CSExtra – Tuesday, July 2, 2013
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Tuesday’s CSExtra offers the latest reporting and commentary on space related activities from across the globe. Russia loses a Proton rocket moments after the booster lifts off with three GLONASS navigation satellites. Meanwhile, India launches the first spacecraft of an eventual independent regional global positioning system satellite network. In the U. S., investors rally to shape the future of space exploration. Essays, one focused on commercial CubeSats, the other on space financial transactions, explore the rally theme from different perspectives. United Launch Alliance scores a major launch services contract. Space Center Houston, the visitor and educational arm of NASA’s Johnson Space Center, asks Texans for help in naming its shuttle/Shuttle Carrier Aircraft display. July skies hold promise for stargazers.
1. From Spaceflightnow.com: A Russian Proton rocket carrying three GLONASS navigation satellites crashed overnight, moments after lifting off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome. The Russian Federal Space Agency quickly initiates an investigation.
A. From Aviation Week & Space Technology: A Russian Proton rocket veers off course, triggering a fiery crash in the Kazakh desert.
2. From Space News: On Monday, India successfully launches the first satellite of an eventual independent seven spacecraft regional Global Positioning System navigation system. India’s operational target is 2015.
3. From USA Today: In the U. S, the investor spirit takes on space exploration. ”America’s manned space-exploration program has already been privatized, and there’s no going back,” according to the newspaper’s assessment.
4. From The Space Review: Essays examine the prospects for two new commercial space markets, one grounded another perhaps not so much.
A. In “Smallsat constellations: the killer app?” TSR editor Jeff Foust assesses the commercial promise of two small satellite companies, PlanetLabs and Skybox Imagery. The California-based startups have attracted venture capital backing to launch fleets of small Earth imaging satellites. Will a demand for “rapid turnaround” photos of the Earth provide a commercial CubeSat breakthrough?
B. In “Conflating space exploration and commercialization: coverage of PayPal’s announcement,” political scientist John Hickman finds more novelty than substance in a June announcement that PayPal will pioneer a means of facilitating financial transactions for those headed to space as tourists and colonists.
5. From Spaceflightnow.com: United Launch Alliance wins new contracts from the U. S. Air Force and National Reconnaissance Office for Delta and Atlas rockets.
6. From Collectspace.com: Space Center Houston, the visitor center for NASA’s Johnson Space Center, will sponsor a name the shuttle contest, starting July 4. NASA’s retired shuttle orbiters, Atlantis, Endeavour, Discovery and Enterprise found public display venues in Cape Canaveral, Fla., Los Angeles, suburban Washington and New York City. Houston’s signature display will feature a shuttle mock up atop a NASA Boeing 747 “Shuttle Carrier Aircraft.” The contest promises to provide the display with a name that suggests a “can do” spirit.
7. From Space.com: There’s plenty for sky watchers to observe in the nighttime skies of July.
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