February 2022 Archives

Roscosmos.ru Is offline

Keith's note: First Dmitry Rogozin tweets

Если европейские астронавты хотят иметь возможность самостоятельно добираться до МКС, то использование отработанного, надежнейшего пилотируемого корабля "Союз МС" с не менее надежной ракетой семейства "Союз-2" с французского космодрома в Куру европейским стартовым расчетом, ...

Google translation: If European astronauts want to be able to get to the ISS on their own, then the use of the proven, most reliable Soyuz MS manned spacecraft with an equally reliable rocket of the Soyuz-2 family from the French cosmodrome in Kourou by the European launch crew, ...

Then he tweets

В ответ на санкции Евросоюза в отношении наших предприятий Роскосмос приостанавливает сотрудничество с европейскими партнерами по организации космических запусков с космодрома Куру и отзывает свой технический персонал, включая сводный стартовый расчёт, из Французской Гвианы.

Google translation: In response to EU sanctions against our enterprises, Roskosmos is suspending cooperation with European partners in organizing space launches from the Kourou cosmodrome and withdrawing its technical personnel, including the consolidated launch crew, from French Guiana.

Ukraine invasion is complicating US-Russia relations not just on Earth, but 250 miles in space, ABC 13 Houston

"NASAwatch.com editor, Keith Cowing isn't surprised NASA isn't saying too much at this point. "Why isn't NASA talking right now? They probably don't have cogent answers to give you other than, 'Yeah, we're scared and B, we don't know what's going to happen,'" Cowing explained. In a series of tweets, the head of the Russian space agency, Dmitry Rogozin said sanctions could lead to the destruction of the ISS, "If you block cooperation with us who will save the ISS from an unguided de-orbit to impact on the territory of the US or Europe," he said. Rogozin also appeared to take aim at President Joe Biden, "I suggest that you not behave like an irresponsible gamer and disavow the 'Alzheimer's Sanctions.' Friendly advice," he said. Cowing said he's never seen anything like the Russian leader's response to the sanctions. "I saw the first tweet and it said Alzheimer's, and I thought 'Is that a typo? No, he said Alzheimer's,'" Cowing recalled. "I cannot fathom anybody heading any space agency, American or otherwise, ever, ever talking about that about anybody about anything."

International Space Station 'largely isolated' from tensions over Ukraine, AP

"It's possible to imagine a break with Russia that would endanger the space station, but that would be at the level of a dropping diplomatic relations," said Pace. "That would be something that would be an utterly last resort so I don't really see that happening unless there is a wider military confrontation."

Space Cooperation With Russia Remains on Even Keel For Now At Least, Space Policy Online

"At a George Washington University Space Policy Institute seminar this morning, Valda Vikmanis-Keller, Director of the State Department's Office of Space Affairs, said cooperation continues with Russia's State Space Corporation Roscosmos and the other ISS partners "to maintain safe and continuous operations." As planned, three Russian cosmonauts will launch to ISS on March 18, and two Russians and one American will return on March 30."

Is our space partnership with Russia immune from Earthly conflicts?, opinion, Terry Virts, The Hill

"Which brings us back to the elephant in the room: What is the "point of no return" for Russia vis à vis the ISS partnership. Is it invading Ukraine, just a little bit? Is it a full-scale invasion, with Russian boots in Kiev? Is it something else? This question was never even on the horizon until Putin decided to try to return Russia to the glory days of the 20th century. Sadly, this point of no return for our space partnership is now in sight. Let us hope that he changes course before it's too late."

U.S. embassy tells Americans: have an evacuation plan from Russia, Reuters

"The U.S. embassy in Russia cautioned Americans on Sunday to have evacuation plans, citing the threat of attacks in Moscow and along the Russian border with Ukraine, drawing a rebuke from Russian foreign ministry. "There have been threats of attacks against shopping centres, railway and metro stations, and other public gathering places in major urban areas, including Moscow and St. Petersburg as well as in areas of heightened tension along the Russian border with Ukraine," the embassy said."

Keith's note: I wonder what plans NASA has in place for personnel stationed at Mission Control, Star City, etc. So far the ISS has really been isolated from terrestrial politics. That may not be true much longer. FYI Roscosmos chief Dmitriy Rogozin has been on an official U.S. State Department sanction list since 2014 for his involvement in (you guessed it) the previous Ukraine invasion in 2014. Media reports suggest that Roscosmos was thinking of taking legal action against an American astronaut for the hole that someone in Russia drilled inside a Soyuz. So, its anyone's guess what they might or might not do in the space sector after the shooting begins. Stay tuned.

CHANGES TO THE Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List SINCE JANUARY 1, 2014, State Department

"ROGOZIN, Dmitriy (a.k.a. ROGOZIN, Dmitry; a.k.a. ROGOZIN, Dmitry Olegovich); DOB 21 Dec 1963; POB Moscow, Russia; Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation (individual) [UKRAINE2]."

Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List, February 17, 2022, State Department

"ROGOZIN, Dmitry Olegovich (a.k.a. ROGOZIN, Dmitriy; a.k.a. ROGOZIN, Dmitry); DOB 21 Dec 1963; POB Moscow, Russia; Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation (individual) [UKRAINE-EO13661]."

Keith's note: It is always interesting to be on a TV show where they do live translation since I used to work as a professional sign language interpreter doing pretty much the same thing.

Polaris Program Announced - Human Dragon And Starship Missions

"Today Jared Isaacman, founder and CEO of Shift4 (NYSE: FOUR), announced the Polaris Program, a first-of-its-kind effort to rapidly advance human spaceflight capabilities, while continuing to raise funds and awareness for important causes here on Earth. The program will consist of up to three human spaceflight missions that will demonstrate new technologies, conduct extensive research, and ultimately culminate in the first flight of SpaceX's Starship with humans on board. The first mission, Polaris Dawn, is targeted for no earlier than the fourth quarter of this year and will be commanded by Isaacman, an accomplished pilot and astronaut who led Inspiration4, the world's first all-civilian mission to orbit that helped raise over $240 million for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital®."

Aerojet Chairman Sues CEO Over Control of Rocket-Engine Maker's Board, Blooomberg

"Aerojet Rocketdyne Inc.'s chairman and three directors asked a judge to block the CEO and her allies on the board from using company resources in a fight for control of the rocket-engine maker. A lawsuit unsealed Friday revealed long-simmering tensions between Chairman Warren Lichtenstein and Chief Executive Officer Eileen Drake who are at the heart of a proxy battle launched as U.S. antitrust regulators move to block Aerojet's $4.4 billion takeover by Lockheed Martin Corp. The dispute has left the board split between warring factions."

Lockheed Martin Terminates Agreement To Acquire Aerojet Rocketdyne

"Lockheed Martin Corporation (NYSE: LMT) today announced it has terminated its agreement to acquire Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: AJRD). The decision to terminate the agreement follows the U.S. Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) lawsuit filed late last month seeking a preliminary injunction to block the acquisition."

Aerojet Rocketdyne Positioned to Continue Driving Growth, Profitability and Value Creation -- Announces Termination of Merger Agreement with Lockheed

"Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: AJRD) (the "Company") today reaffirmed its strong foundation for substantial value creation following the termination of its merger agreement with Lockheed Martin Corporation."

10 Feb 11:00 pm EST

11 Feb 1:00 am EST

The Power Of Ten: Meet The 10 Winners Of NASA's 10th Annual Space Apps Challenge

"The level of global participation and team dynamics underscored NASA's efforts to ensure that the Space Apps Challenge community reflected the level of diversity that exists globally. The challenges spanned a wide range of topics, talents, and interests creating an environment where anyone and everyone could participate and add value. Of the participating 4,534 teams, 37 teams were selected as finalists, 20 teams received honorable mention status, and 10 teams were announced as the global winners."

Keith's note: Cool stuff. NASA's global reach is unparalleled. Space Apps reaches people that might not ever have a chance to interact with space technology - thus leaving a positive impression of NASA - and of America. This is soft power projection at its finest. You'd think that NASA would be working to do this everywhere that it can. Guess again.

Some of these tweets about the Artemis Accords from the State Department - @SciDiplomacyUSA and @usunvie - have been up for over 7 hours. Others have been up for several days. You'd think that NASA OIIR or someone at NASA PAO - someone paying attention to broader White House policy objectives - would pay attention to these free chances to advance NASA's soft power projection. A simple retweet by @NASA would reach over 52 million followers. Globally. Guess again.

NASA is scattered when it comes to using its best assets for global reach. One moment they excel. The next moment they flop - miserably.

NASA: Lessons from Ongoing Major Projects Could Improve Future Outcomes, GAO

"The complexity of NASA's major projects means they will always carry inherent risk--but prior GAO work found that management and oversight problems contribute to cost and schedule growth. As NASA works to execute new missions, including those that rely on commercial partners, GAO's past work provides lessons that, if applied, could strengthen NASA's management and improve outcomes of its major projects.

For example, NASA could:

Better manage cost and schedule. Increases associated with NASA's most costly and complex missions can have cascading effects on the rest of the portfolio. For example, in April 2013, GAO found that cost growth for the now $10 billion James Webb Space Telescope would have reverberating effects on the NASA acquisition portfolio for years to come.

Minimize risky decisions. NASA leadership has approved decisions that compound technical challenges. For example, in May 2021, GAO found that NASA's planned pace to develop a human landing system (illustrated below) was months faster than other spaceflight programs. The initial proposals also included unproven technologies, which adds technical and schedule risk to the program.

Establish a governance structure. While it has made some progress, NASA has not yet finished establishing its governance structure to oversee and manage its Artemis effort--a series of missions to return astronauts to the lunar surface. In December 2019, GAO recommended that NASA determine a schedule for integration reviews to help ensure that requirements between mission and program levels are reconciled. NASA held the first review in fall 2021. However, in September 2021, NASA announced a reorganization of its human exploration mission directorate. It is too soon to know how these changes will affect NASA's governance of Artemis missions or programs."

Keith's note: If I included a lits of previous postings about GAO reports that addressed these topics at NASA over the past 25 years it would require a lot of scrolling to reach the bottom of the list. NASA does not listen to external advice and never will. And when they are asked why things are so screwed up they tell you that "space is hard".

Douglas Trumbull

Douglas Trumbull, Effects Wizard Behind 2001: A Space Odyssey and Blade Runner, Has Died, Gizmodo

"Science fiction cinema would not be what it is today without the work of Douglas Trumbull. Trumbull helped drive effects on films like 2001: A Space Odyssey, Blade Runner, and Close Encounters of the Third Kind, each time changing the field in ways that would resonate for decades. After an incredible life and career, Trumbull lost a two year battle with cancer this week and passed away at the age of 79."

Keith's note: In 2011 I was attending the "100 Year Starship" symposium in Florida. My friend June Scobee Rodgers and I had lunch with Douglas Trumbull. At one point I pulled out my phone and showed him a picture of the Arthur Clarke Greenhouse that Marc Boucher and I funded and built on Devon Island. I told Trumbull where my inspiration had come from: the film "Silent Running" which I saw in High School. I saw it as a teen during the height of the environmental awakening that led to "Earth Day", so its overt environmental themes rang true with me. They still do.

I was, of course, already awed by having seen "2001 A Space Odyssey", Trumbull's SFX magnum opus. But it was Silent Running, a "little " film, that left an even deeper impression on me and led to me to eventually becoming a space biologist. I showed Trumbull a picture of the greenhouse after it had been initially constructed and then reminded him of the giant greenhouse domes and little robots that epitomized Silent Running. It was these memes that led me to suggest building this greenhouse. He smiled. Years later when I was taking suborbital astronaut centrifuge training at NASTAR I got to experience the simulation of going past the Karman line and the large image that the compartment's screen showed me at apogee. I told Trumbull that at that moment I said it was "like being inside of 2001". Trumbull smiled again.

Few people have had more of an impact on how we expected the future to look like - so much so that we often make the future look like he imagined it because that is the way it is supposed to look.

Ad Astra Douglas Trumbull.

What a NASA astronaut learned about working with Russians, Opinion by Leroy Chiao, CNN

"At first glance, it may seem truly remarkable that the ISS partner nations -- the countries in the European Space Agency, Japan, Canada, the US and Russia -- continue to work together so well, given that they often have differing views on world events and issues. But after some thought, it becomes obvious why international tension does not tend to reach the space station. Every partner has a large vested interest in the success of ISS and its continuing operations. Astronauts, cosmonauts, flight controllers and technical specialists are dedicated to its success, and are, by and large, given the necessary resources and then left alone to do their jobs. Between the international professionals on the ISS and everyone who works on the program, from flight controllers to engineers, strong friendships form. Honest -- and sometimes heated -- discussions take place. But the friendships endure and everyone continues to pull in the same direction."

What Will A Ukraine War Do To The ISS Program?, earlier post

Biden's top science adviser, Eric Lander, resigns amid reports of bullying, Politico

"President Joe Biden's top science adviser, Eric Lander, resigned on Monday evening under an avalanche of backlash over reports of his bullying and mistreatment of subordinates. The resignation came despite initial insistence from the White House that Lander would remain in his post while corrective actions and remediations were applied to assure a better workplace environment at the Office of Science and Technology Policy."

Chairwoman Johnson and Ranking Member Lucas Request Details of White House Investigation of OSTP Director Lander's Misconduct

"Today, Politico published an article outlining allegations of inappropriate behavior by Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) Director Eric Lander. The article references an internal investigation conducted by the White House and disciplinary measures taken in response to the finding that Dr. Lander violated the Executive Office of the President's Safe and Respectful Workplace Policy. In response, Chairwoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) and Ranking Member Frank Lucas (R-OK) sent a letter to President Biden today requesting a copy of the investigation report and a briefing on the steps being taken to ensure the workforce environment at OSTP is safe, respectful, and furthers the Office's critical missions."

Last Thursday on 27 January, 2022 NASA marked its Day of Remembrance. A time that is set aside to remember those astronauts who died in the line of duty.

On this episode of the Terranauts podcast I talk with Helene and Chris Hadfield about the Day of Remembrance, about their memories of some of the crew who did not make it home from space. We also talk about what remembering means to them and about how we do and should pay appropriate tribute to the crew that have lost their lives and to their families who sacrificed their loved ones in the pursuit of Humanity's journey off the planet.

Listen in. A SpaceQ podcast.

NASA Invites Media to Uncrewed Artemis Moon Mission Update, NASA

"NASA will host a media teleconference at noon EST today, Wednesday, Feb. 2, to discuss progress toward the launch of the agency's uncrewed Artemis I mission. Audio of the teleconference will stream live online at: https://www.nasa.gov/live. The agency will roll the combined Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and Orion spacecraft out of the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) to Launch Pad 39B at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida for testing no earlier than March 2022. While the teams are not working any major issues, NASA has added additional time to complete closeout activities inside the VAB prior to rolling the rocket out for the first time."


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