Shuttle News: April 2010 Archives

Shuttle Mission Delays

Change in Experiment Will Delay Shuttle's End, NY Times

"A $1.5 billion seven-ton cosmic-ray experiment scheduled to be carried aloft July 29 on the space shuttle Endeavour won't be ready until August, according to the experiment's leader, Samuel Ting of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, delaying the end of the 29-year-old shuttle program. NASA officials acknowledged that there would be a delay but said they had not yet decided when the final launching would be. The experiment, known as the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer, was to be installed on the International Space Station as one last scientific errand before the final shuttle launching, of the Discovery, now scheduled for Sept. 16."

Faux News Part Deux

Mikulski: U.S. cannot afford new NASA 'every four years', The Hill

"As the White House seeks to cancel most of NASA's manned-space flight program, provoking congressional outrage, Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) said during an appropriations hearing more investigation and research was needed before she could decide whether that was the correct course of action."

Keith's note: Huh? "As the White House seeks to cancel most of NASA's manned-space flight program"? Where did this reporter get that scoop? George Bush cancelled the Shuttle back in 2004, not Barack Obama. The ISS is getting increased funding and billions are being poured in to support commercial crew access to space.

Space Shuttle Discovery Crew Returns to Earth after Fortifying International Space Station Science

"Space shuttle Discovery and seven astronauts ended a 14-day journey of more than 6.2 million miles with a 9:08 a.m. EDT landing Tuesday at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The STS-131 mission to the International Space Station delivered science racks, new crew sleeping quarters, equipment and supplies. During three spacewalks, the crew installed a new ammonia storage tank for the station's cooling system, replaced a gyroscope for the station's navigation system and retrieved a Japanese experiment from outside the Kibo laboratory for examination on Earth."

Obama to offer hope to local space workers during KSC visit, Orlando Sentinel

"Senior administration officials have told members of the Florida congressional delegation that their efforts could bring as many to 5,000 jobs to KSC by 2012, twice the number that Constellation would have generated. And though how they arrived at those figures is unclear -- one of the many unknowns in the new NASA plan - they've gotten the attention of the local aerospace community."

Keith's note: According to Washington sources the Administration is prepared to support one additional year of shuttle operations with the addition of two flights to the existing manifest. They are reluctant at this point to go further due in great part to resistance on the part of Charlie Bolden. Bolden is still holding out for the continuation of Constellation - beyond the Orion "Lite" proposal currently being offered. Stay tuned.

NASA Contractors: abandoning the Constellation moon program? , Orlando Sentinel

"Recently rocket engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne have told other contractors -- namely Lockheed Martin, Boeing, ATK and the United Space Alliance -- that it will no longer support their lobbying efforts to keep Constellation alive.Their departure from the elite lobbying effort -- confirmed by very reliable sources and PWR officials -- is a blow to the effort to keep the moon program going over the objections of the President."

Rep. Kosmas on future of NASA, Fox Orlando

"We have made some propositions and proposals that we are hoping that the President will use to fill in the blanks that we thought were missing from his budget proposal. So I'm hoping, um, that it won't be a sales pitch and that it will actually be an opportunity for us to come together and find some common ground that will help us to mitigate job loss on the space coast."

Keith's note: Only a week and a half remain before the much-anticipated Space Summit at NASA KSC on 15 April. While no public mention has been made as to venue, agenda, participants, audience etc., there does seem to be a general consensus forming behind the scenes as to what sort of rethinking might be acceptable to all parties with regard to where NASA human spaceflight is going.

NASA'S Shuttle Discovery Heads to Station After Predawn Launch

"Space shuttle Discovery lit up Florida's Space Coast sky about 45 minutes before sunrise Monday with a 6:21 a.m. EDT launch from NASA's Kennedy Space Center. The launch began a 13-day flight to the International Space Station and the second of five shuttle missions planned for 2010. Discovery is scheduled to dock to the space station at 3:44 a.m. on Wednesday, April 7."

Obama's Space Summit Coming Amid Discovery's Mission, 13 News

"Even if the shuttle program were extended today, there would still be some a gap. "The real issue we would have is just in manufacturing," [space shuttle program manager John] Shannon explained. "While you have a supply chain, while you can get a workforce back to build things like external tanks, there would be some type of a gap -- and right now, we estimate that gap would be about two years, from when we're told to when we would have the first external fuel tank rolling off the assembly line."

If shuttles kept flying, what would mission be?, Orlando Sentinel

"In response, NASA has reached out to shuttle suppliers and vendors to check whether there would be any issues, beyond the cost of restarting production lines, should NASA keep flying the orbiter fleet. The agency is also examining whether there will be enough spares on the station to continue operations until 2020."

Obama's plan to transform NASA in spotlight as Florida trip looms, Orlando Sentinel

"Lawmakers are threatening to file a congressional resolution in favor of Constellation, and several senators --- including George LeMieux, R-Fla. -- filed a bill last week aimed at preventing Obama from shutting down the program. While congressional critics have issues with the entire plan, it's the $429 million requested for KSC in 2011 that appears to be especially vulnerable. Members of Congress privately complain that nobody at NASA or in the White House has been able to explain to them exactly what the money will be used for. KSC Director Bob Cabana has said repeatedly that Kennedy is a 1960s facility badly in need of modernization. But he has also said that NASA is still studying what a 21st-century launch center should look like and how to coordinate changes with the Air Force, which now runs commercial launches at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station outside the gates of KSC. That, he said, takes time. Lawmakers are unimpressed, with some claiming that the funds are nothing but a political payoff to Florida in an election year. They have been telling members of the aerospace industry in Florida not to hold out hopes for the money."

Posey's Fight To Save Space Jobs Continues,

"Posey points back to when Obama was a presidential candidate and the promise he made during a campaign speech in Titusville in the fall of 2008. "You said you would close the gap between the space shuttle and Constellation," Posey said. "And you would assure America would stay first in space. Right now he's doing neither, and I'm hoping that's going to change soon." Posey said he will be at the April 15 summit whether he's invited or not. "We have not received any notice at all from the president about the meeting," Posey said. "We've written him. We've asked to be invited."



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This page is an archive of entries in the Shuttle News category from April 2010.

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