News: October 2005 Archives

Paying Twice for Art

Laurie Anderson, Times Herald-Record

"Oh, to be a bug on the wall when multimedia performance artist Laurie Anderson informed the higher-ups at NASA that, as part of her artist-in-residence status at the agency, she was setting out to ... write a poem. "... The end result, "The End of the Moon," is part of a trilogy that began with a piece called "Happiness" (created in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terror attacks). Anderson performs her piece tonight at the Bardavon Opera House in Poughkeepsie. Tickets: $42.50, $39.50 students/senior citizens, $36.50 members."

Editor's note: If she is getting taxpayer money to write this stuff shouldn't she perform it for free?

NASA's First and Last Artist in Residence?, NASA Watch

Editor's note: Mike Griffin has told some members of the NASA Advisory Council that he no longer wishes to have them serve on the NAC. Griffin cancelled a meeting scheduled for 20 April 2005 and, 6 months later, has yet to announce who is on the new NAC or when it will meet. Griffin sent out the following letter informing NAC members of his decision:

NASA Scraps Plan to Wrap Hanger in Panels, AP

"NASA has scrapped plans to wrap a decommissioned hangar in solar panels after a contractor deemed the project impractical. NASA said Monday the panels would not generate enough energy to justify the $40 million cost of installing them."

Editor's note: Oh well. It was an interesting way to make use of this historic structure.

NASA Chief Under Fire For Personal Shuttle Use, The Onion

"NASA Administrator Michael Griffin has yet to respond to recent allegations that he used NASA space shuttles on as many as one dozen unauthorized outings to such destinations as New York City, the French Riviera, and his vacation home near Ketchum, ID. A report issued Monday by NASA's Oversight Commission indicates a cumulative 1.8 million miles unaccounted for on the Atlantic, Discovery, and Endeavor shuttles. In addition, shuttle pilot James Kelly reported numerous occasions on which he found the pilot seat "adjusted for someone else."

Transparent Aluminum!

Air Force testing new transparent armor, Air Force News Service

"Engineers here are testing a new kind of transparent armor - stronger and lighter than traditional materials - that could stop armor-piercing weapons from penetrating vehicle windows. The Air Force Research Laboratory's materials and manufacturing directorate is testing aluminum oxynitride - ALONtm - as a replacement for the traditional multi-layered glass transparencies now used in existing ground and air armored vehicles."

Heads Up KSC

NASA KSC Closed on Monday, Oct. 24 Due to Hurricane Wilma

International Space Station Imagery: Hurricane Wilma

Wilma to Arrive in South Florida Tomorrow, May Be Category 3, Bloomberg

" Hurricane Wilma was 285 miles southwest of the Florida Keys at 11 a.m. local time. Wilma is a Category 2 storm on the five- step Saffir-Simpson scale of intensity and could be upgraded to a Category 3, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said on its Web site."

NOAA IR satellite image
NOAA Storm Track
NOAA Advisory
NOAA Discussion

Reader comment: "Regarding your article tracking Hurricane Wilma, you should note that the current track takes the storm direclty over the West Palm Beach site of Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne. SSME turbopumps -- a major contributor tothe VSE architectue -- and the RL10 upper stage engine are manufactured at this site. This site also took two direct hits last year with Hurricanes Frances and Jeanne."

Mike Griffin to the Rescue

New Staff, New Direction for NASA, Washington Post

"I say this with all humility," Griffin said in an interview. "I don't believe there is someone else who knows the broad span of NASA better than I. . . . When I was offered the job, I showed up at the front door knowing what needed to be done. I did not want to waste any time, nor did I feel I needed to."

Editor's note: I don't make this stuff up, folks.

Successor to Max Ary testifies at his trial, The Hutchinson News

"After museum officials learned the Cosmosphere had garnered no money from the tape's sale, they were able to obtain a sales receipt showing that [former Kansas Cosmosphere President] Ary had sold the tape and dozens of other items owned by the Cosmosphere and NASA through his private auction house account."

Griffin Speaks Before IAC

NASA Administrator Michael Griffin's Remarks for 56th International Astronautical Congress

"...But as much as we can take pride in these accomplishments, the dawn of the true space age lies ahead of us. In a relatively short amount of time, I believe people around the globe will be able to look up at new Moon, and with the aid of a strong telescope, be able to see the glimmering lights of a research station on the lunar surface manned by an international crew."

Babs in Space

Editor's note: From the October 2005 issue of Washingtonian magazine - interviews with local luminaries. Senator Mikulski's profile includes her admission:

"I'd be a Trekkie in two hot seconds," she says. But she admits a more realistic job would be an astronomer. "While I would love to go up to the distant planets and find new galaxies," she says. "I wouldnt want to be an astronaut. I don't quite see myself in the costume."

Image: Sen. Mikulski using her secret transporter. This should explain why people often think she is in two places at once. Click on image to enlarge.

Fixing NASA's IT Mess

NASA Struggles to Fix Network Security Holes, Baseline

"This past March, an internal audit report from the NASA inspector general's office warned that the agency's decentralized management of information systems and security is making those services "less efficient, cohesive and effective" because of the lack of centralized planning and authority. Identity and account management is one of the prime examples."

Researchers find a potential key to human immune suppression in space

"Researchers at the San Francisco VA Medical Center have identified a set of key immune-response genes that do not turn on in a weightless environment. The discovery is another clue in the effort to solve an almost 40-year-old mystery: why the human immune system does not function well in the weightlessness of space."

Editor's note: Of course this is exactly the sort of basic research into crew health that NASA's new exploration plans intend to cancel.

DART Mission: Partial Success/Partial Failure

NASA Announces DART Mishap Investigation Board Members

"NASA selected the mishap investigation board to determine why the Demonstration of Autonomous Rendezvous Technology (DART) spacecraft did not complete its mission on April 15."

Editor's note: It has been 6 months. Why hasn't there been any word as to when the DART Mishap Investigation Board will issue its findings?

Science Adviser to President Bush visits LSU, discusses science and technology policy with faculty, students (with Powerpoint presentation), Louisiana State University

"Marburger's appearance was part of the Chancellor's Distinguished Lectureship Series. His presentation, titled "Science and Technology Policy in the Real World," addressed the federal government's role in funding and support for science and technology, as well as how funding decisions are made."

NASA GSFC Modification to a Previous Notice - Institute for Space Robotics

"On September 1, 2005, NASA/GSFC released a Cooperative Agreement Notice for the Institute for Space Robotics. NASA has decided not to proceed with the Cooperative Agreement and it is hereby cancelled."

NASA GSFC Solicitation: Institute for Space Robotics

"The estimated value of this agreement is approximately $45M not to exceed 5 years."

Reorganization at KSC Aligns Center With NASA Exploration

"NASA's Kennedy Space Center has created four new offices in response to the Exploration Systems Architecture Study, which aims to implement the nation's vision for space exploration."


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This page is an archive of entries in the News category from October 2005.

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