CSExtra – Tuesday, October 30, 2012
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Tuesday’s CSExtra offers the latest reporting and commentary on space related activities from around the world. SpaceX’s just completed re-supply mission to the International Space Station wins an East Coast endorsement. Hurricane Sandy’s fury predicted by a quarter century of improvements in weather forecasting. NASA’s retired shuttle orbiter Endeavour debuts in Los Angeles today. Halloween and space candy. Essays find potential for commercial prospecting on close planetary bodies and low fares for government space payloads. Earth observatories spot volcanic eruptions on distant Io, the Jovian moon. Canada eyes an opportunity to launch a specialty, future robotic spacecraft.
1. From The New York Times: In an editorial, the Times finds favor with SpaceX’s first contracted re-supply mission to the International Space Station. The Hawhorne, Calif., based company’s Dragon capsule splashed down on Sunday after a successful three week cargo delivery and return mission to the six person orbiting space laboratory. NASA is counting on the commercial model to produce a near term crew transportation capability as well.
2. From The Washington Post: If even just a little, Hurricane Sandy’s devastation has been blunted by a quarter century of improvements in weather forecasting. Satellites, climate modeling super computers and other prediction tools have enabled forecasters to spotlight the regions most at threat so those who live or work in them could prepare. Budget cuts, however, are threatening the future of at least two satellites considered crucial to the forecasting task.
A. From USAToday: Why is the full moon a factor in the storm surge and inland flooding associated with Hurricane Sandy. It’s all about planetary alignments.
B. From Spacepolicyonline.com: NOAA’s GOES 13 geo-stationary weather satellite tracks Hurricane Sandy. In September, the spacecraft was taken out of service temporarily and an orbital spare moved into position to keep an eye on major storms posing a threat to the U. S. East Coast.
3. From The Los Angeles Times: NASA’s retired orbital Endeavour goes on public display Tuesday at the California Science Center in Los Angeles.
4. From Collectspace.com: With Halloween just around the corner, it’s time to look at the story of sweets on U.S. human spacecraft. There’s not much that hasn’t flown.
5. From Monday’s The Space Review, two essays examine a rationale for privately financed ISRU, or In Space Resource Utilization and low cost opportunities for the commercial launching of government payloads.
A. In “The need for private ISRU development,” Eric Shear explains the basis for commercial In Space Resource Utilization, or investments in extracting resources from the closest planetary bodies to pave the road to more distant destinations. Shear is the CEO/CTO of Vulcan Aerospace.
B. In “An opening door for hosted payloads,” TSR editor Jeff Foust finds growing interest in government agency use of excess capacity on commercial satellite launches for their payloads. The practice could save money.
6. From Space.com: Earth-based observatories spot volcanic eruptions on Io, the Jovian moon.
7. From Space.com: In preliminary discussions, the Canadian Space Agency looks for opportunities to launch advanced robotic spacecraft aboard NASA’s planned Space Launch System, a mega rocket for future human deep space exploration. The moon is one prospective destination.
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