Marc Boucher: June 2012 Archives

Kennedy Space Center 50th Anniversary Video, NASA KSC

"To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) NASA has released this video montage of highlights. From Kennedy's speech, Glen's Friendship 7 flight, the Apollo years, unmaned launches, the Shuttle era and through to the transformation of KSC for the next era of U.S. human spaceflight, watch it all."

ATK Liberty Updates

ATK Makes Progress with the Liberty Launch SystemATK Makes Progress with the Liberty Launch System, Commercial Space Watch (With video)

"In a trio of media releases ATK announced today that is has signed a deal with NanoRacks, completed a milestone for its contract with NASA for the Commercial Crew Development Program (CCDev) and that partner EADS Astrium has completed tests on tank structures for the Liberty rocket second stage."

NASA Releases Breakout Videos for the Commercial Crew Program, Commercial Space Watch

"Five of NASA's industry partners participated in the production of breakout videos that highlight the systems they're creating in collaboration with the Commercial Crew Program during Commercial Crew Development Round 2. Included videos come from: ATK, Boeing, Sierra Nevada, SpaceX and ULA."

Comment System Update

Marc's note: Last week we upgraded our comment system to a new version from our provider Disqus, however we've had reports of some users experiencing problems. We've informed Disqus of the issues and have reverted back to the previous version. When they fix the current version we'll do the upgrade.

Chinese Astronauts Dock and Enter Tiangong 1 Mini-Spacelab (with video)

"Following on their successful launch on Saturday the Chinese Shenzhou-9 spacecraft docked today with the Tiangong-1 mini-spacelab and the three taikonauts lef by commander Jing Haipeng,followed by Liu Wang and then later Liu Yang, entered the small spacelab for the first time."

Nebula, NASA, and OpenStack, Open NASA

"Recently, on May 15, NASA announced a new cloud computing strategy for the Agency at the Uptime Institute's symposium in Santa Clara, CA. Among its facets is a reduction to our OpenStack development efforts in favor of becoming a "smart consumer" of commercial cloud services."

IT Reform at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, NASA CIO Blog

"Improved investment management practices, the use of cloud services when appropriate, and the use of shared services as a provider and consumer are core tenets in our IRM Strategic Plan released in June 2011. To underscore the importance of this shift, I identified a Deputy CIO for IT Reform, Gary Cox, in 2012 to provide an integrated focus on IT innovation and service delivery to ensure that our services are effective and efficient from our customers' perspectives."

Did NASA ditch OpenStack for Amazon?

"What she did not mention was anything about OpenStack, the infrastructure as a service platform that grew out of initial work by NASA and Rackspace. OpenStack is being pushed as an alternative to Amazon Web Services by several tech heavyweights including Hewlett-Packard, IBM, and Red Hat. This blog piqued my interest because, in late March, another NASA official said publicly that the agency is backing off additional OpenStack development."

Marc's note: The short answer, yes.

NASA Administrator and SpaceX CEO to Address Media at SpaceX Facilities In Texas Wednesday and California Thursday, NASA

"NASA Administrator Charles Bolden and SpaceX CEO and Chief Designer Elon Musk will participate in a media availability at 11:30 a.m. CDT Wednesday, June 13, in the SpaceX facility at 1 Rocket Rd. in McGregor, Texas. Bolden and Musk will be there to view the Dragon spacecraft that returned to Earth May 31 following the first successful mission by a private company to carry supplies to the International Space Station."

Marc's note: According to a tweet by NASA Spaceflight there was a micrometeoroid strike on the Cupola. According to the tweet it is minor impact and "doesn't look bad." The shutter was closed and impact is being evaluated. Details to follow when available.

- Live International Space Station video feed

Update: Cupola hit by minor MMOD strike, shutter closed for evaluations, NASA Spaceflight

"Window 2 on the Cupola module has been hit by a minor MicroMeteoroid and Orbital Debris (MMOD) strike. With the window's protective shutter closed, per flight rules, ISS managers are evaluating photos of the damage - downlinked from the International Space Station (ISS) - before they are expected to give the crew clearance to reopen the shutter."

NextGen Mars Rovers

Next Generation MERs for Mars?, Future Planetary Exploration Blog

Marc's note: Van Kane, the author of the post has for several years posted interesting observations of various exploration missions. As someone not affiliated with the space program, but speaking strictly as an enthusiast, his comments are at times worth reading including this post which deals with NASA's Concepts and Approaches for Mars Exploration conference this week. BTW parts of the conference are being streamed live starting at 9:00 a.m. EDT.

"Example of proposed upgrades to the basic Mars Exploration Rover design for missions to Mars in 2018 and beyond. This particular upgrade would enhance the rover with next generation instruments and add capabilities to collect and cache samples for eventual return to Earth. "

Is There a Future for Space-Based Solar Power?, Space Quarterly Magazine

The following article is a free sample from the current issue of Space Quarterly Magazine. It is our hope that if you enjoy this article you will consider subscribing to the magazine.

"Space-based solar energy production systems, commonly known as 'Solar Power Satellites' or SPS's, offer the prospect of effective, environmentally friendly electrical power.

However, experts involved in designing SPS systems agree that it will take at least ten years - but more likely decades - to develop SPS's capable of feeding the grid back on earth, as launch costs, unclear economic viability, and limited research funding slow the development of this potentially ground-changing energy technology."

Floridians Continue Waiting For Answers From Mitt Romney On Future Of Commercial Space, Obama Florida Press Office

"This week, Mitt Romney's Republican allies in Congress finally dropped their effort to eliminate the competition among the private space industry after the successful launch of SpaceX's Dragon. While this is a step in the right direction, Floridians still deserve to know where Mitt Romney stands on space issues. While the world watched the historic first commercial spacecraft dock with the International Space Station, Romney's campaign refused to say if he supported President Obama's efforts to support and grow America's commercial space industry. Despite his promise to fire anyone who suggested spending billions of dollars on building a colony on the Moon, after Romney's Space Advisor Mike Griffin called for just that, Romney still refuses to say if he kept his promise to fire Griffin."

Obama to Romney: Will You Fire Mike Griffin?, earlier post

GEMS Team Appeals NASA Cancellation Decision, Space News

"The GEMS team appealed the cancellation of their mission June 5 at NASA headquarters and was expecting a decision as soon as June 6, GEMS principal investigator Jean Swank said. NASA decided last month to pull the plug on GEMS after independent cost estimates showed that the project was likely to bust a revised $135 million cost cap the agency imposed on spacecraft development in January."

Marc's note: A media teleconference is scheduled at noon EDT today by NASA to brief the media on their decision to cancel the agency's Gravity and Extreme Magnetism Small Explorer project. The panelist for the briefing is Paul Hertz, NASA's Astrophysic's Division Director.

Do Budget Cuts Mean an End to Flagship Programs?, Space Quarterly Magazine by Marcia S. Smith

The following article is a free sample from the current issue of Space Quarterly Magazine. It is our hope that if you enjoy this article you will consider subscribing to the magazine.

"The Obama Administration's decision to cut NASA's planetary exploration budget for FY2013 and beyond generated howls of protest. The action forced the United States to shelve planned cooperation with the European Space Agency (ESA) on two Mars probes in 2016 and 2018 that were the beginning of a string of missions to fulfill the holy grail of Mars scientists - returning a sample of Mars to Earth for analysis."

Space Quarterly Magazine June 2012 Issue

Marc's note: The current edition of Space Quarterly magazine has a couple of articles dealing with the election and space. One discusses the Democratic perspective and the other the Republican perspective. Below you'll find excerpts from each. To read the full versions please subscribe to the magazine. A single digital issue is $5.95 while a 1 year digital subscription is $19.

SpaceRef Space Quarterly Magazine June Issue Released, Space Quarterly

"The latest edition of Space Quarterly magazine is now available. Highlights of our U.S. edition include a look at the Democratic and Republican space polices leading up to the election along with what budget cuts mean for NASA's flagship programs. We also get an update on European space policy and French and U.K. space programs along with other emerging European space programs. "

- See the complete list of articles
- Subscribe now: $19 per year, digital edition


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