Tag Archives: NASA

There, that’s better.

Promoted from the comments – thanks AFrankAngle. Here’s how it would look  with CNN scrubbed out.

Godspeed Curiosity. Godspeed.


Happens tomorrow morning at 1:30am.

Voyager: I am fierce proud my tax dollars helped this happen!

Voyager at Jupiter

Voyager I, launched 35 years ago, is now approaching the edge of our Solar System and will soon head out toward the other star systems that make up our galaxy, what we have fondly called the Milky Way. And it’s still transmitting data and adding to our store of knowledge like nothing else ever launched. (I’d say that its success strengthens the case for unmanned missions.)

There’s a link-rich story, plus videos and graphics at Talking Point Memo today.

We should all be proud, but also a bit sad that this is what we used to do.

NASA’s JPL has a site that follows the progress of [both] Voyagers in real time. It’s here.

I’m sure FOX News can straighten them out

They don’t listen to Rush Limbaugh, so NASA actually thinks the globe is warming just like those other delusional environmentalist whackos at The Pentagon. They even say so in this article at their website.

Just look at this lying timelapse video they created – Global Warming: 1880-2011. Disgraceful.

US in space: fat lady didn’t sing after all

A discussion ensued following  yesterday’s post about the launch of Atlantis which raised a few questions about  the future of the space program. I just found this at the AP which answers some of those. I learned in the article that “NASA is under orders to build a giant rocket to go beyond Earth orbit.” Cool. Didn’t know that.

Q: Why are the shuttles retiring?

A: The shuttles are aging and expensive and their chief task of building the International Space Station is essentially done. Now NASA wants to do something new.

Q: Who decided to stop flying the shuttles?

A: President George W. Bush made the decision in 2004. He wanted astronauts to go back to the moon, and eventually to Mars. But President Barack Obama dropped the moon mission. His plan has NASA building a giant rocket to send astronauts to an asteroid, and eventually Mars, while turning over to private companies the job of carrying cargo and astronauts to the space station.

Q: Why were the shuttles built?

A: It was supposed to make getting into space cheap, simple and safe, flying into low orbit virtually every week. It didn’t accomplish that. But it was the best way to get big items — such as satellites and the Hubble Space Telescope — into orbit . . .

Q: What happens to the space shuttles?

A: They’ll be on display across the country. Endeavour goes to the California Science Center in Los Angeles and Atlantis will stay at Kennedy Space Center for its visitor complex. Discovery’s new home will be the Smithsonian Institution’s hangar near Washington Dulles International Airport. Enterprise, a shuttle prototype used for test flights, goes to New York City’s Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum.

Q: How will astronauts get to the space station?

A: NASA will continue to buy seats on Russian Soyuz capsules to ferry space station residents. The $56 million price per head will go up to $63 million, which is still cheaper per person than the space shuttle.

There’s more at the link.

Pet peeve: Shuttle up but CNN stares in the mirror

Atlantis just lifted off. For an old fan of the space program, this is bittersweet. I’ve loved watching the launches and humans mucking around outside the atmosphere. But the program was way past its use by date and is probably holding back some of the science we could be doing in less costly unmanned craft.

There’s a romance and a majesty there when we lift this craft off the earth, soemthing entirely lost on the television cables, who blather over the NASA announcers. The official NASA radio announcements are compelling; the brief silences add tremendously to the drama. But brief silences are anathema to a medium that thrills to its own voice.

Someday we’ll be reaching out further than the Space Station. For that, we must turn our money and brain power to making that happen – in my lifetime I hope.

Why we pay taxes

At least one of the reasons – and a real good one. So that organizations like NASA can educate the nation in science  while going about their work. They have produced this video at their Goddard Space Center. Which, incidentally, is where the much-maligned Jim Hanson hangs his hat.