CSExtra – Tuesday, October 23, 2012
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Tuesday’s CSExtra offers the latest reporting and commentary on space related activities from around the world. Three U.S. and Russian astronauts awaited a lift off from Kazakhstan at 6:51 a.m., EDT and a five month voyage to the International Space Station. President Obama mentions space as a topic in Monday night’s final presidential debate. Which presidential candidate’s space policy should prevail? SpaceShipTwo closes in on propulsive test flights. Blue Origin reaches a crew escape system milestone. Europe’s Mars Express mission provides a composite view of a spectacular Martian canyon. Spiral galaxies take shape later than first thought. Dreams of Alpha Centauri and exotic new worlds. In New Hampshire, an auction features 600 pieces of space history.
1. From Spaceflightnow.com: A Russian Soyuz spacecraft with a crew of two cosmonauts and a NASA astronaut near a lift off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 6:51 a.m., EDT. Oleg Novitskiy, Evgeny Tarelton and Kevin Ford are scheduled to dock with the International Space Station early Thursday, starting a busy week of activities. Those include the departure of the SpaceX Dragon commercial re-supply craft a Russian Progress supply capsule and a Nov. 1 U. S. spacewalk. The Florida website offers updates. http://www.spaceflightnow.com/station/exp33/status.html
A. From The Los Angeles Times: The International Space Station’s best days loom ahead, the newest crew members explain as they prepared to lift off on a near five month tour of duty aboard the orbiting science laboratory. http://www.latimes.com/news/nation/nationnow/la-na-nn-nasa-space-station-launch-20121022,0,7764205.story
2. From Spacepolicyonline.com: Monday night’s third and final presidential campaign debate includes the first mention of space by the two candidates. It was President Obama who made a brief reference, saying that “we need to be talking about space.” http://www.spacepolicyonline.com/news/space-finally-gets-a-mention-in-presidential-debate
3. Space News features a pair of Presidential campaign op-eds focused on space policy:
A. In “Mitt Romney: Lost in Space,” Jim Kohlenberger, a former White House science policy adviser, endorses efforts by President Obama to hand off near Earth activities to the U. S. commercial sector, while turning the government’s attention to deep space exploration. http://www.spacenews.com/commentaries/mitt-romney-lost-space.html
B. In “Or Ready to Restore U S. Leadership in Space,” Scott Pace, who served NASA under the previous administration, and Eric Anderson, a space entrepreneur, find U. S. leadership in space waning. The agency is much in need of strategic focus, according to the two men. http://www.spacenews.com/commentaries/121022-restore-leadership-space.html
4. From Aviation Week & Space Technology: Scaled Composites’ SpaceShipTwo is equipped with the propulsion systems for a series of upcoming spaceflight tests to prepare the spacecraft for future suborbital passenger missions. Virgin Galactic will operate the service from Spaceport America in New Mexico. http://www.aviationweek.com/Article.aspx?id=/article-xml/asd_10_22_2012_p04-01-509022.xml
5. From NASAspaceflight.com: Blue Origin, one of NASA’s partners in the second round of an orbital commercial crew space transportation development effort, demonstrates a key escape system technology as part of its spaceflight strategy. http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2012/10/blue-origin-capsule-pad-aborts-pusher-escape/
6. From The Coalition for Space Exploration: The European Space Agency’s Mars Express spacecraft compiles spectacular images of Vallis Marineris, a 4,000 kilometer long canyon in the Martian terrain.
7. From Space.com: Spiral galaxies achieved their spectacular shapes far later in the evolution of the 13.7 billion year old universe than previously believes, say scientists.
8. From The New York Times: Alpha Centauri, the triple star system that is not that far away in galactic terms, stirred passions for voyages to distant star systems with the discovery of an exo-planet not that much larger than the Earth. Smaller, more Earth like planets may await in the star system a little more than four light years away. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/23/science/space/discovery-rekindles-wish-for-a-journey-to-the-stars.html?ref=science&_r=1
9. From The Associated Press via The Houston Chronicle: An auction in New Hampshire features the sale of Apollo-era space memorabilia. The materials include moon dust coated check list from Apollo 15. Also among the 600 items up for bidding are handwritten notes from Neil Armstrong. http://www.chron.com/default/article/Apollo-15-checklist-Armstrong-notes-at-auction-3971078.php
Brought to you by the Coalition for Space Exploration, CSExtra is a daily compilation of space industry news selected from hundreds of online media resources. The Coalition is not the author or reporter of any of the stories appearing in CSExtra and does not control and is not responsible for the content of any of these stories. The content available through CSExtra contains links to other websites and domains which are wholly independent of the Coalition, and the Coalition makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy, completeness or authenticity of the information contained in any such site or domain and does not pre-screen or approve any content. The Coalition does not endorse or receive any type of compensation from the included media outlets and is not responsible or liable in any way for any content of CSExtra or for any loss, damage or injury incurred as a result of any content appearing in CSExtra. For information on the Coalition, visit www.spacecoalition.com or contact us via e-mail at [email protected].