CSExtra – Tuesday, January 24, 2012
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Tuesday’s CSExtra offers the latest reporting and commentary on space related activities from across the globe. During a Tampa, Fla. Debate, Republican hopefuls Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich hint at major differences on space policy. The Earth falls in the path of another strong storm. The White House looks to Feb. 13 for its 2013 budget release, which will include spending proposals on space initiatives. Two essays on space policy express “cautious optimism” over the commercial/NASA course of human spaceflight and outline guiding principles for future initiatives. An annual National Science Foundation expedition to Antarctica finds a rich bounty of meteorites. A Russian scientist finds Venus not so hospitable after all.
1. From Spacepolitics.com: Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich sound differing notes on space policy during a debate among Republican presidential hopefuls in Tampa, Fla., Monday night. Romney would consult with civil, military, commercial and academic experts to find a financial formula for NASA’s mission. Gingrich would dissolve NASA bureaucracy and ramp up prize offerings to send humans deeper into space. Ron Paul, the Texas congressman, and Rick Santorum, the former Pennsylvania senator, were not questioned on the space issue. http://bit.ly/x44Z94
2. From Discovery.com: A major solar eruption early Monday unleashed a fast moving coronal mass ejection that should reach the Earth today, causing possible disruptions to power distributions, communications and GPS signals as well as spark impressive auroral displays at northern latitudes. The solar storm is the largest since 2005, say experts, and Mars too is in the patch. http://bit.ly/AyAHI8
A. From Universe Today: Fast moving radiation from the solar storm will not pose a hazard to astronauts aboard the International Space Station, as long as they remain inside. The Earth’s magnetic field and the hull of the space station offer protection. http://bit.ly/z4C6M9
B. From Space Weather.com: For updates on the current solar storm and future activities. http://bit.ly/s6ESNw
3. From The Hill: The Obama Administration plans to present of its 2013 budget proposal to Congress on Feb. 13, a week later than previously anticipated. Major cuts in discretionary spending are anticipated. http://bit.ly/xIhbn2
A. From Space News: NASA is readying significant contract decisions in 2012 to foster both the development of commercial crew transportation services to the International Space Station and the Space Launch System/Orion/Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle intended for future human deep space exploration. http://bit.ly/AAAClt
B. From Florida Today: NASA looks to Feb. 7 to seek proposals for its next round of commercial crew space transportation development activities. http://bit.ly/yrWWR6
4. From The Space Review:
A. In “Cautious optimism about the future of human spaceflight,” TSR editor Jeff Foust takes measure of the future of U. S. human spaceflight six months after the final NASA shuttle mission. Foust finds a “cautious optimism” among those forging NASA’s Space Launch System initiative and commercial space transportation services for suborbital and orbital passengers. No doubt, the unveiling of NASA’s 2013 budget proposal in February will soon influence the sentiment, he writes. http://bit.ly/wjtRq6
B. In “A vision for a for a new frontier basis for American spaceflight,” Robert Lancaster, a grass roots space advocate, urges a new over arching purpose for future human space exploration. Some key motives will likely involve preventing a disastrous impact with a near Earth object, expanding humanity’s influence and securing new resources. http://bit.ly/xgYFMD
5. From Space.com: This year’s National Science Foundation search for meteorites in the Antarctic uncovers 300 specimens. The annual bounty rises in significance when none of the global space powers has a sample return mission under way, which is currently the case. http://bit.ly/zMJflM
6. From Space.com: Claims by a Russian scientist that 30 year old images from a Soviet Venus probe hint at life prove far off the mark. http://bit.ly/yCLNyA
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