Friday, June 27, 2008
Thursday, June 26, 2008
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
The bill would provide a $19.2 billion baseline authorization of appropriations for fiscal year (FY) 2009 to fund the various activities of the agency. The bill also would provide an additional $1 billion authorization of appropriations to accelerate the initial operational capability of a U.S.-owned human spacecraft and an additional $150 million for the development of a commercial crew vehicle. The total authorization of appropriations would be $20.35 billion.
The Senate bill must now go to the floor for a vote; and, if passed, the bill will probably go to a conference committee with the House.
Monday, June 23, 2008
Saturday, June 21, 2008
"The fact that there's ice there doesn't tell you anything about whether its habitable," mission principal investigator Peter Smith, of the University of Arizona in Tucson, said. "The ice may be always in a frozen state and with ice in a frozen state and no food, that's not a habitable zone."
The themes for each day of the 2008 New Space are:
- Thursday, July 17th - NewSpace Policy
- Friday, July 18th - NewSpace Business
- Saturday, July 19th - NewSpace Vision
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
The launch of Discovery ripped some 5,300 heat-resistant bricks from their concrete moorings at the 1960s-era pad. Chunks of fireproof brick and concrete were thrown about 1,500 feet from the 40-year-old launch complex.
The Atlantis flight will be the last mission to overhaul the Hubble Space Telescope before NASA turns its full attention to completing the space station by 2010 and retiring its three-orbiter fleet.
The upcoming 12-day mission involving the Hubble Space Telescope is needed in order to bring a set of equipments needed for a better functioning of the telescope. The shuttle’s cargo bay will be stacked with a Super Lightweight Interchangeable Carrier (SLIC), an Orbital Replacement Unit Carrier (ORUC), a Flight Support System (FSS) and a Multi-use Logistic Equipment Carrier (MULE). The equipment is expected to highly benefit the telescope, as the SLIC will provide a new camera and two new batteries, the ORUC will install the new Cosmic Origins Spectrograph and the MULE will provide several spare parts for the telescope.
The mission’s schedule plans five space walks, also known as extravehicular activities or EVAs, which will be divided between two formed teams on the shuttle and will each last for approximately seven hours. The spacewalks will help upgrade the telescope’s capacities and when that stage will be completed.
Sunday, June 15, 2008
"We stand at the edge of a New Frontier—the frontier of unfulfilled hopes and dreams. Beyond that frontier are uncharted areas of science and space, unsolved problems of peace and war, unconquered problems of ignorance and prejudice, unanswered questions of poverty and surplus," - John F. Kennedy, July 1960.
Republican presidential candidate John McCain and Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama should listen to "The New Frontier" speech of nearly half-a-century ago prior to their respective nominating conventions. America needs frontier leadership again!
Saturday, June 14, 2008
Images from Phoenix's microscope unveiled Friday show a speck of dark, glassy material that likely is the remnant of an ancient volcanic eruption, said Tom Pike, a leading scientist with the lander's microscope.
"This is the highest resolution image of the soil of Mars," said the mission's geology team leader, Tom Pike of University College London, [video]. "This is the first time we've reached down to this level."
Here is more detial from The Arizona Daily Star, Science News, and The Tuscon Citizen. The $420-million Phoenix Mars Lander mission is lead by the University of Arizona from the Science Operations Center in Tuscon, AZ.
Friday, June 13, 2008
Thursday, June 12, 2008
The People's Republic of China will launch the Shenzhou 7, the nation's third human spaceflight, in October, according to the Xinhua news agency. The launch will expand the nation's fledgling space program to a three-man crew capsule. The mission is said to include the first Chinese spacewalk by two 'taikonauts.' The spacewalk mission is crucial for China to establishing a space laboratory or station.
Shenzhou 7 will be launched from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in China's northwest province of Gansu.
China's manned space program started in 1999 with the Shenzhou V spacecraft successfully launching China's first astronaut, Yang Liwei, into orbit in 2003. This was followed by a five-day manned mission in 2005. Shenzhou means "divine vessel" in Chinese and is also a homonym of a poetic reference for China -- "divine land."
The first stop will be the first international 'Dark Sky City' of Flagstaff, Arizona to visit Mars Hill and Makeout Point at the Lowell Observatory the first days of July to be followed by a one-day Mini-Vision Quest to the magical blue-green waters of the Havasupai Indian Reservation inside the Grand Caynon walls.
An extended side roadtrip to the National Radio Astronomy Observatory Very Large Array [VLA] on the plains of San Agustin in the Land of Enchanment - New Mexico will be appear on the travel agenda to contemplate radio astronomy. This visit will come on the heels of a recent visit to the 'Quite Zone' around the Robert C. Byrd Telescope at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory [GBT] in Green Bank, West Virginia.
The third leg of 'The Great 08 Summer Telescope Tour' will be to the University of Arizona in Tuscon, Arizona to the Mars Phoenix Lander Mission Science Operations Center prior to climbing "the mountain" to the Kitt Peak National Observatory.
The final leg is a return to the East Coast to the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport for a meeting of the Virginia Aerospace Advisory Council at the NASA Wallops Flight Facility on July 14 to discuss the new Taurus-2 rocket. The meeting at Wallops will be followed by the Space Frontier Foundation's NewSpace conference in Washington, D.C. to July 19.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
NASA is funding SpaceX and Orbital Sciences Corp. to develop cargo capability for the International Space Station (ISS) under COTS, but so far has held off on greenlighting the crew transfer portion of the program, known as “COTS D.” Only SpaceX has been actively working on a COTS D concept, with Orbital focused exclusively on cargo at this point.
Orbital will launch the now-under-development Taurus 2 booster from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport co-located on the NASA Wallops Flight Facility. But to launch human missions from the site will require modifications to the FAA-AST permit and NASA environmental impact studies as well. Virginia lawmakers are being asked to urge NASA to review Wallops Island human-rated launch requirement studies now as other federal lawmakers are seeking to advance the acceleration of COTS D to reduce the expected gap in U.S. human spaceflight capability between the space shuttle’s 2010 retirement and the debut of the Orion in 2015.
Monday, June 09, 2008
Monday, June 02, 2008
The first test flight of the Ares-1 remains set at the Kennedy Space Center in April 2009. Depending on the feedback from test 1, a second flight will occur to test more hardware of the Ares-1 and Orion. Launch abort tests for the crew vehicle will be conducted in Southern New Mexico at NASA White Sands Missile Range late this year.
Sunday, June 01, 2008
See 50 years of NASA footage and the Apollo missions like you've never seen them before. This six-part cinematic event features exclusive, never before seen footage pulled from the NASA film vaults and enhanced in high definition. The series lifts off June 8th at 9pm (EST), only on the Discovery Channel.