CSExtra – Thursday, July 19, 2012
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Thursday’s CSExtra offers the latest reporting and commentary on space related activities from around the world. Forest McCartney, who guided NASA’s Kennedy Space Center toward recovery in the aftermath of the 1986 shuttle Challenger tragedy, has died. Sequestration, Congressionally imposed spending cuts scheduled to take effect in January, will mean thousands of job losses, aerospace executives caution U. S. lawmakers on Wednesday. NASA’s Orion capsule carries out a successful parachute drop in the Arizona desert as part of preparations for an un-piloted 2014 flight test. NASA’s shuttle test orbiter Enterprise goes on display at New York City’s Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum. A top Republican campaign official suggests the nation’s human space program has been outsourced. Astronomers find an Earth-like exo-planet that sounds pretty hot. A chunk of icy Greenland gives way to warming ocean waters, say experts. A Chilean observatory earns a U. S. National Science Foundation endorsement. . After a lengthy absence, public tours of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center resume.
1. From Spacepolicyonline.com: U. S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Forest McCartney (Ret.), who led the Kennedy Space Center’s recovery from the 1986 shuttle Challenger tragedy, has died. The Florida resident was 81. http://www.spacepolicyonline.com/news/former-ksc-director-forrest-mccartney-succumbs-to-cancer
A. From Florida Today: After Challenger’s loss, McCartney rallied Kennedy’s workforce, urging them to move the shuttle program forward. http://www.floridatoday.com/article/20120719/NEWS01/307190035/McCartney-crucial-healing-heartbroken-KSC
2. From The Los Angeles Times: In testimony Wednesday before the House Armed Services Committee, U. S. aerospace executives warn that “sequestration,” a legislatively imposed $500 billion budget reduction will damage their industry and cost thousands of U. S. jobs in and outside the high technology field. Aerospace executive stress they have not been instructed how to administer the losses scheduled to take effect in January unless lawmakers reverse course. Sequestration is a U.S. budget deficit reduction strategy. http://www.latimes.com/business/money/la-fi-mo-sequestration-aerospace-congress-20120718,0,5960331.story
3. From Spaceflightnow.com: A full-sized version of NASA’s Orion spacecraft undergoes a successful parachute drop test at the U. S. Army’s Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona on Wednesday. The test included an intentional flaw in the reefing of the three main parachutes. The four person capsule, under development for future human deep space missions, descended to the desert floor well below its threshold velocity. http://www.spaceflightnow.com/news/n1207/18orion/
4. From The New York Times: NASA’s shuttle test orbiter Enterprise goes on public display Thursday at New York City’s Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum. NASA Administrator Charles Bolden is among those scheduled to speak. http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/07/18/in-the-rain-stewards-of-the-enterprise-can-keep-it-dry-but-cant-catch-a-cab/
A. From Collectspace.com: A preview with photographs of Enterprise on display aboard the Intrepid. http://www.collectspace.com/news/news-071812a.html
5. From Spacepolitics.com: Has America’s human space program been outsourced? The Romney presidential campaign’s co-chair asserts this week that it has. http://www.spacepolitics.com/2012/07/18/outsourcing-and-the-space-program/?tw_p=twt
6. From Discovery.com: This is no place to be. Astronomers identify an exo-planet 2/3 the size of Earth and not so far away –33 light years and circling a red dwarf star. UCF-1.01 orbits so close to its star that temperatures exceed 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit. http://news.discovery.com/space/exoplanet-neighbor-is-smaller-than-earth-120718.html.
7. From The Washington Post: A large chunk of icy Greenland breaks away. Warming oceans waters are to blame, U. S. and Canadian experts say this week. http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/greenland-glacier-loses-large-mass-of-ice/2012/07/17/gJQAf5CQsW_story.html
8. From The Science Insider: The National Science Foundation endorses efforts to assemble the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope in Chile. Tenacious observations planned with this large observatory promise to unveil more about dark matter, dark energy and stellar explosions. http://news.sciencemag.org/scienceinsider/2012/07/new-telescope-gains-key-endorsem.html?ref=hp
9. From the Huntsville Times: It’s been a long time since NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center offered public tours. Halted in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on New York City, the tours resume Friday. http://blog.al.com/breaking/2012/07/nasa_marshall_tours_resume_in.html
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