Friday, December 30, 2005

China: To the Moon Alice!

China's space program wants to go around the Moon by 2007 in an un-manned capsule. (Their rockets look like Russian clones to me.) They target 2020 for a manned flight. NASA in the Vision plan to do another manned landing by 2018.

Also in today's Orange County Register has an article on rules for space tourists here.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

More Rings around Uranus





My brother-In-Law Alan would love this one. When Voyager found the first ring around Uranus he would tell people, "Do you know there are rings around Uranus?" So now a Hubble has found two new Moons and two faint rings around Uranus.

Friday, December 23, 2005

NASA reauthorization bill

I'm glad that the Senate passed legislation to fund the "Vision for Space Exploration.". Much has been said and done this week on the "Patriot Act" that Space was not on the MSM's radar.

The focus will be to return to the Moon, Shuttle until 2010 and finishing the International Space Station.
"Our national policy will determine the nation's role in future space exploration and its contribution to broad research and our national security," Texas Republican Kay Bailey Hutchison, chairman of the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Science and Space, said in a statement.


The bill will now go to President Bush to sign. I'm glad something positive came out of our lovely legislators this week!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all! Space exploration will defantly be a good in 2006 and the future years. The Moon and Mars will be ours!

Beagle Found

The Mars Global Surveyor found evidence the Beagle 2 did land with the air bags deployed. Pictures of the airbag tracks were found. Beagle might have landed on its side damaging equipment so it could not communicate back to Earth.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Foam on External tank showed cracks

I've been lax in keeping up on Space news and such. I ran by this article onCNN before thanksgiving on the Shuttle and the crack problems on the external tanks.
"How do these cracks that we've found figure into that? We don't know," said John Chapman, manager of the External Tank Project at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center. "It would certainly be premature to say the cracks play a factor in that. We don't know that right now. But they might."
....
NASA is still conducting tests to determine if the tank incurred cracks during testing and if the tank Discovery actually used had similar cracks.

"We haven't found any eureka, or smoking gun so far," Chapman said.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Iran's Sina-1 can spy on Israel

About a year ago I found about about Iran's so called scientific space program. Now Sina-1 will be launched next month. It's main purpose is to monitor damage done by disasters such as earthquakes. However, it will pass
"14 times a day from an altitude around 600 miles, with controllers able to point its cameras as they wish, Sina-1 gives Iran a limited space reconnaissance capability over the entire Middle East, including Israel."

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Scotty's ashes blasted to space delayed

The Falcon X has been grounded due to technical problems. Too bad Scotty couldn't be here to figure it out.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Wake up Call from Sir Paul

Last night at Paul McCartney's concert at the Anaheim Pond gave a wake up call to the ISS crew here.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Star Trek Phasers a reality?

An interesting article in Stars and Stripes about "a new laser-based, nonlethal weapon designed to temporarily blind aggressors."

BTW Happy veterans day! Support your local veteran and the troops.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Wilma Damages Pluto Probe

The New Horizons spacecraft was in a horizontal position in a hangar at Kennedy Space Center. The door to the hangar is a cloth rolling door and can withstand 145 mph winds. Apparently Wilma blew the door open causing slight damage to the Atlas 5 rocket. It should be ready for launch around January 11, 2006.CNN story here.

Monday, October 24, 2005

KSC closed due to WilMa


The cape is closed today due to Wilma. Here is the Space Ref news release.
NASA's Hurricane page for 2005 has more pictures from GOES here.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Wilma heads toward KSC


Now we have to watch for Wilma to hit the Cape. HT NASA Watch here. I worry about the space program being cut from the budget because of Katrina and Rita. Now comes WIL-MA!

Last Titan Launch at VAFB

Yesterday was the last launch of the Titan rocket with a secret payload. This was the 368th launch of the Titan in the US and 200th from VAFB. Lockheed Martin's Atlas 5 and Boeing's Delta 4 will replace the Titan. It's the end of an Era.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Pakistan Earthquake



Here is a picture from space.com on the earthquake in Pakistan. I just wonder if OBL and his buddies got buried there?

Satellite Lost

Here is the picture on the space.com site on the satellite launched from a Russian sub last week here.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

NASA workers could have damaged the foam on the tank

Workers could have caused the damage to the foam on the external shuttle tank. CNN story here.

Monday, September 26, 2005

JSC received little Rita Damage


Johnson Space center received little damage during Hurricane Rita. All employees have leave until Tuesday.Here is the NASA link to RITA images.

Global Warming debate

I really laugh at some of the press and their "stuck on stupid" responses to the recent hurricanes and the global warming debate. I really think they should take some science courses or enlist some scientist types to report on science news. I googled for William Grey at Colorado State to get his forecasting for the current hurricane season. He has been studying the climate and its cycles for 40 years. I tend to believe the experts than the "celebrities" and leftist greenies that claim hurricanes are the cause of global warming. Dr. Gray said that if we were experiencing global warming then the activity of all Hurricane/Cyclone areas would show increased activity. No such activity is occurring. We are in a cycle of 25 - 50 years of an upswing in storms. Here is an except from his report:
The 1995-2005 Upswing in Atlantic Hurricanes and Global Warming
Many individuals have queried whether the unprecedented landfall of four destructive hurricanes in a seven-week period during August-September 2004 and the landfall of two more major hurricanes in the early part of the 2005 season is related in any way to human-induced climate changes. There is no evidence that this is the case. If global warming were the cause of the increase in United States hurricane landfalls in 2004 and 2005 and the overall increase in Atlantic basin major hurricane activity of the past eleven years (1995-2005), one would expect to see an increase in tropical cyclone activity in the other storm basins as well (i.e., West Pacific, East Pacific, Indian Ocean, etc.). This has not occurred. When tropical cyclones worldwide are summed, there has actually been a slight decrease since 1995. In addition, it has been well-documented that the measured global warming during the 25-year period of 1970-1994 was accompanied by a downturn in Atlantic basin major hurricane activity over what was experienced during the 1930s through the 1960s.


We attribute the heightened Atlantic major hurricane activity between 1995-2005 to be a consequence of the multidecadal fluctuations in the Atlantic Ocean thermohaline circulation (THC) as we have been discussing in our Atlantic basin seasonal hurricane forecasts for several years. Major hurricane activity in the Atlantic has been shown to undergo marked multidecadal fluctuations that are directly related to North Atlantic sea surface temperature anomalies. When the Atlantic Ocean thermohaline circulation is running strong, the central Atlantic equatorial trough (ITCZ) becomes stronger. The stronger the Atlantic equatorial trough becomes, the more favorable are conditions for the development of major hurricanes in the central Atlantic. Since 1995, the THC has been flowing more strongly, and there has been a concomitant increase in major hurricanes in the tropical Atlantic.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Rita Closes Johnson Space Center

The Johnson Space Center closed yesterday due to Hurricane Rita coming to shore. ISS operations have been transferred to Moscow Space Center. A team of NASA techs are on hand there. NASA's link to RITA here.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

August activites

I have been busy with the summer activies of my daughter's to blog. Another flyby of Titan by Cassiniis here.
Mars Rover Updates: Opportunity here and Spirithere.

Monday, August 08, 2005

PodCast from Space

Mission Specialist Steve Robinson podcasts from space. (Very first one!) His take on the whole mission is one of learning. Humans will always strive to learn. It is our destiny to explore the Final Frontier.

At any rate I will close this very brief first podcast from space with a greeting to all Earthings and a thank you for your interest and support. Whether you support the space program or not, you're learning from it. You're learning from it the very moment you hear this and think about what we're doing. And I think that learning is what looking over the horizon is all about, and don't forget that learning can be exciting and fun, too, because that's certainly what this mission has been all about.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Our Prayers for Discovery

Discovery has detached from the ISS. Early Monday Morning the shuttle will land at KSC around 4:46 A.M. Eastern (1:46 A.M. Pacific).

Collins said she appreciates all the prayers -- from President Bush to strangers around the world. "We thank you for caring for us," she said in an interview with The Associated Press on Thursday.

"We ask also that you pray for our space program overall because it is a great thing for people all over the Earth. ... We believe in it and that's why we are doing this."


My prayers are for the crew members and their families also. The commander is right, we all should pray for the US space program also. The risks are worth it, to explore the heavens God created. May the loving arms of the Lord bless each crew member for the safe return of Discovery. Amen.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Gene Kranz on Shuttle Grounding

When the shuttle management announced a "grounding of the Shuttle fleet" due to the foam breaking off the external tank PAL ramp, I thought about Eugene F. Kranz and the Apollo program. Gene said during the Apollo 13 mission (and movie), "Failure is not an option."

Gene said in his op-ed that we took many steps in the Gemini missions to achieve a successful space walk. Buzz Aldrin's space walk in Gemini 12 NASA succeeded. Astronauts now train underwater to learn how to move in outer space because of Buzz's insistence to train for space walks.

We have to take many steps to get it right. Exploration is trial and error. Just look at our past and you'll see many failures and many successes. Our space program is too important to our Nation to just give up.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

No more shuttle repairs

The 13 inch tear in the fabric under the commanders window poses no danger in Discovery's return on Monday. NASA engineers have tested the problem in a wind tunnel. Here is the AP news release.

Tribute to Fallen hero's



I viewed the touching tribute paid to fallen astronauts and cosmonauts. We as humans have suffered the cost of exploration over centuries to find new worlds to live in. Long live our fallen comrades. May you touch the face of God.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Bush support for Space

Some of my spacer activist colleges don't feel confident that President
Bush supports space exploration. One complaint was Bush does not mention space in his state of the Union speeches. (The president has more pressing issues, i.e like the GWOT, the economy, social security reform, tax reform, etc.) I disagree. When Bush presented his Vision to the Nation on January, 14 2003, he spoke directly to the people who count most. The NASA workers! The people who are doing the work in space. I was thrilled that Space exploration was placed back on the agenda. I support the low-orbit activities going to private enterprise (service the ISS, cargo shipping to the Moon) and the focus toward setting up bases on the Moon and then on to Mars.

President Bush interviewed with 5 papers yesterday and voiced his support for Space after months of silence. (Actually he did make a statement after the launch of the Shuttle last Tuesday.)
"I am confident NASA will be able to implement the vision I laid out and that is to use the moon as an exploratory base to go further into space," said Bush
(HT NASA Watch).

Today Bush spoke briefly today to thank the Discovery and ISS crew for taking the risk to explore in space. Godspeed Discovery and we pray for your safe return!

Friday, July 29, 2005

Ten planet discovered! Hades? Planet X?

A tenth planet has been discovered and was announced today by Mike Brown of Caltech. The discovery was made at Mount Palomar Samuel ocean Telescope. Mike Brown along with colleagues Chad Trujillo, of the Gemini Observatory, and David Rabinowitz, of Yale University, made the discovery on Jan. 8.

I wonder what name will be chosen when the International Astronomical Union annouces the discovery? This is great! Pluto was discovered in 1930 by Clyde W. Tombaugh. It was a fluke that Tombaugh found Pluto. The calculations that predicted a planet after Neptune and Uranus were flawed. He looked anyway and found Pluto. It's funny back then they still looked for Planet X but determined a tenth planet did not exist. Well I think they are wrong now!

USA Leaders in Space

I love the way the Whitehouse press core has been hitting up Scott McClellan this week on shuttle questions. He is doing better. The message the president wants to send to the American people is we are the leaders in space and it will continue. The vision to explore space will continue.

"Q Is the administration going to take any steps to take a hard look at what's going on with the shuttle program at NASA right now? Does the President believe that the NASA administration has an effective control of the program, in light of what's happened the last 24 hours?

MR. McCLELLAN: Yes, a couple things. One, the safety of the crew is the top priority. The President relies on the judgment of the experts, the engineers at NASA. Engineers at NASA look at all the issues, and they assess the risk. The President appreciates NASA's commitment to safety and acting out of an abundance of caution. He is confident in the job that Administrator Griffin and the experts at NASA are doing.

In terms of the latest announcement, NASA has not made any decision or announced anything about the timing of the next mission. The experts at NASA continue to look at all the facts and all the data. And once they have had the opportunity to do so, then they will come to some conclusions and make decisions about how to proceed.

Q Scott, to follow up on that.

MR. McCLELLAN: Sure.

Q Does the President consider the grounding -- the shuttle grounding a setback to the U.S. space program?

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, again, I think I just made a point -- I don't know that the officials at NASA describe it the same way you do. They have not announced, nor have they made any decision regarding future missions for the space shuttle. They're continuing to look at all the data, and that's what they're doing right now, and to assess the situation and determine how to proceed forward.

Q So the administration doesn't see it necessarily as a setback to the program?

MR. McCLELLAN: What we continue to do is wish the crew on board the shuttle Discovery success, and a successful mission. And they are continuing to move forward on their mission, and we appreciate Commander Collins and the entire crew, and all that they are doing.

Q On another matter --

MR. McCLELLAN: Space exploration is a high priority for the United States, and we want to continue to lead the way."


Right on Mr. President! The USA will continue to lead the way in Space.
(HT Space Politics)

Discovery Commander loves space!

Discovery commander Eileen Collins was surprised at the foam coming off the external tank. She thought the problem was "licked." She is staying focused on the mission and is confident since they are in "good hands with the people on the ground." Collins added, "I love being in space. It's magical up here."

Well said Commander! Godspeed Discovery crew.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

It's the Freon Virginia!

After surfing the blogs today and listening to talk radio this morning we have the culprit on the foam. In 1997 Freon was taken out of the process to apply the foam to the external fuel tank. To be "Green" and appease the EPA, NASA changed its application process. From a 1997 flight of the Shuttle had 308 ceramic tiles damaged versus the usual 40 tiles damaged per flight. OK NASA get a waver and get the fleet rolling again! The International Space Station will be shut down if we don't get the shuttle flying again. (HT Whizbag , Mikes Noise and Instapundit.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Shuttle fleet grounded





The news is bad. I guess NASA overlooked something:

"We had a debris event on the PAL ramp along the LOX field line - below the point where the LH2 ramp begins. Our expectation is that we would not have an unexpected debris event. The PAL ramp is one area we should have reviewed. We knew we would have to remove the PAL ramp. We did not have enough data to be safe and remove it. We had very few problems with it so we decided that it was safe to fly it as is. Clearly, with the event we had, we were wrong." (HT NASA Watch)

Since this is a test flight, back to the drawing board about PAL ramp. All shuttle launches are grounded until future testing said Bill Parsons, Shuttle fleet manager.

President's message on NASA



"On behalf of all Americans, I wish the crew of the Space Shuttle Discovery a safe and successful mission. Today's launch marks NASA's return to flight following the tragic loss of the Space Shuttle Columbia crew in February 2003. I thank the men and women of NASA who have dedicated themselves to putting our space program back on track. Our space program is a source of great national pride, and this flight is an essential step toward our goal of continuing to lead the world in space science, human space flight, and space exploration."

Discovery's tiles

I was going to live blog the launch of Discovery. I was having too much fun with my kids and watching yesterday's morning launch with them to blog. I liked the way NASA TV covered the Astronauts inside Discovery as the white room techs were strapping them in and making sure their com systems were working. It was great to see the replays of the launch from different camera locations.

With all the cameras taking pictures of the shuttle tiles and foam debris I thought Discovery came out pretty good. The main concern is the 1 1/2 inch tile that fell off during liftoff. The tile was near one of the landing gear housing. I remember when Columbia was first launched in 1981. Lots of tiles fell off and it came back safe. After over 100 launches it was pretty good for one tile to fall off this launch. I think its being overplayed but we have to get all the information before making assumptions. However, Columbia's accident 2 1/2 years ago is still on our minds. NASA can't afford another tragedy.

We're back and the Vision will go forward. To the Stars!

Monday, July 25, 2005

Darkside of the Moon




The play Darkside will open at the Empire Theater on August 5th and will close at the end of the Month. OCSS President Larry Evans designed the Apollo 18 Mission Patch and rendered by OCSS member Robert Kline. Also, Larry Evans is a technical advisor for the play and has a small role.

OC Space Society Annual Picnic



My Family and I attended the annual OCSS summer get together at Brookhurst Park on Saturday. We celebrated the 36th Moon Landing anniversary. The park's play equipment "simulates" the surface of the moon. We were privileged to have a BBC film crew to interview and film some of the members about space travel. It will be shown on BBC around Halloween and later this fall in the states on the Discovery/Science channel. We tried to launch a "water fueled model rocket" in the park. Launch was scrubbed, rescheduled for this Tuesday! (Rocket provided by Robert Klien. The kids loved it!)

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Beam Scotty to Heaven!



I'm sadden to say James Doohan, who portrayed "Scotty" from the Original Star Trek Series has died today at his home in Seattle Washington. He was 85 years old and was suffering from pneumonia and Alzheimer's disease. My husband really loved Scotty and TOS (I do too!). Because of Scotty, my husband chose Mechanical Engineering as his career. May Scotty rest in peace.

Here's another link to Scotty. Click on the "Wit and Wisdom of Montgomery Scott" to see a wonderful montage of classic lines by Scotty.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Shuttle launch delayed to Tues. July 26



The fuel tank sensor is still giving NASA engineers problems. The launch window remains open until the end of the month of July and won't open back up until September. Lets hope the problem is found and launch continue. NASA needs to get the ISS finished and the Vision started with CEV developemnt.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Pigs in space

When I heard this on Drudge last night I new someone would mention the Muppet show "Pigs in Space".(HT Blogs of War)

History in Space this week

The Moon landing occured 36 years ago this week and the Mars Viking landing occured 29 years ago. Let's hope the Vision goes forth and we go back to exploring these two wonderful places.

Enterprise Space

NASA chief Mike Griffin is looking at private compaines to build space craft for the Vision missions. In today's Space Review the case for buying directly from private enterprises:

"NASA should begin to buy space transportation services directly from the private sector instead of buying launch vehicles in the same complex and bureaucratic way the Pentagon buys bombers. For cargo services this should be relatively easy, but if they want to buy transport services for astronauts from the entrepreneurial sector the safety requirements will have to be very carefully written. Too strict and they will make it impossible for anyone to compete; too loose and they will be putting lives at risk unnecessarily."

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Live Blogging of Return to Flight

I'll be live blogging the STS-114 launch this Wendesday July 13. More stuff at Space.com .

Countdown 101
T Minus 3 hours and holding...
The Shuttle astronauts are suiting up and the Ice inspection team is out inspecting Discovery.

T Minus 3 hours and counting....
The shuttle crew are all dressed up and leaving for launch pad 39B.

The crew is at the pad gate now....

The crew is getting off the elevator....

The white room staff fussing over the crew and final prep...

(The Yahoo portal on NASA TV is working great, I switched from space.com NASA TV, was getting a bad delay
NASA TV
).

Go Japan! Nice Flag.

Computer Number 5 is booting up....

Last of the 7 crew has boarded Discovery...

Low level fuel cut off sensor problem now, so the engines cut off early there will be fuel to the engines. Launch has been scrubbed today! Ah Shucks!

I'll blog again on the next day to launch.

Space Advocates take notice

Space advocates take notice. We must unify! The Vision depends on us to get the message out. We have to stop bickering about details and work together to make sure our future congress and presidential candidates get the message that “clearly” explains the space Vision President Bush presented. (ht SpacePolitics)

"Although the major space advocacy organizations have had similar messages over the years, they have always argued about details—almost like sects of a religion engaging in warfare over rituals. This needs to change. Although the space advocacy community has little or no control over the national and international events that could have an impact on political support for NASA (terrorism, economic problems, another space shuttle accident), they need to control the areas in which they can have an influence. They must work together to guarantee that the future president, as well as the present and future Congresses (the 2006 Congressional elections are coming up), are provided a clear and concise message, one that will explain that the Vision is not just a flight of fancy by President Bush. It is not only technically and financially feasible, but also extremely important to the future of the United States. The space advocacy community must play leading role in disseminating this message. However, it has to be undertaken in a more sophisticated and unified manner than has been attempted in the past".

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Minor Repairs to Shuttle Discovery

The engineers at NASA took a replacement part from Endevor to fix the panel damaged from the window cover that fell. The Ice team is going to inspect to make sure the Ice is not a problem at launch. If all is a go, I'll be blogging it live.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

The Crew of Discovery

I'm amazed of the crew of Discovery. The commander Eileen Collins reminds me of Amelia Earhart (ht OCRegistar). Gary Robbins thinks they could have been sisters. Collins looks to Earhart for insperation as she piloted a space shuttle and will lead NASA back to space.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Return to Flight



The Link to STS-114 is at Return to Flight. All systems go and good luck to the crew and flight.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Blast of a Comet




My husband and I dragged the kids to the Planetary Society's Comet Bash last Sunday night at Citrus College Performing Arts Building in Glendora. The presentation had great speakers. Louis Friedman, Executive Director of the Planetary Society talked about the Cosmos 1 Solar Sail. The Russian rocket shot out of a submarine failed about 83 seconds into flight never making it to space. Dr. Friedman was trying to be nice without saying bad things about the Volna rocket. There will be another launch (they have enough spare parts) but with another rocket. I suggest talking to Elon Musk at Space X (a board member of Planetary Society).

The second speaker was Apollo 9 Astronaut Rusty Schweickart, chairman of B612 Foundation. His topic was about Near-Earth Asteroid and Earth Impact Update. NEO's are objects that cross the earth's orbit with short period orbits. He talked about an Asteroid 2004 that will be within 3 Sigma ellipse on 4/13/2029 (Friday 13th). He talked to Congress in May about the possibility of setting up a mission to "bump" a NEO to move its orbit away from Earth. Two things that hamper this, there is no international group heading up a mission or overseeing NEO's and second, NASA is holding off the Nuclear engine program.

Bill Nye the Science Guy (Vice President of the Planetary Society) then talked about Comets and why the Deep Impact project is important. Comets are very old (more than 4.5 billon years) and contain elements present at the beginning of the solar system. He is a great speaker and the Kids loved it.

Bill Smythe, a Deep Impact Mission Scientist talked more about the mission hardware and Deep Impact probe. He worked on the imaging cameras on the spacecraft(s). He was interrupted when the first pictures came in on NASA TV.

The fantastic pictures were neat to view with other space enthusiasts. Commentary was provided by the Bills (Nye and Smythe) and Bruce Betts, the Director of Projects for the Planetary Society.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Shuttle Poll on Blogs of War

Go over to Blogs of War and take the "Return to Flight" Shuttle poll.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

US Space Leadership

We have to keep the US in the forefront on Leadership in space due to our nations security. We have to be the leader just as we are leading the GWOT. Some might disagree, but I believe China will overcome the US and dominate our economy (everything is made in "China") our military (they have stolen some of our military secrets) and our freedom to explore space. China's CNOOC wants to buy UNOCAL and another Chinese company wants to buy MAYTAG. In China both commercial and military products are built at their manufacturing plants.

From the AstroExpress.com article
The U.S. must bolster the competitiveness: Report Warns of Challenges to U.S. Leadership in Spaces of its commercial space industry, expand international cooperation, and refocus on basic science in order to hold on to its traditional leadership position in space, according to the authors of a new paper from the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

United States Space Policy: Challenges and Opportunities identifies three important shifts in U.S. plans for space—proposals by the military to place weapons in space, decreased funding for civilian space science, and an unwillingness to collaborate with international partners on space initiatives—as threats to the nation’s long-term scientific interests in space. The study also finds that changes in export control policies, which now require that all satellites be regulated as munitions, have led to significant market share losses for U.S. suppliers in recent years, threatening the long-term viability of the U.S. commercial satellite industry. The paper is available online at: http://www.amacad.org/publications/spacePolicy.aspx.

“America has long been considered by nations around the world to be the unchallenged leader in all aspects of its space program,” according to authors George Abbey, former head of the Johnson Space Center, and Neal Lane, former Assistant to the President on Science and Technology Policy. But, they warn, “The future vitality of America’s space program is in question.”

“Government leaders are making decisions about U.S. space policy that will affect not only national security, but also the ability of the United States to successfully compete with other countries in the commercial use of space and to maintain a leadership role in space exploration, science and engineering, and technology.” Though their assessment reveals significant obstacles to the continued success of the U.S. space industry and space science, Abbey and Lane believe these obstacles are surmountable, and offer recommendations for realigning U.S. space policy to advance U.S. interests.

Our schools and Universities must stress the importance of science, engineering, and physics degrees. We must keep the knowledge base in America. Space will empower Americans in the workforce as some of our technologies are transferred to other nations, space will keep us in the forefront and leader in the world.

Ed. note: The full report is at Space Policy.

Shuttle ready or not?

Last friday NASA said it is ready for Launching the Shuttle in July. Yesterday the panel that oversees the return to flight say's NASA failed the toughest standards, Ice falling from the liquid fuel tank. I say we go with what the engineers and Chief Griffin at NASA say, when its ready they'll fly.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Space Ring to stop global warming

I really don't buy into the Global Warming theory, but this article came to my attention from a link on Drudge Report .

Update: Rush mentioned today on his show about the article from Drudge.

Cosmos 1 in the drink

It seems that Cosmos 1 landed in the Barnets Sea with the first stage failing to fire. Better luck next time! I suggest using another launch company...

Update: Glenn Renyolds Tech Central Station article Nobody's Perfect, sums up the Planetary Society's failure on Cosmos 1 launch. Space is risky business but we must learn from our mistakes and continue on exploring.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Juno 2010

Arthur C. Clark will be proud to know we are sending a probe to Jupiter in 2010. Juno will explore Jupiter's magnetic field, investigate its core and find out how much water the planet has. The orbit will be a polar and oblong in shape. I hope Juno visits Europia!

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Weapons in Space

USA today has an article on "Hyperventilating over 'space weapons'" by James Oberg. (HT to Instapunit) Oberg stresses the Russians placed weapons into space well before Reagan came along with "Star Wars" or SDI.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Potential Threat to American Space Operations

Hat tip to Blogs of War on this article in SIGNAL Magazine. Since the War of Terror and 9/11 attacks my main fear has been the venerability of USA space communications and military operations to terrorist attacks. The likelihood that terrorists will disrupt or destroy US Space assets is low. But as a nation we have to keep space a priority, as it is important to our security and freedom to explore the unknown.

Comet Bash

My family and I will attend The Planetary Society's Comet Bash on Sunday, July 3, 2005. I can't wait for Deep Impact's smack down with Comet Tempel 1! Check here for more information at the Planetary Society's site.

Cosmos 1 Launch

The Planetary Society will launch a solar sail from a Russian submarine on June 21, 2005. Once it is deployed it will be visable in the evening sky. Solar sails will provide propulsion for space craft exploring the solar system without carrying large amouts of fuel.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Russa's warning on Militarization of Space

I guess we have to watch our guard.......


BAIKONUR, June 2, 2005 - /RIA Novosti/ - Russia will take adequate measures in case of attempts to militarize space, defense minister Sergei Ivanov told journalists at the Baikonur space center on Thursday. "If some state is nurturing plans or begins to orbit weapons, we will react adequately," the minister said.

Ivanov stressed that for decades Russia's stand on the matter was openly negative and remains negative.

Russia does not plan to curtail its defense and security operation in Baikonur, whose 50th anniversary is marked today.

"The Baikonur space center is not the only Russian spaceport [by agreement with Kazakhstan, Russia leased the center for 49 years]. We have recently launched many military spacecraft from other spaceports [such as Plesetsk in the north of European Russia and Svobodny in the Amur region in the Far East]. But this does not mean that we will curtail defense and security operation in Baikonur, Ivanov said.

According to him, there are no plans to withdraw the regiments or battalions of the Space Force from Baikonur.

"There should be as many servicemen here as would suffice to ensure security," the defense minister said.

Russia will be ready to discuss agreements on tactical nuclear weapons only when the countries that have them will withdraw these weapons to their national territory, Ivanov said commenting on the US Senators' offer of a treaty to ban tactical nuclear weapons.

The minister stressed that now Russia is the only country that keeps its tactical nuclear weapons on the national territory. "As you know, the other countries do not do this," Sergei Ivanov said.

Hurricane watch

NASA has a new website devoted to Hurricanes. Great place to get satellite pictures of storms. Since this is the start of Hurricane season, a good place to bookmark at Hurricane Resource Page.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Near Earth Objects

Tip from Spacepolitics with an article on former Apollo astronaut Russell Schweickart's proposal for NEO policy and legislation written by Congressman Dana Rohrabacher. Read the Wired article on the subject here.

Tom Delay say's NASA fully funded

NASA Chief Griffin and House Majority Leader Tom Delay say for now NASA and Moon-Mars projects are fully funded. Griffin believes there is a balance between robotic and manned missions. Delay said "NASA is a priority, even in a time of war and tightening budgets." Funding will be provided to expedite programs to get to "were we want to go."

Update--OC Register has the article about the Moon-Mars and NASA Funding. I agree with NASA Chief Griffin in that the US must be in the forefront in expanding into space. IF the Chinese start to develop military space programs the US has to dominate Earth orbit.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Voyager enters the 'Final Frontier'

Here's a link to Blogsofwar on Voyager I. On it's 28 year mission, it will soon leave the "solar system." Here's a nice graphic of the bow shock on JPL's site.

Solar Sails and NASA missions reviewed

In the Wednesday, May 25th issue of the OC Register are two space related articles. The Local section has an article about Solar Sailors. A Tustin company named L’Garde is manufacturing a sail made of Mylar to propel a spacecraft. NASA wants to monitor solar activity by using a spacecraft propelled by a solar sail.

The second article is in the Science section about NASA’s reviewing the missions planned. Manned Space flight is taking precedence as some planetary projects though Jet Propulsion Laboratory would be “deferred--not eliminated.” Two missions deferred are the Terrestrial Planet Finder and the Mars Science Laboratory due to a tight budget. Getting Discovery ready for launch has increased the budget by 1 billion.

Good news is NASA’s new Chief Michael Griffin is looking at Saving the Hubble if the next two Shuttle fights are successfully flown and demonstrate safe flight to rescue the ailing space telescope.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Star Wars Technologies and the spin offs

As an original "Star Wars" fan from 1977, I'm looking forward to the last installment. George Lucas developed the technology that now appear in
"Home stereos, cell phones, medical imaging devises and virtually every Hollywood studio.."
Lucas formed a group of computer artists to create a computer program called "EditDroid," one of the first digital editing system. The system allowed movies to be transferred to computer disks from film reels. Now all movie-editing bays contain the technology. Lucas sold off his technologies because at the time there was no market for them. Pixar was a spin-off from selling his computer team to Steven Jobs in 1986. Another technology Lucas created was the theater sound system "THX."

My hats off to George Lucas and all the spin-offs he created. Special effects in movies have really improved since "Star Wars" in 1977.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Voyager program saved for now

The Voyager program was in jeopardy of being cancelled. Money has been transferred from another fund. Space Politics has more. I wonder how far, far away Voyager is from earth. It was a grand journey traveling to Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune and beyond.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Robert A. and Virginia Heinlein Prize Trust awards

I support the commercial use of space and an avid reader of Robert A. Heinlein. The trustees of Robert A. and Virginia Heinlein Prize Trust have established "The Robert A. and Virginia Heinlein Prize For Accomplishments in Commercial Space Activities”. The prize 'recognizes the practical accomplishments of individuals in the field of commercial space activities”. The cash award is $500,000. The Heinleins' award shares their dream of a “future of humankind expanding ever outward into space.” The link to the award information is at the Heinlein Society site.

OCSS Shuttle display at Discovery Museum

Two members of Orange County Space Society (local chapter of the National Space Society), Kaya and Mary Tuncer, have donated a full scale nose section of a Space Shuttle orbiter. It will be constructed under the Giant Cube at the Discovery Science Center near the Santa Ana Main Place mall off the I-5 freeway. It should be ready for viewing on Sunday, May 15 at the DSC. More information can be found on the OCSS web site at OCspace.org.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Friday, April 15, 2005

What a week for space!

What a week for space! The senate has approved Griffin for the NASA Administrator position, ISS expedition crew has launched to the space station and Dart is launched to rendezvous with a satellite. I found an interesting article on why humans need space; to work, to live and to survive!

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Welcome to Star Base OC

Welcome to my Space Blog, which will focus on US Space policy. I’ve been a supporter of Space exploration most of my life, influenced by the Apollo 11 moon landing in July 1969. My interests include the Moon-Mars initiative, return of the Space Shuttle, Space tourism, and enterprise in space. Space is the next frontier and America’s future. I hope to spark interest about space and exploring the cosmos!