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Archive for September 24, 2011

US Space Program ‘Embarrassing,’ Says Armstrong

September 24, 2011 3 comments

The first man to walk on the moon had some strong words for the U.S. space program on Thursday, telling the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology that the retirement of the space shuttle has left it in an “embarrassing” state, according to AFP reports.

“We will have no American access to, and return from, low Earth orbit and the International Space Station for an unpredictable length of time in the future,” former astronaut Neil Armstrong, one of four space experts testifying before the committee, said, according to a September 22 report by Kerry Sheridan of the French news agency.

“For a country that has invested so much for so long to achieve a leadership position in space exploration and exploitation, this condition is viewed by many as lamentably embarrassing and unacceptable,” the 81-year-old Apollo 11 commander said.

Full Story: http://www.redorbit.com/news/space/1112387884/us-space-program-embarrassing-says-armstrong/index.html

NASA’s UARS Re-Enters Earth’s Atmosphere

September 24, 2011 Leave a comment

NASA’s decommissioned Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS) fell back to Earth between 11:23 p.m. EDT Friday, Sept. 23 and 1:09 a.m. Sept. 24, 20 years and nine days after its launch on a 14-year mission that produced some of the first long-term records of chemicals in the atmosphere.

The precise re-entry time and location of debris impacts have not been determined. During the re-entry period, the satellite passed from the east coast of Africa over the Indian Ocean, then the Pacific Ocean, then across northern Canada, then across the northern Atlantic Ocean, to a point over West Africa. The vast majority of the orbital transit was over water, with some flight over northern Canada and West Africa.

Six years after the end of its productive scientific life, UARS broke into pieces during re-entry, and most of it up burned in the atmosphere. Data indicates the satellite likely broke apart and landed in the Pacific Ocean far off the U.S. coast. Twenty-six satellite components, weighing a total of about 1,200 pounds, could have survived the fiery re-entry and reach the surface of Earth. However, NASA is not aware of any reports of injury or property damage.

Full Story: http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2011/sep/HQ_11-350_UARS_Re-entry.html

NASA to Brief Industry on Space Launch System Procurement

September 24, 2011 Leave a comment

NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver, agency procurement officials, and Space Launch System Program managers will meet with contractors and small-business entrepreneurs Sept. 29 for the Space Launch System Industry Day at the Davidson Center for Space Exploration in Huntsville, Ala.

NASA will brief industry representatives on the agency’s acquisition strategy for the Space Launch System program and provide an overview of the program, its organization and specific vehicle requirements. The event takes place from 7:55 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. CDT during the Marshall Space Flight Center’s quarterly Small Business Alliance Meeting. It will provide small business leaders a forum to discuss opportunities with representatives of NASA and large prime contractors.

Full Story: http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2011/sep/HQ_M11-204_MSFC_Indust_Day.html

NASA’s Space Shuttle Crew Members Host Tweetup in Washington

September 24, 2011 Leave a comment

NASA invites its Twitter followers to a special Tweetup with Sandy Magnus and Chris Ferguson at 4 p.m. EDT on Thursday, Oct. 13. The event will be in the James E. Webb Memorial Auditorium at NASA Headquarters, 300 E St. SW, Washington.

Commander Chris Ferguson, Pilot Doug Hurley, Mission Specialists Sandra Magnus and Rex Walheim were the crew of the space shuttle Atlantis for the 13-day STS-135 mission. Atlantis launched July 8 and landed July 21, completing NASA’s final space shuttle mission, after a journey of more than five million miles.

The crew delivered more than 9,400 pounds of spare parts, equipment and other supplies in the Raffaello multi-purpose logistics module — including 2,677 pounds of food — that will sustain space station operations for the next year.

Full Story: http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2011/sep/HQ_11-324_STS-135_HQ_Tweetup.html

Cassini Significant Events 09/14/11 – 09/20/11

September 24, 2011 Leave a comment

The most recent spacecraft telemetry was acquired on September 20 from the Deep Space Network tracking complex at Canberra, Australia. The Cassini spacecraft is in an excellent state of health and with the exception of one science instrument being powered off, all subsystems are operating normally. Information on the present position and speed of the Cassini spacecraft may be found on the “Present Position” page at: http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/mission/presentposition/.

Full Story: http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/news/significantevents/significantevents20110922/

NASA Completes Orion Spacecraft Parachute Testing In Arizona

September 24, 2011 Leave a comment

NASA this week completed the first in a series of flight-like parachute tests for the agency’s Orion spacecraft. The drop tests at the U.S. Army’s Yuma Proving Grounds in Arizona support the design and development of the Orion parachute assembly.

Flying at an altitude of 25,000 feet, a drop-test article that mimicked the Orion parachute compartment was deployed from a C-130 aircraft. Once airborne, two drogue chutes were deployed at an altitude of 19,000 feet, followed by three pilot parachutes, which then deployed three main landing parachutes. The drop test article speed as it impacted the desert was approximately 25 feet per second.

The tests were the closest simulation so far to what the actual Orion parachute landing phase will be during a return from space.

Full Story: http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2011/sep/HQ_11-322_Orion_Chute.html

The Sounds Of NASA Available For Download

September 24, 2011 Leave a comment

Historic and interesting sounds and sound bites from NASA space missions are available for download as ringtones or on your computer for events, errors, alarms and notifications.

The public now can hear the roar of a space shuttle launch or Neil Armstrong’s, “One small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind,” every time they get a phone call. A new NASA web page now has a collection of more than 35 different sounds, each approximately 20 seconds. Examples include:

– Apollo 13’s John “Jack” Swigert commenting “Houston, we’ve had a problem”
– Crackle of the historic last launch of the space shuttle, STS-135
– Segments from President John F. Kennedy’s historic moon speech
– Sound wave conversions of the light curve waves created by stars discovered by NASA’s Kepler mission and other sounds of planets and stars

Full Story: http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2011/sep/HQ_11-321_NASA_Sounds.html