ISS News: February 2006 Archives

Golf or Science: What is NASA's Plan for the Space Station?, SpaceRef

"Earlier this month, Element 21 Golf Company, a Canadian golf club manufacturer, revealed publicly that it had an arrangement with Russia whereby a cosmonaut would perform an EVA and hit an instrumented golf ball off of the space station into its own orbit.

Although various sources claim that Russia has studied the issue and is seemingly unperturbed about the prospect of someone standing outside the ISS, swinging a long metal rod and deliberately striking an object such that it departs the ISS without hitting anything, NASA isn't so sure. Rather, NASA hasn't completed the required safety analyses to decide if they are concerned. But, lacking these safety reviews, they allowed - or (more accurately) did not block - the launch of the golf gear."

Editor's note: According to Element 21 Golf Company, a golf club manufacturer, "one of the International Space Station's astronauts" is going to using a gold-plated version of one of their clubs to hit a transmitter-equipped gold ball off of the ISS and into its own orbit. [View the inspirational video].

Element 21 Golf Company's Message Is Out of This World!

"E21 golf equipment is now traveling 300 miles above Earth, and have been onboard the Space Station since September 12, 2005. At 5 miles per second, the E21 Message races through the skies above the planet's 5 continents, 300 million golfers and 6.5 billion people. To date it has already clocked over 63 million miles and will continue the memory of Alan Shepard for more and more millions of miles."

OK, it's a cute idea. Someone would eventually want to do it. Heck, we did it on the Moon. But the timing is just wrong. At a time when all of the U.S. science that was supposed to be done on the ISS (promised for decades) is being cancelled Russia is so desperate for cash that they resort to a stunt like this. What does this say for the true value of the ISS - and the money spent (and still to be spent) to build and maintain it?

Editor's note: Once again NASA PAO staff at HQ just can't stand the thought of just one weekly space station status report going out - without having an HQ spin on it - so they take one developed at JSC - change a few paragraph breaks, and then issue a second one from HQ. They do this every week. It would be one thing if they just re-issued the JSC report verbatim, but no, HQ has to fiddle with things - even if the fiddling is utterly pointless and a waste of taxpayer dollars.

Gee, if only they were this dilligent with other things - like keeping tabs on politcal appointee behavior...

You can check out this week's silly HQ edit of JSC's report below:

Editor's note: Once again, like clockwork, NASA has issued two ever-so-slightly different versions of the same space station status report. This week all Harrington and Hartsfield did to warrant a separate release was to insert a single paragraph break into otherwise unaltered text prepared earlier by someone else. Apparently they just can't fight the urge to make pointless edits and send out duplicative status reports (see earlier posts here and here).


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

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