CSExtra – Wednesday, July 25, 2012
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Wednesday’s CSExtra offers the latest reporting and commentary on space related happenings from around the world. Sally Ride, America’s first female astronaut, draws praise for her many accomplishments from the nation’s top leaders and her colleagues. Ride died Monday of cancer. NASA’s planet hunting Kepler space telescope loses a backup reaction wheel. Russia looks to the weekend for a second attempt at an International Space Station docking system test. Satellite imagery reveals a sudden ice loss in Greenland. A NASA heat shield test this week could pave the way for a human Mars landing. Boeing takes a new role in the development of NASA’s Space Launch System. XCOR looks to Central Florida as an operating base. Viewing Saturn.
1. From Collectspace.com: Sally Ride, physicist, astronaut and force for science education touched many in her 61 years. Collectspace.com looked far and wide to gather up the comments of those inspired by her. Ride died Monday of pancreatic cancer. http://www.collectspace.com/news/news-072412a.html
A. From Spacepolitics.com: President Obama and members of Congress remember Sally Ride, the first American woman in space, for her passion for education. http://www.spacepolitics.com/2012/07/24/president-congress-react-to-sally-rides-passing/?tw_p=twt
2. From New Scientist: NASA’s Kepler space telescope, launched in 2009 to search for evidence of Earth-like planets in the Milky Way, sustained a reaction wheel failure on July 16. That leaves Kepler with three of the guidance devices — just the number it needs for pointing, but no backup. Kepler is monitoring 100,000 stars in the galaxy for evidence of exoplanets. http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn22096-kepler-glitch-may-lower-odds-of-finding-earths-twin.html
3. From The New York Times: Russia will make a second attempt to re-dock an un-piloted Progress re-supply craft with the International Space Station this weekend. The capsule departed the orbiting science laboratory on Sunday for a flight test of new automated rendezvous system hardware. A docking attempt of the Progress 47 late Monday was aborted when the rendezvous system failed to activate. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/25/world/europe/russian-craft-has-glitch-in-docking-with-space-station.html
4. From the New York Times: Imagery from U. S. and Indian Earth observing spacecraft reveal a dramatic ice loss in Greenland over a four day period in July. Past studies of core samples from Greenland suggests equivalent melts occur about once every 150 years. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/25/science/earth/rare-burst-of-melting-seen-in-greenland-ice-sheet.html?_r=1
5. From Discovery.com: An inflatable heat shield technology successfully test flown by NASA earlier this week could be used as part of a landing strategy to reach Mars with human explorers. The test was carried out under NASA’s forward looking space technology program. http://news.discovery.com/space/astronauts-heat-sheild-mars-120724.html#mkcpgn=rssnws1
6. From Space News: NASA selects Boeing for a Delta 4 interim upper stage for the initial fight tests of the Space Launch System. NASA’s SLS is under development to start future astronauts on missions of deep space exploration. The agreement is worth $175 million to Boeing. http://www.spacenews.com/launch/120724-boeing-awarded-upper-stage-sls.html
7. From Florida Today: XCOR of Mojave, Calif., looks to Central Florida as a potential site to build rocket engines and launch future suborbital passenger flights. http://www.floridatoday.com/article/20120724/BUSINESS/307240014/New-aerospace-firm-scoping-out-Space-Coast
8. From Space.com: Wednesday night offers a favorable opportunity for viewing Saturn and the planet’s distinctive rings in the night sky with a telescope. The Earth’s moon can help point the way. Or, check www.slooh.com for a live web cast. http://www.space.com/16731-moon-saturn-night-sky-planets.html
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