Marc Boucher: December 2009 Archives

Holiday Schedule

Marc's note: NASA Watch will be updating only on a limited basis until next Monday at which time we will resume our normal schedule until New Year's Eve.

From New Year's Eve until Monday, January 5th we will once again only be publishing on a limited basis.

We wish everyone the best during this holiday season and please do be careful during your travels!

Happy Holiday's

Predictions and Wishes, Wayne Hale's Blog

"Sir Arthur C. Clarke Law"

"When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong."

Stan Lebar has Passed Away

Passing of Stan Lebar, NASA Goddard

"Stan Lebar, who led the Westinghouse Electric Corporation team that developed the lunar camera that brought the televised news images of Neil Armstrong stepping onto the moon to more than 500 million people on earth, died on Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2009."

"During his long and distinguished career, other camera programs he managed for NASA included the Apollo Color TV Cameras, the Skylab series of TV cameras, and the TV cameras for the Apollo-Soyuz Test Program (ASTP)."

Marc's note: From NASA's Constellation program comes today's video: Constellation Year in Review 2009. It's the holidays and year end so why not a feel good video that showcases all of Constellations achievements with all the centers contributing.

After watching the video what do you think of Constellation's progress this past year? Video after the jump.

Marc's Update:

One of our readers was quick to point out that along with the video a new Constellation blog post was posted today stating that they have finalized the thrust oscillation issue fix.

Constellation Finalizes Thrust Oscillation Fix, NASA Constellation Blog

"When we discover an engineering risk, like thrust oscillation, we tackle it with full rigor," said Jeff Hanley, Constellation Program manager. "That's what this team has done with thrust oscillation. We assumed the worst when the problem was first discovered. The good news is there is no empirical evidence of problematic oscillations from our ground test of the first stage development motor or during the Ares I-X first test flight."

Snowstorm Hits the U.S. East Coast, NASA Earth Observatory

"A powerful nor'easter ensured that the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern United States were cloaked in white on the first day of Northern Hemisphere winter in 2009. This image from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA's Terra satellite shows the Chesapeake Bay area on December 21."

Marc's note: A great image from the Terra satellite. Normally Keith would be somewhere in that picture but alas he too has fallen victim to this storm as he tried to return from Denver to his home in Virginia yesterday. And none too please he was with United Airlines. Last word was that he had made it to Fayetteville, Arkansas and they might be sending him onward to Chicago then perhaps back to Dulles today. But you never know...

Marc's update: Keith made it to Chicago and should be headed to DCA sometime today.

Marc's update: Keith made it back.

Communicating Climate Change, NASA Blog, Patrick Lynch - NASA's Earth Science News Team

"Rigor. Not rigor mortis.

Those are two basic tenets of talking to the public about global warming, offered by Mark Serreze, director of the National Snow and Ice Data Center. He spoke at a Thursday morning session on "communicating climate" at the American Geophysical Union's fall meeting in San Francisco."

Soyuz TMA-17 Launches

Crew Lifts Off From Kazakhstan to Begin Science and Construction Work Aboard the International Space Station, NASA (with video)

"NASA astronaut T.J. Creamer, Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kotov and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Soichi Noguchi safely launched aboard a Soyuz spacecraft to the International Space Station on Sunday. Liftoff occurred at 3:52 p.m. CST from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan."

Obama Backs New Launcher and Bigger NASA Budget, Science Insider

"President Barack Obama will ask Congress next year to fund a new heavy-lift launcher to take humans to the Moon, asteroids, and the moons of Mars, ScienceInsider has learned. The president chose the new direction for the U.S. human space flight program Wednesday at a White House meeting with NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, according to officials familiar with the discussion. NASA would receive an additional $1 billion in 2011 both to get the new launcher on track and to bolster the agency's fleet of robotic Earth-monitoring spacecraft."

Obama meeting with NASA chief yields few details so far, Orlando Sentinel

"Among the things Bolden told lawmakers and Congressional staff was that the White House was now favoring a $1 billion top line increase to NASA's budget in 2011. This would be far better than the 5 percent cut that all agencies, including NASA, were asked by the White House to prepare, but difficult to secure given the deficit-cutting mindset in Congress now."

South Korean Space Center Selects XCOR's Lynx for Suborbital Operations, XCOR

"The Yecheon Astro Space Center announced today that it has selected XCOR Aerospace as its preferred supplier of suborbital space launch services. Operating under a wet lease model, XCOR intends to supply services to the Center using the Lynx Mark II suborbital vehicle, pending United States government approvals to station the vehicle in the Republic of Korea."

soyuz_landing_113009.jpgSoyuz Leaves International Space Station and Lands Safely in Kazakhstan, SpaceRef Canada (With Video)

"Canadian Space Agency Flight Engineer Robert Thirsk, Expedition 21 Flight Engineer and Soyuz Commander Roman Romanenko and European Space Agency Flight Engineer Frank De Winne undocked their Soyuz spacecraft from the station at 10:56 p.m. EST Monday and landed in Kazakhstan at 2:15 a.m. Tuesday, 1:15 p.m. local Kazakhstan time. The Soyuz spacecraft landed upright which helped the search and recovery teams extract the astronauts."



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