CSExtra – Thursday, August 16, 2012
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Thursday’s CSExtra offers the latest reporting and commentary on space related activities from around the world. NASA’s long running Dawn main belt asteroid mission deals with a second pointing system failure. A top Russian aerospace agency chief departs in response to a call for reforms from the country’s prime minister. A music parody of NASA’s Mars Curiosity team, “We’re NASA and We Know It” strikes a positive cord for the space agency. In the U. S., the National Reconnaissance Agency’s inspector general probes allegations of contractor malfeasance. The X-51A Waverider, an un-piloted military hypersonic test plane, falls to the Pacific Ocean. NASA’s Johnson Space Center preps the “OV-95″ shuttle orbiter stand in for public display. Aboard the International Space Station, the European Space Agency’s ATV-3 ends a re-boost maneuver prematurely.
1. From Space News: At the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, controllers for NASA’s Dawn asteroid mission cope with a second spacecraft reaction wheel failure. The loss is not expected to affect the mission’s belated departure from Vesta and arrival at Ceres, the mission’s second main belt asteroid destination, in February 2015. The ambitious eight-year mission, the first to attempt the orbital exploration of two solar system bodies, was launched in 2007. http://www.spacenews.com/civil/120815-minimize-impact-dawn-glitch.html
2. From Spacepolicyonline.com: The head of a major Russian aerospace corporation departs, one day after the country’s prime minister calls for government and industry reforms in response to a string of space hardware failures. http://www.spacepolicyonline.com/news/khrunichev-head-resigns-one-day-after-medvedev-meeting
3. From The Washington Post: “We’re NASA and we know it,” a clever video parody of the Curiosity flight control team aims viral. “We’re better than SpaceX, and we know it,” go lyrics with shout outs to Carl Sagan and Neil deGrasse Tyson. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/innovations/post/were-nasa-and-we-know-it-parody-marries-nasa-and-lmfao-for-the-best-viral-video-youll-see-today/2012/08/15/f7287a2e-e6fe-11e1-936a-b801f1abab19_blog.html
A. From Space.com: The recorded sounds of Curiosity as NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory /Curiosity rover races through the Martian atmosphere to a dramatic landing in Gale Crater early Aug. 6. http://www.space.com/17113-mars-rover-curiosity-landing-sounds.html
B. From The Los Angeles Times: NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter snaps a high resolution view of Curiosity’s Gale Crater surroundings. http://www.latimes.com/news/nation/nationnow/la-na-nn-mars-curiosity-photo-20120814,0,4657701.story
4. From The Miami Herald: The National Reconnaissance Agency’s inspector general probes allegations of contract malfeasance. http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/08/13/2950294/national-reconnaissance-office.html
5. From Space.com: The U. S. military’s X-51A Waverider, a hypersonic test craft, plunged to the Pacific Ocean shortly after the initiation of a test flight late Tuesday. The military offered some details of the setback on Wednesday. http://www.space.com/17132-x-51a-military-hypersonic-plane-test-fails.html
6. From Collectspace.com: At NASA’s Johnson Space Center, engineers prepare OV-95, a nearly functional space shuttle with the exception of wings and propulsion for public display. The electronic equivalent of an actual shuttle was used to test mission software and known formally as the Shuttle Avionic Integration Laboratory, or SAIL. http://www.collectspace.com/news/news-081512a.html
7. From Ria Novosti of Russia: The European Space Agency’s Automated Transfer Vehicle-3 ends an International Space Station re-boost maneuver prematurely on Wednesday. The full maneuver was to deplete the ATV of propellant before it un-docks in September and position the station for the departure and arrival of Soyuz crew transport capsules in September and October. http://en.rian.ru/science/20120815/175238248.html
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