Posts Tagged ‘NASA’

An interesting look at NASA and the costs involved with some of the hair brained schemes that seem to come out of the Agency and Washington.

NASA Adrift in Interplanetary Space

By S. Fred Singer

Since the first Apollo landing in 1969, NASA has been looking, unsuccessfully, for an overarching goal to match this spectacular achievement: landing men on the Moon. The International Space Station (ISS) has not turned out to be what it was advertised. It has made no breakthrough scientific contributions; it has not explored the solar system further; and it has not excited a great amount of public interest since it was set up. In retrospect, many would refer to it as a white elephant. Its annual maintenance costs are a drain on the NASA budget. Even worse, its supply has to be contracted out — to Russia. The trouble is: ISS had no well-defined goal.

Yes, there have been plenty of proposals. During the first Bush administration, NASA thought it had a clear go-ahead and proposed a manned Mars mission, in addition to putting a manned base on the Moon (to do what?). But once the price tag was revealed, around 400 billion dollars (which was then real money), the NASA plan was DOA (dead on arrival).

Since then there have been proposals to establish a permanent colony on the Moon — again without any clear justification. Many have compared it to the ISS and labeled it another white elephant. In fact, it would add little to our knowledge of the Moon, and probably would not even create much public excitement: “Been there, done that” — to much of the public, just a repeat of the Apollo mission.

via Articles: NASA Adrift in Interplanetary Space.

…the Columbia shuttle disaster took the lives of seven astronauts.
May they rest in peace.

There is a bright side to this though. Their sacrifice made others safer as a result. It’s a hard lesson, but it’s a lesson, nonetheless.

How the Columbia shuttle disaster changed spacecraft safety forever
By Clara Moskowitz

Ten years after the devastating Columbia space shuttle accident that took the lives of seven astronauts, NASA is building a new spacecraft that will take humans farther into space than ever before, and will incorporate the safety lessons learned from the disaster that befell the agency Feb. 1, 2003.

That day, the shuttle Columbia was returning from a 16-day trip to space devoted to science research. But what began as a routine re-entry through Earth’s atmosphere ended disastrously as the orbiter disintegrated about 200,000 feet over Texas.

Later analysis found that Columbia was doomed during its launch, when a small bit of foam insulation broke off the shuttle’s external fuel tank and tore a hole in the orbiter’s wing. That hole prevented Columbia from withstanding the scorching heat of re-entry.

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…Neal Armstrong the first man to step on the moon passed away on Saturday. He was 82.

One must really put this achievement into perspective. Back then, our technology wasn’t even close to what it is today. The very fact that he even volunteered to be an astronaut took intestinal fortitude that is rare indeed.

Rest in peace.

Fly me to the moon.

Here’s what NASA Administrator Charles Bolden had to say:

Administrator Bolden’s Statement on the Death of Neil Armstrong

“On behalf of the entire NASA family, I would like to express my deepest condolences to Carol and the rest of the Armstrong family on the passing of Neil Armstrong. As long as there are history books, Neil Armstrong will be included in them, remembered for taking humankind’s first small step on a world beyond our own.

“Besides being one of America’s greatest explorers, Neil carried himself with a grace and humility that was an example to us all. When President Kennedy challenged the nation to send a human to the moon, Neil Armstrong accepted without reservation.

“As we enter this next era of space exploration, we do so standing on the shoulders of Neil Armstrong. We mourn the passing of a friend, fellow astronaut and true American hero.”

Additional information about Armstrong is available on the Web at:

http://www.nasa.gov

http://www.neilarmstronginfo.com

 

My condolences to his family. This is truly a sad day for Kennedy Space Center.

Worker falls to his death at Kennedy Space Center, NASA says

(CNN) — A space shuttle contract worker fell to his death Monday morning while working at the launchpad, preparing the space shuttle Endeavour for its final flight, according to a NASA official.

United Space Alliance, the prime contractor for the U.S. space shuttle program, said in a press release that the victim was one of its employees, James Vanover.

“He fell at the pad, and NASA emergency medical personnel responded but were unable to revive him,” said Kennedy Space Center spokeswoman Candrea Thomas.

Vanover was a swing-arm engineer, United Space Alliance spokeswoman Kari Fluegel said. He supported work on the gaseous oxygen vent hood as well as the orbiter access arm, which is the passageway through which astronauts enter the space shuttle.

Fluegel said his body was found on another level of Launch Pad 39A at the space hub in northeast Florida. It was not immediately known what caused him to fall.

 

NASA News…

Posted: 26 Jul 2010 in Government, NASA
Tags: ,

NASA news.

NASA/JPL-Caltech/R. Hurt (SSC)
Artist’s conception of Sedna, an exoplanet hiding on the fringes of our solar system.

NASA’s Deep Space Camera Locates Host of ‘Earths’
NewsCore

Scientists celebrated Sunday after finding more than 700 suspected new planets — including up to 140 similar in size to Earth — in just six weeks of using a powerful new space observatory.

Early results from NASA’s Kepler Mission, a small satellite observing deep space, suggested planets like Earth were far more common than previously thought.

Past discoveries suggested most planets outside our solar system were gas giants such as Jupiter and Saturn — but the new evidence tipped the balance in favor of solid worlds.

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Here’s a little NASA news for your purview.

This is about the Orion Pad Abort System. Good shit.

Orion Pad Abort 1 Test a Spectacular Success

NASA conducted a spectacular though brief flight test of the Orion Launch Abort System early Thursday morning at the U.S. Army’s White Sands Missile Range near Las Cruces, N.M.

The 500,000-lb. thrust abort motor rocketed the boilerplate crew module and its launch abort stack away from launch pad 32E at White Sands on time at 7 a.m. MDT, and initial indications that all systems for steering, separation, stabilization, deployment of the parachutes and landing worked perfectly.

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Here’s a little history from NASA. The shuttle landed at Edwards Air Force Base two days later.

Cool stuff.

Some trivia; the shuttle booster is painted white here. They stopped doing that to lower the weight.

Disclaimer

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The Boldest Test Flight in History

Early on the morning of April 12, 1981, two astronauts sat strapped into their seats on the flight deck of Columbia, a radically new spacecraft known as the space shuttle.

John Young, the commander, had already flown in space four times, including a walk on the moon in 1972. Bob Crippen, the pilot, was a Navy test pilot who would go on to command three future shuttle missions. But nothing either man had done or would do was quite like this.

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