Exploration: October 2012 Archives

Charlie Bolden Intends To Press President Obama on Mars Mission Mandate for NASA

"This long term ISS operations plan did not sit well will NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden. Bolden said that he needed to know directly from President Obama whether or not missions to Mars starting in the 2030s was to be NASA's ultimate goal. If this is not the President's goal for NASA, then Bolden wondered why NASA should be expected to continue funding the ISS for another decade and a half. At one point, Bolden teared up and said that "Mars is the Goal". Bolden claimed that he was intent upon going to the White House, "pounding his shoe on the table", and demanding a commitment from President Obama to direct NASA to send humans to Mars. Bolden said that he needs that commitment to allow him to decide what to do (not do) with regard to extending the ISS."

The Vision for Space Exploration: A Brief History (Part 1), Paul Spudis

"Near the end of my recent two hour co-appearance with Dr. Jim Vedda on The Space Show (October 19, 2012), an ongoing misconception emerged about the Vision for Space Exploration (VSE) and prompts me to detail some of the history of the VSE and its original intent. Such a review is timely as discussions rage about NASA's current and future direction."

Red Bull Stratos: Mission Accomplished (with photos)

"Austria's Felix Baumgartner earned his place in the history books on Sunday after overcoming concerns with the power for his visor heater that impaired his vision and nearly jeopardized the mission. Baumgartner reached an estimated speed of 1,342.8 km/h (Mach 1.24) jumping from the stratosphere, which when certified will make him the first man to break the speed of sound in freefall and set several other records while delivering valuable data for future space exploration."

Status Reports

Keith's note: The non-proft organization Quest for Stars has simultaneously launched a high altitude balloon that sent back live images of Felix Baumgartner's ascent. More information here.

Weird Facts That You Didn't Know About E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial, io9

"6) E.T. was Spielberg's response to the "stalled space program."

That's what Spielberg said in 1981, adding: "If the government won't fund the space program, to allow people's imagination to soar, then all I can do is make movies that bring space down to earth and make it more accessible to the imagination."

Keith's note: Of course, E.T. was also a hacker.

Keith's update: Today's balloon attempt was aborted due to high ground winds. There is a backup ballloon for another attempt. Weather is expected to be questionable tomorrow and then it deteriorates further after that.

Status Reports


Discovery: Replica Beagle plans expedition to further Darwin's legacy, Financial Times

"An Anglo-Chilean project aims to further the legacy of the great naturalist by building a replica of the wooden Beagle and retracing the voyage it made to circumnavigate the globe, accompanied around Chile's 4,000 mile coast, and those of other parts of Latin America, by a modern, steel-hulled research vessel tentatively named The Adventure, after the Beagle's own sister ship. The aim, the organisers say, is to ignite minds and bring "the adventure of science to life", with participation from schoolchildren in hands-on projects along the ship's route, as well as groundbreaking research by scientists. A collaboration with Nasa, the US space agency, also aims to bring some modernity to this voyage of exploration and discovery."



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