CSExtra – Monday, September 24, 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 from the weekend. Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney addresses space policy with a white paper issued during an Orlando, Fla., campaign appearance by his running mate, Paul Ryan. In California, Gov. Jerry Brown signs a bill limiting commercial space liability. Russia’s next Soyuz mission to the International Space Station slips from mid to late October. NASA’s retired shuttle orbiter Endeavour ends a closely watched cross country ferry flight from Florida to California on Friday. An independent review panel report questions Commerce Department oversight of Earth observation space projects. NASA announces 26 Space Launch System research initiatives. Europe looks to improvements in its space based data relay network. On Mars, the Curiosity rover touches its first Gale Crater rock. A look at space policy related activities slated for the week ahead.
1. From The Orlando Sentinel, Sept. 22: Republican Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan previewed a Romney campaign space policy white paper during an Orlando appearance on Saturday. Ryan spoke of unrivaled U. S. space leadership and clear missions. The white paper emphasized security and commercial space growth but stressed its goals will not lead to more spending on space. Specific mission goals were not outlined in the remarks or document. http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2012-09-22/news/os-paul-ryan-at-ucf-20120921_1_paul-ryan-orlando-area-appearance-ucf
A. From Spacepolitics.com, Sept. 22: Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s white paper blames President Obama for an incoherent space policy, a course the challenger pledges to reverse. http://www.spacepolitics.com/2012/09/22/romney-campaign-issues-space-policy-white-paper/
B. From Spacepolicyonline.com, Sept. 22: Republican space white paper short on specifics but appears to echo what the Obama administration is already pursuing, according to the website. http://www.spacepolicyonline.com/news/romney-space-policy-still-short-on-specifics
C. From NBC News.com, Sept. 23: Mitt Romney’s space vision lacks boldness, according to Newt Gingrich, who campaigned for the Republican presidential nomination. http://firstread.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/09/23/14049265-gingrich-criticizes-romney-ryan-space-plan
2. From The L.A. Times, Sept. 21: California Gov. Jerry Brown signs legislation limiting the liability of commercial space company activities in the state. The measure provides companies with qualified immunity from liability for injuries suffered by a spaceflight participant. That will help companies including Virgin Galactic, which hopes to charge the public for brief flights into space, the Times reported. http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/california-politics/2012/09/california-jerry-brown-signs-bill-space-industry.html
A. From The Huffington Post, Sept. 21: Virgin Galactic’s founder, Sir Richard Branson, envisions a Mars colony within his life time. “You’re going to want physicians, you’re going to want comedians, you’re going to want fun people, beautiful people, ugly people — a good cross-section of what happens on Earth — on Mars,” said Branson, 62. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/21/richard-bransons-mars-colony_n_1903924.html?utm_hp_ref=nasa
3. From Spaceflightnow.com, Sept. 21: Russia’s scheduled Oct. 15 Soyuz mission to the International Space Station with three new U.S. and Russian crew members will slip a week to permit the replacement of a suspect avionics box in the capsule’s descent module. http://www.spaceflightnow.com/station/exp33/120921delay/
4. From Spaceflightnow.com, Sept. 21: A three-day cross country ferry flight from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida to Los Angeles International Airport, Calif, came to a successful conclusion on Friday. http://www.spaceflightnow.com/shuttle/sts134/120921lax/
A. From Collectspace.com, Sept. 22: Once at LAX, Endeavour is wheeled to a United Airlines hangar, where it will remain until the winged orbiter is trucked to the California Science Center. http://www.collectspace.com/news/news-092212a.html
B. From The Houston Chronicle, Sept. 22: Greater Houston receives a NASA “thanks” for the large public turnout to view the retired orbiter Endeavour as it stopped overnight on Sept. 19 during a ferry flight from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida to Los Angeles, Calif. http://blog.chron.com/sciguy/2012/09/on-that-incredible-turnout-to-see-endeavour-in-houston/
5. From Spacepolicyonline.com: An independent review team finds problems with Commerce Department/NOAA oversight of the nation’s weather and environmental satellites. The review was led by Thomas Young, a retired Lockheed Martin executive occasionally called upon by the Pentagon and NASA to examine the difficulties faced by complex programs. http://www.spacepolicyonline.com/news/independent-review-finds-doc-noaa-oversight-of-satellite-programs-dysfunctional
6. From The Huntsville Times, Sept. 21: NASA selects 26 research proposals from industry and academia to grow the payload capabilities of the Space Launch System. Sized at a 70 metric ton lift capability initially, the SLS is designed to grow that capability to 130 metric tons to start future missions of human deep space exploration. http://blog.al.com/space-news/2012/09/nasa_picks_26_proposals_for_ad.html
7. From Space News, Sept. 21: The European Space Agency looks to an augmentation of the European Data Relay Service for Earth observing spacecraft and unmanned aerial vehicles. http://www.spacenews.com/civil/120921-europe-data-relay-service.html
8. From The Coalition for Space Exploration, Sept. 22: On Mars, NASA’s Curiosity rover examines its first Martian rock in Gale Crater. Curiosity, which landed Aug. 6, is on its way to Mount Sharp for a long climb. http://spacecoalition.com/blog/the-long-arm-of-science-curiosity-rover-studies-mars-rock?doing_wp_cron
9. From Spacepolicyonline.com, Sept. 23: A look at space related activities scheduled for the week ahead. Congress is out of session through the November elections. http://www.spacepolicyonline.com/news/events-of-interest-week-of-september-24-29-2012
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