CSExtra – Wednesday, August 29, 2012
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Wednesday’s CSExtra offers the latest reporting and commentary on space related activities from around the world. The death of Neil Armstrong and the successful landing of NASA’s Curiosity rover on Mars continue to stir debate over the value of space exploration. United Launch Alliance and NASA ready a third attempt to launch the twin Radiation Belt Storm Probe spacecraft mission early Thursday. New imagery from NASA’s Mars Curiosity rover hints at Martian tectonics. Music from Curiosity strives to inspire youthful interest in science and math. Astronomers find a planetary system with two stars. Russia considers launching woman cosmonauts, once again.
1. From The Huffington Post: The exploration of space is an important, if not urgent, part of America’s future, writes Wayne Hale, a former NASA shuttle program manager, in an op-ed. “NASA needs presidential investment and advocacy — and the budget to back it up. Nothing less than the future of our children and grandchildren is at stake here,” he writes in a message directed to the prospective Democratic and Republican presidential nominees. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/wayne-hale/space-exploration_b_1836619.html?utm_hp_ref=elections-2012
A. From The New York Times: America needs Mars, more than it needs another incremental advance into the technological frontier, as a goal for human exploration, writes novelist Lydia Netzer, in an op-ed. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/28/opinion/the-man-in-the-moon.html?_r=2&ref=opinion
B. From the Air and Space Museum Magazine blog Once and Future Moon: Neil Armstrong is destined to stand alone in human history, the first of us to step to the surface of another world. And, there was so much more, writes Paul Spudis, a prominent lunar scientist. http://blogs.airspacemag.com/moon/
C. From The Huffington Post: White House plans to cut NASA’s Mars program budget over concerns it will spiral out of control are unfounded, writes G. Scott Hubbard in an op-ed. Now a Stanford University professor, Hubbard was a Mars program architect while at NASA. The agency’s future robotic efforts should be aimed at gathering and returning samples of Martian soil to Earth, he writes. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/g-scott-hubbard/mars-exploration_b_1837961.html
D. From Xinhuanet of China: Neil Armstrong, the first human to step to the surface of a new world, and Sally Ride, America’s first woman astronaut, are remembered during the closing days of the 28th General Assembly of the International Astronomical Union, being held in Beijing. http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/china/2012-08/28/c_131813274.htm
2. From Spaceflightnow.com: United Launch Alliance returns an Atlas V launcher with NASA’s twin Radiation Belt Storm Probe spacecraft to a Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., launch pad on Tuesday. The mission delayed by technical and weather issues is re-scheduled for lift off on Thursday at 4:05 a.m., EDT. http://www.spaceflightnow.com/atlas/av032/preview.html
3. From Aviation Week & Space Technology: NASA’s Curiosity rover beams back surprising images of tilted strata on the Martian terrain of Gale Crater, say geologists. The imagery suggests, tectonic, volcanic, sub-aqueous or wind-driven processes on the planet. http://www.aviationnow.com/Article.aspx?id=/article-xml/awx_08_27_2012_p0-490154.xml
A. From The Los Angeles Times: NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover transmits an inspirational song, Reach for the Stars, composed by the Black-Eyed Pea’s Wil.i.am, to Earth on Tuesday. The anthem is intended to inspire students to study math and science. http://www.latimes.com/news/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-will-i-am-curiosity-mars-rover-track-nasa-20120828,0,2637729.story
4. From Space.com: Astronomers associated with NASA’s Kepler space telescope missions find planets circling in a binary star system. http://www.space.com/17336-tatooine-alien-planets-two-suns-solar-system.html
5. From Ria Novosti of Russia. Russia’s cosmonaut corps may soon be prepared to launch a woman into space. “A couple of women are close to being selected,” says Sergi Krikalev, who heads Russia’s Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center. “There are chances that they will be.” The next will be the first since 1997. http://en.rian.ru/russia/20120828/175480733.html
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