News: November 2004 Archives

Launch Delays

NASA Spacecraft and Expendable Launch Vehicles Status Report 24 November 2004

- Deep Impact Launch Date - No earlier than January 8, 2005
- DART Launch Date - No earlier than March 2, 2005

Lucky Shot

24 November 2004: Meteorite 'photographed' hitting Earth,

"Northern Territory scientists were last night studying what could be the first photograph of a meteorite hitting Earth. The chances of an impact being captured on film are millions to one."

Don Puddy Has Died

23 November 2004: NASA Honors Memory of Mission Control Veteran Don Puddy

"Donald R. Puddy, 67, whose 31-year career with NASA spanned the Apollo, Skylab and Space Shuttle programs, died Nov. 22 in Houston following a lengthy illness. Puddy joined NASA's Johnson Space Center in 1964 and spent 22 years as a key leader of human space flights in the Mission Control Center."

New Views of Distant Worlds

NASA Cassini Image: Hovering Over Titan

"A mosaic of nine processed images recently acquired during Cassini's first very close flyby of Saturn's moon Titan on Oct. 26, 2004, constitutes the most detailed full-disc view of the mysterious moon. The view is centered on 15 degrees south latitude, and 156 degrees west longitude. Brightness variations across the surface and bright clouds near the south pole are easily seen."

- NASA Cassini Image: Tethys - Battered and Grooved
- NASA Cassini Image: Rhea, A Real Shiner

Swift is on its way

20 November 2004: NASA Successfully Launches Swift Satellite

"NASA's Swift satellite successfully launched today aboard a Boeing Delta 2 rocket at 12:16 p.m. EST from Launch Complex 17A at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. The satellite will pinpoint the location of distant yet fleeting explosions that appear to signal the births of black holes."

18 November 2004: S. RES. 470: Honoring the life of astronaut Leroy Gordon Cooper, Jr.

"Whereas Gordon Cooper was the first man to go into space for a second time;"

Editor's note: A NASA Watch reader just reminded me "I thought Gus Grissom was the first man to go into space twice: Liberty Bell 7 and Gemini 3." Perhaps the resolution should have said "Whereas Gordon Cooper was the first man to go into orbit for a second time."

Trivia for The Right Stuff, IMDB

"The closing narration states Gordon Cooper was "the last American ever to go into space alone''. While true when the film was made, Mike Melvill in June and September 2004 and Brian Bimmie in October 2004 went into space alone in Scaled Composites' SpaceShipOne. Bimmie's flight coincidentally was the day Gordon Cooper died."

NAC Meeting: Transforming the NASA Advisory Council Structure

"The meeting will be open to the public up to the seating capacity of the room. The agenda for the meeting is as follows: Transforming the NASA Advisory Council Structure."

Editor's note: at the last NAC meeting in September (which was closed to the public) the topic of revising the format of the NAC was discussed. Among the ideas presented by NASA was reformatting the NAC along the lines of a suggestion made by the Aldridge Commission that NASA look to the Defense Science Board and the role it serves in focusing advice for the DoD.

Editor's note: Reliable sources reveal that the National Space Society (NSS) has worked out an arrangement where the publishing of its magazine "Ad Astra" will now be handled by That transition will happen over the next month or two. Discussions have also been held with various parties with regard to the possible merger of NSS and The Space Foundation.

Brad Liston Has Died

Editor's note: NASA KSC PAO has received word that Reuters space reporter Brad Liston died early Tuesday morning.

Frances Kerry, Reuters Bureau Chief, Miami: "I am extremely sad to say that Broward "Brad" Liston, a talented and much-admired central Florida and Cape Canaveral freelance reporter for Reuters for nearly a decade, died suddenly on Tuesday after being taken ill with pneumonia. He was 47."

NASA Watch Imposter Reappears

Editor's note: I was not at the Centennial Challenges event at NASA HQ this morning - but was listening to the webcast. The person referring to "NASA Watch" is not from "NASA Watch". Just remember: I am easy to identify at such events: I dress like a slob and don't wear a tie. Also - I do not think NASA is ignoring minorities - contrary to the bizzare question my imposter asked. Indeed, quite the contrary:

15 November 2004: NASA to Showcase Engineering and Space Exploration at National Society of Black Engineers Houston Conference

"NASA will participate in the National Society of Black Engineer's (NSBE) Region V Fall Regional Conference Nov. 19-21 at the Hilton Americas Hotel, Houston, to showcase the engineering contributions that make space exploration a reality."

More Fraud at KSC?

12 November 2004: Bid-fraud probe intensifies, Florida Today

"The charges against Gregory L. Hansen and Kenneth E. McDonald stemmed from a case in which they allegedly created a fake company and submitted phony purchase orders on construction work at KSC through their employer, Olson Electric Co. of Daytona Beach. U.S. Department of Justice anti-trust attorney Richard Reed has told a judge in Atlanta that the men are providing "substantial assistance" that should lead to the prosecution of others involved in construction contract fraud at the center."

Editor's note: 12 November 2004: Channel 6 WKMG will be airing a story tonight at 11:00 pm EST regarding "bid-rigging" at KSC. According to WKMG "A major scheme at the Kennedy Space Center is uncovered. The Problem Solvers learn indictments are on the way from a federal investigation into a bid-rigging plan."

I'm Outta Here

JAXA President Shuichiro Yamanouchi Resigns, Keiji Tachikawa To Succeed

"However, just after the integration, we faced a series of malfunctions and troubles including the failure of H-IIA launch vehicle No.6, for which I felt personal responsibility. I have, therefore, been working with the executives and employees as a team for the purpose of resuming launches and restoring public trust."

11 November 2004: OSTP: Notice of Release of Appendix 3 To Draft Strategic Plan for U.S. Integrated Earth Observation System and Extension of Public Comment Period

SUMMARY: This notice announces the release of the Appendix 3 to the Draft Strategic Plan for the U.S. Integrated Earth Observation System and extension of the public comment period by the National Science and Technology Council's (NSTC) Committee on Environment and Natural Resources (CENR) Interagency Working Group on Earth Observations (IWGEO). This draft plan was prepared to address the effective use of Earth observation systems to benefit humankind, and Appendix 3 provides a summary of the state of the current observation systems addressed in the plan.

8 November 2004: NASA'S DART Launch Postponed, NASA

"The launch of NASA's DART spacecraft aboard an Orbital Sciences Pegasus XL scheduled for Tuesday is postponed. A review of projected loads data, or the G-forces the payload experiences upon ignition of the Pegasus second stage, is being re-evaluated to ensure mission success."

Editor's note: I had to read this more than once to make sure I got it right. Isn't this the sort of analysis that should have been done months - perhaps years ago - not days before a launch - one that has already been delayed? Someone sure dropped the ball on this one. Its nice to see that a potential issue was caught in time - but I have to wonder what would have happened if the launch had gone ahead in October. Was this information available at that time?

7 November 2004: Martian Robots, Taking Orders From a Manhattan Walk-Up, NY Times

"There is also a more tangible piece of New York on Mars. On each rover, a curved piece of metal the size of a credit card and adorned with the American flag was cut out of debris from the World Trade Center....Until now, that knowledge has remained within the mission team. "It was intended to be a quiet tribute," Mr. Gorevan said. "Enough time has passed. We want the families to know."

Click on image to enlarge

No Changes on the Horizon

5 November 2004: Bush Will Not Seek Mass Resignations, Washington Post

"President Bush will not ask his appointees for the mass resignation letters that sometimes have been requested with a change of term but instead wants the aides to keep doing their jobs unless they are told otherwise, White House officials said yesterday."

5 November 2004: NASA chief backs plan to return to Moon, Contra Costa Times

"Fulfilling President George W. Bush's ambitious plan to return humans to the Moon will create down-to-earth benefits, rocketing advances in computer science and other technologies, the chief of NASA said."

3 November 2004: Team Bush ...with a Few New Faces, Business Week

"A leading contender for the Pentagon chief's job would be National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice ... Other candidates include Sean O'Keefe, head of the National Aeronautics & Space Administration, and Navy Secretary Gordon England."

Editor's note: Opportunity is curently moving over to the other side of Endurance crater toward a series of slopping rock formations. Browsing though the latest images I found this one here. Some things immediately caught my eye.

1 November 2004: China plans to send 2 men to space in 2005, Xinhua

"China's second manned space flight will be conducted by two astronauts over five days in 2005. Unlike Shenzhou-V, which flew with a single astronaut for 21 and half hours a little more than a year ago, the next flight will see two astronauts fly in space for five days. Their capsule is designed to be capable of orbiting for a whole week, the spokesperson said."For the first time, astronauts will enter and live in the orbital module of the spacecraft to do scientific experiments," said a statement from CAST, the major manufacturer of the manned spacecraft and its launch vehicle."

NASA Cassini Image: F Ring (and Prometheus?)

Editor's note: I was wandering through Cassini's raw image collection last night and came across this peculiar image. According to the official description this image was "taken on October 29, 2004. The camera was pointing toward Saturn's rings at approximately 790,933 kilometers away." Just inside the ring there appears to be a small moon passing by. If you look at the enlarged version of this image you can see what appears to be disturbances in the ring which seem to be a direct result of the moon (Prometheus?) passing nearby. I have sent a request. Perhaps someone at JPL will tell us what we are looking at.

1 November 2004: U.S. deploys satellite jamming system, Reuters

"The U.S. Air Force quietly has put into service a new weapon designed to jam enemy satellite communications, a significant step toward U.S. control of space. The so-called Counter Communications System was declared operational late last month at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, Colorado, the Air Force Space Command said Friday in e-mailed replies to questions from Reuters."



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

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