CSExtra – Friday, January 27, 2012
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Friday’s CSExtra offers the latest reporting and commentary on space related activities from around the world. President Obama participates in NASA’s Day of Remembrance, an annual tribute to fallen astronauts. In Florida, Republican presidential hopefuls respond to Newt Gingrich’s pledge to establish a human lunar base. An independent safety panel warns of the risks associated with life aboard the International Space Station in an annual report. A bus-sized asteroid will zip close to the Earth today. Kepler scientists announce 11 new extra solar planetary systems. NASA closes out its latest astronaut application process today. New evidence of a lunar magnetic field. Alan Shepard’s Freedom 7 Mercury capsule will make its way to a future display home in Washington D. C.
1. From Spacepolicyonline.com: Thursday marked NASA’s annual Day of Remembrance — an opportunity to memorialize the deaths of 17 astronauts who died aboard the shuttle’s Columbia and Challenger and the Apollo 1. President Obama paid tribute. NASA Administrator Charles Bolden led a wreath laying ceremony at the Arlington National Cemetery. http://bit.ly/xJzK61
A. From Space.com: NASA’s Day of Remembrance — a reminder that human spaceflight carries grave risks. http://bit.ly/AbxMRi
2. From Spacepolitics.com: In Florida, the Republican presidential hopefuls debated Thursday night Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum and Ron Paul distanced themselves from Newt Gringrich’s pledge earlier this week to establish a human lunar base on the moon by 2020. Gingrich’s opponents questioned the expenditure. Florida’s primary is set for Jan. 31. http://bit.ly/zXsd2L
A. From the National Journal: In the GOP Florida primary contest, Rick Santorum disavows opponent Newt Gringrich’s proposal to establish a moon base by 2020 and possibly extend statehood. The nation’s deficit takes precedence, the former U. S. senator from Pennsylvania says in a campaign stop at Florida State University in Tallahassee. http://bit.ly/yrWjdS
B. From the Washington Post: A look at GOP presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich’s pledge to establish a human lunar base by 2020, while campaigning this week in the Florida primary. Most say the plan is too expensive when the economy is troubled. Gringrich, however, embraces the vow, explaining he will work with the private sector to ensure a future lunar base is established by the U. S., not China or Russia. http://wapo.st/AwN5b9
C. From the Los Angeles Times: In an op-ed, Gingrich’s lunar colony plan is labeled “absurd” in difficult economic times. http://bit.ly/wnxCLd
D. From the Christian Science Monitor: Gringrich’s vision for a moon settlement took root decades ago. He outlined his plans as a young congressman in the early 1980s, both in legislation and in a book. http://bit.ly/we9D2J
3. From Florida Today: NASA’s Independent Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel warns of risks associated with the staffing of the U. S. led International Space Station. The panel, which reports to the NASA administrator, listed a greater than 30 percent chance that astronauts will have to abandon the station between now and the end of operations in 2020. The ASAP urged the space agency to improve its planning for an emergency descent to Earth as well as for ensuring an eventual controlled re-entry of the orbiting laboratory at the end of its orbital life. http://on.flatoday.com/wJfW4q
4. From Space.com: The newly discovered, bus-sized asteroid 2012 BX34 will pass within 40,000 miles of Earth before noon on Friday. The Earth faces no threat of impact, say experts. http://bit.ly/AznKR2
5. From Discovery.com: NASA’s Kepler science team announces a bounty of new extra solar planets. In all, 11 new planetary systems emerge. http://bit.ly/A6rIi5
6. From The Washington Post: NASA closes out its application process for a new class of astronauts today. It’s the first time since 2009 the space agency has sought new astronaut applicants. If flying in space is not your choice, NASA also needs legal and medical experts, project managers and financial experts. http://wapo.st/AwZgkJ
7. From Space.com: New studies of lunar rocks suggest the moon had a longer lasting and perhaps stronger magnetic field that previously believed. The findings are detailed in the current issue of the journal Science. http://bit.ly/ySMQZe
8. From Collectspace.com: The Freedom 7 Mercury capsule that carried Alan Shepard into space as the first American astronaut will leave the U. S. Naval Academy for eventual display at the Smithsonian’s Air and Space Museum in Washington D. C. Look for the famous spacecraft in the nation’s capitol around 2016. http://bit.ly/yWo8Hu
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