Exploration: October 2007 Archives

Extreme Explorers Discuss Martian Sand Dunes, Cat 5 Hurricanes, Exploding Shuttles, Wired

"A who's who of exploration have joined former NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe at Louisiana State University for two days of discussion on risk and exploration. The content is better than survivor and gives you a front row seat on some of the riskiest and most inspiring expeditions on and off the planet."

Dude, Where's My Moon Rover?, Wired

"Two weeks a year, Barbara Romig drives around the Arizona desert testing out the latest space suit designs and NASA plans for doing geology on the moon. Back in the Apollo days, NASA blasted their own crater field in Arizona for the crews to practice driving around and being geologists. Now at that same site, Barbara, 28, is the test coordinator for the EVA program, Desert RATS (Research And Technology Studies). She was one of the speakers in todays "Risk and Exploration" Symposium."

Apollo 8 crewmember speaks on risk, LSU The Reveille

"It may be a big risk scheduling that 8 a.m. class next semester, but risk took a different meaning for Apollo 8 crewmember Bill Anders. The astronaut spoke to participants of "Risk and Exploration: Earth as a Classroom," a conference hosted by the University from Sunday until Tuesday. He addressed how the Apollo missions balanced "risk versus rewards."

CNN's Miles O'Brien to Speak at LSU's Upcoming Risk Symposium

"CNN anchor and Emmy winner Miles O'Brien will join an impressive list of speakers at LSU's upcoming international symposium on risk and exploration, Oct. 28-30. "Risk & Exploration: Earth as a Classroom," will be held on LSU's campus and is free and open to the public and the media. O'Brien is scheduled to speak on Monday, Oct. 29, from 9:05 to 9:45 a.m. Central time and will serve as moderator for a panel discussion titled "Risks of Nature: Impact of and Response to Hurricane Katrina," which is slated for 10:40 a.m. until noon. The panel will feature such guests as Baton Rouge Mayor-President Melvin "Kip" Holden, LSU Police Chief Ricky Adams and NASA-Michoud official Stephen A. Turner."

Editor's note: Each session will be webcast live. Within a short period after each session, links to a webcast archive - and a podcast archive - will be posted. - see www.riskexplore2007.com for all information on this event including webcast links.

VASIMIR update

Editor's note: These video clips and pictures show activity surrounding the VAriable Specific Impulse Magnetoplasma Rocket (VASIMR). The first video shows some of the last shots of the VX-100 showing a few of the plasma diagnostics that Ad Astra Rocket Company uses. The second video shows images of a new vacuum chamber going into the company's new lab located at Highway 3 and Bay Area Blvd. This link shows a few pictures of John Young and George Abbey firing the last plasma shots of the VX-100.

Videos below.

NASA Internal Memo from Constellation Program Manager Jeff Hanley: 10/6 Cx Weekly Update

"I've recently enjoyed a handful of books on key explorers, such as Magellan, Columbus, and Capt Cook, and am struck and fascinated by their courage and commitment to their task despite incredible odds against their success. On Magellan's voyage alone, of the multiple ships and over 400 crew that departed on the voyage, only a couple dozen scurvy-ridden crew aboard a single vessel returned to tell the tale. Magellan himself fell victim of his own hubris and was killed by inhabitants of one of those far off lands he was credited with 'discovering'. In their time, exploration was frought with risk and unknown unknowns."

NASA chief: China will beat us back to the moon, AP

"I personally believe that China will be back on the moon before we are," NASA Administrator Michael Griffin said in a low-key lecture in Washington two weeks ago, marking the space agency's 50th anniversary, still a year away. "I think when that happens, Americans will not like it. But they will just have to not like it."

Editor's note: When he first arrived Mike Griffin used the Chinese threat as a way to generate support in Congress and elsewhere for his accelerated exploration architecture. Now he has apparently given up.

If NASA's Administrator is ready to admit defeat on something that is still perhaps a decade away why should anyone at NASA try and work harder now?

What a nice way to motivate your workforce, Mike.

Excerpt from Congressional Record Regarding U.S. Senate Action to Add $1 Billion To NASA's Budget For Space Shuttle Return to Flight Activities

"Ms. MIKULSKI. ... This is not acceptable. We cannot let China get to the Moon before the United States does."

NASA Internal Memo From Constellation Program Manager Jeff Hanley: Avoid Verbal Orders

Mike G has encouraged me to share the following with the team, in hopes that this helps to clarify his position on how 'governance' explicitly relates to Constellation and the institutions executing our plan... "It is NASA's job to figure out a way to "support" ESMD and Cx. Not the other way around. A "successful" independent review board, or review process generally, is one that serves the Program Manager. Not the reverse. The institution devises and imposes standards and processes solely for the purpose of aiding programs to be successful, not as a matter of doctrinaire adherence to a standard of "technical purity". There is no such thing as a "successful" independent review board, or a "successful" NASA, without a successful Cx. If 7120.5D does not serve Cx well, meaning help produce a good outcome, it is the document that will be revised, not Cx."



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

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