Marc Boucher: November 2009 Archives

In Search of a Real Spaceship, Buzz Aldrin, The Huffington Post

"Imagine this scenario: you are a tourist coming home from a special vacation jaunt. Or maybe you're a researcher headed home from an assignment at a national laboratory. But instead of a nice gentle landing at an airport, you plunge into the cold waters of the Atlantic Ocean, bobbing about like a cork on a fishing line. Instead of a leisurely stroll to the airport concourse, you have to wait to be fished out of the drink by the U.S. navy."

sts129_landing.jpgSpace Shutte Atlantis Lands in Florida, NASA (With Video)

"Space shuttle Atlantis and its crew of seven astronauts ended an 11-day journey of nearly 4.5 million miles with a 9:44 a.m. EST landing Friday at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The mission, designated STS-129, included three spacewalks and the installation of two platforms to the International Space Station's truss, or backbone. The platforms hold large spare parts to sustain station operations after the shuttles are retired. The shuttle crew delivered about 30,000 pounds of replacement parts for systems that provide power to the station, keep it from overheating, and maintain a proper orientation in space."

NASA Managers Congratulate the STS-129 Mission Crew, NASA

"During a post-landing press conference held at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, Bill Gerstenmaier, associate administrator for Space Operations said, "This has just been an amazing mission. On-time launch, on-time landing ... just a phenomenal team effort across the board."

STS-129 Post-landing Crew Conference, NASA

"Hobaugh proudly introduced his crew and the tasks each member was responsible for. He mentioned Mission Specialist Randy Bresnik was not present at the briefing because he flew home to be with his wife and new baby girl, born while he was still on orbit."

Marc's note: Freelance science journalist and author Dana Mackenzie attended the recent Annual Meeting of the Lunar Exploration Analysis Group (LEAG). He wrote on his personal blog a two part report on the meeting. I think it's worth a read.

LEAG Conference, part 1, Dana Mackenzie
LEAG Conference, part 2, Dana Mackenzie

"The big theme of the meeting was sustainability: How do we go back to the moon in such a way that we can keep on going there indefinitely? Many, though not all, of the participants interpreted that question to mean: How can we make the moon economically viable? Of course, the LCROSS mission has a great deal to say about that."

NASA STS-129 Tweetup Success

NASA STS-129 tweetup Group Photo
NASA Hosts STS-129 Launch Tweetup, SpaceRef Canada

"With a golden flash, space shuttle Atlantis punched through the first cloud hanging between the pad and her destination in Earth orbit.

"Climb that hill, baby!" shouted Gene Mikula (@genejm29), a technical writer from New Jersey, as he watched the plume of steam spread underneath Atlantis' engines."

Please post comments on Spaceref Canada. Your NASA Watch account will work throughout the SpaceRef Network for commenting.

Canadian Space Agency Marc's note: I know how much you love NASA Watch, well guess what? Starting today for Canadians and those who want to know more about the Canadian Space Agency we're launching a new section on SpaceRef Canada called Canadian Space Agency Watch. Here's the first article. Comments are open on SpaceRef Canada and you can use your NASA Watch account to sign in and comment. Also, got a tip for us on something we should cover? Send your tip to And lastly you can follow SpaceRef Canada on Twitter at this address:

Who Knew? Canadian Space Agency Space Exploration Advisory Committee Meets, SpaceRef Canada

"This week in Montreal the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) Space Exploration Advisory Committee (SEAC) is holding one of its periodic meetings and you could have attended the open session except for the fact that no one knew about the meeting other than the CSA and SEAC members. Why is that?"

Marc's note: NASA's Centennial Challenge for Power Beaming AKA the Space Elevator Games is now broadcasting live. Three teams are competing for up to $2 million in prize money. It is believed that one or more of the teams will win at least level one and perhaps level two prize money. The Spaceward Foundation organized and manages the event for NASA.

Marc's Update: The KC Space Pirates did not qualify in the morning window for either of the prizes. However Lasermotive of Seattle has officially qualified for the level 1 prize of $900,000 in their first window of the competition this afternoon. They are currently attempting another climb trying to qualify for the level 2 prize of $1.1 million. Other teams will have an opportunity to share in the prize money. To get a share of level 1 teams have to climb the 1 kilometer tether at an average of 2 meters per second and 5 meters per second for the level two prize.

Marc's Update: Competition is done for the day with Lasermotive having qualified for level 1 prize money of $900,000. The competition continues tomorrow through Friday.

Lasermotive Wins Share of the NASA Sponsored Power Beaming Challenge, The Space Elevator Reference (with video)

"The NASA sponsored Power Beaming Challenge, also known as the Space Elevator Games, is guaranteed to give out some prize money this year after a stellar performance by Team Lasermotive in the first day of the competition."

hsf-poll.jpg Marc's note: We asked: Which of the three paths presented by the Review of U.S. Human Spaceflight Plans Committee do you prefer? Well, we had 2566 votes and talk about a split poll. The difference between Moon First and Flexible Path was a slim 28 votes. Considering our audience demographics I'm not that surprised. Now it's up to the White House to let us know what's ahead for NASA.



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This page is an archive of recent entries written by Marc Boucher in November 2009.

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