Editor's note: As some of you may recall I have a habit of prowling through images from the ISS looking for strange things the crew has floating around.
News: July 2005 Archives
Editor's note: Mike Griffin did a very good job today.
"DR. GRIFFIN: Discovery is the cleanest bird we've had on orbit in recent memory. We have--so we think Discovery is safe to bring home, so that's not a decision. We have approximately one-sixth the number of scars on this orbiter by actual count as compared to the average over the last 113 flights before Discovery. So almost everything we did to fix the tank worked. We're working a couple of issues on Discovery right now. But we have--we think we have work-arounds. We think Discovery is safe to bring home."
"WALLACE: So the question is, the president wants to retire the shuttle by 2010 anyway. Should we do it now?
NELSON: No. The space program needs to continue to build and complete the international space station so that it can be used as the experimental laboratory that we designed it for."
"With Commander Eileen Collins and Pilot Jim Kelly at the controls, the 14th shuttle mission lifted off at 9:39 a.m., riding the massive Saturn rocket into the heavens as the crowd gathered at Cape Canaveral cheered and the ground shook."
Editor's note: This is from The Citizen, the local paper for the community surrounding JSC.
Shuttle flaws test NASA's toolbox prowess, Christian Science Monitor
"I could see senators asking, 'If you can't do this, how are you going to go to the moon and Mars?' " asks Keith Cowing of Nasawatch.com."
"Every now and again even the most cynical of us stumble across something so simple - and yet profound - as to take one's breath away - and remind us of why we are so captivated with space exploration's broader ramifications.."
Editor's note: Many people in and around the NASA family have gone through quite an emotional rollercoster in the past few days. Take a moment to look at this video produced under the sponsorship of ESMD while Craig Steidle still ran the place. Given that Mike Griffin is systematically disassembling much of what Steidle and his team built, and scattering it to the wind, this simple little video may well be what people remember them for.
President Bush watches Mike Griffin in action at the Launch Control Center (click to enlarge)
"Q And how is the Mars program going?
MR. McCLELLAN: NASA can probably update you on the effort. Again, this is a long-term program, and you can sit there and smirk about it, but the President felt it was important -- (laughter) -- the President felt it was important to outline a clearly defined mission for NASA. And we're all excited about today's launch and we wish the --
Q Will he be speaking about it --"
CNN Transcript: DOBBS: "... Whether it is orbital space plane, whether it be an extension of the shuttle or perhaps another derivation of the space vehicle."
Editor's note: "Orbital Space Plane?" C'mon Lou. Don't you read your own website?
Shuttle is back, but honestly, I just don't care, commentary, Orlando Sentinel
"Between now and 2020, NASA needs $270 billion to retire the space shuttle, develop its replacement and return to the moon, a trip that will cost more than $60 billion."
Editor's note: A. This guy needs to talk to someone who actually knows what they are talking about.
B. This guy is a sports writer. So, I would guess that he thinks that a bunch of guys running around throwing a ball and making obscene amounts of money for doing nothing of real value is more important than space exploration. Gee, why not just say so?
"NASA GSFC plans to award a cooperative research agreement on a sole source basis to the University of Maryland for research and technology development in the area of dexterous robotic manipulation for space applications. This cooperative agreement will establish a Space Robotics Institute."
NASA/HQ has a requirement for engineering support services in support of the Office of the Administrator. The contractor shall support the Shuttle/Station Configuration Options Team; the Systems Engineering, Integration, and Transition Team for the Space Shuttle, Space Station, and Exploration Systems programs; the Integrated Enterprise Management Program; and, provide support to the Program Analysis and Evaluation Office. NASA/HQ intends to award a purchase order to Mr. Liam P. Sarsfield. The authority is 10 U.S.C.2304(c)(1) "only one responsible source."
Editor's note: I find it absurd that a justification to sole source this work to Liam Sarsfield is done on the basis that there is "only one responsible source." The implication is that there is no one currently working within NASA who is capable of doing this work.
Volna Failure Review Board Reports on Loss of Cosmos 1, Planetary Society
"The Planetary Society was not invited to be part of the failure review. We did receive a warning from the U.S. State Department reminding us that, under International Arms Traffic Regulations (ITAR), we are not allowed to participate in a launch failure review without their approval. But even before the failure review, there was a serious lack of communication and coordination with the project and launch vehicle teams."
"Two weeks after suicide attacks on subway stations and a bus, police said explosions occurred at three subway stations and on a double-decker bus Thursday."
"When he attended a James Doohan Farewell Star Trek Convention and Tribute last summer, in a wheelchair but alert, one speaker was Neil Armstrong, the first person to walk on the moon and a "Star Trek" fan. According to accounts of the event, Mr. Armstrong said he hoped his next command would be a Federation starship and added, "If I get that command, I want a chief engineering officer like Montgomery Scott."
Editor's note: According to ABC News, Doohan's family "intends to send his ashes into space."
Editor's note: Mike Griffin seems to have chosen Chris Shank as his ambassador to space advocacy groups. Shank is listed as the "keynote speaker" at the Space Frontier Foundation's Return to the Moon conference on 21 July and has an hour to provide an "Overview of NASA" on 13 August at the Mars Society Convention.
Editor's note: NASA does everything by committee even paragraphs and sentences within official letters. A probable example can be seen in this letter (unless no one really proofed it before sending):
"Last night, NASA received an amendment in the nature of a substitute that the Committee plans to consider at today's Full Committee markup of H.R. 3070."
Then, just two sentences later, the letter changes the way it capitalizes/spells a name and an event:
"However, I would like to re-iterate a high-priority request for you to consider at today's full Committee mark-up."
"Logistical and research activities at the HMP Research Station are moving ahead smoothly. Pascal Lee, Project Lead, remains in Resolute Bay to coordinate key logistics and research payload forwarding for the 2005 field campaign."
Editor's note: A series of live webcams sponsored by SpaceRef Interactive will be online on Devon Island in the next week or so.
Reader comment: "This message has been coming at KSC employees from every direction...e-mails, the daily electronic newsletter, etc.... It's a great way to build morale and generate that OneNASA, one family environment that we all desire. Not.
Viewing launches has long been an important perk at KSC. Neither the previous RTF nor Glenn's flight warranted this kind of response. In fact, this is the first time the majority of personnel have been made aware of this "regulation". This sounds a bit "bush league" to me. No pun intended.
Please maintain my privacy concerning this message."
"Q Scott, is the President going to watch the Shuttle launch? And has he shelved his Mars proposal?"
Editor's note: Word has it that George Washington University professor and former Kerry presidential campaign space advisor John Logsdon is now advising NASA Administrator Mike Griffin in a formal role. Logsdon is part of a group Mike Griffin has assembled - one which reportedly includes Charles Bolden, Pete Worden, and Marcia Smith - whose task is reviewing the results of Griffin's 60 day study.
"Tuesday evening, House Science Committee Ranking Member Rep. Bart Gordon (D-TN) and the entire Democratic Caucus of the Committee introduced The NASA Reauthorization Act of 2005 (H.R. 3250) - their alternative to H.R. 3070, NASA Reauthorization legislation introduced by Science Committee Republicans."
"This afternoon, the eyes of the world will be on NASA and our effort to launch the Space Shuttle Discovery and its brave crew. The launch of STS-114 will culminate two and a half years of dedicated work to make the Space Shuttle program, and NASA as a whole, stronger and safer. I want to thank each and every member of the NASA team for your hard work and commitment to excellence."
Editor's note: 13 July 2005: 9:36 am EDT: I just walked past Courtney Stadd here at the KSC press site. Stadd is a Bigelow Aerospace consultant and recently left his short term consultant's position as an advisor to Mike Griffin. Alas, despite not having been a NASA civil servant for a number of years, Stadd was sporting a NASA civil servant badge and no discernible media credentials.
"Americans strongly support the space shuttle program, but just more than half of those polled think highly of NASA's performance, according to a USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup Poll taken weeks before the intended launch of the first shuttle flight in 2 years."
UK's Nasa hacker breaks his silence, Silicon.com
"McKinnon, however, said he can't remember much about the project as he had been "smoking a lot of dope at the time". The hacker has also denied that he had made Washington's computer system inoperable, although he did admit he may have deleted some government files by accidentally pressing the wrong key."
Editor's update: From the NASA History Office: "To mark the 30th anniversary of the Apollo Soyuz Test Project, the NASA History Division is pleased to announce a new Web site at http://history.nasa.gov/30thastp/index.html online. The two spacecraft launched separately on July 15, 1975 and joined in space two days later. This site contains biographical information, timelines, audiovisual clips, and much more. Special thanks to Giny Cheong, Liz Suckow, and Todd Messer for their help with this informative and attractive site."
Editor's note: Right now, if you ask where Mike Griffin is, the response you get is that he is "out of the office". In reality, he is on vacation in South Carolina. Rest assured, he will be at KSC for the launch and has already picked out a prime seat for himself in the Firing Room. While at KSC, Griffin will participate in what is being touted as a "NASA Administrator's Q&A" at 2:00 pm EDT on 12 July. Once the launch has been accomplished, he will also participate in a "+ 1 hour Post-launch Press Conference" with Bill Readdy, Bill Parsons, and Mike Leinbach. After that, Griffin is expected to be "out of the office" again for a few days in South Carolina.
"A 90-Day Report, requested by the Administrator, was compiled for the first time June 15, 2005. The report will be updated monthly and will include noteworthy Agency, Center, and program milestones, events and activities, press conferences and interviews, upcoming reports, deadlines and legislative activities, and key decision dates. (A special emphasis should be placed on information that would be needed by or of interest to the Administrator and the Deputy Administrator.)"
"Deep Impact needs a trajectory change soon if it is to have enough propellant for a new mission. That change remained forbidden by NASA Headquarters as the spacecraft team celebrated their hard-won success on July 4, a sign of money troubles and uncertainty about directions at the agency. Clear heads prevailed on July 5 and the course change was approved--but not the extended mission."
Editor's note 7 July 7:00 AM EDT: Despite 3 requests all I have gotten back from PAO is one of the recipent's replies that she was out of email communication the day after I sent the first email request.
Editor's note: Yesterday morning, as I listened, half asleep, to the names of the London Underground stations that were hit by the terrorist attack, I suddenly froze when they named one station in particular: Aldgate East. Two years ago, when I was in London, I got off at that station and wandered around the immediate neighborhood. I was trying to locate any remaining indications (alas, none found) of the site of a V-2 impact in spring 1945. You see, my father was billeted nearby when the rocket hit.
Deep impact on policy, opinion, Times Tribune
"New NASA administrator Michael Griffin seems to have a strong sense of the value, rather than the cost alone, of productive science missions. He is trying, for example, to restore funding for a final repair mission to the Hubble Space Telescope, which otherwise would be abandoned."
Editor's note: The author seems to have a narrow view of what is actually happening at NASA. Despite Griffin's clear interest in science, right now, human exploration is the prime concern of this Administrator. In hearings last week before the House Science Committee Griffin said "... but I cannot responsibly prioritize microbiology and fundamental life science research higher than the need for the United States to have its own strategic access to space."
Reader comment: "I think I have found out why people keep coming up with claims that the VSE will cost $1 trillion. Check out this AFP story up on Yahoo today. In particular the line which reads, "Despite the uncertainties surrounding the safety of manned flights, President George W. Bush has set out an ambitious agenda for intergalactic exploration." Is NASA putting together any RFPs for Warp Drive development that you've heard of?"
"Today, Women in Aerospace (WIA) announced the opening of and requested nominations for their 20th Annual Awards Competition. This signature program furthers the WIA mission to expand women's opportunities for leadership and increase their visibility in the aerospace community."
"NASA will present The Comets performing a special concert for the "Deep Impact" team. It takes place at 12 p.m. TODAY (Tuesday July 5th) at the NASA/JPL's Pasadena facility."
Moscow astrologist takes NASA to court, RIA Novosti
"The trial has been postponed, as a NASA official failed to turn up at court," said Alexander Molokhov."
"Bai demanded that NASA pay about nine billion roubles (about 316 million U.S. dollars) as compensation for moral damage caused by the collision of unmanned probe with the comet Tempel-1"
"After 172 days and 431 million kilometers (268 million miles) of deep space stalking, Deep Impact successfully reached out and touched comet Tempel 1. The collision between the coffee table-sized impactor and city-sized comet occurred at 1:52 a.m. EDT."
Robbins Hopes War of the Worlds Doesn't Spark Space Race, Contact Music
"I don't see spending billions of dollars to see if there's life somewhere else as a good use of money. Better to use that money to make the quality of life better here on earth."
Editor's note: Gee Tim, this all sounds a little hypocritical to me. In addition to appearing in a movie such as "War of the Worlds" which draws upon the interest in space among some people (and not for free I am sure), I guess its OK for people to pay money (and improve your "quality of life") to see you pretend to be in space - as you did when acting in a truly horrible movie a few years back about finding life on Mars? Do as I say - not as I do, eh? Hey, wasn't that your wife starring in the second Dune miniseries on the SciFi channel - which dealt with life on other planets?
Oh wait. You're just an actor spouting lines. Nevermind.