Astronauts: November 2011 Archives

Apollo 13 checklist brings $388,375 at Heritage Auctions in Dallas

"The Apollo 13 Lunar Module Systems Activation Checklist upon which Commander James Lovell made his handwritten calculations to guide his wounded spacecraft and crew home - scant two hours after uttering the famous words, "Houston, we've had a problem." - consigned by Commander Lovell himself, brought $388,375 today as the centerpiece of Heritage Auctions' Nov. 30 Space Signature(R) Auction."

NASA IG Sends Cops in Flack Vests After 74 Year Old, 4'11" Grandmother, earlier post

"Soon after settling into a booth, [74-year-old suspect Joann] Davis said, she pulled out the moon sample and about half a dozen sheriff's deputies and NASA investigators rushed into the eatery."

Former Apollo astronaut relents, gives camera from moon mission to Smithsonian, earlier post

"Mitchell said he doesn't understand why the sale of the camera so inflamed government attorneys. He and other astronauts have given away and sold other mementos that were given to them from their moon missions. "This whole thing, frankly, seems to be some young new lawyer in the organization trying to make a name for himself," he said. "It's been frustrating."

The Alan Bean Online Gallery

"Thus the base layer of all of his paintings contain small pieces of his space suit and the command module and also very small amounts of Moon dust. Finally, the paintings, themselves, convey unique memories of an unique era."

Keith's note: It should be abundantly clear by now that the NASA IG and General Counsel offices have no consistent policy whatsoever when it comes to selling historic Apollo era artifacts. In some cases you can sell pieces of the Moon, and in other cases you cannot. In some cases you can sell items used during Apollo missions, in other cases, you cannot. And of course, it is also acceptable practice to rough up little old ladies and threaten lawsuits against elderly former astronauts.

Photos: Robonaut-2 Gestures In Space

Keith's note: I have seen Robonaut-2 in action and its dexterity is interesting - and rather facile. So ... how could NASA demonstrate this dexterity in new ways, make it a little more "human" or approachable, - and reach a new segment of the populace that is normally overlooked? Program it to use Sign Language. Background: I worked for more than a decade as a professional certified (educational) sign language interpreter. This idea occurred to me when I was looking at this picture and instantly wondered what Robonaut-2 "wanted" or why it was seemingly in the process of saying "here" or maybe "give". Imagine how fast a video of Robonaut-2 saying something in American Sign Language from space would go viral. NASA could have a competition wherein people submit questions for it to answer. NASA already has a signing astronaut and SMD and NLSI already put out books in Braille. Just a thought.

P.S. Maybe he could repeat what that alien signed in "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" (video). If you watch that scene, the alien that is signing actually moves its hand like Robonaut does. I first saw this film when it came out with my hearing impaired roommates - none of us knew that aliens were going to sign so we all freaked out when one of them did. Of course, it was natural to us that all aliens would know how to sign - since they all already speak English, right?

A Post-Mission Conversation With NASA NEEMO Aquanaut Steve Squyres

"Cowing: Let's go back to what we were talking about several weeks ago before you began your NEEMO mission - the idea that being there - and doing it as - opposed to intellectualizing things ...

Squyres: ... yea, it is really different when you actually have to do it!"

Astronaut confident NASA will rebound from 'limbo', Des Moines Register

"Clayton Anderson] said the agency needs a firm target, such as a manned mission to Mars. President Barack Obama has backed off that plan, shelving a return to the moon and instead looking at a possible asteroid visit. "We lack leadership," Anderson said in an interview with The Des Moines Register. "We've had lulls like this before, but I'm not sure we've had many that are quite as tough as what we have now. Now, we are in a limbo state." ... Anderson said he most likely won't fly again after getting crosswise with the current NASA brass. He had some choice words for Mission Control about space station procedures and life, and the bosses didn't want to hear it, he said. "They told me I was too candid and blunt with Mission Control and others, and that my skill set did not match long-term space missions," Anderson said."

How an astronaut with Parkinson's Disease still won his own space race, The Telgraph

"They never told me to keep it quiet but I knew if I told the world I had Parkinson's that would put Nasa in a bad place. It would make press conferences all about me, it would raise questions."

The Astronaut's Secret, Kickstarter

"What is "The Astronaut's Secret"? "The Astronaut's Secret" will be a 60 minute documentary about the life of Astronaut Rich Clifford. It will uncover how he and NASA kept his Parkinson's Disease a secret for 17 years, explore the impact of the end of the Shuttle Program on Rich's life, and follow him as he speaks nationwide about the importance of Early Detection of Parkinson's Disease."

The Astronaut's Secret, official website

Keith's note: NASA Watch readers need to fund this project. I have pledged $100. Rich has a compelling story to tell. Help him tell it.

Status: 138 BACKERS - $17,929 PLEDGED OF $48,000 GOAL - 5 DAYS TO GO

Status: 143 BACKERS - $18,679 PLEDGED OF $48,000 GOAL - 4 DAYS TO GO

Keith's note: Why is former NASA astronaut Mark Kelly still using an official NASA Twitter account ShuttleCDRKelly - with the NASA logo and links to NASA - more than a month after he retired from NASA? Do the rules apply differently to former astronauts than they do for everyone else? Anyone visiting this Twitter page would get the clear impression that Kelly still works for NASA. Yet NASA continues to allow Kelly to give that incorrect impression - even when you bring it to the agency's attention. @NASA_Astronauts follows him as well. In addition, Kelly is using a Twitter following that his webpage generated during official duty at NASA. Yet non-astronaut former NASA employees would get in big trouble if they did this after they left the agency. Double standard, anyone?

Jose Hernandez, Social Media, and Politics, earlier post

Keith's update: Mark Kelly has changed the appearance of his Twitter page so as to not make it look exactly like the official NASA Twitter page that it once was - one that was overtly promoted by NASA in press releases and updated by NASA personnel during his missions. This is what it looked like before the change. That said, Mark Kelly was prompt - and proper - in responding. Also, as a result of this posting, it is my understanding that NASA CIO and PAO have started to amend and clarify their guidelines with regard to situations such as this so as to make things clearer for others who depart the agency.

Group Letter From Former Astronauts To Congress Regarding NASA's Commercial Crew Program

"We understand there are many programs competing for limited NASA funding; however, Commercial Crew funding must be kept as one of the top priorities if America is to retain its position as the world's number one spacefaring nation, ahead of other spaceflight powers like Russia and China. Simply put, Commercial Crew represents the most rapid way for America to get back its human space transportation capability following retirement of the Space Shuttle, and for America to end the "gap" in human spaceflight. The US will be back with its own capability soonest through Commercial Crew. Without Commercial Crew, America will be on the sidelines for years and years. And as long as America lacks a domestic means to access and maintain our $100 billion International Space Station, then we are running a risk that any setback to the Russian space program or a deterioration of US-Russian relations could force us to temporarily or perhaps permanently evacuate the American crew from the ISS."

Photo: JAXA Astronaut Satoshi Furukawa Backlit Only By Earthshine

"Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Satoshi Furukawa, Expedition 29 flight engineer, holds a still camera while looking through a window in the Cupola of the International Space Station Space Station."


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This page is an archive of entries in the Astronauts category from November 2011.

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