February 2013 Archives

Testimony by Paul Martin NASA Inspector General

"Following the October 31 theft, the NASA Administrator accelerated the timetable to encrypt the hard drives of the Agency's laptop computers. As of February 15, NASA reported that it had encrypted 99.4 percent of Agency laptops identified as requiring encryption, had exempted 1,636 laptops from the requirement, and was determining whether another 2,947 laptops required encryption or also would be exempted."

DATA AT REST (DAR) Deployment @ HQ

"As mandated by Federal law and Agency policy, all NASA-issued laptops, as well as desktops with sensitive data, must have Data-At-Rest (DAR) whole-disk encryption software. The NASA OCIO directed that all Centers complete this activity by December 21, 2012."

- Did NASA Meet Its 21 Dec 2012 DAR Deadline?, earlier post
- OIG Doubts NASA Can Meet Laptop DAR Deadline, earlier post
- Additional posts

Review of NASA's Internal Controls for Awards with Small Business

"However, of the 67 sampled awards, we identified 20 that were made to firms that self- certified as being owned and controlled by women. Of those 20, we found indications that 7 (35 percent) may have been to companies that falsely self-certified their eligibility as a woman-owned small business."

This Is How Dennis Tito Plans To Send People to Mars, SpaceRef

"If Dennis Tito has his way, two people will leave our planet in January 2018 and make a trip to Mars and back. Tito will be footing much of the bill himself. This mission won't stop at Mars, but rather, will do a quick flyby. Unlike the spate of space commerce companies that have flashed on and off the news in recent months, this effort has substantial cash behind it - at the onset. Also, unlike these previously announced efforts, this is not being done by a company that needs to eventually return a profit to its investors. Instead, it is being spearheaded by a non-profit organization, the Inspiration Mars Foundation. Tito's mission will be facilitated by donors - not investors. And no, he will not be part of the crew."

"Inspiration Mars" to pursue human mission to the Red Planet in 2018, Inspiration Mars Foundation

"Inspiration Mars will be funded primarily through private, charitable donations. The foundation will also seek out government partners that can provide unique expertise, access to infrastructure and other technical assistance as part of a public-private partnership."

NASA Statement on Inspiration Mars Mission

"It's a testament to the audacity of America's commercial aerospace industry and the adventurous spirit of America's citizen-explorers. NASA will continue discussions with Inspiration Mars to see how the agency might collaborate on mutually-beneficial activities that could complement NASA's human spaceflight, space technology and Mars exploration plans."

Video: Inspiration Mars News Conference on 27 February 2013

Rethinking NASA

Review of the Space Leadership Preservation Act (Video and statements), SpaceRef Business

"On February 27, 2013, the House Subcommittee on Space held a hearing to review a bill proposed by six Republican members of the House that would take away governance of NASA from the President and give it to a board appointed by the President and members of Congress."

Subcommittee Discusses Need for Stability of Vision for NASA Human Spaceflight

"Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas): "Today, a question exists about NASA's vision, namely, whether there is one. But we must also recognize that even a vision, without a means to achieve it, can be fruitless and frustrating. NASA too often is hampered by short term decisions that have a long term negative impact. We must step back, look at the Agency as a whole, and work to put it on the long term path to achieve worthy and inspirational goals on behalf of our nation."

Subcommittee Democrats Discuss Ways to Restore Stability and Direction to NASA

"Ranking Member Donna F. Edwards (D-MD) said of the proposals, "While today we consider legislation that seeks to stabilize NASA's direction, the sad truth is, we in the Congress have and are continuing to contribute to the agency's funding instability and a mismatch of resources with expectations. Year after year, NASA has had to redirect scarce resources and time to replan programs and projects, not because of instability at the top of the agency, but because of the uncertainties caused by flat or decreased funding for the agency, continuing resolutions, and, now the threat of sequestration."

Letter from NASA Inspector General: Audit of NASA's Management of Space Act Agreements

"The Office of Inspector General is initiating an audit evaluating NASA's management of its Space Act Agreements. Among the issues we intend to examine are: Whether NASA is accurately identifying its full costs for work performed under reimbursable agreements and properly billing partners; Whether NASA is receiving fair and reasonable benefits from partners when it chooses to waive costs under partially reimbursable Agreements; NASA's process for monitoring export control laws when entering into Agreements with foreign entities. We will also review internal controls as they relate to the overall objective. The primary audit location will be NASA Headquarters. Additional locations may be identified as our work progresses."

Keith's note: The NASA OIG apparently does not know the name of the current Director is at Glenn Research Center. As for the audit itself, Space Act Agreements are one unique tool that NASA has at its disposal that other agencies do not. Some amazing things - with real public benefits - can be done via this type of agreement. Lets hope that the NASA OIG sees the value to these agreements and does not knuckle under to Congressional pressure - pressure driven by ill-informed partisan agendas.

The Planets are Aligning for a Once-in-a-Generation Space Journey

"The Inspiration Mars Foundation, a newly formed nonprofit organization led by American space traveler and entrepreneur Dennis Tito, invites you to attend a press conference detailing its plans to take advantage of a unique window of opportunity to launch an historic journey to Mars and back in 501 days, starting in January 2018. This "Mission for America" will generate new knowledge, experience and momentum for the next great era of space exploration. It is intended to encourage all Americans to believe again, in doing the hard things that make our nation great, while inspiring youth through Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education and motivation."

- How a millionaire spaceflier intends to send astronauts past Mars in 2018, MSNBC

- New insights on that private (crewed?) Mars mission, NewSpace Journal

Feasibility Analysis for a Manned Mars Free-Return Mission in 2018, Dennis Tito et al, 2013 IEEE Aerospace Conference

"In 1998 Patel et al searched for Earth-Mars free-return trajectories that leave Earth, fly by Mars, and return to Earth without any deterministic maneuvers after Trans-Mars Injection. They found fast trajectory opportunities occurring two times every 15 years with a 1.4-year duration, significantly less than most Mars free return trajectories, which take up to 3.5 years. This paper investigates these fast trajectories. It also determines the launch and life support feasibility of flying such a mission using hardware expected to be available in time for an optimized fast trajectory opportunity in January, 2018. ... We used a mission duration of 500 days (d) in a SpaceX Dragon class of vehicle. Crew size is a primary driver so we compared crew sizes from one to four people, and determined that two crew is optimal given mass and volume constraints."

Keith's update: The mission outlined in this paper uses SpaceX hardware for analysis purposes. As outlined, this conceptual mission would depart Earth on 5 Jan 2018, reach Mars on 20 August 2018, and return to Earth on 21 May 2019. This paper will be presented at the 2013 IEEE Aerospace Conference on 3 March 2013 at 9:50 pm. This paper has been widely circulated for several weeks by the authors and their associates within government, legislative, industry, and advocacy communities, and has been referenced online - in great detail - for more than a week. I cannot post this paper due to IEEE copyright policies. The press event will be webcast live tomorrow at 1:00pm EST. You can sign up at the Inspiration Mars website. There is a Twitter account at @InspirationMars that will become active soon.

Keith's update: Update: this paper is now online at Inspiration Mars Foundation..

National Video Contest Asks the Public to Share "Why Space Matters to the Future"

"Space exploration has challenged, inspired, and improved us for more than half a century. Today, the Coalition for Space Exploration (Coalition), in partnership with the recently-formed NASA Visitor Centers Consortium announced an expansion of the Coalition's "Why Space Matters to the Future" video contest that encourages residents of the United States to visualize what life will be like in 10, 25, or 50 years if the boundaries of space continue to expand."

Message From The Administrator: NASA and Sequestration

"NASA's situation is somewhat unique from many other agencies. We have safely and efficiently phased out the Space Shuttle Program and managed existing programs to conservative spending levels. This has postured us so that we do not plan to resort to furloughs at this time for NASA employees to meet our spending reductions under sequestration. Nevertheless, this still will be a difficult situation for our team and industry partners, and will have problematic consequences for our mission."

How Sequestration Could Hit NASA Projects, Information Week

"Unlike the Department of Defense, which has said that it will furlough federal contractors in a move that could hit many IT workers, NASA deputy administrator Lori Garver has said that NASA does not currently have plans to furlough civilians in the event of sequestration."

NASA administrator addresses sequestration, WAFF

"[Bolden] said when you are talking a loss of funds, that means loss of jobs, and that is why he is so concerned. He said the big impact will be a lot of those businesses that NASA partners with. Some of them are on or around Redstone Arsenal."

House Renames Flight Center After Neil Armstrong

"The House of Representatives today approved a resolution to rename the Dryden Flight Research Center, located in southern California, the "Neil Armstrong Research Center." H.R. 667 also re-designates the surrounding test range to honor Hugh Dryden, a prominent aeronautical engineer."

House Republicans are over the moon about sequestration, Washington Post

"The lone Democrat to speak, Rep. Donna Edwards (Md.), noted the irony in the vote. "We will do our renaming today," she said, and then "we will take an ax hammer to NASA's budget on March 1, at the end of this week, taking out $894 million from an already strapped budget. I dare say future generations will not be inspired by what this Congress will do."

Keith's update: What are the acronym implications of this? There is already an "ARC" at NASA. I do not think "NARC" will be used too often ...

Vulcan Tops Online Voting to Name Pluto's Moons', PC Magazine

"Vulcan was the only candidate in the contest run by the SETI Institute to top 100,000 votes, garnering 174,062 votes out of about half a million cast in online voting that ended Monday at 6 a.m. Eastern. "Cerberus" was the other winning name with 99,432 votes, according to the Los Angeles Times."

William Shatner's Campaign to Name One of Pluto's Moons 'Vulcan' Has Highly Logical Outcome, Hollywood.com

"And with Starfleet's favorite son leading the charge, Vulcan quickly won the vote. "174,062 votes [out of nearly 450,000 cast] and Vulcan came out on top of the voting for the naming of Pluto's moons. Thank you to all who voted!" Shatner tweeted. Leonard Nimoy, who as Spock is probably Vulcan's best known ambassador, told the Associated Press, "If my people were emotional they would say they are pleased."

Name Pluto's Moons P4 and P5, earlier post

OSTP Memo to Departments and Agencies: Increasing Access to the Results of Federally Funded Scientific Research

"The Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) hereby directs each Federal agency with over $100 million in annual conduct of research and development expenditures to develop a plan to support increased public access to the results of research funded by the Federal Government."

American Astronomical Society Applauds Obama Administration's New Open-Access Policy

"So why is the AAS supportive of open access? "Because we're already in compliance with the administration's new guidelines," says AAS Executive Officer Kevin B. Marvel. "Research articles from all AAS journals are available online, without charge, 12 months after their original date of publication, and they've been available that way for years."

Keith's update: Why NASA hasn't said anything about this? No mention at the NASA Open Government Initiative.

Education & Public Outreach, Lars Perkins, Chairman Education and Public Outreach Committee NASA Advisory Council 29 November 2012

Larger image

NASA Says It Cannot Advertise - and Then Buys Advertisements, (NASA Watch posting referenced in this NASA Advisory Council Chart).

Keith's 25 August 2011 note: I have lost count how many times people at NASA have told me that they cannot self-promote, advertise, lobby, or otherwise try to use standard marketing tools to inform the public of the things that they do. They always cite dire Congressional prohibitions against such activities. Then they go off and totally violate these prohibitions with advertising procurements such as this one. I am not certain that they actually know what it is they are allowed or not allowed to do and just throw this answer out when they do not want to do something.

Keith's update: This story has not changed. If you ask, NASA tells you that it cannot advertise. And then they do.

Living With a Star (LWS) Targeted Research and Technology (TR&T) NNH13ZDA001N-LWS, ROSES-13 Appendix B.6 FAQ/ Clarifications

"10) Re: section 1.4.2 "Directed Topic Workshops" Is it required for the step 1 proposals to provide a list of likely team participants, or is it sufficient to have then main workshop organizers assigned? The title and investigators must be fixed in the Step 1 proposal. If, say, Dewey, Cheatham and Howe are involved in the organization of the workshop, then they should be listed as team members in the Step 1 proposal. If you wish only to invite Dewey, Cheatham and Howe, then you may or may not choose to include this information in the abstract/ brief proposal summary of your Step 1 proposal, but they should not be included as team members."

NASA Cold Fusion Update

NASA: A Nuclear Reactor To Replace Your Water Heater, Forbes

"Instead, a low-energy nuclear reactor (LENR) uses common, stable elements like nickel, carbon, and hydrogen to produce stable products like copper or nitrogen, along with heat and electricity.
"It has the demonstrated ability to produce excess amounts of energy, cleanly, without hazardous ionizing radiation, without producing nasty waste," said Joseph Zawodny, a senior research scientist with NASA's Langley Research Center."

Keith's note: When you ask the technology people at NASA HQ about this they throw up their arms and say that they have nothing to do with this - and that its all run by NASA LaRC. As such, it seems that Lesa Roe apparently makes these technology decisions for the agency by default. Funny thing: if the potential for this LENR research is so great, why is there never any mention in NASA Spinoff documents or speeches and publications by NASA's Chief Technologist?

Cold Fusion Update From LaRC (Update), earlier post

"7. Did anyone at NASA headquarters have a role in deciding whether this research was to be funded?


Earlier NASA Cold Fusion news

More NASA Sequester Impacts

Letter From NASA to Senate Appropriators Regarding Impact of Sequestration

"Overall, for purposes of this assessment, the Agency assumed that the FY 2013 Continuing Resolution, with all of its terms and conditions, would be extended from March 27 to September 30, 2013, and that the sequester would cancel 5.0 percent of the fullyear amount, which would be the equivalent of roughly a 9 percent reduction over the remaining seven months of the fiscal year. NASA's assessment of the impacts of a March 1 sequester is presented in the enclosure."

TexMessage: Stockman blames Obama and Senate for NASA sequestration, Houston Chronicle

"Steve Stockman, R-Friendswood, slammed President Obama and the Senate for sequestration's possible cuts to NASA. "NASA funding fulfills one of the few legitimate functions of government. Friday's destructive explosion over Russia of a meteor we never saw, and the near-hit by an asteroid, should be a warning to Obama against further cuts to NASA," Stockman said in a statement. "Cuts to NASA jeopardize our safety and security."

Federal cuts will affect Northeast Ohio if budget stalemate continues, Cleveland Plain Dealer

"A letter that NASA Administrator Charles F. Bolden, Jr., delivered to the U.S. Senate said the sequester would cut $7.3 million from the agency's $551.5 million aeronautics budget, and would result in cancellation of construction projects to repair or replace infrastructure at NASA Glenn."

Hard Budget Realities as Agencies Prepare to Detail Reductions, NY Times

"NASA plans to cancel six technology development projects, including deep-space communications."

'Blunt' NASA boss says sequestration will widen the gap with Russian space program, Huntsville Times

The gap between America and Russia, which can still launch astronauts, will not close, Bolden said. "The gap is going to get bigger," he said. "I'm just being very blunt about. Anybody who thinks this is no big deal - it's a big deal."

No furloughs seen in NASA's Huntsville programs because of sequestration, Huntsville Times

"NASA isn't expecting budget sequestration to lead to contractor furloughs in Huntsville, where work on a new heavy-lift rocket remains one of the agency's top priorities. However, 26 research contracts to small companies and universities have been put on hold to keep funding for the big rocket secure. That was the word this morning from NASA officials attending a Small Business Alliance meeting at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center today. More than 450 contractors, and subcontractors attended to learn more about getting NASA contracts."

White House: State-by-State Sequester Impact Reports, Politisite.com

"Today, the White House is releasing new state-by-state reports on the devastating impact the sequester will have on jobs and middle class families across the country if Congressional Republicans fail to compromise to avert the sequester by March 1st."

Keith's note: I did not see NASA mentioned anywhere - but I might have missed something.

Spice in Space

Sriracha Hot Sauce Catches Fire, Yet 'There's Only One Rooster', BloombergBusinessWeek

"The first thing you smell at the Huy Fong Foods factory in suburban Los Angeles is the overwhelming aroma of garlic, a key ingredient in the company's signature product: Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce. The first thing you see, however, doesn't make nearly as much sense. In the lobby is a blown-up picture of two astronauts--one Russian, the other Asian-American--hovering in zero gravity in the cramped confines of the International Space Station. Why it's hanging there becomes clear on closer examination: An arrow superimposed on the photo points to a little green plastic cap, the top of a Huy Fong sriracha bottle floating in the background."

Keith's note: The photo is of Yuri Malenchenko and Ed Lu.

Testing for Mars Organics

CuriousMars: Rover Poised to Test For Organics Where Habitability Potential is High, SpaceRef

"The Mars rover Curiosity's team is beginning to amass enough diverse science data to actively consider whether the area around its first drilling site was potentially habitable.

At the same time the science team is readying the rover's most powerful instruments to search for organic carbon and minerals supportive to life in its first sample of gray powdered subsurface rock."

Investing in Technology to Enable the Future: NASA Creates Space Technology Mission Directorate

"As part of the Obama Administration's recognition of the critical role that space technology and innovation will play in enabling both future space missions and bettering life here on Earth, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden has announced the creation of the Space Technology Mission Directorate. The directorate will be a catalyst for the creation of technologies and innovation needed to maintain NASA leadership in space while also benefiting America's economy."

David McKay

Dr. David S. McKay Has Passed Away

"Our friend and colleague, Dr. David S. McKay, passed away peacefully in his sleep in the early morning hours yesterday, 20 February 2013. David had been battling serious health problems for some time, especially cardiac issues this past year or so. He was 77. .. Of course, he was the lead author on the 1996 paper in Science on the ALH84001 martian orthopyroxenite, arguing that it contains evidence for life on Mars. Although that claim was highly controversial, there can be no question that the appearance of that paper sparked significant changes in martian and planetary science, shaped the direction of the Mars Exploration Program to the present day, and prompted the establishment of the NASA Astrobiology Institute."

NASA: Red Planet looks a little gray inside, USA Today

"This is the first time any robot has drilled into a rock on another planet," says mission sample chief Louise Jandura of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, Calif."

Luna 16, WIkipedia

"At perilune at 05:12 UT on 20 September [1970], the main braking engine was fired, initiating the descent to the lunar surface. ... Less than an hour after landing, at 06:03 UT, an automatic drill penetrated the lunar surface to collect a soil sample. After drilling for 7 minutes, the drill reached a stop at 35 centimeters depth and then withdrew its sample and lifted it in an arc to the top of the spacecraft, depositing the lunar material in a small spherical capsule mounted on the main spacecraft bus."

Keith's note: So, is this JPL statement about the whole (increasingly pointless) "planet" Vs "moon" or a "rock Vs "soil (regolith)" definition issue - or are they actually unaware of what Luna 16 (and 20) did 40+ years ago?

Curiosity Rover Drilling Debate, earlier post

Marshall Space Flight Center may feel minimal hit from sequestration, Rep. Mo Brooks said, Huntsville Times

"During a speech today at the Washington Update Luncheon at the Von Braun Center, Brooks spoke in encouraging terms when asked what impact the budget cuts, known as sequestration, would have on Marshall Space Flight Center. Brooks began his answer by saying he had breakfast today with Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle, who talked recently with Robert Lightfoot - the former director of Marshall who last year was promoted to associate administrator at NASA. "I think Marshall, based on the information I'm getting from Mayor Battle and elsewhere, is going to survive sequestration a little bit better than most of the centers around the country," Brooks said. "Time will tell if that's the way it plays out." It puts NASA in a somewhat unique position, given that the space agency has been a target in recent years of budget cuts and canceled programs."

GOP Chairmen Go After Pete Worden, Aviation Week

"The official in question, Ames Research Center Director Simon P. "Pete" Worden, vehemently denies he has been lax in protecting technology covered by International Trade in Armaments Regulations (ITAR), and says he has never been approached by federal law enforcement officials about the matter."

NASA ARC Centerwide Announcement: Ames and National Security

"I have offered to talk to the news reporter, meet with the US representatives and/or testify under oath regarding export control issues at Ames."

Rep. Wolf's China Witch Hunt Resumes (Update), previous post

Keith's note: Apparently the NASA webcast of the asteroid flyby last week may have set some all time records. Funny thing: NASA is supposed to be planning a mission to visit an asteroid (or so the White House says). Did anyone see ANY mention by NASA on the asteroid flyby video webpage of that asteroid mission while all that attention was focused on the flyby? Its so hard to slip a pre-prepared comment in front of the narrator and post those pesky URLs, isn't it? Oh yes - another object slammed into Russia the same day. Did NASA use that PR opportunity to focus collateral public interest on their human mission to an asteroid? Of course not. That's because NASA does not want to do that asteroid mission. So why would they want any undue attention focused on that mission?

Bolden: NASA Does Not Have To Actually Go To An Asteroid, Earlier post

"Bolden said that when the President announced that an asteroid would be the next destination for NASA's human spaceflight program, he did not say NASA had to fly all the way to an asteroid. What matters is the "ability to put humans with an asteroid," Bolden said."

NASA Really Doesn't Want to Do That Whole Asteroid Thing, Earlier post

"A current stated interim goal of NASA's human spaceflight program is to visit an asteroid by 2025," said Albert Carnesale, chancellor emeritus and professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, who chaired the committee that wrote the report. "However, we've seen limited evidence that this has been widely accepted as a compelling destination by NASA's own work force, by the nation as a whole, or by the international community. The lack of national consensus on NASA's most publicly visible human spaceflight goal along with budget uncertainty has undermined the agency's ability to guide program planning and allocate funding."

Can Commercial Space Rescue NASA From Deadly Public Indifference?, Forbes

"Sustainable public advocacy will depend upon around bold goals and clear plans that warrant substantial investments. Writing in Reason magazine, Gregory Benford correlated public interest in space exploration with a natural desire for vicarious adventure. Benford observed that: "Much of the passion in science fiction springs from a deep-rooted human need: to reach out, to prefer movement to stasis, to understand." Accordingly, he concludes that NASA has a choice: "swing for the bleachers or die."

For D.C. shelter's 600 homeless children, a crucial source of fun and escape

"On Thursday, the children arrived in the big recreation room and found a spacesuit waiting for them. "There's no one inside. That's fake!" one girl insisted. "I"m right here," said Leland Melvin, standing behind her, delighted at her defiant challenge. Melvin is an astronaut. "What do you think I do in this blue suit?" he asked, pointing to his flight suit. "Nothing," a bunch of kids wisecracked. It's a tough crowd. Every year, Melvin brings a NASA spacesuit and a slide show of his adventures in space. It doesn't hurt that he also tells the kids about his time in the NFL, getting drafted to play with the Detroit Lions. And then getting injured."

Keith's note: If you ask NASA for their plan - i.e. their strategy - guidance - goals - for engaging the public in education and public outreach activities they cannot provide you with one. Yet they always tell you (they think) that some one is working on one - but it doesn't cover everything that NASA does because NASA is incapable of adopting an agency-wide strategy or plan. And even if something resembling a plan starts to emerge, it never goes beyond draft stage due to infighting and turf disputes. After 4 years the NASA Advisory Council Committee on Education and Public Outreach has done absolutely nothing to address this situation. They are meeting in Washington in a week or so. Not sure why they even bother.

All this being said, you still see poignant attempts to go beyond the normal audiences such as Leland Melvin did at this homeless shelter. Alas, these activities go unnoticed since NASA is clueless as to how to inform others that they even take place. Oh yes - OMB is going to significantly cut NASA's Education budget for FY 2014 - again. And yet they will tell you with a straight face that the White House supports education blah blah blah. I guess its hard to totally blame NASA when the White House won't even stand behind its own rhetoric.

Keith's note: Official AXE slogan: "Leave a man. Come back a hero." (Sigh) So much for the other half of humanity. I guess girls need not apply to this promotional stunt for a chance to fly into space.

Letter From NASA to Senate Appropriators Regarding Impact of Sequestration

"Overall, for purposes of this assessment, the Agency assumed that the FY 2013 Continuing Resolution, with all of its terms and conditions, would be extended from March 27 to September 30, 2013, and that the sequester would cancel 5.0 percent of the fullyear amount, which would be the equivalent of roughly a 9 percent reduction over the remaining seven months of the fiscal year. NASA's assessment of the impacts of a March 1 sequester is presented in the enclosure."

Space Launch System, Orion wouldn't be affected by sequestration, Huntsville Times

"NASA has decided to spare its Space Launch System and Orion crew capsule from any direct consequences of budget sequestration this year, according to NASA Administrator Charles Bolden Jr. Taking the cuts instead in the "exploration" part of NASA's budget would be commercial space companies trying to build spaceships to get American astronauts to the International Space Station. The Space Launch System (SLS) is NASA's name for a new booster being developed at Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville for deep space missions and the Orion capsule that will ride on top of it."

Charlie Bolden Intends To Press President Obama on Mars Mission Mandate for NASA, earlier post

"At one point, Bolden teared up and said that "Mars is the Goal". Bolden claimed that he was intent upon going to the White House, "pounding his shoe on the table", and demanding a commitment from President Obama to direct NASA to send humans to Mars. Bolden said that he needs that commitment to allow him to decide what to do (not do) with regard to extending the ISS."

Keith's note: It has been more than 3 months since Bolden proclaimed his intent to go to the White House and bang his shoe if he did not get his way. In addition to not approving the L2 station, there is nothing in the FY 2014 budget passback regarding any additional, strong Mars commitment that Charlie Bolden declared must be in the budget (other than what the President has already said, that is). No word yet as to whether Bolden has requested a meeting at the White House for his shoe pounding event - although he was there last week and was told that he could not do some of the other things that he wanted to do. Stay tuned.

- Bolden Seeks To Force Mars Goal Commitment From Obama, earlier post
- Is It Time For Charlie Bolden To Pound His Shoe?, earlier post

CuriousMars: Scientists Disagree on Timing of Departure from Drilling Site, SpaceRef

"The $2.5 billion Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover is beginning detailed analysis of the first subsurface rock sample acquired on another planet, keeping researchers on "pins and needles" about whether Curiosity has struck Martian paydirt 216 million miles (348 million km) from Earth."

"Preliminary examination of the greenish, mudstone-like sample is peaking interest and debate about whether the flat rocks under Curiosity's wheels could be a type that perhaps preserved organic carbon relevant to potential past life on Mars, JPL geologist Robert C. Anderson told CuriousMars."

More pictures, videos, etc.

Meteorite crash in Russia, Russia Today

"A series of explosions in the skies of Russia's Urals region, reportedly caused by a meteor shower, has sparked panic in three major cities. Witnesses said that houses shuddered, windows were blown out and cellphones stopped working. Atmospheric phenomena have been registered in the cities of Chelyabinsk, Yekaterinburg and Tyumen. Lifenews tabloid reported that at least one piece of the fallen object caused damage on the ground in Chelyabinsk. According to preliminary reports, it crashed into a wall near a zinc factory, disrupting the fiber-optic connections of internet providers and mobile operators. Witnesses said the explosion was so loud that it resembled an earthquake and thunder at the same time, and that there were huge trails of smoke across the sky. Others reported seeing burning objects fall to earth."

More videos below

Keith's note: What are the odds that a tweet by both @ISS_CASIS and @GoldenSpikeCo - tweets that are exactly identical to each other - could be posted simultaneously using the same Twitter App? I called @ISS_CASIS on this and their tweet suddenly disappeared. Here is a screen grab I took from TweetDeck just before @ISS_CASIS deleted their tweet. Is CASIS (paid by NASA to do ISS utilization) now supporting commercial Moon exploration efforts?

Keith's update: Apparently this was a Tweetdeck glitch (yes they happen).

A Message from AIAA's Executive Director, AIAA

"We are already starting to see the impact of the government travel policy on AIAA, with somewhat diminished attendance at our recently held Aerospace Sciences Meeting, especially among personnel from the U.S. Army, who have been prohibited from traveling to any type of conference. Our sister societies have likewise felt the impact of these rules, with some of them already having had to cancel their annual meetings on extremely short notice due to lack of agency support for speaker participation as well as attendance."

NASA Spinoff 2012 Features New Space Tech Bettering Your Life Today

NASA Spinoff 2012 (PDF)

"Curry agrees: "In the future, you can envision almost all computing being done in the cloud, much of which could be powered by OpenStack. I think that NASA will need to receive significant credit for that in the history books. What we've been able to do is unbelievable-- especially when you remember that it all started in a NASA lab."

NASA Drops OpenStack For Amazon Cloud, Information Week (2012)

"Ray O'Brien, acting CIO at NASA Ames, when asked May 30 by InformationWeek about NASA's participation, used diplomatic language to say that NASA still endorsed the project, was proud of its founding role, and might be a user of OpenStack components in the future. "It is very possible that NASA could leverage OpenStack as a customer in the future," he wrote in his email response. Then, in a June 8 blog, NASA CIO Linda Cureton dispensed with the diplomacy: "NASA [has] shifted to a new Web services model that uses Amazon Web Services for cloud-based enterprise infrastructure," she wrote."

Keith's note: I find it rather odd that NASA brags about developing OpenStack in its Spinoff 2012 document but does not bother to inform the reader (taxpayer) that the agency actually dumped OpenStack.

NASA CIO Dumps NASA-Developed Open Stack, earlier post

Former NASA administrator Mike Griffin throws cold water on commercial space market, then offers solution, Huntsville Times

"Griffin, a persistent critic of President Obama's space program, said the current system consists of companies such as SpaceX operating with "government as their venture capitalist."

For NASA Administrator, This Mission Is a Tad Personal, Washington Post (2009)

"Griffin's press secretary, David Mould, told the Associated Press that Griffin isn't campaigning and expects the incoming president to name a new administrator. But Griffin would be "honored" to be asked to stay on, Mould said. "A lot of people seem to like and support Mike and think he's doing a good job," he said."

Keith's note: Why would Mike Griffin be "honored" to have been Obama's choice if he is so against what President Obama is doing i.e. continuing - and expanding upon - the pro-commercial (pro-business) space policies started under the Bush II Administration? Indeed, Mike Griffin personally signed a number of these agreements. Baffling.

Top NASA scientist arrested (again) in White House protest, Fox

"NASA's top climate scientist and government official James Hansen was arrested Wednesday outside the White House -- at least the fourth arrest now for the scientist. Hansen, a controversial and highly vocal proponent of the argument that man's actions have dramatically affected the planet's climate, is the director of the Goddard Institute for Space Studies -- a position for which he earns a $180,000 taxpayer-paid salary ... a NASA spokesman told FoxNews.com after a 2011 arrest that what Hansen does in his own time is none of the government's business. "The agency doesn't comment on personnel matters," Ed Campion, a spokesman for parent organization Goddard Space Flight Center, told FoxNews.com."

James Hansen Arrested For Yelling, earlier post

Keith's note: Hansen must have a lot of unused annual leave ...

Israeli space cadets say moon shot is no fantasy, Times of Israel

"SpaceIL is a nonprofit foundation, and is relying on donations to get into space, explained Margalit. So far, about $20 million of the $30 million needed to run the project has been raised. On SpaceIL's Facebook page, visitors are encouraged to make a donation in multiples of "chai" -- 18 shekels or dollars. The organization does not plan on keeping the GoogleX prize if it does win, stated Winetraub; instead, it will channel that money back into science education, and conduct more programs to expose more kids to the importance of space travel and research."

Team SpaceIL

House Chairmen Say NASA May Have Released DOD Secrets To China, Aviation Week

"According to sources at Ames and on Capitol Hill, the case involves Ames Center Director Simon P. "Pete" Worden and members of the center's staff who are not U.S. citizens. ... Among the charges mentioned in the congressional letters are allegations that the protected technology information has been disseminated in public conferences overseas "with Chinese and other foreign officials present," and that information-protection "safeguards may not have been used or may have explicitly been ignored on multiple occasions" at Ames."

Keith's 8 Feb note: Its is rather odd that Aviation Week would make this statement about Worden's personal "involvement" given that his name is not even contained in the letters (linked below). What is especially baffling is how Rep. Wolf, an avowed China hater, could think that a former Brigadier General - someone who worked throughout the Cold War to defend the U.S. against potential foes such as China, would suddenly - and knowingly - allow his employees to leak things to China or to condone such behavior.

- Letter from Rep. Frank Wolf and Rep. Lamar Smith to FBI Director Mueller, 8 Feb 2013
- Letter from Rep. Frank Wolf and Rep. Lamar Smith to Inspector General Horowitz, 8 Feb 2013

NASA ARC Centerwide Announcement: Ames and National Security

"Last week a news story appeared regarding national security and access to Ames by foreign national individuals. The article referenced letters written by US representatives. The article and the letters mentioned in it are littered with inaccuracies. I take very seriously our responsibility to safeguard sensitive information, so I wanted to let you--Ames employees--know the facts. To the best of our knowledge I am not, nor have I been, the subject of an International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) investigation. I have offered to talk to the news reporter, meet with the US representatives and/or testify under oath regarding export control issues at Ames."

NASA accused of technology transfers, Washington Times

"Melinda Haag, the U.S. attorney for the Northern District of California, released a statement to The Washington Times denying that her office had sought an indictment. "I am aware of allegations our office sought authority from [the Justice Department] in Washington, D.C., to bring charges in a particular matter and that our request was denied," Ms. Haag said. "Those allegations are untrue. No such request was made, and no such denial was received."

NASA open source project back on track, FCW

"NASA's shift to open-source content management is back on after the incumbent contractor withdrew a bid protest on Feb. 4. The withdrawal of the protest, filed by e-Touch Federal Systems on Dec. 28 after NASA awarded Rockville-Md.-based InfoZen a $40 million blanket purchase agreement, allows InfoZen to begin replacing NASA's existing content management system with open source architecture to run its 140 websites and 1,600 web assets and applications."

NASA Website Upgrades Are On Hold, earlier post

Future In-Space Operations (FISO): a working group and community engagement, Space Review

"It would be nice to have a listen-only telecon line that we can invite everyone to, but we have made our choices about this telecon colloquium series carefully ... These presentations are co-chaired by a NASA employee, and the telecon uses a NASA toll-free line that is allocated to that co-chair for multiple uses."

Keith's note: I find it to be baffling (but then again not surprising given that this is NASA) that a NASA-sponsored and supported advisory group on advanced technology (clearly operating outside of FACA) cannot figure out how to use simple, readily available, and often free technology so as to allow taxpayers to dial in on "listen-only" mode and that presentations are no longer posted online in advance - now that the rest of the world knows about these stealthy telecons.

Tomorrow's presentation: "Evolved Human Space Exploration Architectures Using Commercial Launch and Propellant Depots" Alan Wilhite , Georgia Inst.Tech./Natl.Inst.Aerospace February 13, 2013

Dial-in instructions: Future In-Space Operations (FISO) Working Group: Wednesdays, 3pm EST Dial in: 877 921 5751 Passcode: 623679

Oh yes, FISO still still tells people to go to their archive website at http://www.futureinspaceoperations.com/. Click on the link. It goes to "Future In-Space Operations: Hints on dealing with aging difficulty related to physical attractiveness". Wow. The future of space has to do with physical attractiveness. Who knew?

Stealth Future In-Space Operations (FISO) Working Group Telecons, earlier post

NASA OIG: NASA's Efforts to Reduce Unneeded Infrastructure and Facilities

"NASA Inspector General Paul K. Martin today released a report evaluating NASA's efforts to reduce unneeded Agency infrastructure. NASA is the ninth largest Federal Government real property holder, with over 124,000 acres and 4,900 buildings and other structures that have a replacement value of more than $30 billion. Primarily located at 10 Centers in Alabama, California, Florida, Maryland, Mississippi, Ohio, Texas, and Virginia, this property includes such technical facilities as wind tunnels, rocket test stands, and launch complexes and such non-technical facilities as office buildings, roads, fences, and utility systems."

"Guest List for the First Lady's Box State of the Union Address"

"Bobak Ferdowsi (Pasadena, CA) Flight Director, Mars Curiosity Rover

Bobak Ferdowsi, aka NASA's "Mohawk Guy," is a member of the Mars Curiosity rover team at NASA and Caltech's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California. After the successful landing of the Curiosity rover in August 2012, President Obama called to congratulate the team on their success, and singled out Bobak for his unique haircut that captured the imagination of millions of people around the world. The Curiosity rover is a car-sized robot equipped with a laser, chemistry set, and drill for assessing whether Mars ever had an environment able to support small life forms. Bobak is an Iranian-American and science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) professional who, in addition to his inspiring day-to-day work on the Mars Curiosity mission, volunteers as a FIRST robotics mentor to get more boys and girls excited about STEM education."

Keith's note: Here's my audio interview with Bobak Ferdowsi, aka NASA's "Mohawk Guy", about his upcoming attendance of the President's State of the Union Speech as a guest of Mrs. Obama.

Inspiring: Space Jam of Is Somebody Singing (Music Video), SpaceRef Canada

"What happens when you get Chris Hadfield, the Wexford Gleeks Choir, Ed Robertson and the Barenaked Ladies together? An inspirational song titled I.S.S. (Is Somebody Singing), pun intended."

Marc's update: CBC Music released this music video today and I personally think it's great. A great collaboration from space and on Earth. You can follow Hadfield's mission on SpaceRef Canada's feature on his mission.

Orbital Antares Hot-Fire Set

Orbital Schedules Antares Engine Test for February 12th, SpaceRef Business

"Orbital announced today that on Tuesday, February 12th they will perform a hot-fire test at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport's Pad-0A for their new Antares rocket. The window for the engine test is 6-9 p.m. EST. NASA's Wallops Flight Facility will provide launch range support."

Marc's update: The hot-fire has moved to Wednesday though weather is moving in and could delay the test further. The test window will remain the same. Orbital informed me this morning that no live video of the test will be available. However, results of the test will be posted to their web site as soon as possible including "hopefully" good images and video. We'll get it as soon as we can.

NASA Set for New Round Of J-2X Testing at Stennis Space Center, NASA

"NASA's progress toward a return to deep space missions continues with a new round of upcoming tests on the next-generation J-2X rocket engine, which will help power the agency's Space Launch System (SLS) to new destinations in the solar system.

Beginning this month, engineers will conduct a series of tests on the second J-2X development engine, designated number 10002, on the A-2 Test Stand at NASA's Stennis Space Center in Mississippi. Once the series is completed, the engine will be transferred to the A-1 Test Stand to undergo a series of gimbal, or pivot, tests for the first time."

71 Percent of U.S. See Humans On Mars By 2033

"In the wake of the wildly successful landing of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover on Aug. 6, 2012, it may come as no surprise that the American public are currently feeling rather enthusiastic about exploring Mars. This sentiment has now been bolstered by a recent poll carried out for the non-profit corporation Explore Mars by the global communications company Phillips & Company. After surveying 1,101 people, 71 percent of the participants said they feel confident the U.S. will land a human on Mars within the next two decades."

"On average, the same sample said they believed the U.S. government spends 2.4 percent (with a standard deviation of 1.68 percent) of the federal budget on NASA after they were told the agency currently has two operational rovers on the Martian surface. This, sadly, is woefully overoptimistic."

Related: Americans Confident Humans Will Walk on Mars Within Two Decades, Explore Mars

NASA Releases Strategic Space Technology Investment Plan<br />
NASA Releases Strategic Space Technology Investment Plan, SpaceRef Business

"NASA today released its strategic space technology investment plan. The plan, outlined in a 92 page document, is meant to be a comprehensive strategic plan prioritizing technologies for NASA to achieve its mission."

"Technology enables discovery and advancement," NASA Chief Technologist Mason Peck said. "We look forward to working with our stakeholders to grow our technological base and take the journey to expand scientific understanding, explore the universe, and make a positive impact on the lives of all."

NASA Launches New Earth Observation Satellite to Continue 40-Year Legacy, SpaceRef

"NASA's Landsat Data Continuity Mission (LDCM) roared into space at 1:02 p.m. EST (10:02 a.m. PST) Monday aboard an Atlas V rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

The LDCM spacecraft separated from the rocket 79 minutes after launch and the first signal was received 3 minutes later at a ground station in Svalbard, Norway. The solar arrays deployed 86 minutes after launch, and the spacecraft is generating power from them. LDCM is on course to reach its operational, sun-synchronous, polar orbit 438 miles (705 kilometers) above Earth within two months."


- VIDEO: An Atlas V Launches NASA's Newest Landsat Satellite
- VIDEO: Landsat Data Continuity Mission Spacecraft Separation
- VIDEO: Press Briefing: New Landsat Satellite Set for Launch
- VIDEO: Press Briefing: Landsat Data Continuity Mission Science Goals
- VIDEO: Landsat Launch a NASA Social Occasion
- SpaceRef Earth

Landsat 5 Sets Guinness World Record for Longest Operating Earth Observation Satellite, NASA Goddard

"Landsat 5 successfully set the new Guinness World Records title for 'Longest-operating Earth observation satellite' as stated in an e-mail from Guinness World Records sent to NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. Outliving its three-year design life, Landsat 5 delivered high-quality, global data of Earth's land surface for 28 years and 10 months."

Name Pluto's Moons P4 and P5

Here's Your Chance to Name Two of Pluto's Moons, SpaceRef

"It was seven months ago that Mark Showalter and a team of researchers at the SETI Institute discovered two new moon around Pluto. Named P4 and P5 the astronomers decided that the formal names should be open to public selection through a contest."

First Hole Drilled on Mars

NASA Curiosity Rover Drills Hole into Martian Surface, NASA

"NASA's Curiosity rover has, for the first time, used a drill carried at the end of its robotic arm to bore into a flat, veiny rock on Mars and collect a sample from its interior. This is the first time any robot has drilled into a rock to collect a sample on Mars.

The fresh hole, about 0.63 inch (1.6 centimeters) wide and 2.5 inches (6.4 centimeters) deep in a patch of fine-grained sedimentary bedrock, can be seen in images and other data Curiosity beamed to Earth Saturday. The rock is believed to hold evidence about long-gone wet environments. In pursuit of that evidence, the rover will use its laboratory instruments to analyze rock powder collected by the drill."

Letter from Paul Damphousse to National Space Society Board

"During the last year in this role it has become abundantly clear, however, that as long as elements of the existing leadership of the NSS continue to pursue courses of action-- and perpetuate an atmosphere-- that are not in the best interests of the Society, the challenges the organization face will become insurmountable. For both professional and personal reasons, I have decided to pursue other opportunities."

Keith's note: The NSS really needs to get its act together. This organization is already on the borderline of irrelevancy. When good, talented people like Paul Damphousse leave, you know that something is very broken.

Steve Isakowitz on the Spaceport America Lease, SpaceShipTwo Testing and Safety Lessons Learned from Boeing, Forbes

"This fueled speculation in the press on Virgin Galactic's future plans regarding their lease agreement with Spaceport America. I turned to Steve Isakowitz, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer at Virgin Galactic for an updated statement on the lease matter."

2nd Annual ISS Reseach and Development Conference2nd Annual ISS Reseach and Development Conference Call for Papers Deadline is February 18th, American Astronautical Society

"This conference will focus on ISS Research and Development--research results and future opportunities in physical sciences, life sciences, Earth and space sciences, and spacecraft technology development. Plenary sessions will highlight major results and pathways to future opportunities."

International Space StationNASA Hosts Its First Google+ Hangout Connecting with Space Station, NASA

"NASA will host its first Google+ Hangout live with the International Space Station from 11 a.m. to noon EST, Friday, Feb. 22. This event will connect NASA's social media followers with astronauts on the ground and living and working aboard the laboratory orbiting 240 miles above Earth."

Marc's note:While Google+ Hangout's are not new, this first from the space station is a milestone worth noting as it wasn't long ago that this type of interactivity via the Internet from space was not possible.

GAO Releases Report on Launch Services New Entrant Certification Guide, SpaceRef Business

The GAO found that "while potential new entrants stated that they are generally satisfied with the Air Force's efforts to implement the Guide, they identified several challenges to certification, as well as perceived advantages afforded to the incumbent launch provider."

Marc's note: The guide was designed for new entrants in the EELV marketplace including: SpaceX Falcon 9 and Heavy, Orbital Antares and ATK Liberty II.

CuriousMars: Drilling For Martian Secrets, SpaceRef

"Two powerful laboratories inside the Mars rover Curiosity are being readied to process the first powdered samples of subsurface Martian rock obtained by the rover's drill during the most complex series of Curiosity operations since its Sky Crane landing last August."

Marc's note: This is the latest in-depth story about Mars exploration from Craig Covault. This weekly update is part of the CuriousMars series of stories Craig is writing for SpaceRef.

Space Abhors a Policy Vacuum; The NRC Report and The Need for a Broad National Space Policy, Dennis Wingo

"...The above sentence in its implication says that a scientifically justifiable space program is the only means to continue its international leadership in space. This has been the underpinning of all NASA related strategic thinking for the past thirty years but is it still tenable, is it still complete to say so? It is my opinion that the answer is no and indeed it has never truly been the case and to think of space through this narrow lens is actually the reason that we have been unable to come to any kind of national consensus on space. The key word in their mandate is national consensus, not just a presidential fiat or even a consensus between the congress and the president. If we are to move forward toward a national consensus we must look beyond the scientific justifications for a space program and look at the broader aspects of national interest to underpin our reasoning."

Sequestration and Planetary Exploration, Future Planetary Exploration (Van Kane)

"I'd hoped that I'd never need to write this post. The latest news in the United States is that a poison pill known as the Sequester is looking increasingly likely. If it happens, it will be a body blow to NASA's planetary science program."

Sequestration: A Primer for the Perplexed, Science

"On 1 March, an $85-billion across-the-board cut in federal spending--the first step in a mandatory $1.2 trillion reduction over 10 years--will go into effect unless all sides agree to delay it or substitute something else. Indeed, when the Budget Control Act that created sequestration was enacted in August 2011, both sides expected to have an alternative in place by now. That didn't happen."

Earth-like Planets Are Right Next Door, SpaceRef

"Using publicly available data from NASA's Kepler space telescope, astronomers at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) have found that six percent of red dwarf stars have habitable, Earth-sized planets. Since red dwarfs are the most common stars in our galaxy, the closest Earth-like planet could be just 13 light-years away."

Six Percent of Red Dwarf Stars Have Earth-sized Planets

"Using publicly available data from NASA's Kepler space telescope, astronomers at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) estimate that six percent of red dwarf stars in the galaxy have Earth-size planets in the "habitable zone," the range of distances from a star where the surface temperature of an orbiting planet might be suitable for liquid water."

James Webb Telescope Makes Progress But at What Cost?, SpaceRef

"NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center released the following list of highlights for the James Webb Telescope for 2012 marking the progress of the project. However while the project is making progress, it has created budgetary problems for NASA and will launch several years later than planned."

Death Star Response Inspiring Future Explorers?, NASA

"The White House response to a petition on building a Death Star (and the resulting media attention) led to some pretty interesting data here at NASA.gov. While the petitioners wanted to focus on a big project done a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, the response led to thousands of Americans finding out about projects NASA is currently working on right here on Earth and in our Solar System."

White House Deletes Death Star Funds from NASA's FY2014 Budget, Earlier post
Hey - Let's Make NASA Build a Deathstar! (Update), Earlier post

Marc's note: Jim Wilson points out the upside of the failed petition, increased awareness.

Kickstarter Open Source Death Star

"In November 2012 the people asked for a death star. The government said NO! In light of continuing threats we should build it ourselves."

NASA and Internet Archive Launch Centralized Resource for Images (24 July 2008)

"NASA and Internet Archive, a non-profit digital library based in San Francisco, made available the most comprehensive compilation ever of NASA's vast collection of photographs, historic film and video Thursday. Located at www.nasaimages.org, the Internet site combines for the first time 21 major NASA imagery collections into a single, searchable online resource. A link to the Web site will appear on the http://www.nasa.gov home page."

Keith's note: If you go to www.nasaimages.org you will see that it is no longer totally dedicated to NASA content as this 2008 press release states. It used to look like this. Instead it redirects visitors to http://www.dvidshub.net/unit/NASA i.e. the Defense Video & Imagery Distribution System which is mostly about guns, tanks, war, weapons, etc. This website is apparently operated by U.S. Army/USARCENT (Third Army).

What is really odd is that the domain nasaimages.org is still registered to NASA - MSFC to be specific. Here's the current registration info. This makes no sense whatsoever. NASA has never bothered to explain this.

Keith's note: NASA has decided who is on their Mars 2020 rover Science Definition Team. No press release however. Isn't it a bit odd that SMD uses a bull horn to tell everyone who was not selected, but can't be bothered to tell the public who was selected. I have to wonder if SMD actually has a PAO strategy these days. I have seen little evidence thereof these days.

NASA SMD Uses a Bullhorn to Say 'No Thanks', Earlir post

"NASA SMD sent this "thanks but no thanks" email to everyone who offered their services to the 2020 Mars rover Science Definition Team - but were turned down. SMD made sure to let everyone on the list see everyone else's name/email addresses. Class act."

NASA MEPAG #27 Cancellation Notice

"However, the 2020 Rover Science Definition Team is just now being formed and will not be far enough into its deliberations to give a meaningful out-brief in February."

Mars Exploration Program Analysis Group (MEPAG) Meeting

"Delays in the federal budget process prompted us to cancel the two-day physical meeting previously scheduled February 26-27 for the Washington, DC area and to replace it with this half-day electronic meeting."


President Barack Obama on NASA's Day of Remembrance, NASA

"Ten years ago, seven brave astronauts gave their lives in the name of exploration when America's first flight-ready space shuttle, Columbia, failed to return safely to Earth. Each year, on NASA's Day of Remembrance, we honor the crew of that Columbia flight, as well as those of Challenger and Apollo 1, and all the members of the NASA family who gave their lives in the pursuit of expanding our Nation's horizons in space-a cause worthy of their sacrifice and one we must never forget."

Challenger Center and NASA Day of Remembrance, Challenger Center for Space Science Education

"As we honor the memories of those lost in the Challenger, Columbia and Apollo 1 tragedies, we cannot help but to feel immensely grateful for the sacrifice each one of these individuals made when they chose to commit their lives to exploration and discovery. This sacrifice inspires us to strengthen the impact we make in the lives of students so they, in turn, will have the knowledge and interest to pursue meaningful and exciting STEM careers and become the next generation of inspirational leaders."

Coalition for Space Exploration Remembers Fallen NASA Astronauts, Coalition for Space Exploration

"Today, the Coalition for Space Exploration joins NASA in observing a Day of Remembrance as the world pays tribute to the men and women who lost their lives while pursuing the development and exploration of space. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Columbia space shuttle disaster, which resulted in the untimely deaths of seven brave astronauts. We remember their sacrifice and mourn the devastating loss of these crew members, along with the fallen heroes who were aboard Apollo 1, Challenger, and other NASA endeavors. While we grieve because their lives were taken too soon, we are also inspired by their passion and dedication to this commendable program. Their legacy will continue to touch the lives of generations to come, encouraging the exploration of uncharted territory."

VIDEO: Fallen NASA Astronauts Remembered at Space Mirror Memorial, NASA



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