Exploration: October 2008 Archives

Kid Climber Scales World's Highest Mountains, ABC Nightline

"At 17,000 feet above sea level, where the wind is a biting 20 below zero, an unlikely mountain climber nears his goal of ascending the world's tallest peaks. Jordan Romero, 3,000 feet away from tackling Alaska's Mount McKinley, has already conquered four mountains -- and he's 11 years old. "I've climbed Mount Aconcagua in South America, in Argentina, which is 22,834 feet. I've climbed Mount Elbrus in Europe -- it's located in Russia -- at 18,510 feet. That was quite a tough one," he said. "Mount Kosciuszko in Australia, that's 7,310 feet. That was quite a tough one just because of the weather, otherwise it would have been an easy, walk hike, just a long walk. And Mount Kilimanjaro of Africa in Tanzania, 19,340 feet."

Jordan's website

Video below

The Mars Institute is seeking applications for a position on the Haughton-Mars Project (HMP): Logistics Manager

"Qualified applicants must: a) be Canadian citizens or permanent residents in Canada ... The successful applicant will play a key role in an exciting, unique, and cutting-edge international effort to advance the exploration of the Earth, moon, Mars, and space. The HMP Logistics Manager will be required to be based in Canada and work mainly from his/her private home in the Vancouver, BC, area. Home office connectivity and employment-required operations costs (excluding rent) will be supported directly by the Mars Institute."

Why the Moon?, PowerPoint presentation on Exploration, Opennasa.com

"NASA is in the inspiration business. If you don't know what I mean, take a trip to your local school and engage in a discussion with students. Ask them what inspires them. At the heart of most discussions, is space exploration.

.... If you find this presentation helpful, please use it, pass it on to others, and share the story. As always, we appreciate constructive comments - and will work to continuously update this presentation and post it on this site for your benefit. Enjoy!"

No ice rinks on the Moon after all, New Scientist

"Hopes for large lakes of frozen water at the Moon's poles have taken another bashing, with new images of a prominent crater revealing dull lunar dust instead of shiny pools of ice. ... But Alan Smith, director of the Mullard Space Science Laboratory at University College London, disagrees: "If [water ice] is present at levels of just a few percent, it could be very useful for future missions. In fact, small crystals within a sandy mixture may be even easier to process."

Name The Hab

NASA and the Challenger Center Announce Antarctic Habitat Naming Contest

"NASA and the Challenger Center for Space Education have partnered to engage students in ongoing activities for one of NASA's concepts for astronaut housing on the moon through a contest to name a habitat in Antarctica.

NASA currently is conducting a test of a lightweight, durable, inflatable habitat on the cold, harsh landscape of the National Science Foundation's McMurdo Station."

Using a Planetary Analog To Test a Prototype Inflated Habitat for NASA, earlier story

And The First Shall Be Last

First Apollo flight crew last to be honored, Collectspace

"Forty years after flying NASA's first manned Apollo mission, the crew of Apollo 7 was honored on Friday with the space agency's highest award, the NASA Distinguished Service Medal. The presentation at long-last recognized the crew's contributions to the United States' first lunar landing program, granting Wally Schirra, Donn Eisele and Walt Cunningham the same award that all of their fellow flown Apollo astronauts received almost four decades earlier."

India counts down to first lunar mission, AFP

"India began the countdown Monday to the launch of its first unmanned mission to the moon that will mark a giant catch-up step with Japan and China in the fast-developing Asian space race. The lunar-orbiting spacecraft, Chandrayaan-1, is scheduled to blast off aboard an Indian-built rocket at 6:20 am (0050 GMT) on Wednesday from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota on India's southeastern coast. "Everything is going perfectly as planned," the centre's associate director M.Y.S. Prasad told AFP from Sriharikota, 80 kilometres (50 miles) north of Chennai, after the official countdown began in the early hours of Monday."

Wayne Hale's NASA Blog: Continuing the discussion

"About 48 hours after having posted a short example on Columbus, I hope you have reached some conclusions. I'd like to continue this discussion just a bit longer."

Wayne Hale's NASA Blog: Exploration is all about the unexpected

"I had great hopes for this paper. After I read it, I felt disappointment. I slept on it. I read it again this morning. I am still disappointed. Probably it is not fair; the attempt to learn lessons from history is always a noble one. Perhaps this is just too big a topic to address in a short academic paper. So rather than criticize, lets take a look beyond the Venn diagrams and explore for the golden nuggets of wisdom that come with a deep understanding of the lessons that history of exploration can teach us. The Strathclyde study said that Columbus's voyages were a tactical ("program") failure and a strategic success. Really?"

Report: Historical Exploration: Learning Lessons from the Past to Inform the Future, earlier post

Report: Historical Exploration: Learning Lessons from the Past to Inform the Future

"This report examines a number of exploration campaigns that have taken place during the last 700 years, and considers them from a risk perspective. The explorations are those led by Christopher Columbus, Sir Walter Raleigh, John Franklin, Sir Ernest Shackleton, the Company of Scotland to Darien and the Apollo project undertaken by NASA. To provide a wider context for investigating the selected exploration campaigns, we seek ways of finding analogies at mission, programmatic and strategic levels and thereby to develop common themes. Ultimately, the purpose of the study is to understand how risk has shaped past explorations, in order to learn lessons for the future. From this, we begin to identify and develop tools for assessing strategic risk in future explorations."

Nasa studies failures as guide to success, The Guardian (formerly titled "Epic missions were flops, claims Nasa")

"By contrast, Apollo achieved its goal of putting men on the moon before the Russians, but the equipment used had no application for other projects. The programme cost 70bn in today's money. Nasa has since struggled to find a reason to put men into space; hence the interest of executives setting up the Constellation programme which will take astronauts back to the moon next decade and later to Mars. 'We presented our study to senior Nasa managers, including Jeff Hanley, head of the Constellation programme,' said Bedford. 'We made it clear we are risk analysts, not historians... We also made it clear that even failed expeditions can teach us something."

Editor's note: NASA has sent me a copy of the report - and the report is also posted online.

ALtair RFI

NASA Solicitation: Altair Request for Information

"NASA is in the conceptual phase of identifying key performance indicators for the successful design and production of the "Altair" (Lunar Lander) vehicle. Our goal is to meet NASA's Lunar Exploration requirements safely and at the lowest life cycle cost. As specified during the Industry Day meeting conducted September 25, 2008, NASA will be awarding multiple fixed price contracts in early CY 2009. This interim developmental design effort is intended to continue industry involvement and build on the knowledge developed under the Altair study contracts by supplementing the NASA design team emphasizing the areas of human space flight production, manufacturing, and operability. Contracts are planned to run into the 2012/2013 timeframe in support of the Altair Systems Requirements Review (SRR) and Systems Design Review (SDR)."

Laurent Lichtenstein: "The teaser of my very new documentary "New Moon", describing man's efforts to return to the Moon in 2020. Filmed mostly at Devon Island, canadian Hight Arctic"

Video below

Ares 1-X Launch Date Slip

Editor's note: Word has it that the slip of STS-125 has caused a number of delays - including Ares 1-X which will slip from a target launch date of 30 June 2009 to NET Oct/Nov 2009.


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

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