CSExtra – Monday, January 28, 2013
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Monday’s CSExtra offers the latest reporting and commentary on space related activities from around the world, plus a recap from the weekend. This week, the nation’s space community marks the 10th anniversary of the shuttle Columbia loss. A U. S. and Canadian Space Agency collaboration completes a satellite re-fueling demonstration outside the International Space Station. Experts, assembled at Rice University in Houston, assesses the nation’s future direction in space. Confronting the orbital debris threat. At the Kennedy Space Center, a safety panel ponders NASA’s efforts to hand off orbital crew and cargo activities to the private sector. Japan launches a spy mission. A petition emerges in support of nuclear propulsion for human deep space exploration. Private sector competition for asteroid resources emerges. Mars at night. Europe looks to hypersonic passenger travel. After space, a retiring NASA astronaut looks to his native Nebraska with plans to teach. Major space policy activities scheduled for the week ahead.
1. From The Orlando Sentinel, Jan. 27: A look back to the loss of NASA’s shuttle Columbia crew a decade ago on Friday. The tragedy produced some difficult lessons learned for the U. S. space agency, which recovered shuttle operations long enough to complete the assembly of the International Space Station. http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/space/os-columbia-10th-anniversary-20130127,0,3587317.story
A. From Florida Today, Jan. 27: Space Shuttle Columbia: Mission of Hope, a new documentary on Columbia’s final flight will air this week on PBC with a look at Israeli astronaut Ilan Ramon, one of seven astronauts who perished. http://www.floridatoday.com/article/20130128/SPACE/301280011/Columbia-documentary-tells-tale-mission-within-mission
B. From The Lubbock Avalanche Journal, of Texas, Jan. 26: Barry McCool, father of Columbia pilot Willie McCool, recalls his son’s mission and the events surrounding the spacecraft’s breakup on Feb. 1, 2003. http://lubbockonline.com/local-news/2013-01-26/10-years-ago-american-lost-seven-heroes-mccools-lost-oldest-son#.UQZV8h1_F49
2. From Spaceflightnow.com, Jan. 25: NASA and the Canadian Space Agency successfully demonstrate the robotic refueling of a satellite outside the International Space Station. The operation, completed Friday, was carried out by ground-based flight control teams using Canada’s two-armed external robot, DEXTRE, and a mock satellite bus. The exercise may serve as the basis for a new commercial enterprise. http://www.spaceflightnow.com/news/n1301/25rrm/#.UQZOwB1_F48
3. From Spacepolitics.com, Jan. 27: During a Rice University forum in Houston, experts have a difficult time defining whether a “more definitive” U. S. space policy will emerge from a contentious Washington political environment and one at odds over future spending. The Rice forum responds to findings in two recent studies on U. S. space policy produced by the National Research Council and the Space Foundation. http://www.spacepolitics.com/2013/01/27/in-the-search-for-a-definitive-national-space-policy-no-definitive-answers/
A. From The Coalition for Space Exploration, Jan. 25: A webcast link to Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy presentation. http://spacecoalition.com/blog/lost-in-space-the-need-for-a-definitive-u-s-space-policy
B. From Spacepolicyonline.com, Jan. 25: In Washington, the House Science, Space and Technology Committee outlines an oversight agenda for 2013 that includes the future of NASA’s human space flight development activities. http://www.spacepolicyonline.com/news/house-ss-t-committee-outlines-oversight-plans-for-nasa-noaa-faa
C. From Aviation Week & Space Technology, Jan. 28: China enlists a military production facility to assemble the large modules for a new space station. China is aiming for a 2020 launching. http://www.aviationweek.com/Article.aspx?id=/article-xml/AW_01_28_2013_p27-540056.xml
4. From Space.com, Jan. 25: Confronting the growing threat to orbiting spacecraft posed by an accumulation of orbital debris. Experts look for techniques to improve debris tracking, hasten the de-orbit of space junk as well as policies to stem the accumulation. http://www.space.com/19445-space-junk-threat-orbital-debris-cleanup.html
5. From Florida Today, Jan. 26: In session at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center last week, the independent Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel raised questions about how NASA will oversee the test flights of the commercial space transportation services companies it is nurturing. NASA would like its commercial partners to inaugurate operational missions to the International Space Station in 2017. However, much remains to be worked in terms of funding and safety oversight. http://www.floridatoday.com/article/20130126/SPACE/301260013/Safety-panel-pushes-NASA-oversight-private-test-flights
6. From Spaceflightnow.com, Jan. 27: Japan launches a pair of reconnaissance satellites. Their focus is North Korea. http://www.spaceflightnow.com/h2a/f22/#.UQXLcR1_F48
7. From Space.com, Jan. 25: A petition before the Obama Administration’s ”We the People” initiative urges an aggressive effort to develop nuclear thermal rocket technologies that might open deep space for human exploration. http://www.space.com/19451-nuclear-thermal-rocket-petition.html
8. From The Economist, Jan 24: Deep Space Industries joins Planetary Resources in a private sector competition to mine asteroids for new resources. But first: raising the money. http://www.economist.com/blogs/babbage/2013/01/asteroid-mining
9. From The Huffington Post, Jan. 26: Cameras aboard NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover capture the red planet at night. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/26/mars-curosity-night-photos-rover-first-images-martian-dariness_n_2552782.html?utm_hp_ref=nasa
10. From Discovery.com: In Europe proponents of hypersonic passenger flight aim for a service start in 2050. http://news.discovery.com/space/private-spaceflight/super-sonic-spaceliner-130127.htm
11. From The Omaha World Herald, Jan. 26: NASA astronaut Clayton Anderson will return to his native Nebraska and Iowa to teach. Anderson’s lengthy NASA career included a near six month stay aboard the International Space Station and space walks. http://www.omaha.com/article/20130125/NEWS/701259903/1016
12. From Spacepolicyonline.com: A look at major space policy activities scheduled for the week ahead. Several tributes to the astronauts who lost their lives in the Apollo 1, Challenger and Columbia tragedies are planned. http://www.spacepolicyonline.com/news/events-of-interest-week-of-january-27-february-1-2013
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