News: February 2007 Archives

No Data Hoarding Allowed

NASA Program Management Council Minutes 1 November 2006. Rex Geveden, Associate Administrator: "Ownership of data: There have been recent issues that surfaced where data was denied to review teams needing access to perform their functions. Anyone requesting data for an internal review should have access. To deny access is unacceptable behavior. If it is embargoed data then tag it accordingly, but don't deny access."

20 Feb 2007 Addendum: Memorandum with Management Comments provided in response to the 2 Nov 2006 Final Memorandum on Observations on the Review and Approval of Glenn Research Center's Relocation of the Altitude Combustion Stand Facility.

"Although events overtook our recommendation, the Agency's failure to comply with its own procedural requirements and ensure the appropriate use of resources remains troubling. ... Perhaps most concerning is the apparent belief that once NASA has built a facility to meet requirements for certain capabilities, that those requirements continue on indefinitely and justify the construction of replacement facilities years later without due consideration of whether there is a continuing need. There is no fiduciary duty to preserve capabilities that are no longer needed. There is a fiduciary duty to keep from investing in unneeded facilities, and this duty provides the underpinning for the requirements that NASA did not follow in constructing the ACS facility."

Red triangle with skull and crossbones is for danger - new UN radiation symbol

"A skull and crossbones, a running person and radiating ionizing waves, all on a deep red triangle, joined other more common warning symbols today as part of a United Nations effort to reduce needless deaths and serious injuries from accidental exposure to large radioactive sources such as food irradiation and cancer therapy equipment."

Editor's note: Personally, this symbol makes me think that big ceiling fans can send flaming arrows down to kill pirates and people crossing the street.

Iran fires research rocket not space missile: agency, Reuters

"Iran has launched a sub-orbital rocket for scientific research not a missile capable of reaching space as earlier reported, an aerospace official told an Iranian news agency on Sunday."

Iran rocket claim raises tension, BBC

"Iranian media say the country has successfully launched its first rocket capable of reaching space. But officials later said it was for research and would not go into orbit. Experts say if Iran has fired a rocket into space it would cause alarm abroad as it would mean scientists had crossed important technological barriers."

Iran's Sputnik, Aviation Week & Space Technology (29 January 2007)

"Iran has just completed conversion of a powerful ballistic missile into a satellite launch vehicle. But the 25-30-ton rocket could be a wolf in sheep's clothing to test longer-range Iranian missile technologies. The Bush administration will likely view the vehicle as a rogue rocket developed in a cabal of Iran and North Korea. The new launcher has recently been assembled and "will liftoff soon," says Alaoddin Boroujerdi, chairman of the Iranian parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy Commission."

NASA, Virgin Galactic to Share Space Travel Plans, PC Magazine

"S. Pete Warden, director of the NASA Ames Research Center"

NASA and Virgin Galactic ink space deal, The Register

"NASA deputy administrator Shana Dole added:"

Mike and Shana Head For Ames

NASA ARC All-hands with the Administrator and Deputy Administrator

"Mike Griffin and Shana Dale will be visiting Ames the week of February 19 for, among other events, the NASA Strategic and Program Management Councils. They would like to take that opportunity to talk to the Ames community at an all-hands gathering."

Space for improvement: re-engaging the public with the greatest adventure of our time (part 1), The Space Review

Space for improvement: re-engaging the public with the greatest adventure of our time (part 2), The Space Review

"The spaceflight community, and NASA in particular, has a serious problem on its hands. A substantial majority of the paying public, space exploration's so-called constituency, doesn't really care much about real spaceflight."

Editor's note: Attention GSFC employees: if you notice that things around the office are dirty, smell funny, or look messy, just blame Congress (see following memo):

Editor's 12 Feb update: I originally posted this comment Thursday night. I am rather surprised that the Florida Today folks haven't responded. Either they do not read NASA Watch, or they simply do not care that this juvenile insult mongering goes on in connection with the articles they post on their website. Given that this material remains online, I have to assume that John Kelly and his staff do not mind if this material is featured on the very same page as their articles.

Go to page 4 of the comments and scroll down to the poem by "ddwise21". Pure Shakespeare.

Editor's 8 Feb note: There's some rather unsophisticated, sexist, and outright crude postings about Colleen Shipman, Lisa Nowak, et al over at Florida Today - as well as some third grade level "diaper" postings linked from (and contained within) this article.

And this is supposed to be a family newspaper - and a serious source for space news? Florida Today owes the people mentioned in these posts an apology.

NASA Advisory Council Meeting

Editor's note: I will be live blogging from the NASA Advisory Council Meeting in Washington, DC today. The meeting started at 8:00 am EST. After lunch, it resumed at 1:20 pm and ended at 2:40 pm EST. Comments follow below:

Editor's 4:26 pm EST note: Lisa Nowak was in court again. The judge is granting her release on $25,500 bail and is requiring that she wear a GPS tracking device.

Astronaut to be charged with attempted murder, LA Times

"Florida authorities were planning to charge a NASA astronaut with attempted first-degree murder charges for allegedly attacking a woman that she considered her rival for the love of another astronaut, officials said today. Jail spokesman Allen Moore told Associated Press that Orlando police were in the process of filing the more serious charge against Navy Capt. Lisa Marie Nowak, who flew last summer on a shuttle mission to the International Space Station."

Editor's note: When such personal tragedies are discussed in the "NASA family" it is important to bring the astronauts back to Earth - i.e. reality. They are actually rather normal people (despite the NASA-manufactured Right Stuff aura) and, as such, they are as vulnerable to life's temptations and susceptible to illnesses as anyone else.

Lisa Nowak clearly has some serious personal issues to deal with. She clearly crossed the line of acceptable behavior and she needs to deal with the consequences.

The unfortunate emotional problems one person has - and perhaps one coworker's indiscretion - should not be used to impugn the entire agency any more than is the case with similar situations which happen every day across the country.

However, the one possible issue to take up with NASA is how someone with such obvious problems could have been allowed any where near a space shuttle so recently.

Alas, just watch as the ill-informed try and wrongly transform this personal tragedy into one that encompasses all that NASA does, everywhere.

Editor's note: Shep Smith's lack of knowledge - about anything - was clearly demonstrated once again today:

With regard to a possible defense: "I assume they must come up with some "post-astronaut something - or other..."

"She was caught wearing diapers. You know astronauts wear these diapers while they wait in the space shuttle. Maybe she had some lying around the house. Who knows"

But wait, there's more: Fox's pop analyst and pompous windbag Neal Cavuto just tried to compare Lisa Nowak's plight with that of convicted Wall Street inside trader Ivan Boesky.

Moments later, while John Gibson talked to some instant experts, a map showing Nowak's trip titled "900 Mile Diaper Drive" flashed on the screen. One Fox expert then said that "space and lack of gravity" caused her problems. Gee, what's next Fox? Poo jokes?

Editor's note: When I showed up today at NASA HQ for the budget press conference, the guards ordered me to go through a security scanner/metal detector. Not unexpected since my press badge (like the rest of the media's) is no longer valid. I was not given a badge after being screened, but was allowed to go into the auditorium. What was annoying is the fact that while I (and others) were required to go through this hassle, other people - without badges of any kind - were allowed to walk in off the street, cross the lobby, and enter the Webb Auditorium without being stopped or forced to go through the metal detector.

Later, when I was heading up to the afternoon AA briefings on the 5th floor, the guard told me that I could not go up, but that I had to be cleared and badged (since no one thought of that the first time) and then go through the metal detector (again).

People at HQ assure me that NASA security is getting its act together. Based on today's experience, it seems they are as confused as ever.



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This page is an archive of entries in the News category from February 2007.

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