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Friday’s CSExtra offers the latest reporting and commentary on space related activities from around the world. The U. S. flag will fly at half staff on Friday in honor of Neil Armstrong, who died on Saturday at 82. New tributes for Armstrong, the first human to walk the surface of a new world, emerge as his family gathers for a private service. NASA and Japanese spacewalkers encounter difficulty with the installation of a critical circuit box outside the International Space Station on Thursday. President Obama and Mitt Romney, the president’s Republican challenger for re-election, mention space exploration as they campaign this week. Europe and China agree to share data from ocean monitoring spacecraft. Russian companies look to the production of a multi-passenger suborbital spacecraft. A NASA spacecraft finds additional evidence for frozen water at the moon’s south pole.
1. From MSNBC.com and Cosmic Log: Honoring Neil Armstrong. Armstrong, who died last Saturday of complications associated with recent heart surgery, will be laid to rest on Friday during private ceremonies in Cincinnati. U. S. flags will be lowered to half staff until sunset. The website lists the ways Armstrong’s family has suggested the first human to walk the surface of a new world be honored.
A. From The Washington Post: In an op-ed, Daniel Goldin, a former NASA administrator, offers praise for Neil Armstrong, the Apollo 11 commander and first human to step to the surface of a new world. “Almost immediately, a new confidence and pride blossomed in our country,” writes Goldin of the 1969 moon landing. “Neil didn’t do it all himself, but he was the embodiment of the extraordinary effort put forth by thousands of talented, dedicated people around this country and the world. America was transformed that evening.”
B. From Space.com: Friday brings the second full moon for August — an unusual event known as a Blue Moon. The web-based Slooh Space Camera will offer live coverage at 6 p.m., EDT, that will also pay tribute to Neil Armstrong.
2. From Spaceflightnow.com : A long spacewalk outside the International Space Station ends in frustration on Thursday for U. S. and Japanese astronauts Sunita Williams and Akihiko Hoshide. The two are unable to install a new Main Bus Switching Unit because of stuck bolts. While NASA’s station program prepares a strategy for a follow on spacewalk, the six person crew is asked to power back some activities, including science research.
3. From USA Today: Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney recalls Neil Armstrong in his acceptance speech Thursday night. “God bless Neil Armstrong,” said Romney. “Tonight that American flag is still on the moon and I don’t doubt that … the spirit is still with us. When you need big stuff done, you need an American.”
A. From Spacepolicyonline.com: In a social media session with Reddit this week, President Obama declares that staying at the forefront of space exploration is an American priority. Investments in cutting edge research are needed to enable human trips to Mars preceded by a “potential” mission to an asteroid, Obama said.
B. From the Huffington Post: The Republican Party’s platform on space exploration ignores the promise of the New Space movement in favor of government controlled space initiatives, writes Rick Tumlinson, founder of the EarthLight Institute, Space Frontier Foundation and Orbital Outfitters, in an op-ed.
4. From Space News: Europe and China agree to share data from ocean monitoring satellites, including joint satellite projects between the United States and Europe.
5. From Ria Novosti of Russia: Two Russian companies look to the production of a suborbital spacecraft for tourism and the launching of small satellites. The space plane would carry up to 14 passengers.
6. From The Coalition for Space Exploration: NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter finds additional evidence that the moon’s south pole Shackleton Crater is a repository for small amounts of ice. A radar instrument on LRO gathered the evidence.
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