ISS News: January 2006 Archives

Thinking About NASA's Future, Letters, Science

"The legitimacy of basic life sciences research should stand alone." - Michael Barratt, NASA Johnson Space Center

"Without forging ahead in research supporting healthy space travel now, all the efforts to bring people to the Moon and Mars will have been in vain. We will lose valuable time, people, and resources that must be reinvented later at a much higher cost." - Andrea Hanson, President, ASGSB-SA, University of Colorado

"The primary programmatic objective of Griffin is to set the agency on a course with the long-term goal of the Vision for Space Exploration (VSE). Without such a long-term goal, NASA is likely to simply disappear. The costs and risks of sending humans to the International Space Station on the Shuttle simply to spend time there cannot be sustained, nor should they." - Jeffrey Plescia, Applied Physics Laboratory, Johns Hopkins University

Editor's note: Imagine a science teacher in Washington, DC giving out a homework assignment in the next day or so. She tells her class to use the web and find a NASA resource that will predict when the ISS will pass overhead on 31 January 2006.

The kids go home, hop on the computer and start Googling for NASA websites. Some of them end up at a NASA HQ website. Others end up at NASA's human spaceflight website at JSC. They look up Washington DC, record the times, and hand them in the next day. Imagine the teacher's consternation when she discovers that NASA has more than one official website for such things, and that the websites give different answers.

What is she going to tell her class? Both answers can't be right. And what does she tell her class the next time she is inclined to encourage them to pursue a career in space? Accuracy is supposed to be important.

Details below

Web site overlap may belie NASA divides, Federal Computer Week

"[Allard Beutel] added that NASA did not originally unify the Web sites because of the Internet's maturity and its effect on Web development, not because of research center rivalries. "It's not a matter of people not wanting to talk to each other," Beutel said. "Each group is doing its own piece of the pie, serving the public. It's been a process, and a process takes time." "If you gave me five minutes, I could link these sites," Cowing said. "This is not rocket science. It's HTML."

Editor's update: By another strange coincidence the JSC page has also been updated to show one link to other resources - at MSFC - but not HQ. MSFC did a far better update. Editor's update: Gee, by some strange coincidence the MSFC page was suddenly updated today - and links to other NASA tracking pages were added. JSC and HQ haven't managed to update their pages yet.

Editor's update: If you go to this page at NASA MSFC you are supposed to be able to enter your zip code and get the next time a satellite will pass overhead. Well, it seems that this little gadet doesn't like my zip code (20190) - since it tells me that my zip code is 2019 after I enter 20190 and click 'go'. I tried it in Safari, Explorer, and Firefox - and get the same (non) result.

Editor's note: Why is it that this page, hosted by MSFC featuring various satellite tracking resources still cannot (after a decade of complaints on NASA Watch) link to a similar page - with similar resources - hosted by JSC - and vice versa? Oh yes, for what it is worth, watching both pages simultaneously, the MSFC site says that ISS is at an altitude of 353.1 KM and the JSC site says that the ISS is at 346.87 KM. MSFC shows ISS over the Spanish/French border while the JSC page shows it over Italy.

But wait, there's more. If you go to this page, hosted by NASA HQ - which deals with ISS tracking - you will see that it doesn't link to either page at JSC - or MSFC! And JSC and MSFC don't link back to this page at NASA HQ!

And this is the same space agency that is going to cooperate between its headquarters and its various field centers so as to go back to the moon -- when it can't even get a few web weenies to coordinate? This 'pretend the other site doesn't exist' tactic is tired - and just plain childish - on the part of Bryan Walls and Ron Koczor at MSFC, Kim Dismukes and John Ira Petty at JSC, and Dawn Brooks and Sarah Ramsey at NASA HQ. C'mon folks. Use taxpayer dollars responsibly and link to each other - and coordinate your resources. You all work for NASA, yes? You'd think that Joe Davis, NASA's "strategic communications" guru, and Pat Dunnington, NASA's Chief Information Officer, would be concerned about this sort of thing.

Just where Is the Space Station, NASA?, earlier post from 30 November 2004

ISS/Shuttle Battle Begins

Sen. Hutchison Cosponsors Bill to Ensure America's Competitive Advantage

"Building on Sen. Hutchison's recent NASA authorization legislation, one key portion of the bill would increase the basic research budget for NASA, helping to maintain our leadership in space exploration and the broader fields of research and technology."

Letter from Sen. Hutchison to President Bush Regarding Funding for the International Space Station

"The funding projections by the OMB do not provide adequate resources for the number of shuttle missions necessary to complete and outfit the International Space Station.This poses a direct threat to the billions of taxpayers' dollars invested in the development of that important laboratory facility - one that has now, by virtue of your signature, been designated as a national laboratory, an important national asset with enormous potential for providing benefits to all of us."

South Korean to Visit ISS

South Korea first astronaut to fly to ISS in Russia spacecraft, Itar-Tass

"South Koreas first astronaut is to fly to the International Space Stations (ISS) in March or April of 2008, the chief of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roskosmos), Anatoly Perminov, said at his meeting with a delegation of the Korean Aerospace Research Institute led by its president Hong Yul Pak in Moscow on Monday."

Editor's note: Have a look at these two space station status reports. As is the case this week, last week - every every week, they were both issued at the end of the week by NASA JSC PAO within minutes of each other. They are virtually identical. You would think one would be sufficient - and that the first version should be sufficient - but not at NASA.

Making space vision a reality, BBC

"There are many different kinds of science that we do. We have not cut back the space science programmes such as New Horizons. We have, though, cut back on the human-related science to concentrate on building the space station." Once built, the ISS will be available for research, he says.

NASA News Conference With Mike Griffin: Exploration Systems Architecture Study (Transcript)

"Well, good question. I think I just said this was not about taking money from the science programs for human space flight and it's not. The science program has not--in our forward planning, we do not take one thin dime out of the science program in order to execute this architecture. It is about re-directing what we do in the human space flight program."

Editor's note: Have you ever wondered how the crew aboard the ISS picks out landmarks on Earth as they zoom overhead at 17,500 MPH (25,000 KPH)? In addition to software that shows their precise position above Earth, they also use less high tech, more traditional means as well.

If you look at this image - on the 'ceiling' of the U.S. Lab module you will see a copy of "The New International Atlas" published by Rand McNally. In this image you can see it on the Lab module's deck.

You can also see it here during STS-114's visit to the ISS.

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 13 January 2006

"The Flight Engineer conducted a search for a power supply unit (BP) for the Russian SKV-2 air conditioner, reported as "lost" in the IMS (Inventory Management System), an assignment moved from the voluntary "time available" task list to Valery's regular schedule. [Due to the unstable operation of SKV-2, TsUP/Moscow plans to have its BP replaced in case of SKV-2 failure.]"

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 14 January 2006

"The crew completed the regular weekly three-hour task of thorough station cleaning, wearing protective garment. ["Uborka", normally done every Saturday, includes removal of food waste products, cleaning of compartments with vacuum cleaner, damp cleaning of the Service Module (SM) dining table, other surfaces and the FE's sleep station with "Fungistat" disinfectant and cleaning fan screens to avoid temperature rises.]"

Editor's note: Once again NASA Watch is pleased to reveal the vulcanization of yet another Space Station Science officer, Bill McArthur.

Among the more recent honorees have been astronauts John Phillips, Leroy Chiao, former NASA chief Scientist John Grunsfeld, and of course, Spock himself, Mike Griffin.

Click on the image to enlarge.

Post-EVA Cocktail Anyone?

ISS Drinking Ban Could Be Lifted in 2006 - Health Official, MosNews

"They fly in orbit for half a year and perform a heavy workload, especially during exhausting space walks when they shed several kilos in weight over a few hours," said a source in the Russian medical support teams for the manned space program. "Many people think a small ration of alcohol would help restore their strength."

Huggies in Space?

NASA Flies Huggies in Space, SpaceRef

Editor's note: If you look in the lower right hand corner of this recent Expedition 12 image (and this image) you will see what certainly appears to be a package of a Huggies product wedged upside down behind a handrail. Here in the U.S. Huggies are a popular brand name of diapers and other related products. It is hard to tell exactly what product this is. I am guessing that this is a package of cleaning wipes of some sort. Then again, astronauts do wear adult-sized diapers during EVAs, launch, and landing...

Editor's update: A number of readers - most of them parents - have confirmed that the package is indeed cleaning wipes. Several other people who I spent time with in the arctic on Devon Island also chimed in. You see, these are a common item you take with you when you are going to live in a tent for a month and showers are hard to come by. For the record, I prefer "Splash N' Go" made by Kleenex.

Reader note: "Huggies are popular with the troops as well. I used them to polish my boots and for general cleaning tasks when water was not available. [link]"

Of course, NASA has to have documentation for everything that flies in space - and the Huggies are no different. These NASA drawings specify the container that holds the Huggies in space. Curiously, I don't see any specification for the Winnie the Pooh images that appear on the container in this photo.


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This page is an archive of entries in the ISS News category from January 2006.

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