Archive for the ‘Media’ Category
Those folks at the New York Times are on the ball. They just noticed that fuel depots are an option-
By considering a proposal to put filling stations in the sky, NASA is looking to accelerate plans to send astronauts to distant destinations.
The filling stations — NASA calls them propellant depots — would refuel a spacecraft in orbit before it headed out to the moon, an asteroid or eventually Mars. Currently, all of the fuel needed for a mission is carried up with the rocket, and the weight of the fuel limits the size of the spacecraft.
Next month, engineers will meet at NASA headquarters in Washington to discuss how propellant depots could be used to reach farther into space and make possible more ambitious missions using the heavy-lift rocketthat NASA is planning to build. The discussions grow out of a six-month NASA study of propellant depots, completed in July.
However, the space agency has rejected the study’s most radical conclusion: that NASA could forgo the heavy-lift and use existing smaller rockets, combined with fuel depots, to reach its targets more quickly and less expensively. Those targets, for the next two decades at least, include a return to the moon or a visit to an asteroid. (A trip to Mars is unlikely until at least the 2030s.)…
News people don’t get it. They keep highlighting the drama senators like Shelby make over where NASA money goes, but they are forgetting that this is not as big a deal as they make it out to be.
Someone needs to tell Politico and the others that MSFC is not going to build the SLS! Sure MSFC wants to draw it up define requirements, and take it to a certain milestone, and contractors in Huntsville want to make all they can, but the reality is that it is not and never was going to be built AT MSFC. The bulk of the money goes somewhere else-the prime contractor.
Republican Sen. Richard Shelby has been one of Barack Obama’s most persistent critics, accusing the president of putting the country on a road to financial ruin with deficits as far as the eye can see.
But his demands to slash government programs tend to stop at the Alabama state line.
Here in his home state, Shelby has been pressuring the Obama administration to spend billions to build what could become the world’s biggest rocket at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville — a government project that would affect thousands of jobs, benefit a network of powerful industry interests and fill a major void at the agency after the collapse of the Bush-era Constellation initiative and the end of the space shuttle program in July.
Behind the scenes, Shelby has staked out Alabama’s turf against other states, attacking the administration for sending $340 million to Florida rather than to the Marshall agency and pushing NASA to put out bids for a key rocket engine, a move that could help an Alabama company at the expense of one in Utah. A provision he authored ended up directing $215 million to the scrapped Constellation program earlier this year, and he’s been a prolific earmarker, sending $185 million for a range of projects in Huntsville in the past few years, nearly half of which went to NASA programs.
What does Shelby really want? Yeah, there is some money there, but a lot of it is just ego and image. Shelby needs to make it look like he goes to bat for the home team, so that the Alabama media eat it up. Business as usual.Share
This should drive the conspiracy theory folks crazy. How to explain new, sharper photos of Apollo sites (I guess they will just think they were faked too!)
NASA today released new high-resolution views of three Apollo moon landing sites, sent back by Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter.
“We all like to obsess and look at the Apollo landing site images because it’s fun,” said Arizona State University’s Mark Robinson, principal investigator for the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera, or LROC. “People actually used to be able to go to the moon. People used to explore the moon. Hopefully, sometime in the near future, that will continue again. But LROC is looking at the whole moon.”
LRO’s high-resolution camera has been looking at the whole moon, including all six of the Apollo landing sites, for the past two years. But these particular images are special because they were taken from the closest vantage point the orbiter will ever have during its $504 million mission. Because of adjustments in the car-sized probe’s orbit, lately it’s been flying as low as 14 miles (22 kilometers) above the lunar surface…
“Eyes on the Solar System” is a 3-D environment full of real NASA mission data. Explore the cosmos from your computer. Hop on an asteroid. Fly with NASA’s Voyager 2 spacecraft. See the entire solar system moving in real time. It’s up to you. You control space and time.
NASA has released its “Eyes on the Solar System” 3D environment, a free web browser-based application that lets you navigate a 3D version of the solar system. The app uses video game technology to let you control your point of view from anywhere in our solar system, speeding up time so you can see the motion of the planets, their satellites and NASA spacecraft.
We tried the Eyes on the Solar System app (download here), which first requires a download of the Unity Web Player for Mac and PC. Once you’ve done that, you can fly around beautifully produced models of all the planets, asteroids and the Sun. Or you can enter custom modules created by NASA that highlight missions such as Juno, the recently launched probe that’s currently on a five-year mission to Jupiter.
According to NASA:
“This is the first time the public has been able to see the entire solar system and our missions moving together in real time,” said Jim Green, director of NASA’s Planetary Science Division at the agency’s Headquarters in Washington. “It demonstrates NASA’s continued commitment to share our science with everyone.”
You can even keep tabs on the current locations of NASA spacecraft, with the help of NASA’s actual mission data. Don’t forget to click the Full Screen button for the full effect. Fantastic stuff.
NASA did an awesome job with this app. I just tried it and will kill the rest of the afternoon fooling around the solar system. It only took a few seconds to download the Unity Web Player (no big deal, really).
You can just zoom around the solar system if you want to and see how planets, satellites, and orbits look in scale. It’s definitely worth a tour. Check it out!Share
We are very pleased today to release the first issue of Space Quarterly Magazine with both the U.S. and Canadian editions now available.
We are also pleased to announce that the first issue isavailable for FREE as a digital PDF download. We sincerely hope you’ll like our first issue and consider subscribing to future editions. We are also launching the SpaceRef Forum in the next couple of days.
The forum provides subscribers an opportunity to view and comment on the stories in the magazine as well other topics. Non-subscribers will also be able to participate in the forum with the exception of the Space Quarterly forum…
This sounds cool-
Three decades after Carl Sagan’s original “Cosmos,” a new version is heading for the Fox TV network in 2013 … with some fresh surprises in the mix.
One of the biggest surprises apparently has to do with the guy who helped get the series green-lighted by Fox: Seth MacFarlane, the creator of “Family Guy,” a Fox cartoon sitcom that The New York Times calls, ahem, “bawdy and irreverent.” But it shouldn’t be all that surprising. “Family Guy” has been known to poke fun at scientists as well as the scientifically challenged, and because he was born in 1973, MacFarlane was at the perfect age to start drinking in Sagan’s wisdom when the original “Cosmos” appeared in 1980.
The astrophysicist following in Sagan’s footsteps for the new 13-episode series will be Neil deGrasse Tyson, who is director of New York’s Hayden Planetarium as well as a seasoned author and TV host. Tyson said he and MacFarlane discussed the idea of re-energizing “Cosmos” as a follow-up to a Science and Entertainment Exchange session they both attended…
Nasawatch has this entry that talks about a new space magazine, “Space Quarterly,” and an online forum-
“SpaceRef, a provider of new media services since 1999, announced today that it was launching its first magazine, Space Quarterly, in both digital and print format. Space Quarterly will be published in two editions: a U.S. edition with an international section and a Canadian edition. To complement Space Quarterly, SpaceRef will also launch a new online service, the SpaceRef Forum, where readers can participate in ongoing discussions on topics covered by the magazine including commercial space, space policy, military space and other timely topics. Both new products will be available September 1, 2011…”
Chicago Tribune story spotted on Nasawatch-
Congress has again failed to rid a temporary spending bill of language forcing NASA to waste $1.4 million a day on its defunct Constellation moon program.
Though Congress passed a new stopgap spending bill last week, the measure retained a leftover provision from the 2010 budget that bars the agency from shutting down Constellation, which Congress and the White House agreed to cancel last October.
This so-called “Shelby provision” — named for U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Alabama, who inserted it into the 2010 budget — is expected to cost NASA roughly $29 million during the three-week budget extension through April 8. It has already cost the agency nearly $250 million since Oct. 1.
Equally galling to budget hawks is that Congress has known about the mistake for months and has done nothing to correct it…
This is what happens when Congress simply doesn’t do its job and just argues. At least when a car company makes a mistake, things can be recalled and it happens. When Congress screws up, nothing happens.Share
NASA is making a big deal about it’s 2012 budget press conference tomorrow, even though the 2011 budget is still swirling in the bowl. Seems pointless.
NASA Administrator Charles Bolden will brief reporters about the agency’s fiscal year 2012 budget at 2 p.m. EST on Monday, Feb. 14. The news conference will take place in the James E. Webb Memorial Auditorium at NASA Headquarters, located at 300 E St. S.W., in Washington.
Chief Financial Officer Elizabeth Robinson will join Bolden. The news conference will be broadcast live on NASA Television and the agency’s web site. Questions will be taken from news media representatives at headquarters and NASA field centers…
MSFC is also having local media over to meet with Lightfoot at the same time. It’s a wonder why. He won’t be able to say much about 2012 that Bolden doesn’t say, and no one really knows what to say about what we really want to know about…when will 2011 ever get sorted out?
Nasawatch is asking if there is a cut waiting for commercial space coming…see full story here…Share
The New York Times has a special report that is a good example of mainstream media screwing things up that they don’t follow close enough. The writer is trying to cover the Boeing/LM/ATK vs New Space angle-
“New Mission for American Aerospace Giants”
For Boeing, Lockheed Martin and the other aerospace giants that have been the backbone of the American space effort for decades, the shift in U.S. space policy announced by President Barack Obama means a major change in mission.
After working for decades with largely one customer — the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration — to ferry astronauts and equipment into orbit, major players in the aerospace industry are facing a commercial market with a range of entrepreneurs who say they can do that work for less.
The opening wasn’t too bad, but “The most immediate effect of the proposed policy shift will be on jobs. Mr. Obama’s plan to cancel the Constellation program…could mean the end of nearly 12,600 jobs…” is exaggerating. Also, “…The end of Constellation would largely stop work on the Ares I rocket..” and ” Alliant Techsystems, known as ATK, said the ending of Ares I would put 5,000 jobs at risk at its plants and those of its subcontractors…” is just the writer not keeping up. Ares 1 is toast, and ATK and it’s SRBs won’t be.
Finally, “…John M. Logsdon, the former director of the Space Policy Institute at George Washington University, said he had no doubt that NASA would contract for a heavy-lift vehicle sometime in the next few years…”
It’s a good idea to check the date on stuff you find on google and try and keep up!Share