News: November 2012 Archives

Rep. McCarthy Seeks to Rename Dryden Flight Research Center as the Neil A. Armstrong Flight Research Center

"Congressman Kevin McCarthy today announced legislation to redesignate the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) Dryden Flight Research Center as the Neil A. Armstrong Flight Research Center and the Western Aeronautical Test Range as the Hugh L. Dryden Aeronautical Test Range. Joining Congressman McCarthy in introducing this legislation are Congressman Buck McKeon, Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, Congressman Ken Calvert, Congressman Lamar Smith, Congressman Steven Palazzo, and Congressman Adam Schiff."

Bolden's future as NASA chief uncertain, Orlando Sentinel

"Sources inside Congress and the administration said it's wholly possible Bolden, 66, stays at NASA into 2013 and beyond. They caution, however, that his return is an open question, as the White House remains concerned whether the former astronaut and Marine Corps major general is committed to Obama's vision for the space agency. "The senior White House staff is aware of the [NASA] administrator's inability to advance their agenda and will have to decide whether they make an adjustment in a second term," said a senior administration official not authorized to speak on the record. ... No one can deny, though, there has been an accumulation of distractions, and in order to maximize NASA's opportunities, the U.S. civil space program would benefit from a leader fully committed to implementing the bold policy put forth by the president and his administration".

Keith's note: The Daily Mail is running with this absurd headline: "Revealed: How the U.S. planned to blow up the MOON with a nuclear bomb to win Cold War bragging rights over Soviet Union"

But when you read their own story it actually says: "Under the scenario, a missile carrying a small nuclear device was to be launched from an undisclosed location and travel 238,000 miles to the moon, where it would be detonated upon impact."

If America - or anyone - were going to "blow up the Moon" it would take a lot more than a "small nuclear device" to do so.

Elon Musk - the Future of Energy & TransportElon Musk - the Future of Energy & Transport

On November 14 Elon Musk participated in a 90 minute Q&A at the Oxford Martin School with the topic the Future of Energy and Transport. From the abstract, Musk "will talk from his own experiences at the forefront of technology and innovation about what kind of technological transformations are just around the corner and how these can help address the world's critical challenges."

NASA: Earned Value Management Implementation across Major Spaceflight Projects Is Uneven

"The National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) 10 major spaceflight projects discussed in this report have not yet fully implemented earned value management (EVM). As a result, NASA is not taking full advantage of opportunities to use an important tool that could help reduce acquisition risk. GAO assessed the 10 projects against three fundamental EVM practices that, according to GAO's best practices cost guide, are necessary for maintaining a reliable EVM system. GAO found shortfalls in two of three fundamental practices. Specifically, we found that More than half of the projects did not use an EVM system that was fully certified as compliant with the industry EVM standard."

Keith's note: I just got this email from the NASA OIG:

The NASA Office of Inspector General (OIG) today released its Semiannual Report to Congress highlighting the OIG's activities and accomplishments from April 1 -September 30, 2012. View the full report and video summary at: and

Renee N. Juhans
Executive Officer
NASA Office of Inspector General

! WARNING ! This email including any attachments is intended only for authorized recipients. Recipients may only forward this information as authorized. This email may contain non-public information that is "Law Enforcement Sensitive," "Sensitive but Unclassified," or otherwise subject to the Privacy Act and/or legal and other applicable privileges that restrict release without appropriate legal authority and clearance. Accordingly, the use, dissemination, distribution or reproduction of this information to or by unauthorized or unintended recipients, including but not limited to non-NASA recipients, may be unlawful.

Did anyone stop and think about adding this legal language to emails sent to the media - or the public? How am I supposed to interpret the scary and somewhat threatening warning? Seriously. Am I an "authorized recipient"? If so when did I become one? Who are "unauthorized or unintended recipients"? I am going to post this on a website read globally by people I will never be able to identify. I did not agree to these security issues - indeed, this email was sent to me unsolicited. The warning also says "may contain ..." Well, does it or doesn't it - how am I supposed to know? Can the sender change their mind after it is sent?

NASA OIG: NASA's 2012 Top Management and Performance Challenges

"The year was not without challenges, however. For example, due to cost overruns in the James Webb Space Telescope and other projects, NASA had to reprogram funds away from several Agency initiatives. This resulted in developmental delays in some ongoing projects and cancellation of other planned projects, including the ExoMars/Trace Gas Orbiter missions to Mars. Moreover, the congressional decision to provide NASA's Commercial Crew Program (CCP) with less than half the funding requested by the President in FY 2012 extended to 2017 the earliest date that NASA expects to obtain commercial crew transportation services to the ISS, which is significant if NASA is unable to maintain and utilize the Station beyond its currently scheduled retirement date of 2020."

The Vision for Space Exploration: After the Vision, What Next? (Part 5), Paul Spudis

"Many of us working in or with NASA recognized that the 2004 Vision for Space Exploration (VSE) was a breakthrough, the necessary fulcrum needed to change our approach and direction to spaceflight. It was a program that would have opened the door to a wide variety of previously unobtainable missions. In this five-part series to establish and clarify the history and intent of the VSE, I've shared my insider's perspective on why and how it was conceived, executed and eventually terminated - a cautionary tale, if you will, and hopefully, an instructive one. In this last post, I want to examine what lessons should be drawn from this history and how we should move forward in a positive way to have and to build a U.S. space program truly "worthy of a great nation."

Faltering Notoriety?

Felix Baumgartner Jump Imitated By First Burger In Space (with video). Huffington post

"Filling those space shoes and performing anything near as death-defying is a difficult task, but an unassuming, unlikely and altogether tastier contender has stepped up to the plate. The latest intrepid space explorer is, in fact, a burger. Using a large helium balloon and a cheap digital camera, five students from Harvard University launched "Operation Skyfall", the first burger in space."

Supersonic skydiver Felix Baumgartner found guilty of punching Greek lorry driver in road rage incident, Daily Mail

"Supersonic skydiver Felix Baumgartner has been found guilty of punching a Greek lorry driver in the face in a road rage incident in his home town of Salzburg, Austria two years ago. Baumgartner, who last month broke the world record altitude for a parachute jump in the Red Bull Stratos project, had appealed against the conviction for assault but a three-judge appeals panel today upheld the verdict."

An Austrian Taxpayer Doesn't Like NASA Funding Priorities, earlier post



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This page is an archive of entries in the News category from November 2012.

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