CSExtra – Tuesday, October 9, 2012
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Tuesday’s CSExtra offers the latest reporting and commentary on space related activities from around the world. SpaceX’s Dragon resupply mission overcomes a first stage engine failure to speed toward a rendezvous with the International Space Station. NASA’s Curiosity rover scoops up its first Martian dirt. Roscosmos, Russia’s federal space agency, selects eight candidates to prepare for careers as cosmonauts in its first open call for applicants. Science…could it help to solve global differences? University students express concern over small NASA budget. The Northern Lights illuminate in response to a solar Coronal Mass Ejection strike on Monday.
1. From Discovery.com: SpaceX’s Dragon resupply mission to the International Space Station weathers a single engine failure aboard the two-stage Falcon 9 rocket that lofted the freighter into orbit. The engine loss, which was not attributed to an explosion, did not interfere with the Dragon’s rise to orbit and scheduled rendezvous with the space station early Wednesday. http://news.discovery.com/space/spacex-probing-engine-issue-capsule-nears-station-121008.html#mkcpgn=rssnws1
A. From Spacepolicyonline.com: A secondary payload on the Falcon 9, an Orbcomm communications satellite prototype, ends up in a lower than planned orbit. The communications company assessed its options on Monday for a re-boost. http://www.spacepolicyonline.com/news/orbcomm-determining-satellites-fate-in-wake-of-falcon-9-malfunction
B. From Spaceflightnow.com: The Falcon 9 first stage engine loss was not triggered by an explosion, according to SpaceX. The performance from eight first stage engines were adequate to place the Dragon cargo carrier in an altitude sufficient to reach the International Space Station, according to the company. http://www.spaceflightnow.com/falcon9/004/121008engine/
C. From the Orlando Sentinel: Florida is a battleground state in the 2012 president election. President Obama’s Florida campaign points to the success of the Falcon9/Dragon launch as evidence of a more effective space policy. http://blogs.orlandosentinel.com/news_politics/2012/10/obama-campaign-lauds-spacex-launch-and-obama.html
D. From The Los Angeles Times: SpaceX will investigate the Falcon 9 first stage engine loss. http://www.latimes.com/news/nation/nationnow/la-na-nn-space-x-engine-problem-20121008,0,4833511.story
2. From The Los Angeles Times: Curiosity hoists its first scoop of Martian soil since its early August landing. Scientists are elated. http://www.latimes.com/news/nation/nationnow/la-na-nn-curiosity-mars-soil-sample-20121008,0,6463766.story
A. From Space.com: The website chats with David Blake, one of the instrument principal investigators involved in NASA’s Curiosity rover mission now in Gale Crater on Mars. Blake examines minerals that reveal information about the Martian past. http://www.space.com/17955-mars-rover-curiosity-blake-interview.html
3. From Parabolic Arc: In Russia, the federal space agency Roscosmos selects eight candidates for cosmonaut training; 304 applicants responded to the agency’s first open call for prospective space travelers. http://www.parabolicarc.com/2012/10/08/roscosmos-selects-8-cosmonaut-trainees/
4. From Scientific American: Can global differences be settled through science and technology? “We can begin the funding transition at home by re-committing ourselves to NASA,” writes Steven Ross Pomeroy in an op-ed. http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/2012/10/08/stop-building-bombs-and-start-building-starships/
5. From The Battalion, of Texas A&M University: In an editorial, the school newspaper objects to the lack of funding NASA receives to further opportunities in science and technology for students. http://www.thebatt.com/half-a-percent-1.2922876
6. From Spaceweather.com: Auroral displays in the Northern Hemisphere are visible as far south as the U. S. Midwest. The Northern lights were energized by a Coronal Mass Ejection that struck the Earth’s magnetic field on Monday. Meanwhile, the Draconid meteor shower intensifies then subsides on Monday. www.spaceweather.com
7. From Collectspace.com: Orbiter Endeavour, ferried by air transport from Florida to Los Angeles International Airport last month, will begin an overnight road trip this week to the California Science Center, where it will go on public display. The final trek begins early Friday. http://www.collectspace.com/news/news-100812a.html
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