News: December 2011 Archives

White Paper - China's Space Activities in 2011China Releases White Paper - China's Space Activities in 2011, SpaceRef

Marc's note: China's Information Office of the State Council today published a white paper on China's space activities in 2011. You can download a PDF of the white paper from the SpaceRef web site.

"Outer space is the common wealth of mankind. Exploration, development and utilization of outer space are an unremitting pursuit of mankind. Space activities around the world have been flourishing. Leading space-faring countries have formulated or modified their development strategies, plans and goals in this sphere. The position and role of space activities are becoming increasingly salient for each active country's overall development strategy, and their influence on human civilization and social progress is increasing."

Arianespace Soyuz-Fregat Flight Marc's note: You can watch live the final flight of the year of an Arianespace Soyuz-Fregat launch at 12:09 pm ET. This is the 1,784th launch of a Soyuz rocket which will orbit six new satellites of the Globalstar-2 constellation. The launch is from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

Marc's Update 2:17 pm: The Soyuz has launched successfully. from Arianespace:

"For today's launch, the liftoff occurred at 11:09 p.m. local time from Baikonur Cosmodrome's Launch Pad #6 and was the 1,784th flight of a Soyuz family vehicle. During the mission, Soyuz' re-ignitable Fregat upper stage performed two propulsive burns separated by a coast phase of approximately 50 minutes, followed by the Globalstar satellites' separation in a two-step process. The initial spacecraft pair was released from the upper portion of a purpose-built dispenser system, followed 1 minute, 40 seconds later by the remaining four satellites' separation from the dispenser's lower section."

This Year @NASA

Marc's note: NASA has released this edition of "This Year @NASA". Enjoy the highlights.

File photo of Soyuz 2.1bAnother Soyuz rocket launch fails, BBC

"Russia's recent poor launch record has continued with yet another Soyuz rocket failure. This time, a Soyuz-2 vehicle failed to put a communications satellite into orbit after lifting away from the country's Plesetsk spaceport. Debris is said to have re-entered the Earth's atmosphere near the western Siberian town of Tobolsk."

Marc's note: Based on the records I've found this appears to be the first failure of the Soyuz-2.1b which had previously launched successfully six times. It appears the third stage failed at the 421 second mark. The Soyuz rocket was launching a Meridian military communications satellite for the Russian armed forces.

Final Report NASA's Infrastructure and Facilities - An Assessment of the Agency's Real Property Master Planning

"The OIG audit released today recognized that development of an integrated facilities master plan is a positive step toward better managing NASA's diverse real property assets. However, we found deficiencies in the individual Center master plans NASA is using to develop the integrated plan, which may limit the plan's usefulness for making strategic real property decisions. Specifically, we found that the Center plans were developed using funding assumptions that are no longer realistic and are missing some of the essential information needed to make objective Agency-wide real property decisions. In addition, because of uncertain mission requirements 5 of NASA's 10 Centers did not develop master plans to reduce their real property in accordance with Agency goals. Moreover, the restrictive criteria and competitive nature of the prioritization process the Agency used for construction projects - an integral part of implementing the Center master plans - discouraged some Centers from submitting their top priorities for funding."

Message from the Administrator - Year Ender

"Among our many accomplishments, this year we safely retired the Space Shuttle Program after 30 incredible years of flight. The final flight was a bittersweet day for many of us, but we now open a new chapter in exploration, standing on the shoulders of the thousands of men and women who made the shuttle the successful and cutting edge program it was."

Who's Opposed To .XXX Domain Names? Not Exactly Who You'd Think, NPR

"Education has .edu, .gov belongs to the government, and now, adult entertainment has .xxx. Since last week, anyone can go online and buy a domain name ending in .xxx -- but it's not all adult entertainment companies that are rushing to purchase the new addresses."

Keith's note: I wonder if anyone at NASA stopped to think that having XXX on an official NASA mission patch was necessarily a prudent thing to do. I am sure someone will make a film titled "Expedition XXX" at some point - or launch a website at nasa.xxx . Thanks to John C. for pointing this out.

Keith's note: Have a listen here. My understanding is that this arranegment is made via a Space Act Agreement with NASA on a non-exclusive basis and that there is no cost to the Federal Government. I would hope that other online music/content services would take advantage of this route as well. [Facebook] [Twitter]

Low Energy Nuclear Reactions Is there better way to do nuclear power? Dr. Joseph M. Zawodny NASA Langley Research Center

"So What is LENR? LENR is a form of nuclear power However, LENR is NOT cold fusion"

Overview of Low Energy Nuclear Reactions (LENR) as Implemented by Andrea Rossi and Francesca Piantelli 2011 LENR Workshop at GRC September 22, 2011

"Andrea Rossi came to MSFC with officials from Ampenergo, US Aerospace Contractor, other interested parties"

NASA and LENR, Dennis M. Bushnell, Chief Scientist, NASA Langley Research Center

"In Short, LENR, depending upon the TBD performance, appears to be capable of Revolutionizing Aerospace across the board. No other single technology even comes close to the potential impacts of LENR upon Agency Missions."

Slides From Sept. 22 NASA LENR Innovation Forum Workshop, New Energy Times

"On the second day, when the former NASA staff member asked Rossi if his device had an internal reservoir, Rossi became enraged. Quantum's engineers left but NASA engineers offered to come back in a few days to give Rossi time to fix the flow. Rossi declined their offer. He said he was "too busy."

Cold Fusion #1 Claims NASA Chief

"A Chief NASA scientist, Dennis Bushnell has came out in support of Andrea Rossi's E-Cat technology, but denies any type of nuclear fusion is taking place, saying it is probably beta decay per the Widom Larson Theory. Repackaging the terminology to avoid embarrassment will not erase over twenty years of suppression and the reality of cold fusion!"

How to Make Cold Fusion Work: Use Unobtainium, Forbes

"In my last post I said I'd steer clear of the whole cold fusion thing until something interesting happens. Well, in the last week something interesting has happened ... Once again, let me do a quick recap: An Italian inventor, Andrea Rossi, claims to have created a Low Energy Nuclear Reaction, or LENR, device (otherwise called a "cold fusion" device) called the Energy Catlyzer or E-Cat. All an E-Cat system requires is hydrogen gas passing over nickel powder in the presence of an undisclosed catalyst and, it is claimed, the device will generate a significant amount of energy in the form of heat."

Keith's note: Why NASA LaRC and/or HQ management knowingly allows overt quackery such as this to go on in NASA-sanctioned meetings using NASA personnel time while budgets are being slashed on "science" missions simply baffles me. Maybe Dennis Bushnell ( dennis.m.bushnell@nasa.gov 757.864.8987 ) can explain.

Bolden Speaks at STA Today

STA Lunch With NASA Administrator Bolden

"The Space Transportation Association is pleased to announce lunch with Charlie Bolden, NASA Administrator.
Topic? NASA year end wrap up.
When? Monday, December 5, 11:30am coffee & networking, 12:00pm-1:00pm, lunch, speech, Q&A."


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