Space & Planetary Science: August 2005 Archives

NASA Responds, IEEE Spectrum

"Dear IEEE Spectrum Editors, Recent events at NASA have overtaken the internal debates described in your August article ("The Interplanetary Internet")."

The Interplanetary Internet - NASA researchers quarrel over how to network outer space, IEEE Spectrum

"By 2007, these services will allow mission teams to turn their spacecraft into additional network nodes. Researchers on Earth will be able to manipulate onboard instruments, monitor the craft's well-being, and perhaps even route another spacecraft's data through it. That assumes, of course, that these spacecraft will run Internet software and use Internet protocols in deep space. And that's something that will happen only if Goddard engineers can conquer the vociferous doubts of a team at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory."

Editor's note: Spirit has arrived on or very near the summit of Husband Hill. Check out the view - and note the twin dust devils. [Larger image].

- A Swarm of Martian Dust Devils
- The View From Husband Hill

Editor's note: This image was taken recently by Spirit as it continues its climb up Husband Hill. Eric Hartwell has an animated version of a series of images - of which this single image above is one frame. Well worth a look.

The View From Husband Hill, earlier photo

From "Science is the 3rd railof politics atNASA and is useless" said Mike Griffin in the outbrief of the ESAS study. I think that speaks for itself.

From "I was at the meeting to which you refer and Mike did NOT (and would not) say those words. He did refer to science as the 3rd rail of NASA as far as Congress is concernedbut never said it was useless!"

The truth is obviously somewhere in between.

Editor's note: It is becoming quite clear that a substantial effort is underway to gut NASA's basic science capabilities - both on the ground and on-orbit. Comments? Send them to

Your comments thus far

MRO is On Its Way To Mars

Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter lifted off this morning at 7:43 a.m. EDT

KSC Life Science Cuts

Reader comment: "KSC workers are also very concerned about life sciences research cuts. The pending cuts are rumored to have a devastating impact on KSC's Life Sciences Support Contract, and are calling into question NASA's commitment to some of the applied R&D that will be necessary for long-duration missions to the Moon and Mars. The cuts may also jeopardize a KSC partnership with the state of Florida, which invested $30 million to build a new Space Life Sciences Laboratory at KSC (the state has been contemplating additional investments to support R&D on bioregenerative life support technologies)."

NASA Presolicitation Notice: Environmental Growth Chambers, NASA KSC

"These growth chambers are required for conducting plant growth studies in support of NASA's Lunar and Mars Exploration Mission."

Modification to a Previous NASA Solicitation Notice: Environmental Growth Chambers, NASA KSC

"This is a modification to the synopsis entitled Environmental Growth Chambers, which was posted on July 14, 2005. You are notified that the subject requirement is hereby canceled."

Response from NASA HQ PAO: "The environmental growth chambers solicitation was pulled because the Exploration Systems Architecture Study (ESAS), which includes a review of such procurements, is not yet completed. Since the ESAS may have an impact on this procurement, it was decided to hold it until the ESAS is completed."

MRO Delayed

Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Launch Postponed

"Tomorrow morning's launch of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) has been postponed by at least one day. At present, liftoff is scheduled for no earlier than 7:50 a.m. on August 11."

Mars Email Scam

Mars News, TrueandFalse, Sky and Telescope

"If no one has asked you about it yet, they probably will. A bogus e-mail chain letter, sometimes titled "Mars Spectacular," continues to spread across the internet. It claims that on August 27th Mars will dazzle the world, appearing brighter than ever in history."

Messenger Swings By Earth

Status Report: MESSENGER Lines Up for Earth Swingby

"Carried out by two small thrusters that poke through MESSENGER's sunshade, the maneuver pinpointed the craft for a closest approach of 1,458 miles (2,347 kilometers) over central Asia at 3:13 p.m. EDT on Aug. 2. Mission design team members say that directing MESSENGER along just the right path above Earth will mean smaller course-correction maneuvers on the way to the 2006 gravity-assist flyby at Venus - ultimately saving fuel for later in the mission."

Editor's note: This panorama of Gusev crater was taken by Spirit from its perch near the top Husband Hill yesterday. Spirit still has a way to go before it actually reaches the summit. Click on image to enlarge.



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This page is an archive of entries in the Space & Planetary Science category from August 2005.

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