News: November 2011 Archives

NASA Internal Memo: Lynn Cline Is Retiring From NASA

"Dear Colleagues: When I came to NASA for what was supposed to be a 3-month student internship, I had no idea NASA would become my life's work. I look back with great appreciation for all of the opportunities I have had. I have worked with many wonderful and dedicated people -- my NASA colleagues, partners in industry and academia, and international partners."

Will NASA Ever Recover Apollo 13s Plutonium From the Sea?, Txchnologist

"I don't think that anyone has seriously considered that," said Leonard Dudzinski, a NASA program executive who deals with radioisotope power systems. The plutonium was in an oxide form contained in fuel capsule, which itself was inside a graphite and ceramic fuel cask. "The cladding would not be compromised over time by the seawater," Dudzinski said. The current expectation is that the cladding will survive for 10 half lives of the Plutonium, close to 870 years. If anything, the Apollo 13 disaster proved that NASA nuclear safety engineering worked."

Keith's note: Compared to the Soviet Union's abandoned and rotting submarine fleet and the vast amount of industrial crud we pour into the oceans, I suspect that this heavily-clad RTG, miles under the ocean, is a trivial problem.

Retro NASA Watch

State Department: Leading with Diplomacy to Strengthen Stability in Space

"Remarks by Frank A. Rose Deputy Assistant Secretary U.S. Department of State at the USSTRATCOM Cyber and Space Symposium: The space environment is at serious risk from a number of sources, including space debris and a lack of transparency in the conduct of space activities. It is our belief that one of the most beneficial multilateral TCBMs for strengthening stability in space could be the adoption of "best practice" guidelines or an international "code of conduct." A code of conduct could help establish guidelines for safe and responsible use of space, avoid collisions, reduce radiofrequency interference, and call out irresponsible behavior."

NASA Administrator Bolden Lauds Apollo 11 Crew And John Glenn

"NASA Administrator Charles Bolden made these remarks today during a ceremony in the rotunda of the U.S. Capitol, where leaders of Congress honored astronauts John Glenn, Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins with congressional gold medals...."

Keith's note: This morning's edition of the Washington Post had a huge color picture of this event (Video - photos). So I guess someone told them about it in advance. Oddly enough, NASA did not give any advance notice to media or to the public that this prestigious event was going to happen and that the NASA Administrator would be participating. This is not unusual. Take a look at the speeches posted here by Charlie Bolden. How many of these appearances were announced by NASA in advance? Not many. Indeed, more than half of these events just "happened" - and the transcript of Bolden's comments show up quietly - often weeks after the event - if at all. Yet NASA PAO constantly crows about how open and accessible Bolden is to the media.

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Marc's note: This morning I received an email from NASA's YouTube channel informing me that they had uploaded a new video of the Expedition 29 launch. Great I thought, I'll grab the code and post it to SpaceRef. But much to my surprise I could not view the video because the BBC claimed copyright. This would funny if it weren't serious.

The Money Pit (TV report), WOIO, Channel19 Part I - Part II

"In these tough times, it seems like everyone in Cleveland has been forced to cut corners. Except for Northeast Ohio's branch of NASA, who just bought a $20,000 dollar conference table, a $1,500 dollar office chair and has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars remodeling! The best part? It's all with your money! A Carl Monday investigation that is just outrageous!"

Keith's note: Its rather odd that GRC would not allow a camera crew into the GRC Center Director's office under the pretense of concerns regarding terrorists, security, etc. -- and yet photos and video taken in the Oval Office in the White House seem to get in the news many times a week. As for the custom conference table (really), the absurdly luxurious granite floors (with logo), and near-weekly airline travel by the GRC Center Director ... you be the judge. I am more or less certain that no one at NASA cares about things like this any more. Let them eat cake, etc.

Crofton man finalist for White House award, Baltimore Sun

"A Crofton man who works for NASA is one of four finalists for a White House award that recognizes federal employees who offer ideas to make government run more efficiently, the Obama administration said Wednesday. Matthew Ritsko's idea of creating a tool "library" to avoid duplicative purchases of pricey tools was selected by the Office Of Management and Budget from nearly 20,000 ideas. The winner will present their idea to the president."

Keith's note: There will be a Live webchat with Ritsko, three other winners, and the President at 11:00 am EST. Oddly, NASA PAO does not seem to know about this event involving the President and a NASA employee.

Standards, Wayne Hale

"Much of the time NASA appears to be a loose confederation of 10 quasi independent fiefdoms, each pretty much in charge of their own business. People often ask me what would I do if I were king of NASA for a day. They expect me to say something like: build this rocket, launch that satellite. Rather I think how I would standardize the procurement processes, or the human resources procedures, or the engineering standards used across the agency. But then I always was a dreamer, tilting at impossible windmills. Launching rockets is easy; getting engineers to agree on standards is hard."

NASA Announces Steven Squyres as New NASA Advisory Council Chairman

"NASA Administrator Charles Bolden has named Cornell University Astronomy Professor Steven W. Squyres, as chairman of the NASA Advisory Council (NAC), an assembly of experts from various fields that offer guidance and policy advice to the administrator of America's space agency.Squyres' scientific research focuses on the robotic exploration of planetary surfaces, the history of water on Mars, geophysics and tectonics of icy satellites, tectonics of Venus, and planetary gamma-ray and X-ray spectroscopy. His best known research includes the study of the history and distribution of water on Mars and of the possible existence and habitability of a liquid water ocean on Europa."


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This page is an archive of entries in the News category from November 2011.

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