"NASA Acting Administrator Christopher Scolese, left, and other NASA senior leaders participate in a wreath laying ceremony as part of NASA's Day of Remembrance, Thursday, Jan. 29, 2009, at Arlington National Cemetery. The wreathes were laid in memory of those men and women who lost their lives in the quest for space exploration. Photo Credit: (NASA/Bill Ingalls)"
Shuttle News: January 2009 Archives
"The arrival of a new year reminds us that life is a journey, one that takes us on many unexpected paths. NASA's role is to pioneer journeys into the unknown for the benefit of humanity. Along the way, we sometimes experience tragedy instead of triumph.
Today, we pause to reflect on those moments in exploration when things did not go as expected and we lost brave pioneers. But what sets us apart as Americans is our willingness to get up again and push the frontiers even further with an even stronger commitment and sense of purpose.
On this Day of Remembrance, we remember the sacrifices of those who dared to dream and gave everything for the cause of exploration. We honor them with our ongoing commitment to excellence and an unwavering determination to continue the journey on the path to the future.
President Barack Obama"
Florida lawmaker wants to add $2B for NASA, Orlando Sentinel
"The Florida lawmaker who represents Kennedy Space Center plans to file an amendment to the economic stimulus plan on Tuesday that would add $2 billion to NASA's budget so that NASA can extend the shuttle era and more quickly build its new moon rocket."
NASA probe digs deeply into Columbia tragedy, Houston Chronicle
"On the final Thursday of each January, the American flag is carefully lowered to half staff at the Johnson Space Center in tribute to 17 astronauts who have died in searing national tragedies. A solemn ceremony commemorates the three Apollo 1 fliers who were killed in a launch-pad fire in 1967, the seven Challenger astronauts who died in an explosion seconds after launch in 1986, and the seven Columbia crew members who perished when the space shuttle shattered over Texas in 2003. It was the loss of the Columbia, though, that moved senior space agency officials to ask for the unprecedented: a second-by-second examination of the shuttle's final moments."
"The possibility of life on Mars is too thrilling for mankind to ignore. But how should we explore such questions--with men, or machines? Since America is the biggest spender in space, its approach will heavily influence the world's. George Bush's administration strongly supported manned exploration, but the new administration is likely to have different priorities--and so it should."
"Our current plans remain the baseline..... 125 flies first, and we continue to press for 5/12. November is off the table..... 127 plans for June 13
We keep working pad mods on Pad B to keep the dual pad option open that allows Ares to fly in August
We keep on the track to do the early rollout for OV-104 to turn over HB 3 as soon as possible to ARES
(no impact from this to HST)
March 15th we tag up again to assess the ARES progress, the status of the Pad B Mods and analysis that is OK to launch 400 off Pad B, and to re-look at the single vs Dual Pad risk data per the request from Gerst for some addition cases. The single vs dual decision does not have to be made till the March 15th tagup. We can then decide whether HST flies May 12 (dual Pad) or May 29th (single pad)"
"We found that the Project Office initiated appropriate actions to identify and resolve LH2 sensor nonconformance issues by reviewing manufacturing and testing processes. As a result, the Project Office recommended that modifications be made to the supplier's manufacturing process and to the contractor's acceptance testing processes. In addition, we found that because of the Project Office's review, the contractor implemented a detailed inventory control measure that segregated the sensors into two inventories--Flight Ready inventory and 74L4-2 Parts inventory."
NASA begins to contemplate life without Mike , Orlando Sentinel
"Griffin opposes efforts to rethink his rocket designs or keep the shuttle flying beyond its planned 2010 retirement date. He has said that continuing to fly the shuttle is not only expensive but also unsafe for astronauts, citing a 1-in-8 chance of losing a shuttle every 10 flights. Shannon, however, distanced himself from some of Griffin's views, saying that he told Obama transition team members that the shuttle could be flown safely without risking astronaut lives for a "limited period of time."
"The cost of continuing the life of the space shuttle past next year's planned retirement is $3 billion a year plus extending the risk of a deadly accident, NASA's chief said Thursday. NASA Administrator Michael Griffin told an industry group that NASA has looked into what it would take to keep flying the aging shuttle past 2010. Otherwise, it will mean five years of relying on Russia to get astronauts to the international space station."
Beyond the Shuttle, Government Executive
"As NASA makes another giant leap, the agency must shift its workforce to a new mission while safely finishing out the old one. ...The Constellation program will shift the focus of NASA's workforce, which has been largely on operating spacecraft, to a recurring cycle of development and operations. That cycle ranges from safely flying out the space shuttle manifest and completing assembly of the International Space Station to developing systems and preparing them for flight by 2015."
"... the obvious and publicized successes of a rapid fire Shuttle flight give us a good opportunity to stop and take inventory of our achievements. That does not diminish the huge effort required to keep ISS operations moving every day, and to make it look easy. Likewise, it does nothing to suggest the much larger plan/train/fly and facilities work MOD musters every day is less important than Shuttle flight. But like a holiday, reaching a milestone like the end of a joint Shuttle-ISS mission is a reminder to all of us to look up from our work and be proud of everything we've done for MOD and the cause, manned space flight*.
* Note: For those who prefer, feel free to substitute human, peopled, inhabited, crewed or progress even further to sentient or corporeal space flight. Try to resist the urge to send me an e-mail about it though."