launch Pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center by the Falcon Heavy rocket with an assortment of military, commercial, scientific as well as human payloads. http://www.spaceflightnow.com/news/n1203/11spacex39a/
9. From Spacepolicyonline.com, March 11: A look at the lineup of space policy related events scheduled for the week ahead. http://www.spacepolicyonline.com/news/events-of-interest-week-of-march-12-16-2012
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