CSExtra – Wednesday, September 19, 2012
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Wednesday’s CSExtra offers the latest reporting and commentary on space related activities under way around the world. NASA’s retired shuttle orbiter Endeavour receives weather clearance at daybreak to begin a three day journey from Cape Canaveral, Fla., to Los Angeles International Airport and public display at the California Science Center. Some lawmakers look at new legislation for NASA. Might NASA’s future include interstellar spaceflight? China launches new global navigation satellites. Two essays examine the status of NASA’s commercial crew space transportation efforts and India’s future human space exploration. New findings from NASA’s MESSENGER mission raise questions about Mercury’s formative process. Moon rock may fetch big bucks.
1. From Spaceflightnow.com: At the Kennedy Space Center, NASA’s retired shuttle orbiter Endeavour receives weather clearance early Wednesday to take flight on a three-day ferry trip to Los Angeles. Departure was set for 7:15 a.m., EDT. The first leg of the ferry flight atop NASA’s Shuttle Carrier Aircraft is to deliver Endeavour to Houston’s Ellington Field for an overnight stay. Weather and other in flight constraints could change the plan. The website will offer updates. http://www.spaceflightnow.com/shuttle/ferry/status105.html
A. NASA, too, is updating Endeavour’s flight through the agency’s website, which includes a Twitter stream: http://www.nasa.gov/centers/johnson/home/endeavour_visit.html
2. From The Houston Chronicle: Four legislators, including the chair of NASA’s House appropriations panel, intend to introduce the Space Leadership Act, legislation intended to lessen political influence on the agency’s future. One proposed reform, it appears, would provide for a 10-year appointment of the agency’s administrator. The lawmakers intend to file the bill on Thursday. http://blog.chron.com/sciguy/2012/09/legislators-will-introduce-nasa-reboot-bill-on-thursday/
A. From Spacepolicyonline.com: Prospects for passage of the legislation are small, the Washington website reports. http://www.spacepolicyonline.com/news/five-members-of-congress-set-to-introduce-space-leadership-act-on-thursday
3. From U. S. News & World Report: NASA’s mission, Administrator Charles Bolden informs a National Press Club audience on Tuesday, is to one day explore space with humans at faster than light velocities. “We want to go faster than the speed of light, and we don’t want to stop at Mars,” said Bolden.
4. From Spaceflightnow.com: China successfully launches a pair of new satellites for its Beidou global satellite navigation system. http://www.spaceflightnow.com/news/n1209/18longmarch/
5. From The Space Review: Two essays examine NASA’s recent commercial crew development decisions and India’s about face on a human lunar mission.
A. In “Keeping focused on commercial crew,” TSR editor Jeff Foust checks the status of NASA’s boldest near-term White House assignment, nurturing commercial orbital space transportation services by multiple U. S. companies . An August down select to three companies has raised questions in Congress and NASA’s own advisory committees over safety and funding. http://www.thespacereview.com/article/2158/1
B. In “India aborts a human moon mission,” essayist Ajey Lele examines India’s recent about face on a 2009 decision to pursue the human exploration of the moon by 2020. Instead, India will re-focus its interest on a human Earth orbit launch capability and a robotic Mars mission, slated for launching in late 2013. Lele is an analyst at a New Delhi think tank.
6. From CNN: Findings from NASA’s MESSENGER mission around torrid Mercury suggest the first planet’s formative stages were different than those of the other inner solar system planets. High levels of magnesium and sulphur raise questions. http://www.cnn.com/2012/09/18/us/space-mercury/index.html
7. From Space.com: Heritage Auctions intends to fetch nearly $400,000 for a moon rock that reached the Earth as a meteorite. http://www.space.com/17650-moon-rock-lunar-meteorite-auction.html
Brought to you by the Coalition for Space Exploration, CSExtra is a daily compilation of space industry news selected from hundreds of online media resources. The Coalition is not the author or reporter of any of the stories appearing in CSExtra and does not control and is not responsible for the content of any of these stories. The content available through CSExtra contains links to other websites and domains which are wholly independent of the Coalition, and the Coalition makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy, completeness or authenticity of the information contained in any such site or domain and does not pre-screen or approve any content. The Coalition does not endorse or receive any type of compensation from the included media outlets and is not responsible or liable in any way for any content of CSExtra or for any loss, damage or injury incurred as a result of any content appearing in CSExtra. For information on the Coalition, visit www.spacecoalition.com or contact us via e-mail at Info@spacecoalition.com.