Exploration: March 2008 Archives

Ares I Vibration Problem Fixable, Aviation Week

"Horowitz, now an independent aerospace consultant whose clients include ATK, the Ares I first-stage contractor, and a "greybeard" advisor to NASA through the NASA Engineering and Safety Center, served on the tiger team that reviewed the thrust oscillation issue after it arose last fall. Garry M. Lyles, the senior NASA engineer who headed that review panel, is scheduled to brief Congress on his findings the week of March 31."

Earlier posts

ESMD's Revolving Door

ESMD's Revolving Door - Update

Everest OnOrbit Update

Scott Parazynski Everest Update: Day 8 - March 30, 2008 - Namche Bazar, Nepal (photos), OnOrbit.com

Scott Parazynski's Location: 31 March - 2 April 2008 (map)

"Scott Parazynski and his team left Namche Bazar on 31 March and headed to Tengboche. His team will spend a full day acclimatizing in Tengboche, and then depart on 2 April for Dingboche. The map below shows their general location."

Scott Parazynski Everest Update 28 March 2008, OnOrbit.com

"This morning I arose at 0530 to climb up to a high point above the village, where I saw Everest for the first time --- the sun rising dramatically from behind it. Huge swirling clouds over it and Lhotse, the fourth highest mountain in the world, showed the power of the jet stream at those altitudes."

Everest OnOrbit

JSC's Moon Truck

Not a Mercury or Saturn, but It Goes Way Off Road, NY Times

"It turns on a dime and parallel-parks like a dream. On the downside, its a little pricey (at $2 million or so) and its top speed is a pokey 15 miles an hour. Still, theres a lot to like about the concept car taking shape here at the Johnson Space Center. Did I say car? The new moon buggy conceived by space center engineers is anything but a car or a buggy. Its official name is Chariot, and this, my friends, is a truck. A heavy duty workhorse of a truck."

Six High-Tech Earth Cities That Will Provide Blueprints for Martian Settlers, io9.com

"If humans land on Mars by 2037 as NASA hopes, they'll need cities modeled on ones that already exist in extreme climates on Earth. Here are six high-tech (and a few low-tech) cities that would have a passing shot at survival in the Martian climate. Of course there are the obvious choices, like research stations in Antarctica. But there are other possibilities, like the instant city model developed at Black Rock City, home to arts festival Burning Man, which you can see here nestled in a Martian crater. And there are others potential Martian city models that might surprise you, like ones in Nunavut, Canada and in ancient Native American pueblos."

Everest OnOrbit Update

Scott Parazynski Everest Update 26 March 2008

"We depart for the KTM airport at 0500 local tomorrow to fly to Lukla, when the trek really begins. We met up as a full IMG team for the first time late this afternoon, and I just returned from our welcome dinner at a nearby rooftop garden restaurant."

Astronaut to Climb Everest for his Vacation, Wired

"Five time Space Shuttle Astronaut Scott Parazynski, 46, will be fulfilling a life long dream of climbing Mt. Everest "on his own time and on his own dime" this May. True to form, Parazynski's packing list would make any Shuttle commander proud, down to the weight in grams of everything he is taking with him."

Rocket Scientist Training, NASA Everest Trek

"Here's a training routine you can use if you want to be a rocket scientist"

Everest OnOrbit Timeline

"The following is a timeline for Scott Parazynski, Keith Cowing, and the NASA Everest Team treks to Everest Base Camp. This schedule is tentative and subject to revision."

More updates at Everest OnOrbit, OnOrbit.com

"Astronaut Scott Parazynski soon sets off for a new expedition. This time, he won't be leaving Earth."

Everest On Orbit Update

Astronaut Scott Parazynski's Everest Journal: Leavin' on that 2:16 plane to Katmandu

"OK, so Gladys Knight has a better knack for lyrics, but I'm about to depart on a pilgrimage today that I've been dreaming of (and preparing for) my entire life --- a trip that I hope will take me all the way to the summit of Mount Everest."

What Gear Does An Astronaut Bring to Climb Mt. Everest?

Editor's note: Scott left for Nepal on Sunday. I leave on 18 April. That said, Scott's gear database is 95% similar to what I will be bringing - except that my gear (in terms of insulated clothing) will be adequate for nearby ascents we'll be making up to 20,000 feet. Scott is headed for 29,000 feet at -40F above more than half of Earth's atmosphere. He'll be standing in the jet stream.

Scott is also a bit more weight (up mass) conscious than I am. I am bringing a lot of electronic gear and will have two porters carrying my gear. At first I felt like a total wimp (I have climbed 1,000 foot cliffs) to pay someone to carry my stuff. It costs USD $250 to get a duffel bag (I will have 2) to Everest Base Camp and back. Alas, I live at sea level so I am just going to shut up and accept the situation.

Then I learned that this number just also happens to be the average annual income for someone in Nepal. As such, I am inclined to think of more things to carry up - and perhaps more porters to pay. I'll also be spending a week or so by myself in a desperately poor third world country trekking at high altitude with two porters and a Sherpa with minimal English skills.

It is truly another world that Scott, I, and others will be entering even before we reach Everest Base Camp.

NASA Everest Trek Team Biographies

Team NASA Everest Gear

The Team NASA Everest Gear Store is now online at Cafepress. Team NASA Everest is a group of 18 NASA employees led by EVA flight controller Sabrina Singh who will be trekking in to Everest Base Camp in the first week of May.

Team NASA Everest Trek Team Biographies

Why Bother Exploring

Mars plan is lost in space, opinion, Washington Times

"As I read the plans to bring back rock samples from Mars and build bases on the moon, a few questions come to mind. First, how much do we really want to know about other planets and heavenly bodies? As an extreme example, take Phobos, the moon of Mars. Phobos is a large rock. Photos at reasonable resolution are clearly of scientific value, as would be determination of the type of rock. Beyond that, what is worth knowing? It"s a rock."

Odyssey Moon RFI Released

Odyssey Moon - Request for Information for a Payload Flight Opportunity on the Odyssey Moon "MoonOne" (M-1) Lunar Lander

"Odyssey Moon Limited (OML) is a private commercial lunar enterprise offering lunar services and products to aid humanity's sustained return to the Moon. Odyssey Moon will be sending a series of small robotic missions to the Moon in support of science, exploration and commerce in the coming decade. In December 2007, the company was unveiled as the first official competitor for the Google Lunar X PRIZE. It was also announced that mission design work had begun by the company's prime contractor, MDA Space Missions of Canada."

Everest OnOrbit Update

Everest OnOrbit 2008: An Overview

"Scott Parazynski leaves for Nepal on 23 March 2008 to climb Mt. Everest asa non-guided member of the International Mountain Guides (IMG) group composed of Scott, Adam Janikowski, Kami Sherpa and Ang Namgya Sherpa. The summit window extends (approximately) from the second to the third week in May - although it can be a little earlier - or later - depending on weather - and "traffic" on the mountain. Sabrina Singh will lead Team NASA to Everest Base Camp in early May."

Editor's note: Everyone going on this trip is paying 100% of their total costs and is going on vacation time.

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Everest OnOrbit, OnOrbit.com

Marburger's Speech, Selenian Boondocks

"For a short duration before Griffin got in as NASA's Administrator, NASA was actually acting in a way to more fully fulfill mandate to "promote commercial as well as international participation "to further U.S. scientific, security, and economic interests." Under the guidance of O'Keefe and Steidle, NASA setup several billion dollars worth of "Human and Robotic Technologies" research to help develop and field the technologies that would allow it to more effectively achieve its exploration goals. It was set to operate its exploration architecture in a way to leverage to the maximum extent possible existing and future commercial capabilities. To act as though NASA can't do that is to ignore the fact that that was its very plan up until Griffin took the reigns."

Address by OSTP Director John Marburger at the Goddard Memorial Symposium

"I agree completely with the third point about international collaboration and the opportunity for United States leadership, but there are phrases in the other points that make me uneasy. Yes, it is time to go beyond LEO with people as explorers. But no, the purpose of sustained human exploration is not "to go to Mars and beyond." The purpose of sustained human exploration is, as the second point states "to serve national and international interests." And I think of those interests as much broader than simply going somewhere and coming back. Our current space exploration policy says "The fundamental goal of this vision is to advance U.S. scientific, security, and economic interests through a robust space exploration program." Exploration that is not in support of something else strikes me as somehow selfish and unsatisfying, and not consistent with the fact that we are using public funds for this enterprise, no matter how small a fraction of the total budget they may be."

Write Your Own VSE

Return to Luna: A Short Story Science Fiction Contest by the National Space Society

"WE ARE LOOKING FOR: Science Fiction stories that show the adventure of lunar settlement. We want to feel the romance of life there, the wonder of the lunar frontier, of its magnificent desolation. We prefer near future (50 to 150 years from now), realistic stories about human lunar settlement. We want good characterization and well-written, tight prose. We want to feel what it's like to live on the Moon."

Looking Ahead

Remarks at 3rd Annual Space Exploration Conference by NASA Deputy Administrator Shana Dale

"So let me make this point clear. There's more than a vision at NASA. There's a program, a plan, and a clear direction for the future. Today, NASA is well engaged with the work to build the spacecraft, launch vehicles and space systems, and define the exploration strategy that will enable the establishment of a lunar outpost in the 2020s. We will honor our commitment to our partners and finish assembly of the International Space Station with the Space Shuttle fleet, while building a 21st century space transportation system for humans, the Orion crew exploration vehicle, that will make its first flight to the space station by 2015 and first mission to the Moon by 2020."



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About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries in the Exploration category from March 2008.

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