CSExtra – Tuesday, April 24, 2012
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Tuesday’s CSExtra offers the latest in reporting and commentary on space related activities from around the world. The SpaceX launch of the first U. S. commercial cargo mission to the International Space Station has been delayed a week or so beyond a planned April 30 lift off, the company announced. Planetary Resources, a Seattle based company backed by Internet and software investors will unveil long term plans for an asteroid mining venture. NASA looks to Wednesday to ferry the flight test orbiter Enterprise from suburban Washington D. C. to New York City for eventual display at the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space museum. Russia launches a communications satellite for Abu Dhabi. Two essays examine the prospects for a coming Golden Age of Space and the emotions, some unexpected, that surfaced with last week’s transfer of shuttle Discovery from NASA to the Smithsonian Institution.
1. From Spaceflightnow.com: The much anticipated launch of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the Dragon capsule on the first U. S. commercial re-supply mission to the International Space Station slips from April 30 into early May to deal with issues that surfaced in pre-launch software testing. A new target launch date will await deliberations with NASA. http://www.spaceflightnow.com/falcon9/003/120423delay/
A. From Discovery.com: The SpaceX Falcon 9/Dragon launch date could slip a week beyond April 30. However, new plans will be announced later this week. http://news.discovery.com/space/spacex-test-flight-to-space-station-delayed-120423.html
2. From MSNBC and Cosmic Log: Planetary Resources, a Seattle based company with investors from the Internet and software industries, plans to unveil plans for the production of commercially available space telescopes, the first step in a longer range strategy to survey and eventually mine asteroids for water, precious metals and other resources for profit. http://cosmiclog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/04/23/11339522-billionaire-backed-asteroid-mining-venture-starts-with-space-telescopes?lite
3. From Space.com and Collectspace.com: NASA looks to Wednesday for the ferry flight that will transport NASA’s glide test orbiter Enterprise from Dulles International Airport in suburban Washington to New York City. Enterprise is headed from the Smithsonian Institution’s Steven F. Udvar Hazy Center to the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum for public display. http://www.space.com/15389-space-shuttle-enterprise-nyc-arrival-date.html
A. From Space.com: NASA looks to commercial companies to shoulder responsibilities once belonging to NASA’s shuttle fleet. A look at which companies are developing spacecraft to carry astronauts to the International Space Station and other low Earth orbit destinations. http://www.space.com/15370-nasa-private-spaceflight-astronaut-taxis-progress.html
4. From Aviation Week and Space Technology: A Russian Proton rocket successfully places a communications satellite into geostationary transfer orbit for Abu Dhabai. http://www.aviationweek.com/Blogs.aspx?plckBlogId=Blog:04ce340e-4b63-4d23-9695-d49ab661f385&plckPostId=Blog%3a04ce340e-4b63-4d23-9695-d49ab661f385Post%3ae93de25e-ac5d-4b6b-b0f5-6a4f791bdf15
5. Two essays from Monday’s The Space Review examine the basis for a coming golden age of space exploration and the symbolism surrounding shuttle Discovery’s transfer from NASA to the Smithsonian Institution.
A. In “The Coming Golden Age,” Eric R. Hedman makes the case for an unfolding new age of space exploration, one like that envisioned by the architects of the U. S. Apollo program. Using the U. S. Exploring Expedition, of 1838 to 1842, as a benchmark, Hedman explains why the U.S., the commercial space sector, and select other nations may be getting ready for the next leap. Hedman is the chief technology officer at Logic Design.
B. In “A shuttle’s transfer in an agency’s era of transition,” TSR editor Jeff Foust revisits orbiter Discovery’s transfer from NASA to the Smithsonian Institution just outside Washington D. C. last week. Long planned, the ceremonies nonetheless stirred a range of emotions over the shuttle’s retirement and NASA’s current heading. For some, the transfer was the catalyst they were seeking to move ahead. http://www.thespacereview.com/article/2071/1
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