CSExtra – Tuesday, July 24, 2012

July 24th, 2012

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Tuesday’s CSExtra offers the latest reporting and commentary on space-related happenings from around the world. Sally Ride, the first American woman in space, dies after a battle with pancreatic cancer.  Problems interrupt a re-docking of a Russian Progress cargo ship with the International Space Station during a rendezvous system test. NASA joins with the U. S. Geological Survey to mark the 40th anniversary of the Landsat Earth observation program. GenCorp and DigitalGlobe acquire and merge with U. S. rivals in the rocket propulsion development and space reconnaissance fields.  A NASA inflatable heat shield flight test unfolds successfully. Is climate change subtle but significant? Two essays ponder a seeming slow up in the pace of human space exploration and the significance of commercial operations to piloted spaceflight.

1. From The New York Times: Educational advocate and physicist Sally Ride, America’s first female astronaut, dies of pancreatic cancer. Ride, who launched aboard a 1983 NASA space shuttle mission, was 61. After a second flight a year later, Ride  pursued other professional interests and served on investigative panels for the 1986 Challenger and 2003 Columbia tragedies.

A. From The Washington Post: President Obama finds Ride an enduring source of inspiration. “Sally’s life showed us that there are no limits to what we can achieve, and I have no doubt that her legacy will endure for years to come,” said Obama.  At 32 when she launched, Ride was also the nation’s youngest astronaut.

B. From The Los Angeles Times: The opportunity for Sally Ride to join NASA’s astronaut corps came in the late 1970s, when NASA turned to scientists and engineers as well as test pilots to operate the new space shuttle. In her professional pursuits beyond NASA, the Los Angeles native started the website,, devoted to inspiring the nation’s youth to study math and science. “Sally Ride broke barriers with grace and professionalism and literally changed the face of America’s space program,” NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said in a statement.,0,4810625.story

C. From USA Today:  “Ride was more than just a physicist, educator and astronaut,” USA Today noted, recalling Sally Ride’s 1983 shuttle flight.  “She carried the hopes and aspirations of a generation on the flight, a symbol of the ascent of American women in our nation’s working life.”

2. From CBS News: Russia’s un-piloted Progress 47 space freighter abruptly aborted a re-docking with the International Space Station late Monday at a distance of nine miles. The cargo capsule un-docked Sunday for an overnight test of an upgraded docking system under development by Russian experts for use aboard  future Soyuz crew transport and Progress cargo ships. Another attempt to re-dock is not expected before Tuesday, and possibly not until July 28-29. The Progress launched and docked with the station initially in April delivering nearly three tons of supplies.

A. From Ria Novosti of Russia: Russia’s Mission Control looks to a second attempt to re-dock the Progress 47 using the upgraded docking system on July 28-29. The timing would follow the rendezvous and berthing of an unpiloted Japanese space freighter launched on July 20.

3. From NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey marked the 40th anniversary of the Landsat  Earth observation program on Monday. The multi-satellite initiative has opened the significance of Earth observation from space to two generations of professionals involved in global land use, climate change, agriculture and environmental preservation.

4. From The Los Angeles Times: Sacramento, Calif., based GenCorp. will acquire rocket engine maker  Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne of Canoga Park, Calif., for $550 million. United Technologies Corp., parent to Rocketdyne, announced plans for a sale in March.,0,1214256.story

A. From The Denver Post: DigitalGlobe, of Longmont, Colo., and GeoEye, Inc.,  of Herndon, Va., agree on a merger, establishing the world’s largest fleet of high resolution, Earth imaging satellites, the Post reported.

5. From NASA  successfully tests an inflatable heat shield technology with a suborbital rocket launch from Wallops Island, Va., on Monday.

6.  From the New York Times: In a message to the presidential candidates, columnist Thomas Friedman urges the winner to fashion America into the Cape Canaveral of the 21st Century, a place that fosters innovation through education, investments in research and development and favorable economic and immigration policy. “We can’t stimulate or tax-cut our way to growth. We have to invent our way there,” writes Friedman in an op-ed.

7. Two essays from Monday’s The Space Review ponder the pace of human space exploration and the role of humans in exploration during the rise of commercial space.

A. In “Confronting the universe in the 21st Century,”  science fiction writer Sylvia Engdahl finds humanity understandably reluctant to move on — a change from her earlier perspective.

B. In Commercialization or normalization?”  Wayne Eleazer, a retired U.S. Air Force propulsion and GPS program manager, finds NASA’s commercial crew space transportation initiative bringing healthy changes to human space flight. There’s a lower cost and  a more practical role for humans in important space missions, he writes.

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 or contact us via e-mail at

One Response

  1. Huyen says:

    Ademe1s, es una mentira decir que la NASA la van a etrnrear, por favor, es uno de los sedmbolos de poder me1s grande que tiene Estados Unidos y sinceramente necesita unos cuantos ajustes, porque tambie9n se ha estancado.De que9 sirve hacer proyectos a la carrera como el caso de Constellation, donde se pone en riesgo el dinero de los contribuyentes y la vida de los astronautas?La historia nos cuenta que cuando las cosas se hacen ased, regularmente trae consecuencias muy graves. A USA le interesa ir al espacio nuevamente pero lo necesita hacer me1s barato. Por el momento las cosas siguen siendo adversas a los proyectos contemplados, se necesita invertir en investigacif3n y desarrollo de nuevas tecnologedas, me1s que en la creacif3n de un nuevo programa espacial. Si investigas me1s a fondo, te podre1s dar cuenta que hay muchos errores y retrasos en el proyecto, ademe1s, no siempre es malo optar por el dinero de la industria privada, es mejor gastar con el dinero de otros, los cuales asumen su propio riesgo, que usar el dinero de millones de contribuyentes que esperan soluciones inmediatas a su situacif3n personal y que no quieren ver tirados a la basura su dinero en alguna falla del proyecto.Respecto a que se este1 privatizando lenta e inexorablemente el espacio, pues “SI”, ased va hacer y yo te recomiendo que te vayas haciendo de la idea, porque el progreso nadie lo detiene, como ejemplos hay muchos: la clonacif3n, las computadoras, los sate9lites, etc…, empiezan siendo del gobierno pero siempre el progreso gana y las compaf1edas terminan superando todo, porque el poder del dinero (por lo menos en este planeta) es impresionante.Ahora, de que garanteda hablas? de los fines que sere1n utilizados? por favor, en esta vida la fanica garanteda que tienes es la de morir, por lo tanto, NO HAY GARANTcdAS en nada de lo que haces y por el hecho de no tenerlas, eso no te va a detener verdad? sigues saliendo a la calle, tomando el autobfas o tu automf3vil, tomas cafe9 y bebes alcohol, sigues saliendo a divertirte y te sientas en una noche estrellada a ver las estrellas.Me1s bien yo pienso que lo que pasa es que uno quiere ver en su e9poca que las cosas sucedan, pero a veces no es para uno y hay que ser humildes y responsables para tomar las decisiones correctas, aunque eso implique que uno se niegue a sed mismo o como dice en la peledcula de TRON se borre uno de la ecuacif3n, eso se llama “PROGRESO”, para que las generaciones futuras puedan tener un mundo mejor.Para finalizar, a med tambie9n me da mucho tristeza ver que por algunos af1os el Centro Espacial no tendre1 lanzamientos, pero me da alegreda ver que se este9n tomando las decisiones correctas a pesar de la molestia de muchos y de la presif3n de muchas armadoras, sigo insistiendo, la NASA sigue y seguire1 siendo una institucif3n valiosa para el pueblo y el gobierno americano.Aplaudo las decisiones tomadas por el actual gobierno.