UARS Update - Borderline Inept PAO

NASA Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite Reentry Update #16 Sat, 24 Sep 2011 11:37:25 AM EDT

"NASA's decommissioned Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite fell back to Earth between 11:23 p.m. EDT Friday, Sept. 23 and 1:09 a.m. EDT Sept. 24. The Joint Space Operations Center at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California said the satellite entered the atmosphere over the North Pacific Ocean, off the west coast of the United States. The precise re-entry time and location of any debris impacts are still being determined. NASA is not aware of any reports of injury or property damage. This is your source for official information on the re-entry of UARS. All information posted here has been verified with a government agency or law enforcement. NASA will conduct a media telecon at 2 p.m. ET to discuss the re-entry. The telecon will be streamed live at www.nasa.gov/newsaudio."

More information

Keith's note: NASA PAO's civl servant Beth Dickey, who has a history of playing favorites with the media and denying access to those she does not like (i.e. borderline inept), refused to allow Nick Johnson to answer my second question. Let me summarize it:

While Johnson made constant references to the "success" of his international effort to track UARS, in all honesty, they still do not know where or when it landed. Various media outlets have shown the animations of orbital debris - produced by NASA - a problem that is only going to get worse in the future. Alas, attempts have been made to cut Johnson's budget in the past. Based on his own comments, it seems that NASA had to rely on amateurs and volunteers to look for the satellite and indeed, the only ground-based video taken of UARS in orbit was taken by a gifted amateur in Europe.

I was wondering why Johnson (i.e. NASA) does not seek to enlist more participation from the public in future activities since its resources seem to be stretched. They might want to do this for no other reason than this would help further a better understanding among the public of what these re-entries (which occur at a rate of one per day) entail and maybe cut back on the crazy "it landed in my back yard and hit my cat" reports that have been swirling around.

But Beth Dickey refused to allow Johnson to answer stating that the telecon was about UARS. Well, DUH Beth, did you even listen to my question? The audio from this teleconference will be posted around 3:45 pm EDT. Lets see if they edit out the second question I asked.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Keith Cowing published on September 24, 2011 12:00 PM.

Hearing on Polar Weather Satellites was the previous entry in this blog.

Ron Garan's Earth Gazing - Who Is Actually In Charge of NASA Public Affairs? is the next entry in this blog.

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