CSExtra – Tuesday, September 25, 2012
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Tuesday’s CSExtra offers the latest reporting and commentary on space related activities from around the world. Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney’s space policy raises cost questions as does a Florida newspaper report that suggests NASA is interested in establishing a human orbital outpost on the moon’s far side. A key NOAA Atlantic hurricane monitor goes on the blink. SpaceX tests components for a reusable launch system. NASA’s retired shuttle orbiter Endeavour inspires as it reaches Los Angeles for a California retirement. The U. S. Air Force preps the X-37B for another secretive mission. In Russia, the first privately assembled and operated satellite could be launched next year. Computer simulations suggest how life might have arisen on Earth.
1. From The Atlantic: A look at Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney’s space policy “white paper” — issued on Saturday. “The paper’s rhetoric, distilled down, goes something like this: Space is awesome! And we should definitely keep exploring it! Just not with additional taxpayer dollars,” The Atlantic reports. Vice Presidential running mate Paul Ryan voted against NASA funding, the publication notes. http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2012/09/space-is-the-new-frontier-of-the-2012-presidential-campaign/262738/
A. From The Orlando Sentinel: NASA considers a human “gate way outpost” on the moon’s far side. The orbiting spacecraft could function as a staging site for missions to the moon and Mars. In a Sept. 22 exclusive, The Sentinel, through documents it obtained, reports that NASA Administrator Charles Bolden briefed White House officials on the project, though their reaction was unclear. Placed at L-2, or the second Earth/Moon Lagrange point, the base would be fashioned from hardware left over from the International Space Station, A modest budget increase would be necessary, the newspaper reports. http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2012-09-22/news/os-nasa-space-outpost-20120922_1_moon-rocks-space-launch-system-nasa-chief-charlie-bolden
B. From NBC’s Cosmic Log: Prospects for a human lunar gateway outpost stirs interest at a Seattle space conference. http://cosmiclog.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/09/24/14072181-beyond-the-moon-base-stirs-up-buzz?lite
C. From Spacepolicyonline.com: Lagrange points, both lunar and solar, have figured in space exploration discussions in recent years. http://www.spacepolicyonline.com/news/orlando-sentinel-nasa-considering-l2-spaceport-as-beyond-leo-destination
2. From The Washington Post: NOAA says GOES 13, a weather satellite assigned to monitor Atlantic Ocean hurricane development, has malfunctioned. A companion satellite, already in orbit, is being prepared to stand in. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/capital-weather-gang/post/key-goes-13-weather-satellite-goes-dark/2012/09/24/e4b71492-0664-11e2-a10c-fa5a255a9258_blog.html
3. From Spaceflightnow.com: SpaceX reports a successful test flight of Grasshopper, the prototype for a landing system that would permit the landing and re-use of the company’s commercial rocket launchers. http://www.spaceflightnow.com/news/n1209/24grasshopper/
4. From The Los Angeles Times: The retired orbiter Endeavour receives testimonials from three of the astronauts it ushered into space, Garrett Reisman, Greg Chamitoff and Mike Fincke. Endeavour reached LA last Friday, following a ferry flight from Florida. The ship is destined for public display at the California Science Center. All three astronauts predicted the display will inspire the youngsters who see it. http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2012/09/endeavour-astronauts-hope-shuttle-will-inspire-future-generations.html
A. From Collectspace.com: Endeavour carried thousands of commemorative patches on its cross country ferry flight. http://www.collectspace.com/news/news-092412a.html
5. From Space.com: The U. S. Air Force is prepping for the third flight of its Orbital Test Vehicle program in October. As with two previous missions of the winged reusable OTV, most details of the flight are classified. The X-37B carried out the first in the flight series, a 225 day voyage, in 2010. http://www.space.com/17735-secretive-x37b-space-plane-october-launch.html
6. From Ria Novosti of Russia: Russia’s first privately built and operated satellite awaits launching next year. http://en.rian.ru/science/20120924/176193977.html
7. From The Coalition for Space Exploration: Using computer simulations, scientists explain how the basics for intelligent life might have reached Earth during the earliest days of the solar system. http://spacecoalition.com/blog/new-research-meandering-microorganisms-between-planets
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