Exploration: July 2008 Archives

NASA Test Subjects Paid to Stay in Bed Three Straight Months, Fox

"One way to recreate those conditions on the ground is for test participants to lie down with head slightly tilted back for 90 days. "It's very relaxing at times. This is probably the most I've sat still in 10 years," participant Heather Archuletta told MyFOXHouston.com."

Editor's note: Check out Heather Archuletta's blog: Pillow Astronaut

NASA Hosts International Meeting for Lunar Science Discussions, NASA SMD

"NASA hosted a meeting of space agencies from nine countries last week to discuss the next steps in the ongoing scientific exploration of the moon. The meeting laid the groundwork for a new generation of lunar science. Discussions, led by NASA Headquarters officials, were held at NASA's Lunar Science Institute, located at the Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, Calif."

Editor's note: This meeting was held last week. Why did SMD PAO wait so long (last night) to tell people about this? There were domestic and foreign news stories out at the end of last week - its not like this was a secret.

India signs agreement with US to carry out lunar exploration, Economic Times

The moon beckons again - for U.S., 8 other nations, SJ Mercury News

Bay Area Lab to Play Large Part in Future Moon Visits, KCBS

"The U.S. and eight other nations signed a landmark agreement at NASA's Ames Research Center in Mountain View this week that scientists hope will lay the groundwork for a new generation of lunar exploration."

Economist on NASA

NASA at 50: Many happy returns?, Economist

"It might have been better for NASA's reputation if it, too, had closed down at that point, but bureaucracies never do. Like people, their idealistic and enthusiastic youths are eventually overwhelmed by quotidian reality, and they do what they need to to survive. And survive NASA has, through a space-shuttle programme far more expensive than the "throw-away" rockets it was supposed to replace, through the construction of an orbiting space station that will have consumed $100 billion when it is finished, though it has produced little of scientific value--and also, it must be said, through a programme of unmanned scientific space probes that have, literally, pushed back the frontiers of human understanding."

Perspectives on NASA

Ride, Boldly Ride: Why human space exploration is important!, IT Wire

"You may not always agree with what NASA does in its role as the national space agency for the United States. I dont always agree with them. However, I do think they (this group of people under the name National Aeronautics and Space Administration) are trying their best to advance human and robotic space exploration for the benefit of the United States, and for the whole of humanity, too."

Remarks by NASA Adminstrator Michael Griffin: What the Hubble Space Telescope Teaches Us about Ourselves

"You all know today that this first Shuttle mission to service the Hubble, as well as the three which followed, were huge successes. The Hubble dazzles us with the splendor of our universe, but during those grim years between 1990 and '93, its awe-inspiring success was far from certain. If you didn't know the core strength of the NASA team when the chips are down, you might have bet against us. You would have lost."

LRO Launch Delayed to 2009, Aviation Week

"Launch of NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), the first robotic precursor mission under President Bush's plan for moving human space exploration beyond Earth orbit, will be delayed until after Bush leaves office. Also delayed until late February or early March 2009 is the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS), a piggyback payload added by Ames Research Center when LRO was upgraded to an Atlas V-class mission."

Buzz Aldrin calls for reevaluation of NASA moon project, Orlando Sentinel

"NASA documents obtained by the Orlando Sentinel suggest that it will be years before the agency will know whether its proposed fixes will work. In the meantime, the documents say, new problems have arisen involving the design of Ares launch pad, the astronaut emergency escape system on Orion and the capsule's heat protection system.

A NASA report made public last week said the agency will probably not meet its own internal goal of launching the rocket in 2013, and may even miss its publicly stated goal of a launch by 2015. However, NASA officials publicly insist the 2015 date is still on track."

Odyssey Moon Team Grows

Dr. Paul Spudis Announced as Chief Scientist of Google Lunar X PRIZE Contender Odyssey Moon Limited

"Dr. Paul D. Spudis has been named Chief Scientist of Odyssey Moon Limited, the first official contender for the $30M Google Lunar X PRIZE. Dr. Spudis is an outspoken advocate of the Moon as a focus of scientific exploration and human settlement and has served on numerous advisory committees, including the US Presidential Commission on the Implementation of United States Space Exploration Policy. The announcement was made during a NASA Lunar Science Institute conference at NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California."

Are we driven to explore?, Space Review

"That squirmy disruptive kid who we're putting on Ritalin today might be tomorrow's Neil Armstrong. At least, that is, if we don't overmedicate or "feminize" him to the point that he can't get the education and experience he needs to be a space explorer. ... It certainly seems empirically obvious that most people have little interest in exploring."

Editor's note: The author of this article makes some odd, borderline misogynist, and mostly unsupportable claims (mixed with some valid points) as he rambles along trying to explain why people do or not explore. "Empirically obvious"? - Where's the data to support this?

NASA/Ames scientists map our return to the moon, SJ Mercury News

"For the next three days, Silicon Valley will be the base for planning humankind's return to the moon, as more than 400 scientists from around the world assemble at NASA/Ames Research Center for a conference on what type of science should be done when astronauts revisit Earth's nearest neighbor."

Scientists swap moon, Mars exploration plans, SF Chronicle

"At the lunar science conference Thursday, NASA scientists will join scientists from Canada, Korea, Japan, Italy and Britain to create an International Lunar Network to help them work together on major projects, said David Morrison, director of the new NASA Lunar Science Institute at Ames. He was joined by Stephen Mackwell, director of the independent Lunar and Planetary Institute in Houston, whose $7 million budget is financed by NASA grants."

The NASA-ESA Comparative Architecture Assessment

"In January 2008, NASA and ESA agreed to conduct a comparative architecture assessment to determine if their respective lunar architecture concepts could complement, augment, or enhance the exploration plans of the other. From January through March representatives from NASA and ESA engaged in a series of joint, qualitative assessments of potential ESA capabilities as applied to NASA's architecture concepts. Initial findings from these assessments, with respect to each potential ESA category under study, are as follows:"

Editor's note: Three live webcams are now online at the Haughton-Mars Project Research Station on Devon Island: Webcam 1 |Webcam 2 | Webcam 3

Today's video: Charles Cockell from Open University talks about polar geomicrobiology at Trinity Lake on Devon Island (below)

Hamilton Sundstrand protests NASA contract, AP

"Hamilton Sundstrand has protested NASA's selection of a Texas company to supply the space agency's next-generation space suit. The subsidiary of Hartford-based United Technologies Corp. and a partner company filed the protest with the U.S. Government Accountability Office on Monday. Company officials do not believe they got adequate information from NASA about why Hamilton Sundstrand lost out, the company said in a statement."

Hamilton Files Protest On NASA Spacesuit Decision, Wall Street Journal

Changing Horses, earlier post

NASA JSC Urine Collection Study Donor Request

"The Orion Program will be holding a urine collection study starting Monday, July 21 and running through Thursday, July 31, 2008. We are looking for donors as we need to collect a large amount of urine per day for the entire 11 day period. Please contact [deleted] at [deleted]@hs.utc.com to express interest in donating or to get answers to any questions you have regarding the study. We will be hosting an informational meeting with encouraged attendance for potential urine donors from 11-11:30 a.m. Thursday, July 17, 2008 in the first floor conference room. In this meeting we will go over instructions and guidelines for the study and introduce volunteers to the equipment that will be used in the study. If you are unable to attend this meeting due to scheduling conflicts, we can set up another time to clarify the study operations on an individual basis."

"Go" Where No Man Has Gone Before, Wired

"I can't say for certain what they might be testing, but they certainly must need a lot if they're asking visitors to participate as well."

NASA to workers: Go boldly (in cup) for science, AP

"The need is voluminous: 30 liters a day, which translates into nearly 8 gallons. Even on weekends."

NASA Wants Your Urine, Discovery Channel

"Have a business meeting in Houston next week? Be a good American and drop by for quick pee break at 2200 Space Park near the Johnson Space Center. Yes, you read that right: NASA needs your urine."

"Fun with Urine" Stirs Students' Imagination, NASA (2003)

"Fun With Urine" chronicles how the award-winning teacher uses 'gross' and 'goofy' ideas to interest his students in science and the NASA space program."

Hi, I'm coordinating the NASA Urine Drive this year. Cup of coffee?, Good Morning Silicon Valley

"NASA needs urine -- lots of it -- and it's tapping the power of crowdsourcing."

Quips abound over urine memo 'leak', Washington Times

"Talk about a leaked memo in the mainstream press. NASA was the subject of gleeful global news coverage Wednesday after an internal document asking employees to donate their urine for space toilet research made it from the confines of the Johnson Space Center to the whole planet."

NASA and ESA complete comparative exploration architecture study

"Over the last 6 months, representatives from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the European Space Agency (ESA) have been engaged in detailed assessment of potential programs and technologies that when conducted cooperatively could one day support a human outpost on the Moon. NASA and ESA experts jointly briefed the results of the NASA/ESA Comparative Architecture Assessment on 7 and 8 July during an ESA sponsored Integrated Architecture Review held at ESA's ESTEC facility in Noordwijk, The Netherlands."

HMP Research Station Status Report for July 9, 2008

"A week after the initial Mars Institute advanced team arrived to setup the research station for this years field season operations are running smoothly. The weather so far has been great and the first researchers are conducting their work. Currently researchers from the Canadian Space Agency and the University of Florida are working in the Mars Institute's Arthur Clarke Mars Greenhouse. As well, researchers from McGill University and the University of Toronto under the umbrella of the Canadian Space Agency Canadian Analog Research Network (CARN) are set to begin work."

U.S. Finds It's Getting Crowded Out There, Washington Post

"Uncertainty over the fate of President Bush's ambitious "vision" of a manned moon-Mars mission, announced with great fanfare in 2004, is emblematic. The program was approved by Congress, but the administration's refusal to significantly increase spending to build a new generation of spacecraft has slowed development while leading to angry complaints that NASA is cannibalizing promising unmanned science missions to pay for the moon-Mars effort. NASA's Griffin has told worried members of Congress that additional funds could move up the delivery date of the new-generation spacecraft from 2015 to 2013. The White House has rejected Senate efforts to provide the money."

CapCom's Log - Daily Mission Highlights Dive log for Spaceward Bound Pavilion Lake 2008

"Tuesday AM dive. Deepworkers: Darlene Lim, Mike Gephardt. CapCom: Bernard
South, south basin the 15m and 30m contours."

Editor's note: Curiously, there is no mention of this ongoing, multi-disciplinary, multi-center activity on ARC, Astrobiology, JSC or ESMD Websites.

The only place with a link is Spaceward Bound.

NASA: Not silent, Orlando Sentinel

Doug Cooke: "The "direct" variation fails to meet NASA's needs on several grounds. It is vastly over-capacity and too costly to service the International Space Station, but worse, its lift capacity would not be enough for NASA to maintain a sustained presence on the moon. Advocates for the "direct" variation are touting unrealistic development costs and schedules. A fundamental difference is that the Ares I and Orion probability of crew survival is at least two times better than all of the other concepts evaluated, including "direct"-like concepts."

Editor's note: Perhaps Doug Cooke will release the results of the actual internal studies NASA personnel performed whereby such a formal evaluation of the Direct Concept was made. NASA did actually evaluate the concept, yes? Or is Doug Cooke just tossing out opinions based on first impressions?

Steve Cook claims that no one at NASA has been working on this concept. Yet Doug Cooke says that people at NASA have been looking at it in some detail. They can't both be right, can they? Stay tuned. No doubt there will be some extreme NASA word parsing ahead should NASA ESMD deign to respond.

Editor's 24 June 2008 update: Perhaps this FOIA request (that I just filed) will provide some insight...

Editor's 2 July 2008 update: It has been a week. No feedback on the FOIA request from NASA.


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