CSExtra – Tuesday, August 7, 2012
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Tuesday’s CSExtra offers the latest reporting and commentary on space related activities from across the world. NASA’s successful Mars Science Laboratory landing inspires. A look behind NASA’s campaign to lower expectations for success and the next round of commercial crew space transportation development. Orbiter Endeavour prepped for September trip to California Science Museum. Wintering over in Antarctica.
1. From Spaceflightnow.com and CBS News: NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory/Curiosity makes a pinpoint landing in remarkably good shape. A two-year mission in Gale Crater awaits as engineers make establishing a strong communications link the early top priority. High resolution pictures from Curiosity are expected later this week. http://www.spaceflightnow.com/mars/msl/120806mro/
A. From The Washington Post: The high stakes Mars Science Laboratory Landing holds a greater reward well beyond the space arena — the value of learning to win together. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-leadership/post/mars-landing-of-nasa-rover-curiosity-offers-three-lessons-for-leaders/2012/08/06/0d111138-dfdf-11e1-8fc5-a7dcf1fc161d_blog.html
B. From spacepolicyonline: Video of the MSL landing from the rover’s descent camera. http://www.spacepolicyonline.com/news/more-amazing-mars-curiosity-images-video-from-its-own-camera-during-descent
C. From Spacecoalition.com: NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory/Curiosity rover reports for duty. http://spacecoalition.com/blog/mars-rover-begins-exploration-duties
D. From CNN.com: Meet Scott Maxwell, a Prius owner, who will take the wheel of NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory/Curiosity rover. http://www.cnn.com/2012/08/04/us/mars-rover-scott-maxwell/index.html?on.cnn=1
E. From Space.com: New York City’s Times Square draws a crowd for live play by play of the Mars Science Laboratory landing. http://www.space.com/16950-nasa-mars-rover-landing-times-square.html
F. From Politico: NASA’s Curiosity landing draws cheers from the agency’s political faithful. Reminders the agency’s planetary science program faces cuts. http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0812/79406.html
G. From Aviation Week & Space Technology: Curiosity’s successful landing restores belief in U. S. space leadership, writes Georgia Tech professor Robert Braun, NASA’s former chief technologist, in an op-ed. http://www.aviationweek.com/Article.aspx?id=/article-xml/awx_08_06_2012_p0-483287.xml
H. From The Houston Chronicle: “NASA Rocks,” the Chronicle proclaims in an editorial. “Suddenly, the U. S. space future seems brighter.” http://www.chron.com/opinion/editorials/article/NASA-rocks-3766907.php
2. Two essays from The Space Review of Monday examine implications of the successful MSL landing and NASA’s round three commercial crew development contract awards from last Friday.
A. In “From terror to triumph,” TSR editor Jeff Foust examines NASA’s strategy of lowering outside expectations of a successful landing of the Curiosity rover. “In an era of self-doubt and worries that we’re not as good as we once were, putting a one-ton rover on the surface of a planet hundreds of millions of kilometers away, and doing so almost exactly as planned, should remind us that our best days are not behind us, and give us the confidence to go boldly into the universe,” he suggests. http://www.thespacereview.com/article/2133/1
B. in “Commercial crews winners and losers,” TSR editor Jeff Foust looks behind NASA’s Aug. 3 selection of Boeing, SpaceX and Sierra Nevada as partners for a third round of commercial crew space transportation development, Commercial Crew Integrated Capabilities, or CCiCap. Congressional appropriations and regional politics could influence how the development unfolds over the next 31 months, he cautions. http://www.thespacereview.com/article/2132/1
3. From Florida Today: At the Kennedy Space Center, the shuttle orbiter Endeavour under goes preps for a cross country trip to the California Science Museum of Los Angeles in September. http://www.floridatoday.com/article/20120806/SPACE/120806015/Preparations-shuttle-Endeavour-s-trip-California-near-end?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|Space News
4. From The New York Times: In the long winter over at Concordia Station in Antarctica, British physician Alexander Kumar endures the isolation and the cold. One day, the lessons will make possible the human exploration of Mars. http://scientistatwork.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/08/06/in-antarctica-dreaming-of-mars/?ref=science
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