Exploration: January 2009 Archives


Message from the Acting NASA Administrator - Day of Remembrance, Jan. 29, 2009

"It's going to be a busy year for all of us, with missions that carry with them the considerable risk that is a part of our normal business. But they also carry great potential. We each have opportunities -- every day -- to remember through our actions, the courageous men and women who dedicated their lives to public service. With each mission and every challenge, we build upon their technical achievements, benefit from their discoveries, and tap into their bravery and spirit. I am honored to remember these members of the NASA family, and to work side by side with those in NASA and in our communities, to fulfill the vision of these extraordinary people, of living and working in space."

NASA JSC Special: A Message From The Center Director: Memorials
NASA Glenn Research Center Pays Tribute to Fallen Astronauts
NASA Honors Fallen Colleagues During Day Of Remembrance

NASA's Tribute
Cartoon at Red & Rover, Comics.com

Arctic Memorials and Starship Yearnings, SpaceRef
Ancient Memorials for Modern Space Explorers, SpaceRef
Pictures From the Summit of Mt. Everest, Everest OnOrbit (honoring Shuttle, Apollo, and Soyuz crews)
Astronaut Scott Parazynski: Many Small Steps to the Summit of Mt. Everest, Everest OnOrbit (photo of this patch on Scott's Everest summit parka)

This Week in History: Remembering Challenger and Apollo 1, To the center
Space history: Seventeen astronauts paid the ultimate price, Alamagordo Daily News
Jan. 27, 1967: 3 Astronauts Die in Capsule Fire, Wired

NASA Seeks Concept Proposals for Future Moon Lander

"On Wednesday, NASA issued a request for proposals for concept definition and requirements analysis support for the Altair lunar lander. Proposals are due to NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston by 2 p.m. CST on Feb. 27. NASA's Constellation Program will use Altair to land four astronauts on the moon following launch aboard an Ares V rocket and rendezvous in low Earth orbit with the Orion crew vehicle. The lunar lander will provide the astronauts with life support and a base for weeklong initial surface exploration missions of the moon. Altair also will return the crew to the Orion spacecraft that will return them home to Earth."

Things We Used To Do

We Aimed for theStars..., Miles O'Brien

"Truth is, we have done nothing to equal (much less top) the accomplishments of Apollo. And even worse, we havent tried. We did something truly great, but then walked away from it. We had lightning in a bottle and we opened the lid. Our country has been pulling the rug out from under NASA ever since Apollo. Really, the agency is running on fumes from rocket fuel that was purchased (on a credit card no doubt) in 1961."

What Apollo was .... and wasn't, Paul Spudis, Air & Space

"Miles O'Brien, late of CNN, recently wrote a column reflecting on the accomplishment of the Apollo program and the space program since then. He believes that Apollo was a great leap forward in space, a capability and step from which we then walked away. O'Brien asks why the country has turned its back on the promise of space and what it will take to re-establish the resolve we once showed in reaching for the Moon."

Why We Shouldn't End Our Manned Space Program, Esquire

"One night last fall, as the nation's economy rapidly unspooled, America did something big that we barely notice anymore but that no one else can match. We can't stop now, can we?"

Orbiting Earth By Mail

Orbiting Earth By Mail, OnOrbit.com

Editor's note: I stumbled across this item on eBay today. It was titled "NASA Astronaut Scott Parazynski Mt. Everest Climb 2008". I bought it for 10 bucks. I asked Scott what he thought. He replied "That's amazing, and pretty humorous - especially since the photo is from Denali. I'd imagine the only way the cover creator could have found this photo is from OnOrbit.com/Everest - as it's a personal photo and not online anywhere else."

Geographic inaccuracies aside, it is most interesting that someone on the other side of the world thought enough of Scott's attempt on Everest to make note it in this way - and that this envelope would end up around the world in Minnesota being sold by someone who understands the nature of what Scott was trying to do and also followed Scott's progress on my website. More info and larger image.

Seeing The Rover Up Close

Editor's note: The pressurized rover that participated in yesterday's inaugural parade is currently sitting outside of NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C. It heads back to Texas tomorrow. There will be a media opportunity to examine the rover later today. I have already been inside and have some images which I will be posting later today.

Suffice it to say this is one very well executed and undeniably cool piece of hardware.

Editor's update: Photos of the rover are posted here. Videos and story to follow.

NASA and Challenger Center Announce Name of Antarctic Habitat

"NASA and the Challenger Center for Space Science Education have selected the winner of the Antarctic habitat naming contest. The name "Resolution" took top honors in the "Name that Habitat" competition. The winning name was submitted by 9th grade students at Holy Cross High School in Delran, N.J. and was under the command of Captain James Cook. Holy Cross students said the new habitat represents an advance in technology, much as Cook's ship did. The students also pointed out that the word "resolution" aptly describes America's intent to explore space."

Using a Planetary Analog To Test a Prototype Inflated Habitat for NASA

Transcript of interview with President Bush, Star Telegram

"And so my first purpose on the NASA issue was to develop a mission that would excite the scientists, the employees, and the Congress. That has been accomplished."

Editor's note: And as far as what the remaining 99.99% of the population wants ... ? Oh yes, the rocket is named "Ares".

"Q: Can I ask about a parochial Houston subject -- NASA?


Q: Over the last eight years, they've had to make some decisions on priorities and spending. I was wondering how you assess how well NASA has done during your presidency and what do you think lies ahead for space exploration, and particularly manned space exploration.

Why Space? Why Now?

Why Space? Why Now? That is the Question, Dennis Wingo, SpaceRef

"As we all know another administration change is coming and with change as the operative theme of this administration, we can surely expect that this will come to NASA's direction. Many people are anticipating this (except for the current administrator) and are formulating their plans on how we can "improve" upon Dr. Griffin's ESAS architecture. I get calls from many of these people and participate in some of the discussions. However, as I hear these calls and read the position papers there is a feeling of something missing and the thing that is missing is what has left us circling the Earth in some form or fashion for the past 36 years. The thing that is missing is a compelling "why" as a fundamental rational for our space efforts."

NASA Selects Research Teams for Lunar Science Institute

"NASA has selected seven academic and research teams as initial members of the agency's Lunar Science Institute. The institute supports scientific research to supplement and extend existing NASA lunar science programs in coordination with U.S. space exploration policy. The selection of the members encompasses academic institutions, non-profit research institutes, private companies, NASA centers and other government laboratories. Selections were based on a competitive evaluation process that began with the release of a cooperative agreement notice in June 2008. The next solicitation opportunity for new members will take place in approximately two years."

We Have a Long Way to Go - Presentation by NASA Administrator Mike Griffin to the Space Transportation Association

"Last year, I addressed the considerations governing the design of NASA's Constellation architecture, to get on the record why the design is what it is. However, judging by the many questions I receive on the topic, I didn't do a very good job, so I will try again today. And, while I will try not to repeat what I have said in prior speeches and testimony, I must admit that in tackling these issues I am reminded of Shakespeare's Henry V: "Once more into the breach, dear friends ..." Constellation was designed to implement a new civil space policy, articulated by the president in the aftermath of the Columbia accident, and modified, extended, and enhanced by both Republican and Democratic Congresses in the NASA Authorization Acts of 2005 and 2008."

We think: NASA's chief paved the way for his exit by dismissing other views, editorial, Orlando Sentinel

"Barring a reprieve from President-elect Barack Obama, Michael Griffin appears on his way out after nearly four years as NASA's administrator. It's high time for him to go. Mr. Griffin brought unmatched credentials as a scientist and engineer to the administrator's job when he took over in 2005. Under his leadership, NASA completed the lengthy and difficult process of returning shuttles to flight after the 2003 Columbia disaster and got back to building the international space station. But Mr. Griffin's approach to NASA's next manned mission -- the moon and Mars program called Constellation -- has been my-way-or-the-highway. Coupled with his cavalier attitude toward chronic cost overruns in other programs, Mr. Griffin has become the wrong man to steer the agency forward. His impatience with criticism is a troubling throwback to the days when dissenting views at NASA were suppressed, with disastrous consequences."



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About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries in the Exploration category from January 2009.

Exploration: December 2008 is the previous archive.

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