"To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) NASA has released this video montage of highlights. From Kennedy's speech, Glen's Friendship 7 flight, the Apollo years, unmaned launches, the Shuttle era and through to the transformation of KSC for the next era of U.S. human spaceflight, watch it all."
News: June 2012 Archives
Keith's note: On 8 June 2012 I got an email update from Planetary Resources. This portion got my attention:
"Here's a quick summary of the highlights:
. Over 70 Million US television viewers
. 5 Billion Unique Monthly visitors with front page headlines on Huffington Post, Drudge Report, Twitter, CNN.com, Yahoo, Washington Post ..."
Hmm. "5 Billion Unique Monthly visitors". That's more traffic than Google gets and represents more than half of the population on Earth. Wow.
"NASA Administrator Charles Bolden and SpaceX CEO and Chief Designer Elon Musk will participate in a media availability at 11:30 a.m. CDT Wednesday, June 13, in the SpaceX facility at 1 Rocket Rd. in McGregor, Texas. Bolden and Musk will be there to view the Dragon spacecraft that returned to Earth May 31 following the first successful mission by a private company to carry supplies to the International Space Station."
Marc's note: According to a tweet by NASA Spaceflight there was a micrometeoroid strike on the Cupola. According to the tweet it is minor impact and "doesn't look bad." The shutter was closed and impact is being evaluated. Details to follow when available.
Update: Cupola hit by minor MMOD strike, shutter closed for evaluations, NASA Spaceflight
"Window 2 on the Cupola module has been hit by a minor MicroMeteoroid and Orbital Debris (MMOD) strike. With the window's protective shutter closed, per flight rules, ISS managers are evaluating photos of the damage - downlinked from the International Space Station (ISS) - before they are expected to give the crew clearance to reopen the shutter."
Next Generation MERs for Mars?, Future Planetary Exploration Blog
Marc's note: Van Kane, the author of the post has for several years posted interesting observations of various exploration missions. As someone not affiliated with the space program, but speaking strictly as an enthusiast, his comments are at times worth reading including this post which deals with NASA's Concepts and Approaches for Mars Exploration conference this week. BTW parts of the conference are being streamed live starting at 9:00 a.m. EDT.
"Example of proposed upgrades to the basic Mars Exploration Rover design for missions to Mars in 2018 and beyond. This particular upgrade would enhance the rover with next generation instruments and add capabilities to collect and cache samples for eventual return to Earth. "
Keith's note: On 26 May 2012 I posted "NASA LaRC now has its official cold fusion video online titled "Abundant Clean/Green Energy" which refers to a new form of "nuclear energy". How do NASA's Chief Technologist and Chief Scientist allow this stuff to be funded with taxpayer dollars without going through any of the agency's standard peer review processes? Or do Rich Antcliff and Lesa Roe just fund this stuff with local center director's discretionary slush funds and not tell HQ what they are doing?" I submitted a number of questions to LaRC regarding this research. I received a reply from LaRC yesterday and it is posted below.
Keith's update: These are the most troubling parts of the LaRC response - apparently there are no publications related to this taxpayer-funded research. I asked. This is all they would tell me about: only a patent application is listed. FYI, anyone can file a patent application - about anything. People do it all the time. That said, after 3.5 years no one from NASA LaRC has published anything about this research - anywhere?
"2. How much has been spent to date on this LENR research and how much will be spent?: The average yearly cost for the approximately 3.5 years of the research thus far is about $222,000 for a total of about $778,000. The research is ongoing, and another $212,000 is budgeted for the remainder of FY 2012.
9. What publications have resulted from this NASA-funded research? (references/links
requested): A patent application has been published. Reference U.S. Patent Publication Number 2011/0255645."
Full (official) LaRC response below