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Sherwood Boehlert

By Keith Cowing on September 21, 2021 6:46 PM.

Former Congressman Sherwood Boehlert, longtime CNY advocate and Utica native, dies at 84, Observer Dispatch

"Former Republican U.S. Rep. Sherwood Boehlert died Monday at age 84, according to a statement from his former staff. Boehlert served in the House of Representatives for 24 years between 1983 and 2007 in three congressional districts in Central New York. The Utica native and New Hartford resident served as chair of the House Committee on Science at the end of his term."

Chairwoman Johnson Statement on the Passing of Former Chairman Sherwood Boehlert

"He also led our Committee admirably through the years following 9-11 and through investigations of the tragic Space Shuttle Columbia accident. Congressman Boehlert represented the best of what the American people should expect from their legislators: integrity, fairness, openness to diverse perspectives, and a determination to do what is right, even when it put his own political career at risk."

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Yet Another NASA Town Hall

By Keith Cowing on September 21, 2021 11:58 AM.

NASA Invites Media to Discuss Future of NASA

"NASA Administrator Bill Nelson and other senior agency leaders will host an employee town hall for all civil servant and contractor employees at noon EDT, Tuesday, Sept. 21, to provide updates about the agency's human spaceflight programs, projects, and activities to the workforce. The town hall will air live on NASA Television, the NASA app, the agency's website, and multiple agency social media platforms. Media are invited to a follow-on teleconference at 2:30 p.m. with audio streaming live online."

Keith's note: You can expect non-answers to the whole imaginary SLS launch schedule and also what the latest faith-based plan Senator Administrator Bill Nelson has to snag billions of infrastructure money for NASA to keep Artemis afloat - a plan which has so far failed.

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Back To The Future Yet Again - ESMD Is Back As ESDMD

By Keith Cowing on September 21, 2021 11:55 AM.

NASA Leadership Positions Agency for Future, 21 September 2021

"NASA Administrator Bill Nelson announced Tuesday the agency is creating two new mission directorates that will best position the agency for the next 20 years. The move separates the agency's current Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate into the new Exploration Systems Development Mission Directorate (ESDMD) and Space Operations Mission Directorate. NASA is making the changes because of increasing space operations in low-Earth orbit and development programs well underway for deep space exploration, including Artemis missions."

NASA Creates Human Exploration And Operations Directorate, 12 August 2011

"NASA has announced the creation of the Human Exploration and Operations (HEO) Mission Directorate. The new organization, which combines the Space Operations and Exploration Systems mission directorates, will focus on International Space Station operations and human exploration beyond low Earth orbit."

NASA Announces New Headquarters Management Alignment, 15 January 2004

"Retired U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Craig E. Steidle is the new Associate Administrator, Office of Exploration Systems. Since retiring from the Navy in March, 2000, he has been an independent aerospace consultant."

Keith's note: Back to the Future: during Vision For Space Exploration in 2003/2004 NASA split human exploration into 2 directorates. Then they changed it back in 2001. Now they are changing it again. NASA wants you to think that this is "progress" when in fact it is simply changing their phone book - again.

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Hearing On The Future Of The ISS

By Keith Cowing on September 21, 2021 8:55 AM.

Hearing NASA's Future in Low Earth Orbit: Considerations for International Space Station Extension and Transition

Statements:
- Rep. Don Beyer
- Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson
- Robyn Gatens, NASA
- Kate Rubins, NASA
- Jeffrey Manber, Nanoracks
- Todd Harrison, CSIS
- William Shepherd (USN, Ret)

Keith's note: I will be live tweeting of the hearing at @SpaceRef

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Inspiration4 Astronauts Complete Their Mission

By Keith Cowing on September 18, 2021 7:54 PM.

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Unvaccinated NASA Civil Servants Can Be Fired

By Keith Cowing on September 18, 2021 9:48 AM.

Federal workers can be fired for refusing vaccination, but must show up to work until their cases are determined, new guidance says, Washington Post

"Federal employees can be fired for refusing to be vaccinated against the coronavirus, but as their disciplinary cases wind through the system, they will report to work alongside vaccinated colleagues, according to Biden administration guidance issued this week. The new guidance to implement a vaccine mandate for the government, which Biden announced last week, represents a reversal of the strategy the White House coronavirus task force pushed in August for those employees without shots who refused under an earlier plan to get regular testing for covid-19."

Frequently Asked Questions, Safer Federal Workforce

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The Right Stuff Is For Everyone

By Keith Cowing on September 17, 2021 12:46 AM.

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Doing The Inspiration4 Media Rounds

By Keith Cowing on September 16, 2021 6:43 PM.

Keith's note: Yesterday I was on Bloomberg Radio live - twice - doing launch commentary for their morning show in Asia and was on Deutsche Welle at 9:00 pm EDT. I was CNN New Day this morning morning to talk about the mission. I cut an interview on CGTN tomorrow afternoon about China's space station crew's return to Earth and ... no doubt ... talking to someone else about space in the next few days. Update: I just did an Al Jazeera Arabic interview.


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Inspiration4 Might Be Flying Your Neighbors

By Keith Cowing on September 15, 2021 10:42 AM.

'They could be your neighbors' and they're going to space. SpaceX gets ready to fly the Inspiration4 crew., Washington Post

"But the Inspiration4 mission is of particular importance because three of the crew members are not wealthy, [Alan] Ladwig said. "They're not billionaires," he said. "They are people that could be our neighbors, people you went to school with, people you work with. And for them to get this opportunity is pretty fantastic."

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Join Space Team Biden: Apply For The National Space Council Users' Advisory Group

By Keith Cowing on September 15, 2021 8:37 AM.

Call for Nominations: National Space Council Users' Advisory Group

"The Users' Advisory Group (UAG) is a federal advisory committee comprised of experts from outside the United States Government (USG) created as part of the National Space Council (NSpC). The NSpC is an Executive Branch interagency coordinating committee chaired by the Vice President, which is tasked with advising and assisting the President on national space policy and strategy. UAG members provide counsel on any and all space policy issues. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has sponsored the UAG on behalf of the NSpC since 2018."

Keith's note: There is also a new Space Council Users' Advisory Group website but you need username/password to enter. That said, it remains to be seen if the Biden Administration intends to use the NSpC or the UAG to make real accomplishments or if these bodies are just mouth pieces for policy already generated internally. For the most part, the previous Administration filled the UAG with political allies, big aerospace reps, and people with minimal knowledge or interest in space. NSpC also bled the NASA PAO budget dry to put on NSpC and UAG circuses at showy venues to read scripted statements and do little else. Let's hope that this incarnation of NSpC and UAG shuns the glitz and focuses on the policy. Otherwise, we can punt on serious space policy for another 4 years.

National Space Council UAG Goes Through The Motions Of Being Interested, earlier post

"There are no real "users" of space on this panel. Nor are there any members from the next generation who will inherit and conduct America's space activities. All we see are sellers. Yet another choir practice session amongst the usual suspects in an echo chamber."

NASA Internal Memo: National Space Council UAG Update from Chair, ADM Jim Ellis (2021), earlier post

"Our composition has also evolved to appropriately include scientific and regional economic insights, as well. Our diverse representation has been our key strength since it has enabled discussion across many disciplines."

- National Space Council Users' Advisory Group News (Yawn), earlier post
- Space Council Users' Advisory Group Meets Without Any Users, earlier post
- National Space Council User Advisory Group Is Purging Innovation From Its Ranks, earlier post
- National Space Council UAG Wants You To Think They Did Something Important, earlier post

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Gail Skofronick-Jackson

By Keith Cowing on September 14, 2021 10:51 AM.

Keith's note: From the NASA GSFC Facebook page: "We are mourning the sudden loss of Dr. Gail Skofronick-Jackson this week. Gail has been part of NASA Earth science since 1997. She was a brilliant, deeply principled, and passionate scientist, beloved coworker, and friend. We send our condolences to Gail's family and honor Gail by continuing to commit to our mission as she did during her time with us. Her impact lives on in our work."

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NASA HEOMD Has Some Homework To Do Regarding Disabilities

By Keith Cowing on September 13, 2021 12:53 PM.

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9/11: Bad News From Earth

By Keith Cowing on September 11, 2021 12:00 AM.

11 September 2001: Bad news from Earth, New Moon Rising - SpaceRef

Larger image

"The news from Earth that morning wasn't good. Frank Culbertson would soon find that some of the day's pre-planned routine would be altered. As soon as he was told of the attacks, Culbertson checked to see when they would be passing over the east coast of the U.S. Discovering that this was only some minutes away, Culbertson grabbed a camera. The window in Mikhail Tyurin's cabin turned out to be the one with the best view."

Continue reading: 9/11: Bad News From Earth.

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9/11: Old Flags, Sheer Terror, and Red Begonias

By Keith Cowing on September 11, 2021 12:00 AM.

Keith's note: I have lived in the Metro Washington DC area for 33 years - more than half my life. When I first moved to DC to work at NASA HQ I lived in Pentagon City directly across from the Pentagon in the River House III apartment building. The Pentagon was what I saw outside my window every single day. In the afternoons after work I often used to run on the road between the old heliport and the west side of the Pentagon - right where American Airlines Flight 77 struck. This image still makes me shudder.

As I would run by I'd always note a window where the yellow crane is in the left side of the image. There was always a red begonia in the window. I could easily drag my fingers on the smooth limestone surface of the building as I ran by. There was simply no real security back then. Had I still lived in my old apartment on 9/11 this horror would have unfolded outside my home's window. A friend of mine was driving to work and saw the plane come in. Others I knew were in the building and felt the impact. On a stunningly beautiful day we had been attacked in a brutal way by an unknown enemy."

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False Alarm At NASA HQ and KSC. Everyone Is Fine.

By Keith Cowing on September 10, 2021 5:05 PM.

Keith's note: NASA PAO just sent me this statement on the NASA Kennedy and NASA HQ security events which were connected after all. FWIW sources inside NASA say that the false alarm happened when a mistake was made in a training exercise in advance of a formal training event next week at NASA HQ as we reported earlier.

"A false alarm indicating an active shooter was set off at 11:05 a.m. EDT today (Sept. 10) at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C. As a result of that false alarm, a concerned citizen, thinking they were notifying the appropriate office, reported an active shooter to the security forces at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Kennedy security forces responded locally, issuing an alert for its headquarters building at about 11:50 a.m. After confirming no credible threat at either location, NASA issued an all clear to its workforce. The security forces at both locations acted quickly to assess and address the situation in an effective manner. An investigation is ongoing to determine how the alarm was triggered."
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