Monday, February 28, 2011
Upon making the announcement, Governor Martinez commented, “I am pleased that the Spaceport Authority Board of Directors has chosen an exceptionally qualified individual to oversee operations at the Spaceport. With proper management and the right approach, the Spaceport project has the potential to create jobs, spur economic development, and make New Mexico a leader in space travel. My administration is committed to working closely with Ms. Anderson and the Board of Directors to attract private investment and see the project through to its full potential.”
Before retiring from the Air Force, Anderson was a member of the Senior Executive Service, the civilian equivalent of the military rank of General officer. Anderson was the founding Director of the Space Vehicles Directorate at the Air Force Research Laboratory, Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico. She also served as the Director of the Space Technology Directorate at the Air Force Phillips Laboratory at Kirtland, and as the Director of the Military Satellite Communications Joint Program Office at the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center in Los Angeles where she directed the development, acquisition and execution of a $50 billion portfolio. She is also a Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. Anderson earned a B.S. in mathematics from the University of Maryland, and completed the National Security Leadership Program at Johns Hopkins University and the Senior Management in Government Program at Harvard University.
After hearing of the Board of Directors’ decision, Anderson remarked, “I am excited for the opportunity to lead a project that has such a high potential for success. I look forward to working with Governor Martinez and the Board of Directors to ensure that the Spaceport is developed into an economic engine that can drive development and job creation in New Mexico.”
Sunday, February 27, 2011
Space.com noted, Pan-STARRS astronomers picked up 30 potential asteroids on the night of Jan. 29. They sent their discoveries to the Minor Planet Center in Cambridge, Mass., which collects and distributes data about asteroids and comets, allowing other astronomers to re-observe the objects.
Scientists at the Pan-STARRS PS1 telescope on Haleakala, Maui, said the record demonstration of the year-old telescope's capabilities was made possible by recent software improvements and refinements in observational techniques, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported.
While the chance of near-Earth asteroids actually colliding with Earth is remote, roughly a 1-in-1,000 chance, knowing their whereabouts will allow governments to act should the unlikely actually develop into a real threat.
Saturday, February 26, 2011
"Blue Sky" by Big Head Todd and the Monsters, the most requested song to wake up shuttle Discovery's crew during the STS-133 mission, collected 722,659 votes. The song received 29.3 percent of the total votes. Finishing second was the "Theme from Star Trek" (original series), which also will serve as a wake up song. It received 671,133 votes, or 27.2 percent of the votes. To see the results for all 40 songs, visit: https://songcontest.nasa.gov
There were 2,463,521 votes cast during the contest that ran from Aug. 20, 2010, through Nov. 1. Participants voted from a list of 40 songs that have previously awakened shuttle crews.
Senate Bill 112 would enable the state’s Office of Aerospace Development to conduct the environmental and safety assessments that are required for the license, said Sen. Will Espero, D-Ewa Beach-Waipahu, author of the bill. A similar measure was passed by the Legislature in 2009, but funds were not released by then-Gov. Linda Lingle.
Friday, February 25, 2011
Thursday, February 24, 2011
Co-sponsored by the Challenger Center for Space Science Education, this mission is one in a series of flights conducted by Quest for Stars, a California-based non-profit educational organization that uses off-the-shelf hardware and a little ingenuity to allow students to place experiments at the edge of space at exceptionally low cost.
A helium-filled balloon carrying the "Robonaut-1" payload will be launched from a location in Florida some distance away from Kennedy Space Center. The time and location of launch will be determined by weather conditions. With a currently planned STS-133 launch time of 4:50 p.m. EST the balloon will be launched between 3:00 - 3:50 p.m. EST so as to be in position for Discovery's supersonic transit of the stratosphere. If there is a delay in the launch of Discovery the team is ready to try again - several times - on subsequent days.
The balloon will rise at a rate of 800-1,000 feet per minute to an altitude of approximately 100,000 feet. After accomplishing its mission the payload will be released and descend by parachute. After the payload descends for 15-30 minutes, a trained recovery team will retrieve the payload and download its data and imagery.
Onboard Robonaut-1 is a HD Camera Phone Satellite (PHONESAT) that will attempt to capture images of Space Shuttle Discovery as it leaves Earth for space. Multiple cameras and an on-board computer system will ensure that Discovery launch images will be captured during its ascent. Some of those photos will include logos for Quest For Stars, STS-133, Challenger Center, and Motorola. In addition, the payload contains a Motorola i290 mobile phone and a Garmin eTrex GPS system that is connected to a ham radio transmitter. The payload is designed to have multiple means of communication for backup purposes.
Live video of mission activities will also be streamed during the mission. This webcast can be watched at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/chasing-discovery or http://www.challenger.org/live or http://onorbit.com/suborbital . Live video from the Robonaut-1 itself during flight will be available at http://qik.com/robonaut-1
Updates during the mission including live tracking information during ascent and descent can be obtained by following http://twitter.com/questforstars or on Facebook at http://tinyurl.com/4hu4337
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Monday, February 21, 2011
Significant celebrations are planned at the International Space Station to recognize the first space flights of Yuri Garagin and Alan Shepard during the Expedition 27 crew stay on-orbit. The Russians have declared 2011 The Year of the Cosmonaut.
The Soyuz TMA-21 flight patch uses a drawing by a French boy, Marciel Santos Kayle, 12, who lives in French Guiana, not far away from the new launch pad for Russian Soyuz rockets later this year. Marciel's sketch was chosen for the crew emblem because it depicts Gagarin and his spacecraft, Vostok. The patch will be worn by the Soyuz prime crew - Russians Alexander Samokutyayev, Andrei Borisenko and American Ron Garan.
Sunday, February 20, 2011
Liftoff of shuttle Discovery's STS-133 mission to the International Space Station is scheduled for 4:50 p.m. on Feb. 24. Discovery's crew members are Commander Steve Lindsey, Pilot Eric Boe and Mission Specialists Alvin Drew, Steve Bowen, Michael Barratt and Nicole Stott. Crew members made brief comments to media upon arrival. This is Discovery's last scheduled mission before the Space Shuttle Program retires this year.
NOAA is one of the global leaders in monitoring and analyzing the ozone layer, and has co-authored the most recent analysis describing the state of the ozone layer . The Scientific Assessment Panel of the U.N. Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer has found that The Montreal Protocol (enacted in 1987) has been effective in reducing mankind's impact on the ozone layer, but climate change may also begin to show signs of impacting the ozone layer, especially in the Arctic, where climate-induced circulation patterns may become more severe.
This animation uses data from NOAA's satellites to show the annual changes in the size of the Antarctic ozone hole, along with daily fluctuations in global ozone concentration. As pointed out in the report, the size of the Antarctic ozone hole appears to have reached a turnaround point, whereby the hole is not getting worse each year, but at the same time it is not decreasing. It is expected that a return to "normal", pre-1980 levels of ozone will occur later in this century -- that is, if the ban on ozone-destroying chemicals stays in place.
Saturday, February 19, 2011
If all goes well and space shuttle Discovery arrives at the International Space Station in late February, there will be a distinctive configuration: all of the international partners will have a vehicle docked to the completed ISS.
NASA advanced a proposal to put three astronauts in one of the Russia's Soyuz capsules that are docked to the station, have them undock and fly around to take pictures of the entire complex. Station skipper Scott Kelly and Russian flight engineers Alexander Kaleri and Oleg Skripochka would climb aboard their Soyuz spacecraft and then back away to a vantage point where they could capture images of the entire outpost.
The photo shooting would be carried out only if all higher-priority work is completed by the arrival of Discovery shuttle, reports RIA Novosti. Readers may follow space station sightings here.
This remarkable photo was taken by ESA astronaut Paolo Nespoli from the ISS on 16 February 2011, just minutes after ATV Johannes Kepler lifted off on board an Ariane 5 from Kourou at 22:50 UTC. It shows the rising exhaust trail of Ariane, still in its initial vertical trajectory. The trail can be seen as a thin streak framed just beneath the Station's remote manipulator arm. Credits: ESA/ NASA
"The time of this futuristic business is not quite here yet, and it could be another year or two. Even if SpaceShipTwo and Lynx tests of their spacecrafts will be on schedule successfully in the summer of 2011, there could still be some tough challenges ahead from a profitable commercial operation since there are far too many risk factors that must be overcome," Hsu said. "A single system anomaly or mishap during test flights or even in private space flights could potentially kill the entire industry in its infancy. It is not so much of the real system risk or failure, it is all about the public's perceived high risk of space travel."
Friday, February 18, 2011
Space shuttle Discovery is scheduled to begin an 11-day mission to the International Space Station with a launch at 4:50 p.m. EST on Thursday, Feb. 24, from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The STS-133 mission is Discovery's final scheduled flight.
Behind Robonaut is a team of NASA and General Motors engineers, the youngest of whom is Adam Sanders, who graduated from U.Va. in 2006 with a B.S. in computer engineering. (That’s Adam with Robonaut in the picture.) Sanders will be at the Kennedy Space Center for the sendoff of his creation to the international space station aboard Space Shuttle Discovery.
Sanders, a Powell Valley High School graduate in Wise Wise County, Va., works for GM and is the lead architect for the human-machine interface and task programming language. He is the principal engineer for the power distribution monitoring and control hardware, firmware, and software for the robot.
A SENSE OF CONTINUITY
Thursday, February 17, 2011
Following up on NASA's "Robonaut" R-2 program, which is set for launch on the Discovery shuttle next week, Japan's space agency is considering putting a talking humanoid robot on the International Space Station to watch the mission while astronauts are asleep, monitor their health and stress levels and communicate to Earth through the microblogging site Twitter.
The Eclipse spacecraft will utilize the highly successful legacy Gemini technology that was developed by NASA to allow SOI to bring this product to market in a very short time frame. The company will also seek to utilize the services of other commercial rocket manufacturers to launch the spacecraft.
The company spokesman says it will use the spacecraft to service different sectors in the orbital space market including satellite servicing and repair; satellite deployment; space tourism, including space walks; new space station construction/re-supply; and space debris de-orbit.
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Aboard the International Space Station, Expedition 26 Flight Engineers Dmitry Kondratyev and Oleg Skripochka conducted their second spacewalk in less than four weeks Feb. 16, 2011, to install and retrieve scientific equipment on the Russian segment of the orbital laboratory. The cosmonauts also launched an orbital Ham Radio satellite. The spacewalk was staged out of the Pirs Docking Compartment airlock. It was the second spacewalk in Kondratyev's career, and the third for Skripochka as well as the 153rd spacewalk performed in support of station assembly and maintenance.
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Space Technology Graduate Fellowships applications are due by Feb. 23, 2011. For details, visit: www.nasa.gov/oct http://www.nasa.gov/oct
Johannes Kepler is the first production unit of the Automated Transport Vehicle (ATV) series after the first ATV, Jules Verne, demonstrating ATV's capabilities in 2008.After the retirement of the US Space Shuttle, ATV will become the largest vehicle supplying the ISS. ATV is also the largest and heaviest payload ever launched by Europe.
ATV is Europe's key asset in the ISS logistics; this video explains the role of ATV for the ISS and its importance for the whole ISS partnership, from the perspective of the ESA's Human Spaceflight programme. It includes an interview with Simonetta Di Pippo, ESA's Director of Human Spaceflight.'
An imaging sequence of about eight minutes is expected to yield 72 high-resolution images around the time of closest approach for best-resolution coverage of Tempel 1's nucleus. At the time of closest encounter, the spacecraft was expected to be approximately 124 miles from the comet's nucleus.
Scientists hope to see any changes on the comet's surface since it was visited by NASA's Deep Impact spacecraft in July 2005. Since then, Tempel 1 has completed one orbit of the sun, and scientists are looking forward to discovering any differences in the comet.
They have taken samples of Martian soil and measured the magnetic field, as well as planted the flags of China, Russia and the European Space Agency. Mars 500 may be a simulated mission, with the planet's surface modeled in the Moscow Region, but the 'space walk' was monitored by Russia's real mission control.
The experiment is nearing its mid-point. After the volunteers spent more than 200 days simulating the flight to the Red Planet, they have been divided into two groups -- one staying on board a module which is simulating a flight in Martian orbit, and another one sent to land on 'the planet's surface'. Three volunteers are going to stay 'on the planet' for a month, during which they will conduct three 'Martian spacewalks'.
After this part of the experiment is over in 30 days, the three will be reunited with the rest of the group and begin their journey 'back home' which will take another 200 days or so. The 500-day experiment, which started last June, is designed to monitor the physical and psychological demands of deep space travel.
Monday, February 14, 2011
For NASA TV streaming video, scheduling and downlink information, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/ntv . The live coverage and news conference will also be carried on one of JPL's Ustream channels. During events, viewers can take part in a real-time chat and submit questions to the Stardust-NExT team at: http://www.ustream.tv/user/NASAJPL2 .
During that same period, NASA would spend $14.051 billion on its Orion capsule and a heavy-lift vehicle. The plan is spend $2.81 billion annually on those programs, which are designed to give NASA the capability to perform orbital and deep-space missions.
The Administration’s CCDev plan was praised by the Commercial Spaceflight Federation in a press release this morning, reports Doug Messier at Parabolic Arc, The Washington Post, MSNBC, AFP, The Wall Street Journal, National Journal, and Tallahassee.com. NASA Administrator Charles Bolden says more about the space agency budget.
For its first mission of the year, Arianespace will launch the first Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV), dubbed “Johannes Kepler”, for the European Space Agency (ESA). Right from this first launch, the ATV will play a vital role in bringing supplies to the International Space Station (ISS).
Sunday, February 13, 2011
The hunt is on for a gas giant up to four times the mass of Jupiter thought to be lurking in the outer Oort Cloud, the most remote region of the solar system. The orbit of Tyche (pronounced ty-kee), would be 15,000 times farther from the Sun than the Earth's, and 375 times farther than Pluto's, which is why it hasn't been seen so far.
But scientists now believe the proof of its existence has already been gathered by a NASA space telescope, WISE, and is just waiting to be analysed, reports Paul Rodgers of the The Independent.
“None of the funds made available by this division may be used for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration or the Office of Science and Technology Policy to develop, design, plan, promulgate, implement, or execute a policy, program, order, or contract of any kind to participate, collaborate, or coordinate in any way with China or any Chinese-owned company unless such activities are specifically authorized by a law enacted after the date of enactment of this division,” the bill’s drafters wrote.
The chairman of the House appropriations subcommittee that funds the United States space program, Wolf's subcommittee added language in the House “continuing resolution” that forbids NASA from providing for visits by Chinese dignitaries.
Friday, February 11, 2011
At issue is a 2010 prohibition on canceling contracts associated with the Constellation program, a space shuttle replacement and lunar exploration initiative that U.S. President Barack Obama seeks to abandon. Although one lawmaker said the forthcoming 2011 spending bill could provide the relief NASA is seeking, opinions on Capitol Hill differ as to whether the space agency’s hands are truly tied, reports Space News.
Expedition 26 Flight Engineers Dmitry Kondratyev and Oleg Skripochka are scheduled to float outside the Pirs airlock at 8:15 a.m. EST Wednesday to begin the five-and-a-half-hour excursion wearing Russian Orlan-MK spacesuits. Among their many tasks will be to launch into space the ARISSat-1.
ARISSat-1is the first of a series of educational satellites being developed in a partnership with the Radio Amateur Satellite Corp. (AMSAT), the NASA Office of Education ISS National Lab Project, the Amateur Radio on ISS (ARISS) working group and RSC-Energia. The satellite was rocketed to orbit January 28, 2011 aboard Progress-41.
ARISSat satellites can carry up to five student experiments and the data from these experiments will be transmitted to the ground via an amateur radio link. In addition, ARISSat will transmit still-frame video Earth views from four onboard cameras, commemorative greetings in native languages from students around the world, and a Morse code tracking beacon [Twitter].
ARISSat also will function as a worldwide space communications utility for use by amateur radio operators. ARISSat-1 is expected to enter the Earth's atmosphere within three to six months after its deployment.
1] Senate Bill 1447 – Senator William Wampler, Jr. – Passed Senate 40-0; Passed House Finance Subcommittee #1 1o-to-1 –Most likely On Full Committee Docket for 2-14-2011 Corporate tax revenues generated by commercial spaceflight; Virginia Commercial Space Flight Authority. Credits to the Virginia Commercial Space Flight Authority the portion of corporate income tax collected from corporations attributable to the sale of commercial human spaceflights and spaceflight training. The credit to the Virginia Commercial Space Flight Authority begins on July 1, 2011, and lasts through fiscal year 2015. The measure is backed by Vienna, Va-based Space Adventures and the McDonnell Gubernatorial Administration.
2] Senate Bill 1337 – Senator Herring – Passed Senate 40-0 – Now in House General Laws Sub #2 -Freedom of Information Act; Commercial Space Flight Authority. Creates an exemption from the mandatory disclosure requirements of FOIA for (i) records relating to rate structures or charges for using the facilities of the Commercial Space Flight Authority and (ii) records provided by a private entity to the Commercial Space Flight Authority, to the extent that such records contain (a) trade secrets of the private entity as defined in the Uniform Trade Secrets Act (§ 59.1-336 et seq.); (b) financial records of the private entity, including balance sheets and financial statements, that are not generally available to the public through regulatory disclosure or otherwise; or (c) other information submitted by the private entity, where, if the records were made public, the financial interest or bargaining position of the Authority or private entity would be adversely affected. The bill also contains a meeting exemption for the discussion of the above records. The bill contains a technical amendment.
3] Senate Bill 965 Senator Ralph Northam – Passed Senate 39-0 Now in House Finance Sub #2 will be heard in Subcommittee on Wed. Feb. 16th. -- Retail sales and use tax exemption for spaceport activities. Eliminates the sunset date of the sales and use tax exemption for personal property involved in spaceport activities. The sales and use tax exemption is set to expire on July 1, 2011.
4] House Budget $1,379,095 vs. Senate Budget, $2 million – Budget Conferees in negotiations to be complete by February 22nd. Budget conference report available 12 noon on Feb. 24th. Final budget vote, Feb. 26th, Adjourn Sine Die Sat., Feb 26th, 2011.
ATK and Astrium collaborate to unveil the Liberty Launch Vehicle, the safest, most reliable configuration available. The simple and highly reliable design was created with international cooperation, advancing US national space policy.
An unmanned Ariane rocket is scheduled to launch the Johannes Kepler ATV cargo vessel into orbit on Tuesday in Europe's second mission to carry supplies to the International Space Station (ISS). The modified Ariane launcher will lift off at 7.08p.m. (2208 GMT) from Europe's spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, on the northeast coast of South America, carrying a 20 ton cargo module, the heaviest payload ever launched on an Ariane rocket.
Monday, February 07, 2011
'Launched in October 2006, STEREO traces the flow of energy and matter from the sun to Earth. It also provides unique and revolutionary views of the sun-Earth system. The mission observed the sun in 3-D for the first time in 2007. In 2009, the twin spacecraft revealed the 3-D structure of coronal mass ejections which are violent eruptions of matter from the sun that can disrupt communications, navigation, satellites and power grids on Earth.
Seeing the whole sun front and back simultaneously will enable significant advances in space weather forecasting for Earth and for planning for future robotic and manned spacecraft missions throughout the solar system.
Sunday, February 06, 2011
Don Green, the CEO of The Napoleon Hill Foundation, will spend 90-minutes with Dr. David Livingston of The Space Show on Monday, February 7, 2011 to discuss how the motivational works of the late Napoleon Hill may serve and be applied to the commercial space industry of the 21st century.
"Space and the mind are the two greatest areas for exploration," Green noted after seeking to inspire Appalachian coalfield students to successfully pursue their dreams of becoming aerospace engineers and architects recently.
"Don Green is a new global social entrepreneur. He has become one of the leading evangelists of entrepreneurial self-help through the proper utilization of Mr. Hill's Keys to Success and Think and Grow Rich. He is accepting of nontraditional ideas, change, and foresight tempered and bounded only by positive action. He is a realist with visionary outlook," states one of the reviews of his works.
Green has co-authored and published Napoleon Hill's Daily Inspiration for Everyday Men, You Can: A Collection of Brief Talks on the Most Important Topic in the World -- Your Success, and Your Greatest Power. In addition, Green has lead the NapHill Foundation in translating Napoloen Hill books to over 20 languages with worldwide distribution contracts.
A financial management expert and former successful banker, Green holds a Master of Science in Banking, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. He serves on the boards of The University of Virginia's College at Wise, the Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority, and the Appalachian America Energy Research Center.
The Google Lunar X PRIZE is igniting a new era of lunar exploration by offering the largest international incentive prize of all time. A total of 30 million dollars is available to the first privately funded teams to safely land a robot on the Moon, travel 500 Meters and send High Definition Video back to Earth. The Rocket City Space Pioneers are one of the 19 contestants.
The Falcon 9 upper stage will sling Astrobotic on a four-day cruise to the Moon. Astrobotic will then orbit the moon to align for landing. The spacecraft will land softly, precisely and safely using technologies pioneered by Carnegie Mellon University for guiding autonomous cars. The rover will explore for three months, operate continuously during the lunar days, and hibernate through the lunar nights. The lander will sustain payload operations with generous power and communications.
“The mission is the first of a serial campaign,” said Dr. William “Red” Whittaker, chairman of Astrobotic Technology and founder of the university’s Field Robotics Center. “Astrobotic’s missions will pursue new resources, deliver rich experiences, serve new customers and open new markets. Spurred further by incentives, contracts, and the Google Lunar X-Prize, this is a perfect storm for new exploration.”
“The moon has economic and scientific treasures that went undiscovered during the Apollo era, and our robot explorers will spearhead this new lunar frontier,” said David Gump, president of Astrobotic Technology. “The initial mission will bank up to $24 million in Google’s Lunar X-Prize, Florida’s $2 million launch bonus, and NASA’s $10 million landing contract while delivering 240 pounds of payload for space agencies and corporate marketers.” [MORE]