News: October 2004 Archives

26 October 2004: NASA Expert Criticizes Bush on Global Warming Policy, NY Times

"A top NASA climate expert who twice briefed Vice President Dick Cheney on global warming plans to criticize the administration's approach to the issue in a lecture at the University of Iowa tonight and say that a senior administration official told him last year not to discuss dangerous consequences of rising temperatures."

Getting Closer ...

24 October 2004: NASA's Cassini Closes in on Titan

"This image was taken on October 23, 2004 and received on Earth October 24, 2004. The camera was pointing toward TITAN at approximately 1,544,962 kilometers away."

Cassini Titan Flyby Mission Description

New NASA Chief Scientist

21 October 2004: NASA Administrator Names New Chief Scientist

"NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe announced today Chief Scientist and veteran astronaut John Grunsfeld will return to NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston. Administrator O'Keefe appointed Dr. James B. Garvin, chief scientist for NASA's Mars and lunar exploration programs, as the new Chief Scientist, effective immediately."

Editor's note: If you follow the link below you will find larger versions of (former) NASA Chief Scientist John Grunsfeld's "vulcanization". NASA Chief Scientist Jim Garvin and Space Station Science Officer Leroy Chiao are next in line for the same alteration.

Editor's note: According to a NASA Watch reader who just arrived at work at KSC, today is the day that new badge checking procedures go into effect. While memos and reminders were sent out in advance, many people were caught off guard as they arrived this morning. One aspect of the new procedure is to check both sides of a badge. As such, some people had to pry their badges out of old plastic protective covers, and take off lapel pins or remove other things they have stuck on their badges. Wait times to get in this morning were as long as 40-50 minutes.

Ralph is Late

19 October 2004: Ralph is late for NASA's New Horizons Mission to Pluto, SpaceRef

"One of the instruments slated to fly aboard the New Horizons mission to Pluto is late and threatens to affect the entire mission. Ball Aerospace is responsible for delivering the main New Horizons imaging package, which has been named "Ralph."

Ralph is now months late and deep in the red in terms of cost."

Editor's Update: Apple Computer representatives contacted me after seeing this posting on NASA Watch. My computer will soon be fixed at no charge to me. My interactions with Apple staff since my unfortunate experiences at their Tyson's Corner store - as well as the emails from other loyal Apple customers - have convinced me that the folks at that store were an isolated anomaly - and that Apple customer service is indeed still the epitome of the old saying " the customer is always right". Ignore all of my earlier comments below.

No Political Humor at JPL notes: "JPL is putting the kibosh on political humor... note we're not federal employees and not covered by the Hatch act. It's just that our management has no sense of humor."

From NASA Heads up: "Each week, The NASA Family gets its latest agency news and information from the NASA Web Portal at As of Oct. 8, the agency's latest news and discoveries can also be found on NASA Television's new program "This Week@NASA" on Fridays at 10 a.m. on NASA HQ Channel 3. The program features the week's top developments from across the agency. If you miss the Friday broadcast, you can view encore presentations of "ThisWeek@NASA" throughout the week. For times, check the NASA TV schedule available at"

Christopher Reeve Has Died

11 October 2004: 'Superman' star Christopher Reeve dies at age 52, AP

26 August 1996: Text of Christopher Reeve's speech at the 1996 Democratic National Convention

"Now, America has a tradition that many nations probably envy. We frequently achieve the impossible. But that's part of our national character. That's what got us from one coast to another. That's what got us the largest economy in the world. That's what got us to the moon. Now, in my room while I was in rehab, there was a picture of the space shuttle blasting off. It was autographed by every astronaut down at NASA. On the top of that picture it says, "We found nothing is impossible."

5 July 2001: The Challenge, Christopher Reeve

"Neil Armstrong never would have walked on the moon without the support of the American people. Similarly, I know that my dream of walking again will not be fulfilled without the help of people like you. And because every day gone by is another day I and millions more live with paralysis, there is no time to waste."

"This image was taken by Rover Opportunity's Navcam inside Endeavour Crater, Meridiani, Mars on 6 October 2004.

Spirit and Opportunity have been exploring Mars about three times as long as originally scheduled. The more they look, the more evidence of past liquid water on Mars these robots discover."

NASA TV will carry a live conversation between SpaceShipOne designer Burt Rutan and the Expedition 9 crew at 4:00 PM EDT. [WATCH]

4 October 2004: NOAA-N-Prime Satellite Mishap Investigation Report Released, NASA

"-- The LMSSC operations team's lack of discipline in following procedures evolved from complacent attitudes toward routine spacecraft handling, poor communication and coordination among operations team, and poorly written or modified procedures."

"-- The Government's inability to identify and correct deficiencies in the TIROS operations and LMSSC oversight processes were due to inadequate resource management, an unhealthy organizational climate, and the lack of effective oversight processes."

Mt. St. Helens Erupting

Mt. St. Helens experienced another small eruption today. The volcano released a large plume composed mostly of steam - and only a small amount of ash. A Level Three alert continues with geologists predicting a 70% chance that there will be a major eruption very soon.

- Mt. St. Helens Satellite Imagery, NOAA
- Mount St. Helens VolcanoCam, USGS
- Mount St. Helens Seismicity Information, PNSN
- Mount St. Helens, Washington, USGS
- Cascade Range Current Update, USGS

Today in History

"On October 4, 1957, when the Soviet Union successfully launched Sputnik I.

The world's first artificial satellite was about the size of a basketball, weighed only 183 pounds, and took about 98 minutes to orbit the Earth on its elliptical path."


Editor's note: Earlier this week I was in Monterey sitting in the audience of the at the NASA Administrator's Symposium "Risk and Exploration: Earth, Sea and the Stars". In the front of the auditorium was a 17" Mac Powerbook used to run the event's multimedia. When the machine was not in use a screensaver came on. Each time it did I was totally distracted and captivated - as were many others. I saw satellites cavorting across the Earth as the planet swam through space . I learned that the application responsible for this addictive eye candy is "Freefall'. If you are at all interested in space - and own a Mac - then you simply must own this software. It is mesmerizing. I now have it on my new 17" Powerbook and I am not getting any "real" work done.

Download demo and info on purchase



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This page is an archive of entries in the News category from October 2004.

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