CSExtra – Monday, October 8, 2012
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Monday’s CSExtra offers the latest reporting and commentary on space related activities from around the world, plus a roundup of weekend happenings. In Cape Canaveral, Fla., SpaceX begins the restoration of a U. S. International Space Station re-supply capability that was lost as NASA’s space shuttle fleet retired in 2011. The Hawthorne, Calif., based company’s un-piloted Dragon freighter lifted off for the station late Sunday. NASA announces plans to join Russia in launching astronauts to the space station for a one-year stay in the spring of 2015. An annual global assessment of government and commercial space activities finds the U. S. lead slipping for a fifth straight year. Austrian Felix Baumgarten’s record parachute jump for Red Bull is re-set for Tuesday from New Mexico. Signals from NASA’s Voyager spacecraft, launched in 1977, show signs it has departed the solar system. A look at major space policy activities scheduled for the week ahead.
1. From Space.com, Oct. 7: SpaceX begins a multi-year series of commercially launched re-supply missions to the International Space Station with a lift off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., on Sunday at 8:35 p.m., EDT. The $1.6 billion contract between NASA and SpaceX for a dozen missions replaces a capability lost as NASA’s space shuttle retired in mid-2011. http://www.space.com/17943-spacex-dragon-capsule-space-cargo-launch.html
A. From The Wall Street Journal, Oct. 7: Regular SpaceX missions will transform U. S. space flight, allowing the private sector to inherit orbital operations. The Falcon 9/Dragon achieved its target orbit in spite of a first stage engine 1 anomaly about 80 seconds into flight. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390443482404578043100196815928.html?mod=WSJ_DefenseandAerospace_leftHeadlines
B. From Spaceflightnow.com, Oct. 7: The website offers updates on the mission as the Dragon freighter maneuvers toward a rendezvous with the International Space Station early Wednesday. http://www.spaceflightnow.com/falcon9/004/status.html
C. From The Los Angeles Times, Oct. 6: Orbital Sciences Corp., of Dulles, Va., is poised to match SpaceX’s International Space Station delivery capability by 2013. http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-spacex-launch-20121006,0,7077846.story
D. From Collectspace.com, Oct. 6: The Dragon’s cargo includes ice cream for the space station’s three person crew. The desert is stowed in an experiment freezer. http://www.collectspace.com/news/news-100612a.html
2. From Russia Today, Oct. 6: Russia, the U. S. and their International Space Station partners agree to a one year ISS mission for a NASA astronaut and a Russian cosmonaut. Tentative plans are for Russia to launch the two participants in March 2015. http://rt.com/news/year-long-mission-iss-824/
A. From CBSNews.com, Oct. 5: NASA could gain experience for human deep space exploration from a one year mission on the space station, according to space agency managers. Astronaut Mike Lopez-Alegria holds the current U. S. record for a single mission, a 215 day flight aboard the International Space Station in 2006-07. The world’s record of 438 days was established aboard Russia’s Mir space station by cosmonaut Valery Polyakov in 1994-95. More time in orbit could prepared the U.S. for a multi-year human expedition to Mars. http://www.cbsnews.com/network/news/space/home/spacenews/files/100512_iss_yearlong.html
3. From Space News, Oct. 5: The U. S. leads the world in space competitiveness, but that lead is slipping. according to the annual assessment from Futron Corp., 2012 Space Competitiveness Index: A Comparative Analysis of How Countries Invest in and Benefit from Space Industry. While other nations expand their capabilities, the U. S. is in a period of transition and uncertainty, the study concludes in part. http://www.spacenews.com/civil/121005-space-competitiveness-report.html
A. From The Orlando Sentinel, Oct. 6: Future investments in space technology are essential to advances useful on Earth, writes Lynn Weaver, president emeritus of Florida Institute of Technology, in an op ed. http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2012-10-05/opinion/os-ed-oped-space-program-100712-20121005_1_space-exploration-space-missions-space-program
4. From Discovery.com, Oct. 6: Austrian Felix Baumgarten’s record setting parachute jump for Red Bull is re-set for Tuesday because of the weather in Roswell, N. M. http://news.discovery.com/space/highest-skydive-delayed-to-tue-121006.html#mkcpgn=rssnws1
A. From Space.com, Oct. 5: Baumgarten will achieve supersonic velocities as he falls from 23 miles up. http://www.space.com/17928-supersonic-skydive-earth-atmosphere.html
5. From The Houston Chronicle, Oct. 5: NASA’s distant Voyager 1 spacecraft is showing distinct signs of having departed the solar system. The probe was launched in 1977 to study the outer planets. http://blog.chron.com/sciguy/2012/10/more-evidence-that-voyager-has-exited-the-solar-system/
6. From Spacepolicyonline.com: Oct. 7: A look at major space policy activities scheduled for the week ahead. http://www.spacepolicyonline.com/news/events-of-interest-week-of-october-7-12-2012
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