Astronauts: February 2012 Archives

Janice Voss

Keith's note: I just learned that Astronaut Janice Voss has died. Details to follow.

Astronaut Janice Voss Has Died

"NASA astronaut Janice Voss passed away from cancer overnight after a courageous battle. One of only six women who have flown in space five times, Voss' career was highlighted by her work and dedication to scientific payloads and exploration."

Reader note 31 Jan: "The following relates to previous discussions on NASAwatch about what text, pictures, items, etc belong to NASA and which belong to the astronauts themselves. I really have been enjoying reading Don Pettit's blog at Air & Space about his life on the ISS. It appears that NASA or someone has censored his blog. His blog entry "Remove before Flight" posted yesterday 1/3/0/2011 is no longer available. Try: this original link and it comes back with nothing. If you enter this into Google, you will see Google's cache of the post: cache:http://blogs.airspacemag.com/pettit/2012/01/30/remove-before-flight/ . I'm also attaching an image of Google's cached page in case the Google cached page disappears."

Keith's 1 Feb update: I am still waiting for a NASA PAO response. I have also requested the original image of the "CAUTION" tag so that we can see what it says.

Keith's 6 Feb update: Well, it has been a week and JSC PAO has said nothing. This is what I have learned behind the scenes. Fact is, JSC PAO did not have a role in this - at first - since they were out of the loop until the blog post was deleted and inquiries started. The Astronaut Office ordered the removal of this post. Don Pettit's blogs were being sent directly to Air & Space magazine without prior approval by the Astronaut Office or JSC PAO - just as Ron Garan's postings to "Fragile Oasis" had been handled throughout his entire mission. The Astronaut Office saw this post by Pettit, thought that it was unacceptable, and told Air & Space that they had to take it offline. The post remains offline with no reason given as to why it was unacceptable or what could be done to make it acceptable. (you can still read it here) Now, JSC PAO hopes that I will get tired of beating this issue and then move on. JSC PAO is also afraid that if the whole story got out that the Astronaut Office would be made to look bad. So, if JSC responds formally to my request you can rest assured that they are not telling the whole story.

Its too bad that control freaks have gotten the middle of this. Pettit (and Garan before him) are unusually good at relating their experiences to wide audiences at home. Now these long-term ISS residents will have official worriers from the Astronaut Office sitting in a cubicle trying to make sure that the fresh and unfiltered nature of these blog postings never sees the light of day.

Spanning the HEOMD-SMD Gap

NASA science chief advocates ties with human spaceflight, SpaceflightNow

"Grunsfeld told Spaceflight Now he met with Bill Gerstenmaier, head of NASA's human exploration division, in his first week in office. "One of the reasons I'm in this job now is because NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden believed that teaming with human spaceflight on those things that make sense, on our exploration program, for science to take advantage of the resources of human spaceflight, for human spaceflight to be informed by the science we can do at planetary destinations, for instance, can make the whole program stronger," Grunsfeld said."

NASA Receives Second Highest Number of Astronaut Applications

"More than 6,300 individuals applied to become a NASA astronaut between Nov. 15, 2011 and Jan. 27, the second highest number of applications ever received by the agency. After a thorough selection process, which includes interviews and medical examinations, nine to 15 people will be selected to become part of the 21st astronaut class."

Keith's note: According to NASA PAO, NASA received 8,000 astronaut applications in 1978. Hmm ... It was during 1977 that NASA used Nichelle Nichols to help encourage a broader range of applicants. According to Memory Alpha: "After meeting Nichols at a Star Trek convention in 1975, scientist Dr. Jesco von Puttkamer suggested that the actress take part in NASA's recruitment drive. Nichols took up the role in 1977, making recruitment and training films, and supervising astronaut recruits and hopefuls. She noted that the applicant count went from fewer than 100 a year to 1,649 within six months."


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This page is an archive of entries in the Astronauts category from February 2012.

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