CSExtra – Wednesday, February 22, 2012

February 22nd, 2012

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Wednesday’s CSExtra offers a roundup of the latest reporting and commentary on space related activities from around the world. NASA Administrator Charles Bolden outlines NASA’s budget strategy in an op-ed. Orbital Sciences looks to a late June test flight of the Antares rocket that could begin cargo missions to the International Space Station later this year.  Administrator Bolden names new leadership for the Goddard Space Flight Center. NASA identifies $500,000 for commercial suborbital missions. Scientists make a puzzling find — the rare chemical element Tellurium in ancient stars. Astronomers point to a rocky exo-planet with water but in a seemingly inhabitable zone. NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity breaks a wintry silence. An Italian company teams with NASA for a new Angry Birds game.

1. From Space News:  In an op-ed, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden touts the forward lean of the agency’s 2013 budget. The spending blue print underwrites U. S. commercial orbital space transportation services for astronauts shuttling to and from the International Space Station, revives the James Webb Space Telescope, continues work on the Space Launch System and Orion/Multi-purpose Crew Vehicle for future human deep space missions. Though tough on planetary science, NASA’s budgetary course re-organizes the initiative in a way that is intended to keep the U. S. at the forefront of Mars exploration, according to Bolden.

A. From Space News: In an op-ed, House members from California and Texas urge a re-consideration of NASA’s plans to cut spending on planetary science.

B. From The Atlantic: The magazine takes NASA to task for proposing cuts to the agency’s planetary science budget.

2. From Orbital Sciences Corp. looks to late June for the inaugural launch of its Antares rocket. Orbital is one of two companies participating in NASA’s Commercial Orbital Transportation Services program  to develop commercial  re-supply services for the International Space Station. Orbital’s first cargo delivery mission using an operational Antares moves toward late 2012.

3. From NASA Administrator Charles Bolden announces management changes on Tuesday.  Chris Scolese will depart NASA’s Washington headquarters to become director of the Goddard Space Flight Center. Robert Lightfoot, director of the Marshall Space Flight Center, will head for Washington to replace Scolese as NASA’s associate administrator.

4. From Aviation Week & Space Technology: NASA sets aside $500,000 for the commercial suborbital launch industry. The funds will pay for engineering and science projects with merit to make a hop into space.

5. From Astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope spot the rare element Tellurium in a trio of 12 billion year old stars in the Milky Way galaxy.  Convention says Tellurium would have been synthesized in much more recent supernova. The finding suggests there was a kind of early stellar collapse that was capable of creating heavier elements like Tellurium.

6. From Sky & Telescope Magazine: Astronomers identify a planet, GJ 1214b, circling a small star that is 40 light years distant and almost certainly composed of rock and water.

7. From Universe Today: NASA’s Opportunity Rover checks in with Earth, while wintering over in Endeavour Crater on Mars. The communication includes a self-portrait.

8. From  Italy’s Rovio Mobile teams with NASA to create a new Angry Birds video game.

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. Margarita says:

    I’m not sure that I have ever seen myself as quite that much of an utginxeished elder spokesman for the Libertarian space position, but thank you.As to kicking goolies, sometimes it is needed. I am left open mouthed in disbelie that conservatives’ have so little belief in the market and in the creativity of free american entrepreneurs. There is a great deal of lobby money out there buying opinion for a few certain large interests and it seems like much of the conservative’ playbook these days comes straight out of the lips of those government contractors lobby-force.Take some time to research it. We are not at the end of american space, we are at the beginning of the domiance of the Anglosphere in the High Frontier by doing things the way free people do things best.Look at XCOR Aerospace; Masten Aerospace; Scaled Composites; Virgin Galactic; SpaceX; Armadillo Aerospace; Space Diver; Bigelow Aerospace; Blue Origin I could go on for a very long time.More people will fly into space (suborbital) on Virgin Galactic in the next couple years than have been into space in the entire history of the space age. Bigelow is putting up a privately owned space station with about 1/3 the ISS volume in mid decade. It’s not paper, the hardware is being built and the launch contracts have been let. XCOR’s Lynx II will be doing suborbital flights direct from a runway in just a couple years; SpaceX is already flying Falcon 9 and the 7 person capable Dragon capsule. Sierra Nevada is also well along on their vehicle. As is OSC with their cargo only capsule. Elon Musk has publically stated that his goal is Mars, and that is one of the reasons why he is keeping a majority of his company so that he will not get held back by that idiotic Sarbanes-Oxley act. The door to sapce is being kicked down by FREE men. We’d appreciate it if Conservatives would be on our side instead of working for the enemy’, the old socialist state run space enterprise.Reply