Exploration: August 2007 Archives

Space program lunacy, opinion, LA Times

"... Indeed, one of the most popular complaints about space exploration is that it wastes billions of dollars that could be better spent on problems here. With global warming an increasing threat, NASA has a chance to prove what it has long asserted - that a space program provides practical benefits to Earth-bound humanoids."

Let's mine the blamed thing, opinion, Homer Hickam, LA Times

"So here we are, working to go again, and folks like Mr. Thornton feel obligated to come out and say it's a big waste of tax money. Don't get me started on how most of the federal budget is spent (i.e., tossed down a rat hole), but NASA's little 0.5% of it, and the even smaller percentage for our new moon program, is at least going toward something that might actually allow our country to have a future. That's right. I'm talking national survival, folks, because to get by, we might need to go to the moon and just mine the blamed thing!"

NASA at 50: Looking for That Second Wind, SpaceRef

"Everyday life" is more than just what "spin offs" may (or may not) have had an origin somewhere, decades ago, in some research NASA did for another reason. "Everyday life" has to do with what you think about in the shower, on the way to work, and when you put your kids to bed.

What am I getting at? At the heart of all of this, in one way or another, is the notion "where do I fit in the whole scope of space exploration? What about me? Do I get to go? Do my kids get to go? If I don't get (or want) to go, how do I get to express my excitement and interest in those who do these amazing things? What did I do today that might have been different - less productive, or just simply less fun, had space exploration stayed inside science fiction books?"

NASA Arctic Mars Analog Svalbard Expedition Field Report (AMASE 2007): Arriving in Longyearbyen, Kirsten Fristad, NASA GSFC

"I became more and more excited the closer I got to Longyearbyen, Svalbard. After a busy year working in the SAM Lab at NASA Goddard I am returning to the arctic as part of the Arctic Mars Analog Svalbard Expedition, otherwise known as AMASE 07. No longer a 'newbie' to AMASE, I know I am quickly approaching long work days, sleepless nights and instrument malfunctions. I am also approaching jovial camaraderie, new experiences and the most beautiful landscapes I have ever set eyes on."

ESA AMASE student blog: Arrival at Longyearbyen, Thea Falkenbergand, ESA

"We arrived at Longyearbyen at about 14:00 yesterday with only a single suitcase missing, which fortunately turned up later when the rest of our cargo was located. About half of the expedition arrived on this flight, some with up to 200 kg overweight ;-)."

Arctic Mars Analog Svalbard Expedition
Previous AMASE postings (2006 and 2007)

Meet the New Horizons Pluto Pals!

"New Horizons wasn't the only voyage launched on January 19, 2006 - this week we welcome the "Pluto Pals" to the New Horizons team, five kids who were born on the same day our spacecraft embarked on its historic journey the outer solar system. The idea for the club came to New Horizons Principal Investigator Alan Stern last year as he scanned news coverage of the spacecraft's launch. "I saw a fantastic Florida Today image of two boys watching the launch," he said. "It made me think it would be fun to follow some children who would grow up during our 9 1/2 year trip to Pluto."

New Horizons Mission to Begin Pluto Encounter April 12th, 2015 in Salute to Early Space Explorers

"Yuri's Night is proud to announce that New Horizons, the NASA spacecraft currently en route to the ninth planet, Pluto, and the Kuiper Belt, will begin its final encounter with the Pluto system on April 12, 2015."

Space: the search for a political consensus, Frank Sietzen, The Space Review

"For many of us George W. Bushs silence in neither explaining nor defending his Vision for Space Exploration is not surprising. What propelled the Bush administration to set in motion the series of interlocking policy decisions that became known as the Visionretirement of the Shuttle in 2010, redirection of ISS research, returning astronauts to the Moon and development of the capability to send humans to Marswas neither interest in space nor a systematic review of federal science policy. It was the February 1, 2003 Columbia accident."

Keith Cowing's Devon Island Journal - 10 July 2007: Back to the Arctic

"For me this is my third trip to Devon Island - my third mission, if you will. My first trip in 2002 involved the establishment of a greenhouse that my company donated to the Haughton-Mars Project. The second trip involved follow-up activities for that greenhouse's operations. Both of those trips were a few days shy of a month in length. As such, I got a nice healthy dose of what life was like in a remote and extreme location.

Yet there had to be more than just these two trips."

11 July 2007: Heading North
12 July 2007: Dropping Onto Devon Island
13 July 2007: Teaching About Roses on Mars
14 July 2007: Using an iPhone on Mars
15 July 2007: Surreal Landscapes and Late Evening Thoughts
16-17 July 2007: Webcasts, Robots, Astronauts, and Dogs
18 July 2007: Ancient Memorials for Modern Space Explorers
19 July 2007: Sheer Audacity
20-22 July 2007: The Persistence of Memory
27 July 2007: Polar Deserts and Global TV

NEEMO 13 Underway

NASA Announces Next Undersea Exploration Mission Dates and NEEMO Crew

"NASA will send three astronauts and a Constellation Program aerospace engineer into the ocean depths off the Florida coast from Aug. 6 to 15. They will test lunar exploration concepts and a suite of medical objectives for long-duration spaceflight."

Live webcams
Previous NEEMO news
NASA's NEEMO page

Editor's 10 Aug update: NASA PAO as dropped the ball with NEEMO yet again. If you go to NASA's NEEMO page there are no NASA updates at all with regard to the NEEMO 13 mission - even though it is now half way completed (day 5 out of 10). Yet if you go to this University of North Carolina website there are several reports (with images) - but they are from someone who is not inside NEEMO. Why conduct these events (they are not cheap) if you don't tell anyone what you are doing, NASA?

Editor's 12 Aug update: NEEMO updates are now being posted. Read them all here.

Why Progressives Should Care About Human Destiny in Space, AlterNet

"The crew of the Challenger, which perished on Jan. 28, 1986, when the space shuttle disintegrated over the Atlantic Ocean 73 seconds after liftoff, had backups. Christa McAuliffe, who was selected to be the first "schoolteacher in space," was herself backed up by another schoolteacher. Her name was Barbara Radding Morgan, who taught elementary school in Fresno, Calif., and was then 34 years old. On Wednesday evening, more than 21 years later, Ms. Morgan, now 55, went up on the space shuttle Endeavor as NASA's first "educator in space" to continue the mission that Ms. McAuliffe began two long decades ago. And she's doing it from the same place where McAuliffe sat -- in the middle of the lower deck."

NASA Administrator Announces Senior Leadership Appointments

"On Friday, NASA Administrator Michael Griffin named Richard J. Gilbrech as associate administrator for the Exploration Systems Mission Directorate, the NASA division designing the next generation of spacecraft to return astronauts to the moon and eventually journey to Mars. Gilbrech currently serves as the director of NASA's Stennis Space Center in Mississippi. Griffin also named Robert D. Cabana, deputy director of NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, to replace Gilbrech as center director at Stennis."

NASA KSC Solicitation: Construction of the Constellation Crew Launch Vehicle Mobile Launcher

"NASA/KSC is issuing Request for Proposal (RFP)] NNK07201535R for the Construction of the Constellation Crew Launch Vehicle (CLV) Mobile Launcher (ML). This RFP is for the construction of the Constellation CLV ML. This acquisition will be conducted as a negotiated full and open competition. The ML acquisition evaluation is being conducted in two parts due to the aggressive Constellation Program schedule and need for the ML."

Lunar living - Virginia engineers are testing an inflatable, expandable habitat, Times-Dispatch

"Engineers here are testing an inflatable, expandable planetary surface habitat. The early model is a 20-foot-high, 12-foot-wide capsule on legs and covered in white nylon webbing. Later models could be used someday as living quarters, storage units and air locks for astronauts stationed on the moon."


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This page is an archive of entries in the Exploration category from August 2007.

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