Exploration: January 2011 Archives

Interview with the Challenger Center's Scott Parazynski, Space News

"Some 4 million students have been through the program since 1986, and in recent years the annual average has been about 400,000. Scott Parazynski, a NASA astronaut and medical doctor who took over in November as chairman of the center's board of directors, wants to increase that number to 4 million per year by 2015. ...

Parazynski: "One of the things we're aspiring to do is reduce the barriers to entry. So to help communities that might otherwise not have access to a learning center, we will develop virtual missions led by Challenger Center flight directors remotely, using a school's computer laboratory as an example. Alternatively, we also hope to bring in portable learning centers that we would truck in from a distant location."

Cross Cutting Themes at JSC

NASA JSC Presentation: Cross Cutting Themes January 2011

Improvements are needed in the following for BEO Human Exploration:

* Human Sustainability: much more commonality/ interchangeability of systems for repairs and hardware maintenance. Fewer tools. Dependable systems--better reliability with redundancy.
* Human/Robotic Interaction: Need a robot with human-like dexterity. Desire control like Xbox "Kinect"
* EVA: EVA improved suit, suitport
* Crew/Ground Interface: Need more autonomy as crew and spacecraft will be light-minutes from MCC intervention. (Closer operations philosophy to pre-TDRSS). Still need high-definition video for critical events (dockings, EVAs, telerobotics)
* Working & Living in Space: radiation protection for crew. Crew health. In situ real time training.
* Launch Infrastructure

MacGyver Projects provide opportunities to test new operational concepts

NASA JSC Presentation: Human Spaceflight Affordability: Advanced In-house Development Portfolio January 2011

Center Retreat Discussion
-What are the ideas/innovations we can explore/push forward as we wait for clear direction?

Agency Challenge:
-Coming out of HEFT Steering Committee, and the Administrator
-- "Affordability remains the most significant issue facing the Agency and in particular human spaceflight."
-- "In order to close on affordability, shorten development cycles, and lower operations and sustaining costs, NASA must change its traditional approach to human space systems acquisition and development"

Center Initiative:
-Develop, implement, and demonstrate "world class" practices in delivering spacecraft technologies, systems, operations and services for the Human Spaceflight Enterprise

Goal: To become a "catalyst for change" demonstrating best practices for the Agency With the ultimate goal of building a more sustainable Human Spaceflight Enterprise

Exploration Program Status Presentation to the NASA Advisory Council, Doug Cooke

* Key Auth Act Direction

- The Administrator shall, to the extent practicable, extend or modify existing vehicle development and associated contracts
- The initial capability of the core elements, without an upper stage, of lifting payloads weighing between 70 tons and 100 tons into low-Earth orbit
- The capability to lift the multipurpose crew vehicle
- The capability to serve as a backup system for supplying and supporting ISS cargo requirements or crew delivery requirements not otherwise met by available commercial or partner-supplied vehicles

* SLS Reference Vehicle Design

- 27.5' Diameter LOX/LH2 Core Stage
- Five RS25 based engines using Shuttle assets then RS25E expendable derivative
- Two 5-Segment Ares derived SRBs
- Delivers 108.6t to 30x130 nmi

* Evolved System to 130mT

- Upper stage with one or two J-2X upper stage engines (trades pending)
- Draft FY11 CR language dictates concurrent development of upper stage with core vehicle

"This piece contains readings from Carl Sagan's "Pale Blue Dot". I have edited his words to tell this short narrative. The Time lapse images were taken in Mexico and Utah. The piano is self-composed. I hope you enjoy this piece, it has given me hope once again."

Keith's update: As "damewse", the guy who created the video that everyone is watching notes, the original video, music etc., which served as his inspiration, was created by Michael Marantz. This is his video.

Welsh donors praised for helping preserve Scott hut, BBC

"In 1910 Scott relied heavily on school children to fund his expedition, with schools sponsoring a sledge dog or set of skis, in return for the honour of having their name transported to the very bottom of the world. A century later and Mr Stuart Smith says youngsters have once again been among the campaign's most generous and enthusiastic supporters, though ecology rather than exploration now seems to be their main motivation. "I think now as then, children can identify with Scott's sense of adventure," he said."

Keith's note: We have used up 10% of the 21st Century.

When I was growing up in the 1960s and 70s, this was supposed to be a magical time - one where all manner of incredible things would be possible - even routine - in "outer space". In some ways NASA has been wildly successful: witness the extrasolar planet discoveries of late. Yet in other areas, NASA still flies a space shuttle that was designed more than a generation ago - and is now struggling to replace it - or to find alternate, non-NASA ways to put Americans into space.

With regard to space exploration and utilization, have we wasted this decade? What has been done right? What has been done wrong? While NASA is not (and should not be) the only game in town when it comes to space, what should the President and Congress direct NASA to do in the decade ahead? Moreover, what should they direct NASA *NOT* to do? (Note: this post first appeared on NASA Watch last year).

Video: "Man Conquers Space" Sizzle Reel - Werner von Braun's Alternate Space Program

Keith's note: What would have happened if Werhner von Braun's spacecraft designs - as popularized in Disney films, Colliers magazine, and other publications - were actually built ...



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This page is an archive of entries in the Exploration category from January 2011.

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