CSExtra – Tuesday, January 17, 2012
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Tuesday’s CSExtra offers the latest reporting and commentary on space related activities from across the globe. SpaceX announces a delay in plans for a Feb. 7 launch of its Falcon 9/Dragon cargo demonstration mission to the International Space Station under NASA’s Commercial Orbital Transportation Services program. NASA’s long time shuttle launch director moves to United Launch Alliance to lead commercial human space transportation activities. Two commentaries stress the value of public outreach in big science endeavors and assess new U. S. steps in establishing an international code of conduct for space activities. A test version of NASA’s Orion/Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle goes on the road.
1. From Space News: SpaceX announces that plans for a Feb. 7 launching of the Dragon/Falcon9 re-supply mission to the International Space Station have been delayed. A new launch target date was not announced. The much watched mission is to mark the first commercial cargo delivery to the station under NASA’s Commercial Orbital Transportation Services program. NASA is working with SpaceX to combine scheduled Demonstration 2 and 3 missions into a single flight that will aim for a berthing of the Dragon capsule with the ISS. http://bit.ly/zUgLFN
A. From Space.com: More engineering tests are planned prior to the SpaceX flight, Space.com reports. A new launch date is uncertain. http://bit.ly/wYzS55
B. From the Los Angeles Times: “We are now working with NASA to establish a new target launch date, but note that we will continue to test and review data. We will launch when the vehicle is ready,” a spokeswoman for SpaceX, based in Hawthorne, Calif., said in a statement issued Monday. http://lat.ms/AkK8Ri
2. From Spaceflightnow.com: Mike Leinbach, who recently announced his departure as NASA shuttle launch director, re-emerges at United Launch Alliance, where he will lead commercial spaceflight operations. http://bit.ly/AeKgmI
3. Two From The Space Review of Monday:
A. In “Big Science in an era of tight budgets,” TSR editor Jeff Foust offers more on a popular topic at last week’s meeting of the American Astronomical Society, funding “big science” when policymakers are looking for costs to reduce. Meeting participants believe NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope barely survived cancellation in 2011. Under a new development strategy, the JWST’s price tag has climbed to $8 billion, while the launch date has slipped to 2018. But some elder statesmen suggest other mega science projects will face tough hurdles and urge their colleagues to improve their public outreach strategies. http://bit.ly/zMeAaW
B. In, “U.S. rebuffs current draft of EU Code of Conduct: is there something waiting in the wings?” Michael Listner, a specialist in space law, examines the background for what seemed a surprising announcement from U. S. state department officials last week — the U. S. could not support a new European developed space code of conduct. The European code was too restrictive on U. S. national security interests, the official explained. Listner reports objections from other countries as well as rumblings from Asian Pacific countries that they were not consulted in the European formulation. Listner speculates on what may happen next, including the prospects for and timing of a U. S. alternative. http://bit.ly/zX6Go2
4. From the Coalition for Space Exploration: A test version of NASA’s Orion/Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle is headed for public display at Oklahoma, Texas and Alabama science and engineering venues in the coming weeks. The spacecraft is to carry astronauts on a range of future deep space missions. http://bit.ly/ygDa6i
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