June 2014 Archives

NASA's Commercial Crew Partners Focus on Testing, Analysis to Advance Designs

"NASA's aerospace industry partners are taking their designs and operational plans for the agency's Commercial Crew Program (CCP) through a series of comprehensive tests, evaluations and review boards this summer as they move through important milestones - all with an eye on launching people into orbit from American soil by 2017.

To meet milestones established in Space Act Agreements with NASA, the companies are completing specific assessments such as materials stress tests, engine firings and analysis, and system tests. The companies' engineers use data gathered from these tests to refine the design, then NASA's team uses the data to ensure the tests satisfy milestone objectives that provide confidence a spacecraft system or program is progressing toward its goals."

Related: Commercial Crew Partners Get Extension, SpaceNews

NASA's First Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator Test Flight a Success [With Full Flight Video and Highlights], NASA

"NASA representatives participated in a media teleconference this morning to discuss the June 28, 2014 near-space test flight of the agency's Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD), which occurred off the coast of the U.S. Navy's Pacific Missile Range Facility in Kauai, Hawaii.

A high-altitude balloon launch occurred at 8:45 a.m. HST (11:45 a.m. PDT/2:45 p.m. EDT) from the Hawaiian island facility. At 11:05 a.m. HST (2:05 p.m. PDT/5:05 p.m. EDT), the LDSD test vehicle dropped away from the balloon as planned and began powered flight. The balloon and test vehicle were about 120,000 feet over the Pacific Ocean at the time of the drop. The vehicle splashed down in the ocean at approximately 11:35 a.m. HST (2:35 p.m. PDT/5:35 p.m. EDT), after the engineering test flight concluded. The test vehicle hardware, black box data recorder and parachute were all recovered later in the day."

NASA Notice of Information Collection: Qualitative Feedback on Agency Service Delivery

"The proposed information collection activity provides a means to garner qualitative customer and stakeholder feedback in an efficient, timely manner, in accordance with the Administration's commitment to improving service delivery. By qualitative feedback we mean information that provides useful insights on perceptions and opinions, but are not statistical surveys that yield quantitative results that can be generalized to the population of study. This feedback will provide insights into customer or stakeholder perceptions, experiences and expectations, provide an early warning of issues with service, or focus attention on areas where communication, training or changes in operations might improve delivery of products or services. These collections will allow for ongoing, collaborative and actionable communications between the Agency and its customers and stakeholders. It will also allow feedback to contribute directly to the improvement of program management. The solicitation of feedback will target areas such as: Timeliness, appropriateness, accuracy of information, courtesy, efficiency of service delivery, and resolution of issues with service delivery. Responses will be assessed to plan and inform efforts to improve or maintain the quality of service offered to the public."

Keith's note: Of course NASA won't like the answers that they get back - especially the implications for the way NASA does business and what would need to be done to fix these issues. As such NASA will ignore what this study uncovers - as they do with any and all feedback that they get from other surveys. Of course, they will still check the OMB boxes for having done the study and consider the issue to have been handled.

Astrobotic's Autonomous Landing System Tested in Masten's Xombie Flight, SpaceRef Business

"Astrobotic Technology's newly developed autonomous landing system was put to the test recently when it controlled Masten Space Systems' XA-0.1B Xombie suborbital technology demonstration rocket during a flight test at the Mojave Air and Space Port."

Related: NASA Space Technology Mission Directorate Flight Opportunities Program.

Keith's note: SpaceX has field an amendment to their initial complaint about ULA. The amended complaint includes new information from a 20 June letter from Sen. John McCain to Under Secretary of Defense Frank Kendall. McCain's letter questions the lack of transparency around the cost of the Russian RD-180 engines that ULA currently uses for EELV launches.

- Text of SpaceX complaint amendment
- Text of McCain's letter

Elon Musk Is Opening A New Front In His Lawsuit Against The Air Force, Business Insider

"So neither the market nor the U.S. government gave RD Amross any reason to alter its business model. "ULA didn't get a gun to their head to make this deal," Keith Cowing, a former NASA astrobiologist and blogger at NASA Watch told Business Insider of ULA's use of a Russian-American joint venture as a rocket engine broker. "They do it willingly and openly, and the United States government sanctioned it. They're the sole supplier, they get to set the price, and we walk into this." But they're not really the sole supplier anymore. Whether McCain's accusations are true or not, SpaceX's entrance into competition for government launches would make RD Amross -- and business models based on an uninterrupted pipeline from foreign engine-builders to buyers in the U.S. government -- seem utterly outmoded."

Keith's 26 June Update: Just as our DSN window closed today we were able to get 2 way Doppler lock and ranging at a 47.5 kHz offset.  DSN got the four ranging points needed from ISEE-3. This is the first time since 1999 that DSN has talked to the spacecraft. A follow-up session tomorrow should get us a lot more recording time. Hats off to the DSN guys - especially the folks at DSS-24.

Keith's 27 June Update: We had an even greater DSN pass today with ISEE-3. We managed to get ~30 minutes of data (11 range points) after achieving 2 way Doppler lock and ranging at a 47.5 kHz offset.

NASA JSC Solicitation: International Space Station Models

"NASA/JSC is conducting market research to seek potential sources who can provide International Space Station (ISS) scale models (1/100th and 1/44 scales) with cases. Each ISS model is to be manufactured to the specifications below and must include a Custom Designed Transit Case."

Keith's note: What does NASA do with these models? They seem to order them every year. I have asked before but never have recieved an answer. Then again given what they spent to re-do Mike Suffredini's conference room, who cares, right?

Pathways to Exploration: A Review of the Future of Human Space Exploration

Witnesses will be:

- Governor Mitch Daniels, Report Co-Chair (testimony)
- Dr. Jonathan Lunine, Report Co-Chair (testimony)

Committee Reviews Report on Future of Human Spaceflight, House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology

"The report confirmed that NASA lacks a plan for human space exploration. The NASA Authorization Act of 2014, which recently passed the House with bipartisan support, requires a detailed plan for how NASA will land humans on Mars. The NRC's report offers suggestions on the best way to reach that goal. The report also calls into question the Obama administration's continued focus on the Asteroid Retrieval Mission (ARM), highlighting "an underlying concern that ARM would divert U.S. resources and attention" from other potential missions."

Committee Considers the Path Forward in Human Spaceflight, House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology Democrats

"The witnesses emphasized the need for sustained investments in the U.S. human space exploration program over multiple Congresses and Administrations in order to commit to a pathway approach and successfully achieve a human mission to Mars. Specifically, both Governor Daniels and Dr. Lunine emphasized that if budgets continue to only increase at the rate of inflation, the goal of landing humans on Mars will never be attained. The co-chairs also made it clear that regardless of the pathway that is adopted, there needs to be consistency over a long period of time that survives the changing U.S. political landscape."

- Hearing Charter
- NRC Says NASA Is On The Wrong Path to Mars, earlier post
- Report From Slow Motion Advisory Committee on Human Space Flight, earlier post
- NASA Should Maintain Long-Term Focus on Mars as "Horizon Goal" for Human Space Exploration, earlier post

ISEE-3 Status 24 June 2014: We Almost Did The Spin-up Burn

"During our session with Arecibo today we came very, very close to firing the thrusters on ISEE-3 for its spin-up maneuver. But we were not able to complete the process and fire the thrusters. The spacecraft was completely configured for a thruster firing during today's pass. We reduced the number of pulses from 11 to 1 to make certain that we had the proper commands in place. If that engine firing proceeded successfully we'd follow with the remaining 10 pulses so as to spin up the spacecraft to the required rotation rate. As it happened we were unable to get confirmation on the very last command and put a halt to the procedure."

Keith's note: We have another window opening at Arecibo around 1:30 pm EDT. We'll be live tweeting at @ISEE3Reboot.

Keith's Update: Our Arecibo pass was a short one and we had some commanding issues - so no spin-up burn. Our DSN pass for ranging starts at 4:50 pm EDT - you can see ISEE-3 listed on the DSN live page.

Russian Angara 1.2PP Rocket set for Launch Friday [With Video], SpaceRef Business

"This Friday after years of delay, Russia is set to launch the Angara 1.2 Pervy Polyot (First Flight) rocket on its maiden voyage, a suborbital demonstration flight. The Angara project started in 1993 with the goal to develop a new national space launch system.

The Angara 1 light class of small launchers is intended to replace the Kosmos-3M, Tsyklon and Rockot launchers. The Angara 3, a medium-lift launcher is meant to eventually replace the Zenit and the and Angara 5 is meant to replace the heavy-lift Proton. The Angara 5 would become the workhorse of the Russian fleet tasked with launch military payloads."

World View Breaks World Record with Successful Test Flight [With Video], World View

"Representing a milestone accomplishment, World View, the commercial balloon spaceflight company, has successfully completed a scaled test flight of its high-altitude balloon spaceflight system breaking the world record for highest parafoil flight in the process."

Bill Escher

Bill Escher, AIAA Associate Fellow, and AIAA Member Emeritus, passed away at his Huntsville, Alabama, home on the morning of May 12. Escher was 82. Escher received the 1988 AIAA George M. Low Space Transportation Award for his work on space transportation programs including Vanguard and the Spaceliner programs, and for his work promoting the Synerjet combined-cycle engine concept for low-cost, reliable access to space.

Roscosmos Disavows Plan to Send Space Tourists to Moon, Moscow Times

"Russia's space agency, Roscosmos, will not be involved in a plan to send two space tourists on a flight around the Moon and was not consulted about the project, the federal space agency said. The mission, hatched by U.S.-based space tourism firm Space Adventures and a major Russian spacecraft manufacturer, Energia Rocket and Space Corporation, would see two space tourists travel to the Moon aboard a modified Russian Soyuz spacecraft by 2017. However, Roscosmos was kept out of the loop on the plan. The organizers "could have consulted with us before making such loud announcements," said Denis Lyskov, Roscosmos's deputy chief in charge of piloted flights, Izvestia reported Monday."

A private expedition to the Moon, Space Adventures

"Using flight proven Russian spacecraft we will fly two private citizens and one professional cosmonaut on a free return trajectory around the far side of the moon. They will come within 100km of the Moon's surface. If you chose to join this mission you will see the illuminated far-side of the Moon, and then witness the amazing sight of the Earth rising above the surface of the Moon. We expect our first mission to launch by 2017."

ISEE-3 Status Report 23 June 2014: DSN Ranging & Spin Up Update, ISEE-3 Reboot Project

"The DSN pass last week on 18 June that went from 1:45 to 2:45 Pacific Daylight time was not a success. Here is a recap of the pass activity. ... Friday June 20th we were going to do the propulsion system test and spin up maneuver. However, one of our pass/fail criterion was real time telemetry and reliable commanding. Neither of these criterion were met and thus we cancelled that activity early in the pass."

ULA RD-180 Update

Russia Bans U.S. From International Space Station: America Strikes Back, Motley Fool

"On Monday, ULA confirmed that it has signed contracts with "multiple" American rocket companies to begin working up "next-generation liquid oxygen/hydrocarbon first stage propulsion concepts" that could replace the RD-180 (the RD-180 uses liquid oxygen and kerosene as its fuel sources). Working at a breakneck pace, ULA said it expects to select a new design before the end of this year. Then, pushing the envelope on the usual five- to eight-year timeline usually needed to develop such engines, ULA said it will have a new rocket ready to fly by 2019. (In the meantime, ULA will try to string Russia's Energomash along, negotiating to keep the RD-180s coming until they're no longer needed.)"

ULA signs multiple contracts to pursue RD-180 engine replacement, Denver Post

"While the RD-180 has been a remarkable success, we believe now is the right time for American investment in a domestic engine," ULA's CEO Michael Gass said in a statement. "At the same time, given that ULA is the only certified launch provider of our nation's most important satellites, it is critical that America preserve current capabilities and options while simultaneously pursuing this new engine." ULA's announcement comes a week after the U.S. House Appropriations Committee asked for $220 million in the 2015 defense budget to go toward developing an alternative to the RD-180."

Sen. McCain Raises Concerns About Lack of Transparency on USAF RD-180 Procurement

"I am, in particular, interested in learning more about a company called RD Amross, the company from which United Launch Alliance (ULA) actually buys the RD-180 for use in EELV missions. It appears that RD Amross is a joint venture between P&W Power Generation Inc. and International Space Engines, Inc., a Delaware-registered subsidiary of the engine's Russian manufacturer NPO Energomash."

SpaceX launch delayed again, this time because of weather, Reuters

"For Saturday's launch attempt, the California-based company, owned and operated by technology entrepreneur Elon Musk, canceled its webcast and provided no commentary about the launch countdown, a public service offered even for classified Department of Defense satellite launches. "For the first time since the end of the Cold War, a space launch from Cape Canaveral will not be broadcast to the press and the public," Spaceflightnow.com, which provides live launch coverage, wrote on its website."

Keith's note: This lack of visibility is rather unusual for SpaceX - a company that has gone out of its way to use social media and traditional media - with great success - to get word about its products and services to the widest audience possible. Indeed, just a week or so ago there was a large reception for the Dragon V2 in Washington DC and the news media was all over it. Flash forward. SpaceX explained this absence of a webcast yesterday as being due to the fact that these launches were becoming routine and that the webcasts are no longer needed. This was a little odd given that they had a webcast for the Friday launch attempt 24 hours earlier.

Yes, they are a private company and this is a commercial activity, so they have every right to do this. But that does not mean its the smart thing to do. As for SpaceX falcon launches being "routine" - since when is a rocket launch where the first stage uses landing legs to return to Earth "routine"?

That said, the reaction on the Twitterverse yesterday - albeit from space enthusiasts and space media - was swift and loud. The hashtag "#FalconNein" quickly appeared. One would hope that SpaceX is paying attention and realizes that they are doing something cool - as are other space companies - and that the more visible all of this launch stuff is, the more excitement is generated - and the greater the public appreciation for the reality of space utilization becomes.

People like to watch SpaceX launches - and other launches - because they are cool. Cool sells. And if and when something goes wrong people root for the company to fix the problem so they can see cool things again.

- SpaceX Falcon 9 Reusable Flies with Fins (video), earlier post
- ULA Media Blitz, earlier post

Keith's update: Sunday afternon SpaceX sent an email out to some space news media (but not all space news media): "Today's ORBCOMM launch attempt has been scrubbed to address a potential concern identified during pre-flight checks. The vehicle and payload are in good condition, and engineering teams will take the extra time to ensure the highest possible level of mission assurance prior to flight. The rocket will remain vertical on the launch pad with the next available launch opportunity targeting Tuesday, June 24th."

Are You Ready For Liftoff?, Forbes

"Once the ISEE-3 campaign was launched and promoted by Sky Corp and Space Ref Interactive, 2,238 supporters weighed in, raising $160, 000, $35,000 more than the project's goal. The project went from the improbable to the practical, and this is the transition on the forefront of every entrepreneurs mind. How can you do the same? ... Is this the path for you and your company? It could well be if you can meet the market with the thrust of the ISEE-3 campaign. If you can, your charity, reward or equity funding has a good chance of achieving liftoff."

ISEE-3 Status Report 19 June 2014 (afternoon)

Keep an eye on @ISEE3Reboot for updates

Keith's update: We had to scrub ISEE-3 spin-up burn for today. We can't confirm receipt of commands in real time by the spacecraft. If we cannot confirm that proper commands were sent to propulsion system we cannot fire thrusters with full confidence. Remember: this spacecraft does not have a computer. All 21 dummy commands worked - that should NOT have happened.  Next time we sent them only 3 were accepted. Investigating ...

ULA Media Blitz

ULA Ramps up Media Blitz, SpaceRef Business

"In recent weeks United Launch Alliance (ULA) has begun ramping up its media coverage to combat what it considers misrepresentation of facts by SpaceX. At stake is billions in future launch business.

Their website was revamped, new videos were released highlighting mission successes, and posters have been posted to their Facebook page with direct messages aimed squarely at SpaceX though without mentioning them."

Keith's note: ULA had a media briefing for media this week in the Washington area - except ... they did not invite all space media. Hmm ... that's not a strategic move made out of confidence ...

NASA Security: Assessing the Agency's Efforts to Protect Sensitive Information, NASA OIG

"Before highlighting two of the audits and describing the Langley investigation and another special review involving foreign nationals and export issues at the Ames Research Center (Ames) in Mountain View, California, I will highlight several themes from our oversight work that echo findings made by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) in their recent examinations of export control practices and management of foreign national access at NASA."

NASA Management Action and Improved Oversight Needed to Reduce the Risk of Unauthorized Access to Its Technologies

"NASA headquarters export control officials and CEAs lack a comprehensive inventory of the types and location of export-controlled technologies and NASA headquarters officials have not addressed deficiencies raised in oversight tools, limiting their ability to take a risk-based approach to compliance. Export compliance guidance from the regulatory agencies of State and Commerce states the importance of identifying controlled items and continuously assessing risks."


Subcommittees Examine NASA's Struggle to Protect Sensitive Information
 
"These reports confirm our worst fears: that the incidents at Langley and Ames are not isolated incidences. Among conclusions from these reports we find: most centers continue to release Scientific and Technical Information that has not been reviewed for export control purposes. NASA lacks both clear export control policies and the oversight necessary to enforce them. The NASA network has indeed been compromised, and these vulnerabilities could have significant impacts on national security. And finally, a troubling trend we've seen across agencies in this Administration: the failure or the unwillingness to hold accountable those responsible for these errors."

Video: SpaceX Falcon F9R 1000m Flight, SpaceRef Business

"SpaceX has released this video of Falcon 9 Reusable (F9R) during a 1000m test flight at their rocket development facility in McGregor, TX and was their first test that included a set of steerable fins that provide control of the rocket during the fly back portion of return."

NASA Partners With Edison Nation to Promote MindShift Technology, LaRC

"NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, is working with Edison Nation, an open innovation online service, to help distribute its discoveries and patents. By law, federal agencies are required to have a technology transfer program to promote commercial activity, economic growth and innovation in business and commerce. Edison Nation will target companies that can immediately license and use NASA technology, beginning with Langley's MindShift."

Keith's note: So ... is this yet another center-specific procurement - one that duplicates what NASA HQ and other centers are doing - or is this a program that is supposed to serve all NASA centers? If this is NASA-wide then why isn't HQ announcing it - and why aren't all of the other NASA centers distributing this news? Langley doesn't even mention it on their Technology Gateway page - nor is there any mention at http://technology.nasa.gov/ -- both of which included in this press release. Edison Nation can't be bothered to mention it either. And of course, no mention is made at the NASA Space Technology Mission Directorate.

Speaking of disjointed NASA technology transfer activities, why is it that NASA Tech Briefs seems to be utterly uninterested in relaying what NASA is doing? They don't even link to NASA! Why should they be allowed to use the NASA logo?

- Why Does NASA Ignore NASA Tech Briefs?, earlier post, 2011
- Dysfunctional Technology Efforts at Langley (Update), earlier post, 2012

NASA Announces Latest Progress, Upcoming Milestones in Hunt for Asteroids

"NASA is on the hunt for an asteroid to capture with a robotic spacecraft, redirect to a stable orbit around the moon, and send astronauts to study in the 2020s -- all on the agency's human Path to Mars. Agency officials announced on Thursday, June 19, recent progress to identify candidate asteroids for its Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM), increase public participation in the search for asteroids, and advance the mission's design."

Boeing Preparing Layoff Notices in Case of Commercial Crew Loss, SpaceNews

"Hoping for the best, but preparing for defeat, Boeing will send out about 215 potential layoff notices to employees currently working on its NASA CST-100 Commercial Crew program. The 60-day notices, required under the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN), are due to be distributed on June 20 to about 170 employees in Houston and 45 in Florida in case Boeing is not selected for an upcoming Commercial Crew Transportation Capability (CCtCap) contract, Boeing spokesman Adam Morgan told SpaceNews."

Keith's note: So much for any thought that Boeing was ever interested in investing any significant company funds for their CST-100.

White House: NASA bill would raise costs, cause delays

"The Obama administration is concerned that a provision in a NASA funding bill being debated on the Senate floor this week would add costs and delays to the program that will replace the mothballed space shuttle with private rockets. As part of a $17.9 billion spending bill to fund NASA in fiscal year 2015, the Senate Appropriations Committee earlier this month approved the $805 million for the commercial crew program that will ferry astronauts to the International Space Station."

White House Statement of Policy H.R. 4660 - NASA Excerpt

"Commercial Crew Program. The Administration appreciates the Committee's support for the Commercial Crew program, but has concerns about language that would seek to apply accounting requirements unsuitable for a firm, fixed-price acquisition, likely increasing the program's cost and potentially delaying its schedule."

Nelson Wants To Revisit Senate Appropriations Committee's Stricter Commercial Crew Oversight, SpaceNews

"Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) took to the Senate floor June 18 and tapped the brakes on a powerful appropriator's plan to subject NASA's commercial crew program to strict federal accounting standards the agency waived when it solicited bids for crew transportation in November."

Keith's note: If you go to the DSN NOW page you will see ISEE-3 (ICE) lined up ready for ranging at DSS-24 at Goldstone. Our ranging session starts at 1:45 pm PDT (4:45 pm EDT) and will last for an hour. We'll try and post real time updates on Twitter at @ISEE3Reboot

Keith's update: We did not have any luck establishing two-way communication between ISEE-3 and DSN today. We'll regroup and try again on Sunday. This does not affect our plan to do a short series of engine burns on 21 June (Saturday) to spin up the spacecraft.

- ISEE-3 Reboot Project Scheduled for DSN Doppler and Ranging Activity
- ISEE-3 Status Report 13 June 2014 - Green Light For Spin-up
- ISEE-3 Propulsion System Overview

President Obama to Host First-Ever White House Maker Faire

"A new announcement of opportunity for CubeSat developers later this year, with the goal of broadening its reach to all 50 states by targeting the 21 "rookie states" that have had no previous CubeSat presence in space, and will leverage the existing NASA Space Grant network of colleges and universities. CubeSats provide the opportunity for Makers to build small satellites to demonstrate new innovative technologies and conduct scientific research in a space environment. To date, NASA has selected CubeSats from 29 states, 17 of which have already been launched, and two more are slated to go to space later this year."

Keith's note: NASA does not seem to be doing anything for White House Maker Faire today. If they are they are not telling anyone.

Keith's update: This was just tweeted. Still nothing but crickets from CASIS and the ISS National Laboratory folks.

Loss of Signal: Aeromedical Lessons Learned from the STS-107 Columbia Space Shuttle Mishap

"Loss of Signal presents the aeromedical lessons learned from the Columbia accident that will enhance crew safety and survival on human space flight missions. These lessons were presented to limited audiences at three separate Aerospace Medical Association (AsMA) conferences. As we are embarking on the development of new spacefaring vehicles through both government and commercial efforts, the NASA Johnson Space Center Space Life Sciences Directorate (SLSD)1 proceeded to make this information available to a wider audience engaged in the design and development of future space vehicles."

Keith's note: Have a look at the speakers at the upcoming Space Frontier Foundation New Space Conference. This organization claims to be at the forefront of space exploration. If so then the future will be run by males currently in their 50s.

"New" Space? looks more like "old" space to me.

What about everyone else?

CASIS is Still Inept

Keith's note: The Second ISS Research and Development Conference is underway in Chicago run by the good folks at the AAS with official co-sponsorship by CASIS and NASA. NASA/CASIS funding and meeting requirements drive the show. Indeed, NASA and CASIS use this activity as an official annual showcase to put forward the value of the ISS as a research platform. Given that human spaceflight budgets are getting tighter - and will get even tighter as SLS budget pressures continue to mount - you'd think that NASA - and the non-profit who is supposed to advocate ISS research, CASIS, would be using every tool at their disposal to make this event available to all stakeholders. That includes taxpayers, by the way (they pay for this).

Alas, all we are going to get is Twitter coverage via #issrdc. That's it. No NASA papers and presentations posted online at NASA.gov - and no webcast or streaming audio on NASA TV or elsewhere. Apparently CASIS is incapable of implementing a live webcast of this event. This is a remarkably simple thing to do - all you need is an internet connection and a laptop or cellphone. That's all. Webcasting is free otherwise. Indeed, I have done live webcasts on a laptop from Everest Base Camp, a research base near the north pole, and the middle of the Arizona desert with commercial off the shelf capabilities. Yet CASIS can't figure out how to do a simple webcast from a large hotel? REALLY? As the kids say EPIC FAIL. How NASA expects a wider dissemination - and appreciation of the research capabilities of the ISS is hard to fathom when their official partner for ISS research and utilization CASIS is this chronically inept.

NASA is not exactly helping promote these things either. Go to the NASA ISS National Laboratory website. There is no mention whatsoever of this meeting there.

Keith's update: I stand corrected. This conference is mentioned - but you have to scroll all the way down - further than any website visitor looking fo current information is inclined to scroll. Whomever maintains this website is clueless as to how to maintain web content. You put important timely information where people will see it - easily. This is like putting today's headlines on the last page of a newspaper. Unless this conference is not important, that is. Or (more likely) NASA ISS National Laboratory and CASIS are just cluless and inept when it comes to communicating with the public.

Fading Solid Fuel Engine Biz Threatens Navy's Trident Missile, Breaking Defense

"Failure to launch" isn't a metaphorical concern when you work on nuclear weapons. That's why the director of the Navy's euphemistically named Strategic Systems Program (SSP) is a worried man. What has Vice Adm. Terry Benedict worried is something neither he, nor the Navy nor the entire Defense Department directly control. It's the viability of what Benedict called "an already fragile industry" that produces the solid-fuel rocket boosters for the Navy's Trident submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM). The worst part is that the solid fuel rocket engine business is an industry that will live or die not on the military's own decisions, but on NASA's.

Airbus Group and Safran To Join Forces in Launcher Activities

Both companies express their determination to continue to play a leading role in the space launcher business as well as to safeguard Europe's autonomous and reliable access to space. This year, ESA and its Member Nations are expected to take far-reaching decisions on current and next generation launchers. "It's all about enhancing the competitiveness of our space launcher business going forward.

NASA is changing the way it does business, new GC says, Washington Post

"NASA is changing the way it is doing business, spending less on traditional contracts and partnering more with the private sector and local governments to further the growth of the commercial space industry. That transition promises to be a prime preoccupation for the agency's new top lawyer, Sumara Thompson-King. Thompson-King became NASA's general counsel on June 1, replacing Michael Wholley, who held the post since 2004. She is the first woman and the first African American to lead the agency's legal department, which has about 175 attorneys."

ISEE-3 Reboot Project Scheduled for DSN Doppler and Ranging Activity

"We have received confirmation from NASA that we have been confirmed for time on the DSN (Deep Space Network) for two-way Doppler and ranging activities with the ISEE-3 spacecraft. This is being done so as to determine the location of ISEE-3 with great precision for navigation purposes. Based on this data we will conduct our course correction engine firing. We have moved that original firing date from 17 June to a window that currently covers 30 June and 2 July."

Calling Back a Zombie Ship From the Graveyard of Space, New York Times (front page story)

"After 36 years in space, the craft, the International Sun-Earth Explorer-3, appears to be in good working order. The main challenge, the engineers say, is figuring out how to command it. No one has the full operating manual anymore, and the fragments are sometimes contradictory."

- ISEE-3 Status Report 13 June 2014 - Green Light For Spin-up

"NASA has given us approval to fire the spin thrusters on ISEE-3 to increase its spin from 19.16 rpm up to the mission specification of 19.75 +/- 0.2 rpm."

- ISEE-3 Propulsion System Overview

NASA Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator Update 12 June 2014

"NASA did not conduct the flight test of the agency's Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD) from the U.S. Navy's Pacific Missile Range in Kauai, Hawaii, during its designated launch period. The project's reserved time at the range will expire Saturday, June 14, with NASA unable to fly the test because of continuing unfavorable weather conditions."

NASA Prepares to Launch Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2

The spacecraft will sample the global geographic distribution of the sources and sinks of carbon dioxide and allow scientists to study their changes over time more completely than can be done with any existing data. Since 2009, Earth scientists have been preparing for OCO-2 by taking advantage of observations from the Japanese GOSAT satellite. OCO-2 replaces a nearly identical NASA spacecraft lost because of a rocket launch mishap in February 2009.

NASA Releases Orbiting Carbon Observatory Accident Summary, earlier post

"A NASA panel that investigated the unsuccessful Feb. 24 launch of the Orbiting Carbon Observatory, or OCO, has completed its report."

Made In Space 3D Printer Gets Green Light from NASA for Launch, SpaceRef

"After passing the last NASA test, Made In Space will see its 3D printer launched to the International Space Station (ISS) in August by SpaceX as part of NASA's 4th Commercial Resupply mission (CRS-4).

Originally the 3D printer was scheduled to fly on the SpaceX CRS-5 mission but because the company met all its milestones early the launch was moved up to CRS-4."

NASA's real life Enterprise may take us to other star systems one day, Gizmodo

"Dr. Harold "Sonny" White is still working on a warp drive at NASA's Johnson Space Center. Their work is still in the experimental stages but that doesn't mean they can't imagine already what the real life Enterprise ship should look like according to their math. You're looking at it right now."

What an Enterprise! NASA physicist, artist unveil warp-speed craft design

"According to NASA, there hasn't been any proof that a warp drive can exist, but the agency is experimenting nonetheless. Although the concept doesn't violate the laws of physics, that doesn't guarantee that it will work."

Status of "Warp Drive", NASA

"Warp Drives", "Hyperspace Drives", or any other term for Faster-than-light travel is at the level of speculation, with some facets edging into the realm of science. We are at the point where we know what we do know and know what we don't, but do not know for sure if faster than light travel is possible."

Clarifying NASA's Warp Drive Program, earlier post

"How much has NASA already spent on this project? How much does it intend to spend on this project? Where do the funds for Eagleworks and White's advanced propulsion/warp drive research come from? JSC? HQ? Answer: The scope and scale of this project is small and commensurate with a university effort. Most of the equipment was pulled from storage to minimize capital procurement. Total procurement to implement the warp field interferometer is ~$50k. The funding comes from JSC."

Keith's note: Given the PR that centers on Dr. White it is a little difficult to believe that all NASA spends on this effort is on the order of $50,000 a year. Is this his full time job? If not, what is it that he does to get a salary from NASA? When you ask JSC what this costs you either get no answer or non-answers liek this. If this is a real project then you'd think NASA would want to be a little more forthcoming. If it is a real project, that is.

What will be interesting to watch is what visibility NASA PAO does - or does not - give to this in-house warp drive skunk works when it starts to work with the PR people for the film< em> "Interstellar" (there has been some preliminary interaction). Will NASA want taxpayers to know that it is thinking ahead or will it avoid all mention of this effort for fear of being ridiculed in the press?

Warp Drive Research at NASA JSC, earlier post

Keith's note: Civil servants working at Wallops have been seeking to decertify their existing union since June 2013 claiming that union representation is no longer necessary at that location. The Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA) has not yet decided if they will conduct a special secret ballot election among those civil servants to decertify the current union, the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE).

The FLRA took the unusual step this week by inviting interested persons to submit Amici Curiae Briefs to them on the legal question of whether the current Federal law under a specific section of the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978 and the FLRA's regulations apply to decertification petitions filed by individuals. Details of the case before the FLRA are here. A FLRA press release on this topic is here. Federal Register notice is here.

- Brief of the American Federtion of Government Employees AFL-CIO in Response to the Federal Labor Relations Authority Order IN 67 FLRA No. 65
- Brief of Petitioner Ronald H. Walsh

Boeing And Lockheed Strike Back Against Elon Musk, Business Insider

The head of Lockheed Martin's space division approached the issue in these stark terms during an interview with the Financial Times today, saying, "The government has a certification process that I think everybody ought to adhere to." But certification isn't quite this straightforward. The Air Force has only ever certified one company to launch its military and spy satellites: ULA. As Keith Cowing, a former NASA astrobiologist and blogger for NASA Watch explained to Business Insider, this very limited experience stacks the certification process against potential newcomers. "ULA has been launching rockets the traditional way since forever and that's the basis on which the Air Force and NASA builds their accreditation," Cowing said. "If someone comes along with a new or possibly better way of launching rockets you have an immediate conflict because the old way of doing things is how the new way is going to be evaluated."

Keith's note: David Chenette has been terminated as Heliophysics Director at NASA SMD. His termination is effective COB 20 June 2014. Chenette has been placed on paid administrative leave until that time. Chenette was escorted out of NASA HQ building last week by security personnel.

NASA SMD Internal Memo: Interim Heliophysics Director

"Dr. Jeffrey Newmark will be interim Director for NASA's Science Mission Directorate Heliophysics Division as of June 6, 2014."

NASA Heliophysics Director Fired

"You have demonstrated little effort to engage your personnel and provide an inclusive workplace that fosters development to their full potential, despite being instructed that this was your primary objective when you were selected for this position," Grunsfeld, said in the notice, adding that the former Lockheed Martin executive had sown "confusion and apprehension in the scientific community."

House Passes Bipartisan NASA Authorization Act

Space Subcommittee Chairman Steven Palazzo (R-Miss.): "Our bill represents a serious bipartisan commitment to space exploration at a serious time in our nation's history. American leadership in space depends on our ability to put people and sound policy ahead of politics. That is what we have tried to do with the House bill. I urge our friends in the Senate to move forward with us by adopting our commonsense compromise and passing the House bill. Our nation's space program needs this legislation."

House Passes NASA Reauthorization Act of 2014

"While this is not a perfect bill, especially in terms of its short duration and lack of meaningful funding guidance, the bill in its present form includes many important policy provisions that help guide the future of NASA at a critical time for our space program."

55-year old dark side of the moon mystery solved, Penn State

"UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- The "man in the moon" appeared when meteoroids struck the Earth-facing side of the moon creating large flat seas of basalt that we see as dark areas called maria. But no "face" exists on farside of the moon and now, Penn State astrophysicists think they know why."

Keith's note: This is an odd thing to put in the title i.e. "dark side of the Moon" since this constantly changes - and yet this research focuses on a specific part of the Moon that does not change. So I sent a note to the author, A'ndrea Elyse Messer, Ph.D. Sr. Science & Research Information Officer at Penn State. She replied by email "As it says in the story, the "dark" side of the moon is the side that is always turned away from the Earth. It does not change."

Baffled by her response, I asked her (again) about this and she followed with really goofy stuff i.e. "yes, the "dark" side of the moon is called that because it is the farside of the moon and was completely unknown until the Russians sent a probe around the back to photograph it. It has absolutely nothing to do with sunlight -- as is explained in the story. Dark is used in the same way it used to be used in Darkest Africa. It wasn't dark in africa, it was unknown."

ISEE-3 Reboot Project Is Already a Winner, editorial, Space News

"Inspiration is a word that gets bandied about a lot in the space business, often as justification for multibillion-dollar programs that never come to fruition, let alone inspire. ... Whatever the final outcome, the ISEE-3 Reboot Project has already succeeded in attracting an audience that the space community often has a hard time reaching. Credit the team, for having the vision and gumption to pull this off, and NASA, which hasn't always embraced these types of nontraditional endeavors. Together they have shown how prolific a little inspiration can be."

Orbital's Second Cygnus ISS Resupply Flight Postponed - NET July 1

"The new launch schedule reflects the timing of the investigation into the cause of an AJ26 engine failure that occurred in late May at NASA's Stennis Space Center during customary acceptance testing. All other elements of the Orb-2 mission are prepared to move forward, including the Cygnus spacecraft, which is fueled and, except for late-load cargo, is packed with its manifest of ISS cargo."

Keith's note: NASA's Astrobiology Institute has over 879,000 followers on its Twitter account @AstrobiologyNAI. Not once in the months that "Cosmos" has been on air has it ever made mention of the show - despite the fac that it amounted to a free multi-week advertisement for Astrobiology. If you go to the offocial NASA NAI website you will see that it totally ignored Cosmos too. Yet @NASA and other Twitter and social media accounts openly featured links of direct relevance to the show. Even the President chimed in on the opening episode.

The NASA Astrobiology Institute has made a colossal mistake by not taking advantage of this teaching moment for millions on national television - one wherein all of the things that NASA seeks to study under the banner of "astrobiology" have been thoroughly explained in terms almost anyone can grasp. Indeed, this amounts to utter incompetence on the part of the entire leadership and staff at the NASA Astrobiology Institute - and those at NASA Headquarters who manage Astrobiology as a whole. They simply do not care if they are doing their job and explaining their research to the rest of us who pay the bills.

Why Is NASA's Astrobiology Program STILL Ignoring "Cosmos"?, earier post

NASA budget bill could include a poison pill for SpaceX, other commercial companies, Houston Chronicle

"With NASA under the thumb of the Russian space program, Congress continues to play political games with the space agency. On Thursday the U.S. Senate's Appropriations Committee unanimously approved the fiscal year 2015 Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill. This means they agreed upon a spending plan to fund NASA, among other agencies. But buried within the bill could be something of a poison pill for a company like SpaceX. Allow me to explain."

Senate's NASA budget bill may hamper commercial spacecraft makers, Ars Technica

"When asked about the requirement, Shelby argued that it was necessary for transparency. But the whole idea behind adopting a fee-for-service approach to orbit is that it doesn't matter so much what the contractors are paying for their parts--if they offer the cheapest safe ride to orbit, that should be all that matters. Requiring contract pricing-type accounting, as proposed here, could be viewed as an action that unfairly grants advantage to Boeing."

Detection of ISEE-3 With a 4.5 Meter Dish in Estonia

"Viljo Allik, ES5PC, a member of ESTCube-1 student satellite team at Tartu Observatory, Estonia writes: "I did some receiving experiments today, both on 2217.5 MHz LHCP and 2270.4 MHz RHCP. The RHCP carrier is a few dB-s stronger than LHCP. Up to 10 dB carrier to noise can be seen in 1Hz bandwidth with my 4.5 m moonbounce dish at home and G4DDK preamp."

HAM Operator Detection of ISEE-3 With an 8 Foot Dish

@eb3frn #ISEE3 4Hz in 30 minutes spin observed in the signal recorded today with doppler compensated.

OIG Report: NASA's Use of Space Act Agreements

"The Office of Inspector General (OIG) audit released today found that NASA cannot identify the cost incurred or effectively measure the benefits derived from nonreimbursable Space Act Agreements because it lacks a close-out process or similar mechanism to document results. Although these agreements involve no exchange of funds, NASA nevertheless bears the expense associated with any personnel, facilities, expertise, or equipment it contributes. Consequently, objectively assessing the value these agreements bring to the Agency and to the broader aeronautical, scientific, and space exploration communities is difficult. In addition, the OIG concluded that NASA could better ensure equal access to its facilities and capabilities and increase interest in Space Act opportunities by expanding its efforts to solicit a broader number of potentially interested parties. The OIG also found that NASA has unclear guidance regarding when it is appropriate to use Space Act Agreements as opposed to leases and how the agreements must align with the Agency's mission."

Senate Appropriators Increase NASA Budget, Save SOFIA, Transfer Two Programs from NOAA to NASA, SpacePolicyOnline

"The Senate Appropriations Committee approved its FY2015 Commerce-Justice-Science (CJS) appropriations bill today. The bill would increase NASA's FY2015 budget by $439 million to $17.9 billion. While that figure is very similar to what the House approved, it would be allocated within NASA quite differently in some cases. Among the differences, the Senate committee would transfer two programs - Jason-3 and DSCOVR - to NASA from NOAA and increase NASA's earth science budget accordingly."

NASA budget bill could include a poison pill for SpaceX, other commercial companies

"With NASA under the thumb of the Russian space program, Congress continues to play political games with the space agency. On Thursday the U.S. Senate's Appropriations Committee unanimously approved the fiscal year 2015 Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill. This means they agreed upon a spending plan to fund NASA, among other agencies.

But buried within the bill could be something of a poison pill for a company like SpaceX. Allow me to explain."

How to Talk to a 36-year-old Space Probe (ISEE-3) with GNU Radio, a USRP, and a Big Dish, John Malsbury

As many of you have probably read, the ISEE-3 Reboot Project was able to successfully send uplink commands to the space craft. This was accomplished through a lot of team work, strong leadership by Dennis Wingo, and generous support from the community at large. Balint Seeber and I were fortunate enough to work on the communications for this project. When you tell most people that you designed a deep-space uplink modulator in a couple of days, there is a good chance that they will be fairly impressed.

"Communicating with a space probe using SDR: The @ISEE3Reboot Project" , presentation by Balint Seeber, Ettus Research (PDF)

This is the moment of First Contact with ISEE-3 last week at Arecibo. Austin Epps is on the left, Balint Seeber (doing the happy dance) is on the right. Dennis Wingo (on the phone) was up in the dome on the dish. Meanwhile, Keith was in his basement office answering media inquires while watching this all live via Skype, but he still took time out for his own happy dance.

Screengrab of today's ISEE-3 pass at Arecibo

ISEE-3 Status Report 5 June 2014 (Afternoon)

"We are doing a receive run - NOW - from Arecibo controlled via laptop from ISEE-3 Mission Control at McMoons in northern California. Taking data received on 29 May 2014, we have performed demodulation, error correction, and frame construction. Approximately 1,000 frames of telemetry have been received and processed. 773 Frames were received with no errors. More telemetry processing is currently underway."

ISEE-3 Status Report 5 June 2014 (Morning)

"We have received authorization from NASA to communicate with (and command) ISEE-3 until 25 June. Meanwhile, analysis of telemetry from ISEE- 3 shows that *ALL* of its science instruments are still powered on. Telemetry also shows that ISEE-3 has a power margin of +28 watts - after 36 years. It is important to note that ISEE-3 has not had a functioning battery for decades. Indeed, this power capacity is what was projected for the spacecraft to have had in 1982 after 4 years in space."

More information on the ISEE-3 Reboot Project

Scientists Finish Last-Ditch Plan to Save Infrared Spitzer Space Telescope, Space.com

"Spitzer likely can operate through 2018, Helou said. To get there, the project will have to trim its full-time staff, discontinue some engineering support services and cease efforts to make spacecraft operations more efficient, Helou said. There are about 45 full-timers on Spitzer now, including 27 at the Spitzer Science Center. The others are at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, which is run by Caltech, and Lockheed Martin Space Systems of Sunnyvale, California, which built the telescope."

Shutdown for Spitzer and MaxWISE?, earlier post

NRC human spaceflight report says NASA strategy can't get humans to Mars

"John Logsdon, professor emeritus of George Washington University's Space Policy Institute, said the report has a familiar ring to it. "They go through all this negative analysis and still conclude we ought to go to Mars. No one ever says, 'Let's lower our ambitions.' It's always, 'Increase the budget,' not 'Lower ambitions,'" he said. As for going to Mars: "It's a dream. It's been a dream forever. And will remain a dream unless something changes."

Mars or bust, says new report on NASA human space exploration, LA Times

"But the report said that if the U.S. is to take its space program to the next level, it will require more funds for the step-by-step missions that will lead to the Martian surface. It will also require, the authors said, more international cooperation -- including with China. Current federal law blocks NASA from working on bilateral projects with the Chinese."

New report: NASA Mars goal is not viable, Houston Chronicle

"There is also concern because, critics say, NASA is building this rocket without a clear path to Mars. As the report notes it is difficult to sustain a rocket program, absent a concrete, widely accepted goal, over multiple presidential administrations, and Congresses. "I would say the SLS is very vulnerable," said Mark Albrecht, an aerospace executive and principal space adviser to President George H.W. Bush, this year. "The wrong way to think about spaceflight is to build a bunch of stuff and then find an objective for it to achieve."

Keith's note: NRC says NASA Is on the wrong path to Mars. That's about the only thing they took a clear position on in their report. In writing their report the committee dodged all of the big questions with the excuse that it was beyond their scope/charter. Trivial mention was made of commercial alternatives or whether the SLS-based model is the right way to get to Mars. In the briefing yesterday Mitch Daniels said that funding for all of this is "the secondary question". So there you go - yet another space policy report - one that cost $3.6 million and is being delivered more than 3 years after it was requested. The White House and NASA will ignore it. Congress will wave it around and then ignore it too. In the end we'll all be where we are now - with incomplete plans, no strategy, a big rocket with no payload, and nothing close to a budget to make any of it happen.

Report From Slow Motion Advisory Committee on Human Space Flight, earlier post

NASA Release Final Commercial Orbital Transportation Services Report

"The report documents the work of NASA's Commercial Crew & Cargo Program Office (C3PO) between 2005 and 2013 to partner with private industry to take over more routine operations in low-Earth orbit. This move toward more cooperative engagement with industry partners allowed NASA to focus more on scientific research, technology development and exploration goals."

Iranian Cosmonauts?

Russia to train Iranian cosmonauts, build recon sats - report, Russia Today

"Russia and Iran have reportedly signed a secret deal on wide cooperation in space exploration, ranging from training Iranian cosmonauts in Russia to possible production of Earth observation and telecommunication satellites for Iran. ... Ironically, if Russia does train Iranians to go to space, it would be done at the same site where NASA astronauts are trained before taking a trip to the International Space Station in a Russian Soyuz spacecraft, the newspaper notes. Putting Iranians and Americans with access to sensitive information in the same room could be a security challenge."

NASA Should Maintain Long-Term Focus on Mars as "Horizon Goal" for Human Space Exploration

"The technical analysis completed for this study shows that for the foreseeable future, the only feasible destinations for human exploration are the moon, asteroids, Mars, and the moons of Mars," Lunine added. "Among this small set of plausible goals, the most distant and difficult is putting human boots on the surface of Mars, thus that is the horizon goal for human space exploration. All long-range space programs by our potential partners converge on this goal."

Pathways to Exploration: Rationales and Approaches for a U.S. Program of Human Space Exploration (report)

NASA Statement on National Research Council Report on Human Spaceflight

"NASA welcomes the release of this report. After a preliminary review, we are pleased to find the NRC's assessment and identification of compelling themes for human exploration are consistent with the bipartisan plan agreed to by Congress and the Administration in the NASA Authorization Act of 2010 and that we have been implementing ever since."

Proposed NASA plans don't include Space Florida in Volusia, Daytona News Journal

"NASA has unveiled an updated 20-year master plan for its Kennedy Space Center, hoping to expand its facilities and attract new commercial spaceflight, but its plans don't appear to include any mention of Space Florida's proposal to develop a commercial spaceport on NASA-owned land in the southern end of Volusia County. And that is drawing reaction, both from supporters and opponents of Space Florida's plans at Shiloh."

NASA Request for Information: Lease and Development of Kennedy Space Center Land Assets

"This Request for Information (RFI) is intended to solicit responses from the broader spaceport community to enable KSC to continue its transformation into a multi-user spaceport. This transformation is based upon the effective utilization of land assets that have been identified in the 2013-2032 KSC Master Plan."

Atlantic Council Captains of Industry with Gwynne Shotwell, President and COO of SpaceX

"The discussion will focus on the future of American space launch, an issue of critical and timely importance. Last month, Russia threatened to cut-off U.S. supply of the RD-180 engine, revealing just how problematic U.S. reliance on these Russian engines really is. SpaceX offers a wholly-American rocket with an outstanding record of reliability and mission success."

Marc's note: This event will be webcast starting at 10:30 a.m. EDT.

Marc's Update: Video: Gwynne Shotwell of SpaceX Discusses the Launch Industry , SpaceRef Business.

ISEE-3 Mission Status 3 June 2014

"Telemetry we have received from ISEE-3 shows that it is spinning at 19.16 rpm. The mission specification is 19.75 +/- 0.2 rpm. We have also learned that the spacecraft's attitude relative to the ecliptic is 90.71 degrees - the specification is 90 +/- 1.5 degrees. In addition, we are now receiving information from the spacecraft's magnetometer."

Will Google Build a Satellite Constellation?, SpaceRef Business

"For months now there have been rumours that Google would be building a constellation of "hundreds" of satellites. To this day we've yet to hear from Google which should tell you something."

ISEE-3 Reboot Project Update: BULLSEYE! and More

"If we can maneuver the spacecraft by June 17th we get the very small delta V number for the maneuver above. However, this starts to climb rapidly as the spacecraft gets closer to the moon. Also we cannot at this time rule out a lunar impact. It is imperative that we get a ranging pass as soon as possible. We also need time to not only evaluate the health of the spacecraft, but to test the systems, the catalyst bed heaters for the propulsion system, the valve heaters, analyze the rest of the propulsion, power, and attitude control system as rapidly as possible. This will be a lot of commanding so we have to move into high gear next week."

Pioneering Space: The Next Steps on the Path to Mars

"Over the past four years, NASA has been implementing the NASA Authorization Act of 2010, which was enacted on a broad bipartisan basis and reflects agreement between Congress and the Administration on the nation's next steps in space.  A new paper from our Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate (HEOMD) explains NASA's roadmap to send astronauts to an asteroid by 2025 and Mars in the 2030s."

NASA's Strategic Plan Isn't Strategic - or a Plan

LDSD Testing for Large Payloads to Mars on Tuesday

"To duplicate many of the most important aspects of Mars' thin atmosphere, NASA plans to use the very thin air found high in Earth's stratosphere as a test bed for the LDSD mission. NASA has identified six potential launch dates for the balloon carrying LDSD: June 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, and 14. The June 3 launch window extends from 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. HST, or 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. EDT. The test can be viewed live on NASA TV beginning at 7:45 a.m. HST (1:45 p.m. EDT) or on the web at:
http://www.nasa.gov/ntv"

Frank Spurlock

From his friends: "Late last week, we lost a remarkable unsung hero of the NASA's launch vehicle program. Frank Spurlock was one of the most accomplished and well regarded supervisors here at NASA Glenn (then Lewis) because of his exceptional technical achievements and beyond the call of duty care he took in developing his people. Frank personally derived the amazingly complex variational calculus equations and wrote the 3D computer program which NASA Lewis relied upon to calculate performance and trajectories for Atlas/Centaur and Titan/Centaur launch vehicles for almost 30 years. These trajectory data were then supplied to the launch vehicle contractors to facilitate their trajectory design & enable the steering coefficients to be calculated."


Loading

 



Monthly Archives

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from June 2014 listed from newest to oldest.

May 2014 is the previous archive.

July 2014 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.