CSExtra – Monday, October 15, 2012
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Monday’s CSExtra offers the latest reporting and commentary on space related activities from around the world, including a look at weekend happenings. In New Mexico, Austrian Felix Baumgartner establishes a new world’s record on Sunday, as he leaps by parachute from 128,000 feet. In Los Angeles, NASA’s retired shuttle orbiter Endeavour inches its way through the streets to the California Science Center. Some thoughts on post election U. S. space policy. The weekend brings a flurry of global satellite launches. SpaceX and NASA team for an investigation into the Falcon 9 first stage engine loss that accompanied the Oct. 7 launch of the company’s Commercial Resupply Services 1 mission to the International Space Station. More auroral displays. The B612 Foundation declares the first attempt at a privately funded deep space mission off to a technically sound start.
1. From The Associated Press via the Huffington Post, Oct. 14. Austrian Felix Baumgartner breaks the sound barrier on Sunday as he sets a high altitude record for a parachute jump, 128,000 feet. Poor weather delayed plans for the Red Bull sponsored jump last week. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/14/felix-baumgartner-jump-redbull-skydive_n_1965299.html
A. From The New York Times: Parachutist Baumgartner surpasses the sound barrier as he descends from a record altitude on Sunday. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/15/us/felix-baumgartner-skydiving.html?_r=0
B. From Space.com, Oct. 14: Astronauts from around the world offer congratulations to Baumgartner for his courageous parachute jump. http://www.space.com/18061-supersonic-skydive-astronauts-reaction-felix-baumgartner.html
2. From The Los Angeles Times, Oct. 14: NASA’s retired space shuttle orbiter Endeavour reaches the California Science Center on Sunday, following a 12 mile, three-day trek from Los Angeles International Airport and through the streets of Los Angeles. Though slowed by trees and other obstacles, Endeavour reaches its destination in great shape. http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-1014-shuttle-home-20121014,0,210337.story
A. From The New York Times, Oct. 12: Thousands turn out over the weekend to watch as the orbiter Endeavour is towed through the streets of Los Angeles on its way from Los Angeles International Airport to the California Science Center. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/13/us/space-shuttle-endeavour-rolls-through-los-angeles.html?ref=science&_r=0
B. From Collectspace.com, Oct. 14: Endeavour’s new California Science Center pavilion is set for an Oct. 30th opening.
3. From Space News, Oct. 12: A look at NASA’s post election direction, with balloting less than a month away. Tight budgets, and a potential reduction to deal with the deficit will likely shape the space agency’s direction no matter who prevails. Commercial initiatives will likely remain. If Romney wins, an exploration agenda aimed at the moon may return. http://www.spacenews.com/civil/121012-nasa-budget-rhetoric.html
A. From Florida Today, Oct. 13: Don’t cast a presidential ballot based on space policy, advices columnist John Kelly. “Neither of the two major-party candidates running for the White House offers a robust, adequately funded national space policy,” writes Kelly. http://www.floridatoday.com/article/20121014/COLUMNISTS0405/310140024/John-Kelly-Your-presidential-vote-shouldn-t-based-space?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|Space%20News
B. From Spacepolitics.com, Oct. 13: Efforts to stave off cuts to NASA’s planetary science budget have stalled in the 2013 budget process. The Planetary Society is urging the White House to re-focus on planetary science spending in 2014 and beyond, suggesting the line be funded at $1.5 billion annually — the 2012 level. http://www.spacepolitics.com/2012/10/13/the-planetary-society-looks-ahead-to-planetary-science-funding-in-the-2014-budget/
4. From Space News, Oct. 13: A Soyuz launcher places a pair of European Galileo navigation system satellites in orbit, after launching from French Guiana on Friday. http://www.spacenews.com/launch/121013-european-soyuz-lofts-pair-galileo-navig.html
A. Xinhuanet.com, Oct. 14: China launches a pair of satellites for technology demonstrations. http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/china/2012-10/14/c_131905270.htm
B. From Ria Novosti of Russia, Oct. 14: A Russian Proton rocket launches a U. S. Intelsat communications satellite. http://en.rian.ru/russia/20121014/176619101.html
5. From The Orlando Sentinel, Oct. 12: SpaceX and NASA form an investigation board to assess the loss of a first stage Falcon 9 rocket engine during the Oct. 7 lift off of the Dragon resupply craft. The Dragon reached the International Space Station early Oct. 10, flying under a NASA Commercial Resupply Services agreement. The Falcon 9 lost a secondary payload, an prototype Orbcomm satellite. http://blogs.orlandosentinel.com/news_space_thewritestuff/?p=6513
A. From Aviation Week & Space Technology, Oct. 15: SpaceX sacrifices a commercial satellite launch to accomplish successful International Space Station cargo delivery. http://www.aviationweek.com/Article.aspx?id=/article-xml/AW_10_15_2012_p30-505744.xml
6. From Spaceweather.com: The weekend produces majestic auroral displays in the northern hemisphere. An active sun promises there will be more to come as the week begins. http://www.spaceweather.com/
7. From Spacepolicyonline.com, Oct. 13: The B612 Foundation finds its early efforts to mount a privately funded Near Earth Asteroid survey mission on a sound technical footing. The Sentinel Space Telescope would identify and track asteroids that pose a collision threat to Earth. A 2017-18 launch is planned. http://www.spacepolicyonline.com/news/privately-funded-asteroid-mission-passes-initial-soundness-review
8. From Spacepolicyonline.com, Oct. 13: A look at major space policy events scheduled for the week ahead. http://www.spacepolicyonline.com/news/events-of-interest-week-of-october-14-20-2012
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