Marc Boucher: May 2010 Archives

Marc's note: In an effort to help advertisers Google has released a list of their top 1000 sites world wide. The list ranks sites based on category, unique visitors, reach and page views. NASA comes in ranked 604. Interestingly Goddard's web site came out tops for NASA subdomains with JPL a distant second. No other dedicated space site made the list including SpaceRef and NASA Watch, surprisingly ;-)

Based on this ranking if NASA decided to allow some advertising on their sites they would be able to cash in on part of the $6.3 billion revenue advertisers spend on internet sites in 2009. In fact they might even be able to fund a Scout or Discovery Class mission each year or better yet start a major scholarship fund and replenish their workforce with new engineers etc. each year.


NASA Releases First-Ever High-Def Footage Of Shuttle Ice Team, NASA (With video)

"NASA has released the first-ever up close, high-definition video of Kennedy Space Center's Final Inspection Team walkdown in the final hours before a space shuttle launch. The footage was shot on May 14 at Kennedy's Launch Pad 39A during the countdown for shuttle Atlantis' STS-132 mission."

Delta IV Launched

Delta 4 Blast Off with Advanced new GPS Satellite Marks 50th Anniversary of Delta Program, Ken Kremer Special to NASA Watch (with video)

"A Delta 4 rocket roared into space on Thursday night (May 27) at 11:00 PM EDT carrying the first in powerful new series of Global Positioning System satellites for the US Air Force. The GPS IIF SV-1 satellite launched from Pad 37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida and marked the 349th launch in the Delta program's 50 year history."

Inaugural Lunabotics Mining Competition Goes Live With NASA EDGE, NASA

"NASA EDGE, an award-winning agency talk show, will host a live webcast from the Lunabotics Mining Competition at 11 a.m. EDT on May 28 from the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex's Astronaut Hall of Fame."

Background: "The Lunabotics Mining Competition is a university level competition designed to engage and retain students in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). NASA will directly benefit from the competition by encouraging the development of innovative lunar excavation concepts from universities which may result in clever ideas and solutions that could be applied to an actual lunar excavation device or payload."

Marc's note: Count them, 22 universities competing in this National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program event. Not bad.

Marc's update: Folks, it's not about the moon vs Mars vs asteroids, it's about engaging young people in STEM activities to create a new generation of engineers. If you have time why not watch some of today's competition.

LIVE - Delta IV Launch

Marc's note: Tonight we're testing out our new live launch mission status center for the Delta IV launch of the Air Force's Global Positioning System (GPS) IIF SV-1 satellite.

Enter Mission Status Center

Atlantis Lands in Florida, NASA (with video)

"Space shuttle Atlantis and six astronauts ended a 12-day journey of more than 4.8 million miles with an 8:48 a.m. EDT landing Wednesday at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The third of five shuttle missions planned for 2010, this was the last scheduled flight for Atlantis."

Marc's note: Will Atlantis fly again? No one can say for sure at this point. Officially, Atlantis just flew her last flight. Unofficially, there's pressure to keep her ready for at least one more flight.

By Ken Kremer for NASA Watch

Space Shuttle Atlantis and her crew of six are headed home from the 32nd flight to space after a flawless 12 day and 3 spacewalk mission to the International Space Station.

The final planned touchdown of Atlantis historic career is set for Wednesday, May 26 at 8:48 AM EDT at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, weather permitting. The weather prognosis from NASA is for about a 50/50 chance of favorable conditions. There is a chance of showers within 30 miles of the runway.

Space Shuttle Crew Set To Return To Earth Wednesday, NASA

"Wednesday landing opportunities at Kennedy are at 8:48 a.m. and 10:22 a.m. EDT. If Atlantis is unable to land Wednesday, additional opportunities are available at Kennedy on Thursday at 9:13 a.m. and 10:48 a.m. There are opportunities Friday at Kennedy and backup landing site Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. For recorded updates about landing, call 321-867-2525"

XCOR and Masten Announce Strategic Relationship for NASA Landers Business, SpaceRef

"XCOR Aerospace and Masten Space Systems, two of the leaders in the New Space sector, have announced a strategic business and technology relationship to pursue jointly the anticipated NASA sponsored unmanned lander projects. These automated lander programs are expected to serve as robotic test beds on Earth, on the lunar surface, Mars, near Earth objects and other interplanetary locales, helping NASA push the boundaries of technology and opening the solar system for future human exploration."


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