News: September 2006 Archives

Editor's note: This Solicitation was released today. A read through this document makes you wonder why a field center is looking to develop the sort of capabilities one would expect belong at NASA Headquarters. Perhaps the oddest thing is the following item regarding Congressional activities - given that Mike Griffin has repeatedly chided center directors for running to Congress every time they have a problem (a favorite habit at MSFC):

"5.1.3 The contractor shall assist OSAC in researching, recommending and documenting a variety of outreach strategies that focus on educating and informing members of Congress and staff of Marshall related programs. This support shall enable the government to build relationships with Aerospace associations and industry organizations, work with members of Congress, congressional staff, and other Government officials to create forums for advancing Marshall objectives."

A Very Cool Webcam

Editor's note: This is so cool. Go to the Cosmocam page and click on the live streaming video icon. You will see live imagery from the HERO X-Ray telescope at an altitude of 130,000 feet (40,000 m).

"CosmoCam is being developed by Rocket Science, Inc. in collaboration with NASA Goddard's Exploration of the Universe Division and personnel from the Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility." ... "Video Camera- Pan and Tilt with 26X optical/260X electronic Zoom for looking around! Each person selected as a beta tester will be allowed a 10 minute time slot to control the camera. The beta testers will be sent a login and password to access the control window prior to their allotted time slot."

Misleading Photo Captions

Editor's note: According to the caption on this image: "Flight director Rick LaBrode monitors data at his console in the Station (Blue) Flight Control Room in Houston's Mission Control Center during Expedition 13 mission activities." Look closely. He isn't monitoring data. He's looking at his laptop, scrolling with a mouse, and reading a JSC Today special notice titled "Two Briefings Today From NASA Headquarters"

Rocket Boy Blog

Editor's note: "Rocket Boy's" Author Homer Hickam has added a new feature to his website. Check out his blog

NASA Advisory Council Meeting, 12 October 2006

"All U.S. citizens desiring to attend the NASA Advisory Council Meeting at the Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) must provide their full name, company affiliation (if applicable), place of birth, and date of birth to the GSFC Security Office no later than the close of business on October 4, 2006."

Science and NASA - Speech by NASA Administrator Michael Griffin

"It is simply a fact that the NAC subcommittee meetings are open to, and heavily attended by, NASA managers and key staff. Anyone who attends is instantly privy to all advice and discussion that is aired, or which is working its way through the system. An obviously good idea can be adopted by a NASA manager without waiting for a formal recommendation. The public including the media is present for final Council deliberation and action. There is no "dilution" of advice whatsoever."

Editor's note: U.S. citizens are supposed to be able to attend these meetings simply by walking in on the day of the event. They are not required, by FACA regulations to provide advance notice of their intent to attend. NASA is now instituting new security requirements which can only serve to make access to this FACA meeting more difficult - and thus making the "advice" that this committee gives to the Administrator more difficult to hear. For all practical purposes any taxpayer showing up at GSFC on the day of this meeting would be denied access - even though the NAC has not declared this to be a "closed" meeting per FACA regs.

Editor's 15 Sep update: Meanwhile the FAA seems to have found a way to hold the Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee (also a FACA committee) in their DC headquarters without requiring a week's advance notice by U.S. citizens.

JSC is Part of Monopoly

Editor's note: Looks like Hasbro picked JSC as one of the places to rent property in its new version of the classic board game "Monopoly".

Click here or on image to enlarge.

Captain Kirk Wimps Out

Captain Kirk reveals he won't go boldly into space

"The 75-year-old actor said: "I'm interested in man's march into the unknown but to vomit in space is not my idea of a good time. Neither is a fiery crash with the vomit hovering over me."

Stuck on the D-list

Sen. Hutchison to Deliver Remarks at Reception Honoring Space Shuttle Discovery Crew

"On Wednesday, September 6 at 6:00 PM (EST), Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX), Chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Science and Space, will deliver remarks at a reception honoring the crew of the STS-121 Space Shuttle Discovery mission."

Editor's note: It always strikes me as a little odd to see such press releases issued for events like this by public servants since taxpayers regular folks can't usually get into these quasi-exclusive receptions and mingle with lawmakers and their staff. Your name has to be on a carefully guarded list before you can enter. Last year USA was nice enough to invite me to an identical reception they were sponsoring (with several other companies) - in the exact same location. Alas, one of Rep. Dave Weldon's staffers was upset to see me there and started asking the sponsors how I got in - and expressing annoyance that I was there. As such I doubt I will be invited to receptions like this again any time soon. This posting will all but ensure that!

Oh well - DC traffic is awful at this time of day - and its hard to have a conversation in these receptions with all of the aerospace executives' grand children running around screaming.

Recent NASA OIG Reports


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

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