Shuttle News: March 2011 Archives

Shuttle Commander Mark Kelley Not Available for Media Interviews

"HOUSTON -- Space Shuttle Commander Mark Kelly will not be available for media interviews that had been scheduled from 3 p.m.-5 p.m. CDT Thursday, March 24, at the agency's Johnson Space Center in Houston. Kelly will participate in a previously scheduled news conference with his crew at 2 p.m. CDT Thursday to discuss their upcoming STS-134 shuttle mission to the International Space Station. The news conference will air live on NASA Television and the agency's website."

Scott Kelly's Cancelled TV Interviews (Update), earlier post

Kelly abruptly cancels media interviews, CBS

"A NASA spokesman said no other shuttle astronaut had ever declined to participate in the one-on-one interviews and dozens of reporters and photographers were expected to be on hand Thursday. Why Kelly waited until the day before the long-planned interviews to make his decision was not known. ... It remains to be seen whether reporters will honor expected requests not to ask about Giffords during the crew news conference Thursday or what Kelly might do if questions are, in fact, asked. It also remains to be seen whether Kelly will participate in a traditional launch pad question-and-answer session at the Kennedy Space Center March 31 during training before a dress-rehearsal countdown April 1."

NASA Cancels Kelly Interviews, Discovery News

"I'm no PR expert, but as a journalist, I've sure been told "No comment," often enough. It also makes you wonder why NASA went to such lengths to distribute a glam shot of Scott Kelly showing off his "Gabby" wristband after landing. NASA says Mark Kelly will participate in a formal press conference along with his crewmates this afternoon. Should be interesting ..."

NASA Policy on the Release of Information to News and Information Media

"(h) NASA employees are not required to speak to the media."

NASA Releases First-Ever HD Footage Of SRB Recovery Ship Mission

"For the first time, NASA has released high-definition video taken during the retrieval of solid rocket booster segments from the Atlantic Ocean. The solid rocket boosters provided 144 million pounds of thrust for the final launch of space shuttle Discovery on its STS-133 mission."

Keith's 4:50 pm EST note: "144 million pounds of thrust"? I don't think so.

Keith's 10:00 pm EST update: They fixed it to read "horsepower".

Sen. Chuck Schumer launches shuttle mission for Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum, NY Daily News

"Sen. Chuck Schumer is cashing in his clout in hopes of winning a retiring space shuttle for the Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum. Schumer invited NASA Administrator Charles Bolden to visit the proposed glass-enclosed site for a soon-to-be-retired shuttle at Pier 86 next to the Interpid."

Chicago museum in bid for space shuttles, UPI

"Chicago's Adler Planetarium has joined the bidding war to secure one of NASA's space shuttles for display when the fleet is retired, officials say. Planetarium officials announced plans for a dramatic lakefront glass pavilion they said would be built if the museum obtains one of the soon-to-be-retired space shuttles, the Chicago Tribune reported Thursday."

Space City fears snub on shuttle, Houston Chronicle

"There's a general sense that NASA and the Smithsonian will distribute the orbiters geographically to maximize public access, with one at Kennedy Space Center, one in the middle of the country and one on the West Coast. The concern among Houston's boosters is that Ohio could take the middle-of-the-country slot from Texas. Other leading candidates are New York City and Seattle. The Greater Houston Partnership is significantly ramping up its lobbying efforts."

Will Seattle's Museum of Flight get a space shuttle?, Seattle Times

"The Seattle museum is one of more than two dozen across the country that have indicated an interest in hosting one of four retiring space shuttles after the program ends later this year. The framework for a glass wall of the museum's 15,500 Space Gallery was lifted into place Wednesday."

More Cocaine Found at KSC

Kennedy Space Center probes illegal-drug find, Florida Today

"NASA is investigating the finding of apparent illegal drugs at Kennedy Space Center for the second time in a little more than a year. Preliminary field tests indicated that 4.2 grams of a white powdery substance found March 7 was cocaine, said Renee Juhans, a spokeswoman for NASA's Office of Inspector General, which is conducting the investigation. "The substance is now at an accredited crime lab for further testing," she said."

Cocaine found again at Kennedy Space Center, My Fox Orlando

"This is the second time in a year that drugs have been found at NASA. In January 2010 a plastic bag with cocaine residue was found near a restroom in the restricted hangar where the space shuttle Discovery was being prepared for a mission flight."

NASA OIG: Review of NASA's Controls over Public Sales of Space Shuttle Property

"We found that NASA had not fully integrated its export control and property disposition processes to reduce the risk that public sales of Space Shuttle property could result in the prohibited release of export-controlled items and technology. This occurred because the Agency did not fully recognize how the domestic sale of Space Shuttle property could result in an export. Moreover, NASA's policies do not include the internal controls necessary to fully protect export-controlled property from unauthorized release."

14 March NASA note: "At about 7:40 a.m. EDT this morning, a United Space Alliance worker fell at NASA Kennedy Space Center's Launch Pad 39A. NASA emergency medical personnel responded, but they were unable to revive the man. Because of medical privacy, currently we're not able to release any additional details about this fatality. Family members are being notified. All work at Launch Pad 39A has been suspended for the rest of the day, and counseling and other employee assistance are being provided to workers. Right now our focus is on our workers and for the family of the USA employee. The incident is under investigation."

15 March NASA Update: "NASA and United Space Alliance managers will meet with employees who work at NASA Kennedy Space Center's Launch Pad 39A this morning before resuming processing operations. They are assessing how the work force is doing following the death of a coworker at the pad on Monday morning. Depending on how the workers are coping with the unexpected loss, work will slowly resume on space shuttle Endeavour for its targeted April 19 launch for its STS-134 mission to the International Space Station."

Software and Risk

A Not-So-Simple Truth, Wayne Hale

"February is a month for introspection for me, and the events of 8 years ago have been on my mind. In the Columbia accident investigation report, there are several pages devoted to the use of a computer program called "Crater" which analyzed potential damage to the thermal tiles. The results provided from that computer program indicated that no serious damage had been done to Columbia's tiles and therefore a safe landing would occur. Disaster occurred instead."

NASA STS-133 Report #22 Monday, March 7, 2011 - 2:30 a.m. CST

Space shuttle Discovery's crew started its last day at the International Space Station with a special wake up call. The "Theme from Star Trek," performed by Alexander Courage, served as the wake up music for Discovery's crew at 2:23 a.m. It received the second most public votes from a Top 40 list in a Space Shuttle Program-sponsored song contest. The top two songs with the most votes from that list earned the right to be played as wake up music for Discovery's crew during its final mission. As a bonus, actor William Shatner recorded a special introduction to the song: "Space, the final frontier. These have been the voyages of the Space Shuttle Discovery. Her 30 year mission: To seek out new science. To build new outposts. To bring nations together on the final frontier. To boldly go, and do, what no spacecraft has done before."

Discarding The Shuttle

Discarding Shuttle: The Hidden Cost, Paul Spudis, Air & Space

"On February 15, 2011 a symposium entitled "U.S. Human Spaceflight: Continuity and Stability" was held at Rice University's James A. Baker Institute of Public Policy. Organized by George Abbey, the resident space expert at the Baker Institute, one might have suspected that it would be Shuttle-centric and indeed, it was. Many pertinent points relevant to the current discussion about NASA's human space program and its future (or lack thereof) came out of the presentations at this symposium."

If you can, watch this video in HD (select the 720p option). As the payload slowly rotates you will see Discovery's vapor trail at the Earth's limb - twice. The payload (with camera) first swings to the west and then reverses and swings back to the east, past Discovery's vapor trail, around to the west again, and then continues to rotate to the east toward the vapor trail again.

Educational Balloon Provides Space Shuttle Launch Images and Video From Over 110,000 feet

"Last week a balloon with a student-oriented payload shot high resolution photos and video from an altitude of over 110,000 feet of Space Shuttle Discovery as it climbed into space.These images and video were released today as part of a mission report provided by Quest for Stars representative Bobby Russell at the Next-Generation Suborbital Researchers Conference (NSRC) at the University of Central Florida."



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This page is an archive of entries in the Shuttle News category from March 2011.

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