News: November 2008 Archives

He's Back

Editor's note: Dan Goldin's official portrait has been delivered and is hanging somewhere on the 9th floor.

Have a look: click for larger image.

Editor's note: Just as NASA is getting ready to launch a whole new family of rockets - and commercial space is about to ramp up (Falcon 9) what does Aviation Week and Space Technology do? It closes its Cape Canaveral bureau and fires Dave Hughes (25 years) and Craig Covault (36 years) and for good measure, they fire Dave Collogan who spent 36 years writing for Aviation Daily. Go figure.

I have been reading Craig's reporting on space in Aviation Week since I was in high school in the early 1970's. Those of you who are as baffled and angered by these firings as I am might want to contact Aviation Week's leadership - Tom Henricks (President & CEO) by email at and Tony Velocci (editor in Chief) at - and please post a note of support below as well.

Editor's note: According to this recent ISS image a mini-Gort - as last seen in the 1951 SciFi flick "The Day The Earth Stood Still" - has mysteriously appeared aboard the ISS. You can see it in this image as well.

By some curious coincidence, a remake of this SciFi classic premieres back on Earth on 12 December.

Coincidence? Savvy product placement? Advance invasion bot? Burning Man 2.0 prototype? Stay tuned.

"Participatory Exploration" @SEDS SpaceVision,

"These are the slides from my talk at SEDS SpaceVision this weekend in College Station. I don't have talking points yet, but when/if I do, I'll post them here as well - I just wanted to get the slides up as soon as possible."

Editor's 18 Nov note: This is not the first time I have posted presentations created by some of the Gen Y folks at NASA. I have to admit a bias. I have seen them present these presentations more than once. In the cases where I only have charts, I still clearly get the central themes of what it is they are trying to get at - in storyboard fashion.

Having been a creature of cyberspace for more than a decade (I was "blogging" before the word had been coined) I am a bit of a strange hybrid in that regard. I have watched the Gen Y "culture" evolve on a daily basis. That said, I can understand why others (Gen X, Boomer) would look at these charts and/or listen to live presentations on the topic and feel that they are either left out, that the approach used is simplistic, or that the presentations are deficient in one way or another. Context is important.

What really baffles me is the lack of response by the Gen Y community at NASA to this posting - one wherein their presentation has been routinely bashed by others. And its not just an issue with NASA Watch given that their main website is also quiet on this topic.

If Generation Y/Next Gen/Net Gen seeks to change the agency they need to start standing up and being heard when these discussions go on in a public forum.

Full Presentation Below

NASA OIG Report: NASA's Most Serious Management and Performance Challenges

"As required by the Reports Consolidation Act of 2000, this memorandum provides our views of the most serious management and performance challenges facing NASA. We continue to use this forum as a means to draw attention to areas within the Agency's key programs and operations that need to achieve greater economy, efficiency, effectiveness, and accountability. In determining whether to report an issue as a challenge, we consider the significance of the programmatic, institutional, and external concerns in relationship to the Agency's mission; susceptibility to fraud, waste, and abuse; whether problems are systemic; and whether there are safety issues that could result in injury or loss of life. Through various initiatives and by implementing recommendations made by the Office of Inspector General (OIG) and other evaluative bodies, such as the Government Accountability Office (GAO), NASA is working to improve Agency programs and operations and address the following challenges:"

India Has Space fever

Indian space agency Isro to roll out a rival to Google Earth, Times Online

"Emboldened by its first mission to the Moon, India is to take on a target closer to Earth: Google. The Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro), which is based in Bangalore, the Silicon Valley of the sub-continent, will roll-out a rival to Google Earth, the hugely popular online satellite imagery service, by the end of the month. The project, dubbed Bhuvan (Sanskrit for Earth), will allow users to zoon in to areas as small as 10 metres wide, compared to the 200 metre wide zoom limit on Google Earth."

ISRO starts work on Chandrayaan-2,

"After the great success of Chandrayaan-1, the Indian government has given the go-ahead to Chandrayaan-2. Chandrayaan-1's project director has said that ISRO has started research for Chandrayaan-2, for which the Indian government has sanctioned the required funds."

Final Memorandum on the Review of NASA Stolen Property at Goddard Space Flight Center and Marshall Space Flight Center

"At GSFC, stolen property was not always properly recorded and reported in accordance with NASA guidance because information about stolen property incidents was not reconciled between logistics and security offices. At MSFC, we found that the MSFC logistics office's process of referring all NASA property incidents to the security office resulted in stolen property incidents being recorded and reported in compliance with NASA policies and procedures."

Griffin Departure Nearing?

Griffin: I'd like to stay but..., Orlando Sentinel

"NASA Administrator Michael Griffin said Thursday that he would like to continue serving under President-elect Barack Obama - but doesn't expect to be asked. "If the next president asks me to continue I would be happy to do it," said Griffin, speaking to Kennedy Space Center workers. But, he said, "I doubt that will happen." He said he would stay on only "under the right circumstances," including being able to continue the Constellation program meant to replace the space shuttle. "If somebody wanted me to stay on but said, 'No, we need to go over here,' well," he said with a shrug, "do it with somebody else."

Griffin not optimistic about staying on as head of NASA, SpaceflightNow

"NASA Administrator Mike Griffin, answering questions from Kennedy Space Center workers during an "all hands" meeting today, said he does not expect the Obama administration to keep him on as head of the nation's civilian space agency."

Editor's note: This bizarrely titled article by the Washington Examiner's space blogger Patricia Phillips "Black Panthers intimidate voters in Philadelphia, giant leap back from space age standards" was online yesterday according to her Twitter posting at the Washington Examiner. Now it is gone.

I posted a note on another of her articles asking what happened. She replied: "No, then again: not the same thing. I didn't remove anything or change anything to make me look "right." I removed it because one of my colleagues here was upset enough about the whole thing to cry. So I decided to remove it. Politics ain't worth crying about, IMHO, but there's no sense in adding to anyone else's emotional distress just for the sake of an internet post."

This is not the first time Phillips' postings have been pulled because of their content. You have to wonder if anyone at the Washington Examiner has any sense of editorial scrutiny or moral sensitivity with regard to what they allow to be posted on their newspaper's website. I guess this newspaper did not see what happened yesterday evening either.

More old thinking.

Vote From Space



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This page is an archive of entries in the News category from November 2008.

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