CSExtra – Wednesday, January 25, 2012
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Wednesday’s CSExtra offers the latest reporting and commentary on space related activities from around the world: Russia readies its first Progress cargo mission of 2012 for launching to the International Space Station. An intense solar storm buffets the Earth on Tuesday. The U. S. Astronaut Hall of Fame will induct three new members. Republican presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich to address space policy in Florida, the next primary state. The U. S. Air Force calls a halt to a troubled weather satellite program. NASA sets April 17 for the ferry flight of shuttle orbiter Discovery to the Washington D. C. area for public display. The youngest Americans can expect a new era of personal spaceflight, writes one aerospace expert. A famous Hubble Space Telescope image faces a challenge.
1. From Florida Today: Russia prepares for the year’s first Progress re-supply mission to the International Space Station. A late Wednesday lift off will place the cargo capsule on a course to dock with the space station on Friday evening. Lift off is set for 6:06 p.m., EST. http://on.flatoday.com/ApE5NI
2. From the Los Angeles Times: The Earth is buffeted Tuesday by an intense solar storm. http://lat.ms/xz0mNM
A. From Space.com: So far this week, the sun has been remarkably active, unleashing a pair of Coronal Mass Ejections and intense radiation toward the Earth. These storms illuminate the Northern Lights and can disrupt satellite communications or interrupt the distribution of electrical power. Experts have a system for classifying the intensity of solar activity. http://bit.ly/yHYZuo
3. From Collectspace.com: The U. S. Astronaut Hall of Fame selects three new members, physicist Franklin Chang-Diaz, U. S. Air Force Gen (ret)., Kevin Chilton and U. S. Air Force Col (ret) Charles Precourt. http://bit.ly/ApFrYc
4. From Spacepolicyonline.com: Republican presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich heads for Florida’s Space Coast for a pair of campaign events to discuss space policy. . Florida’s primary is set for Jan. 31. http://bit.ly/ArwxUr
5. From Spaceflightnow.com: The U.S. Air Force halts work on future Defense Weather Satellite System spacecraft. It remains to be seen how the military will proceed with replacements beyond two spacecraft awaiting launch. The program’s roots extend to an effort to merge civilian and military satellite programs that did not materialize as originally envisioned. http://bit.ly/yPSRWH
6. From Florida Today: NASA targets April 17 for a ferry flight that will transport shuttle Discovery from the Kennedy Space Center to the Washington D. C. area, where it will go on public display at the Smithsonian Institution’s Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va. — an arm of the Air and Space Museum. http://bit.ly/z84Cg4
7. From the Huffington Post: The doors to personal spaceflight are opening, writes Larry Bock, the founder of the USA Science and Engineering Festival. http://huff.to/AjRP3L
8. From USA Today: In 1998, astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope unveiled the first visible light image of an extra-solar planet. A re-examination of the imagery, however, suggests it there was not a planet in the image. http://usat.ly/zxYHD2
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