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Wednesday’s CSExtra the latest reporting and commentary on space related activities from across the globe. NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver formally announces plans to leave the space agency: the U. S. commercial space sector loses a strong in house advocate on Sept. 6. NASA Administrator Charles Bolden predicts the agency’s one-year-old Curiosity rover mission is blazing a trail to the red planet for humans during a landing anniversary ceremony on Tuesday. The sun approaches an anticipated change in polarity. NOAA’s report card finds change in key climate indicators. Australian military communications satellite poised for launch Wednesday night. Tracing the telescope’s ancestory.
1. From Spacepolicyonline.com: NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver formally announces departure plans on Tuesday. She will leave for the general manager’s post at the Air Line Pilots Association on Sept. 6. Garver draws praise from NASA Administrator Charles Bolden and the White House.
A. From Parabolic Arc: The commercial space industry loses its strongest advocate within NASA at a crucial time, according to the website. The White House and Congress seem at odds over the space agency’s funding and direction. Even Congress cannot agree on how much to invest in new commercial crew transportation capabilities nor the merits of the White House backed initiative to corral and steer a small asteroid into lunar orbit.
B. From Space News: The industry publication offers speculation on who might replace Garver. The job requires a Presidential nomination and U. S. Senate confirmation.
2. From Space.com: In remarks commemorating the first anniversary of Curiosity’s landing on Mars, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden predicts the famous rover is blazing a trail for human explorers. “The wheels of Curiosity are literally blazing the trail for human footprints on Mars,” the administrator told a NASA TV audience on Tuesday.
A. From NBC News.com: NASA’s top administrators and those in Curiosity’s flight control center at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory recall the “seven minutes of terror” as the rover, also known as the Mars Science Laboratory, reached its Gale Crater landing site on Aug. 6, 2012. Allen Chen, an in house control room commentator, notes that at one point it appeared the spacecraft was tumbling — actually a sensor calibration error.
B. From Wired.com: After a year on Mars, Curiosity may have lost some value, according to a Kelly Blue Book analyst. ”For the right buyer, who knows?” says Alec Gutierrez. “Something like that could sell at or near sticker price, if not over sticker.”
3. From Space.com: The sun’s magnetic field will flip polarity soon. Polarity changes with the peak of the 11 year solar cycle. The effects will ripple across the solar system, explains a Stanford University expert. Astronomers are monitoring with NASA supported space observatories.
4. From The Associated Press via WRAL.com: NOAA’s annual report card on the world’s thermal status reveals rising sea levels and snow melt; heat buildup in the oceans; and melting Arctic sea ice and Greenland ice sheets — all at or near record levels.
5. From Spaceflightnow.com: An Australian military communications satellite is set for launch atop a United Launch Alliance Delta IV rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., at 8:29 p.m., EDT.
6. From Discovery.com: How did the telescope come about?
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