CSExtra – Thursday, August 30, 2012
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Thursday’s CSExtra offers the latest reporting and commentary on space related activities from around the world. In Florida, NASA’s twin Radiation Belt Storm Probe spacecraft mission launches into orbit early Thursday. At their Tampa, Fla, national convention, Republicans pledge to keep the U. S. pre-eminent in space. With the death of Neil Armstrong on the minds of many, several op-ed writers suggest his life served as a reminder of what can be achieved through science and engineering. On Mars, NASA’s Curiosity rover begins its first drive. NASA’s WISE mission telescope finds a black hole bonanza. Space elevators — a project for the moon?
1. From Spaceflightnow.com: NASA’s Radiation Belt Storm Probe mission lifts off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., early Thursday on a two-year mission to study the Earth’s Van Allen radiation belts. Efforts to launch the United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 with its Centaur upper stage last Friday and Saturday were delayed by a technical issue and bad weather. See website for story and updates. http://www.spaceflightnow.com/
2. From Spacepolicyonline.com: In Tampa, Fla., delegates to the Republican Party convention include a platform pledge to keep the U. S. pre-eminent in space as part of the presidential nominating process. Further details to come. http://www.spacepolicyonline.com/news/gop-plaform-calls-for-sustaining-u-s-preeminence-in-space-but-little-else-about-the-space-program
3. From The Hill: U. S. Rep. Pete Olson, a Texas Republican, notes the death of Neil Armstrong with an op-ed. “….leaving the Moon in 1972 with no planned return was like winning the Super Bowl, then skipping the playoffs for more than forty years. America’s absence from the field of human space exploration is not the result of a lack of talent, but from a failure to develop a game plan and the visionary leadership to see it through,” writes Olson. Armstrong, who died Saturday, led the first of six Apollo missions that reached the lunar surface between 1969 and 1972.
A. From The Houston Chronicle: Neil Armstrong’s achievements remind us of what a community committed to science can do, writes Keith Parsons, a professor of philosophy at the University of Houston Clear Lake, in an op-ed. Armstrong, the first human to walk the surface of a new world, died Saturday.
B. From the Huffington Post: The U. S. should push towards a human landing on Mars by 2030, write Chris Carberry and Artemis Westenberg, the executive director and president of Explore Mars, Inc., in an op-ed. The voyage will keep the U. S. at the lead of space exploration and inspire the nation with carefully placed investments that will generate new technologies and economic opportunity, they write.
4. From The Los Angeles Times: On Mars, NASA’s Curiosity rover begins its first drive, a 400 meter trek. The destination is a science objective called Glenelg Intrigue, where the rover will find a scientifically interesting confluence of terrains to sample. http://www.latimes.com/news/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-curiosity-rover-glenelg-intrigue-nasa-20120829,0,6125249.story?track=rss
A. From U. S. Politics Today: The NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory flight director known as Mohawk Guy takes to the Internet airwaves Thursday at 4 p.m., EDT. Bobak Ferdowsi will host Third Rock radio, with talk of science, education and NASA’s Mars Curiosity mission landing. Ferdowsi gained a following from his star-spangled Mohawk style hair cut. http://uspolitics.einnews.com/pr_news/112475489/nasa-mohawk-guy-to-host-show-on-third-rock-radio
5. From Space.com: NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Space Explorer, or WISE mission space telescope identifies 2.5 million super massive black holes stretching to a distance of 10 billion light years, most of them previously obscured by dust and gas, astronomers announced on Wednesday. The population includes a new class of extremely energetic objects called “hot DOGS” for Dust Obscured Galaxies, which may have formed with the merging of spiral star systems to form less orderly elliptical galaxies. WISE was launched in late 2009. http://www.space.com/17359-black-holes-millions-found-nasa-space-telescope.html
6. From The Los Angeles Times: Strong supporters of space elevators, born of science fiction, look to the moon rather than the Earth as a starting point for placing payloads into space. The sponsoring LiftPort Group is seeking investors. http://www.latimes.com/business/technology/la-fi-tn-space-elevator-20120829,0,5360284.story
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