Category Archive 'NASA'
21 Dec 2016

Revive the Space Program

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Liberals love pouring money in federal program, except for the worthwhile ones. Douglas MacKinnon calls on Donald Trump to reverse Barack Obama’s retreat from Space.

[John] Kennedy [said]: “…We mean to be a part of it — we mean to lead it. For the eyes of the world now look into space, to the moon and to the planets beyond … Our leadership in science and in industry, our hopes for peace and security, our obligations to ourselves as well as others, all require us … to become the world’s leading space-faring nation.”

Well, look at us now. The United States of America has no manned space program, and we are reduced to paying the Russians more than $70 million per seat — and sometimes begging them behind closed doors — to transport our astronauts to a space station built primarily with American tax dollars.

Both the first man (and American) to walk on the moon and the last man (and American) to walk on the moon heavily criticized the shortsightedness of Obama.

Said the late Neil Armstrong in part: “… For the United States, the leading space-faring nation for nearly half a century, to be without carriage to low Earth orbit and with no human exploration capability to go beyond Earth orbit for an indeterminate time into the future, destines our nation to become one of second- or even third-rate stature.”

Gene Cernan, the last man to walk on the moon, wrote in an Orlando Sentinel guest column in 2012, regarding Obama’s “abdication of leadership”: “…[O]ver the past four years, Obama has resorted to leading from behind and asks Americans to settle for a new normal that diminishes our position in the world. Not only is he willing to sacrifice the United States’ pre-eminence in space exploration, but he seems unconcerned that our economic and national security might falter as well.”

As we close out 2016, the leaders of the People’s Republic of China and Russia — with both nations announcing plans to establish manned bases on the moon — know that no nation on Earth is more dependent upon their satellites in low and geosynchronous orbit for their national and economic security, than the United States. And that is why both of those nations continually war-game how to destroy the very satellites that ensure our safety.

Talk of spending well more than $100 billion in American tax dollars to send astronauts to Mars to plant a flag may sound worthwhile, or even romantic to some, but it’s wasted talk and certainly wasted money for now.

Job one has to be to restart an American manned space program and then to protect our interests from low Earth orbit to the surface of the moon.

To do otherwise would not be in the best interest of the national security of our nation.

Read the whole thing.

08 Jun 2015

Relief Maps of Europe

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Europe1

Europe2

Relief maps created by Anton Balazh with elements supplied by NASA.

Via Ratak Monodosico.

05 Feb 2015

Good Prank

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22 Aug 2014

Not For 42 Years

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MoonFlightSatire

Hat tip to Jose Guardia.

15 Oct 2012

Moment of Reflection

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29 Dec 2010

Ten Best NASA Photos of 2010

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Mars’ moon, Phobos

20 Jul 2010

Privatizing Space Exploration

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NASA is busy trying to improve the self-esteem of Saracens, but take heart, space exploration enthusiasts. As Bill Whittle explains in a 13:15 PJM video, private enterprise is stepping up to take on the challenge that government is in the process of abandoning.

“This wave of exploration is not dependent on the whims of Congress and whichever president happens to be in office. This wave is being launched by free and successful and visionary businessmen, pilots, designers, and engineers, not by committees of detached bureaucrats and clueless politicians.”

Hat tip to Glenn Reynolds.

01 Feb 2010

Obama’s Budget

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Barack Obama promised earlier to cut the deficit in half. His new budget slightly reduces last year’s deficit, largely as an artifact of an end to Bush-era tax cuts. The new budget also includes the abandonment of plans to return to the Moon and possibly go on to Mars.

ABC News:

President Obama will send a $3.834 trillion budget to Congress today for Fiscal Year 2011.

By way of comparison, the FY2010 budget was $3.721 trillion; the FY2009 budget, presented by President George W. Bush, was $3.518 trillion.

The 2011 budget includes $1.415 trillion in discretionary spending and a $1.267 trillion budget deficit representing 8.3 percent of the gross domestic product.

A daunting number, the deficit represents a slight improvement from the FY 2010 budget when it was $1.556 trillion, representing 10.6 percent of GDP.

One reason for the slightly smaller projected deficit include the decision to let the Bush tax cuts of 2001 and 2003 expire for individuals making more than $200,000 a year and families making more than $250,000 a year. This tax increase, which will occur automatically, will bring in a projected $678 billion over the next decade, the administration says. The tax cuts are due to expire at the end of the 2010 calendar year.

The Obama administration will ask for the Bush 2001 and 2003 tax cuts to made permanent for individuals who make under $200,000 and families who make under $250,000. …

Goodnight Moon: NASA will also experience some cuts, including a cancellation of the NASA Constellation program to develop spacecraft to replace the Space Shuttle with the goal of sending astronauts to the Moon and perhaps even Mars.

22 Dec 2009

No Global Warming Around Here

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NASA photo of snow covering the Eastern United States. We live on top of the first mountain, just below the Potomac.

Hat tip to Karen L. Myers.

01 Dec 2009

“Compelling Evidence of Life on Mars”

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Meteorite of Martian origin thought to include a fossilized bacteria colony

NASA scientists are gradually becoming convinced that Mars at least used to harbor life.

The Telegraph:

A research team at Johnson Space Centre in Houston has been re-examining a meteorite that hit Antarctica 13,000 years ago, and found the most compelling evidence yet that the planet once harboured bacterial life.

The team says that microscopic crystals found in the rock are almost certainly fossilised bacteria that have many characteristics in common with bacteria found on Earth.

“The evidence supporting the possibility of past life on Mars has been slowly building up during the past decade,” said David McKay, Nasa chief scientist for exploration and astrobiology.

04 Oct 2009

Money Shot

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photo: Ben Cooper
Delta 4-Heavy rocket launching at Cape Canaveral photographed by Ben Cooper

Getting this spectacular close-range shot of the launch cost a destroyed lens, but the well-secured camera actually survived and so did the trigger, despite it being knocked hundreds of feet away.

From Gizmodo via Karen L Myers.

08 Sep 2009

Mars Landscape Photos

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Impact Crater Wall

Details as small as one meter are visible in some of the 95 pages of Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter photos just released.

Via John Murrell.

25 Jun 2009

Sarychev Peak, Kuril Islands

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Just by good luck, the International Space Station happened to be passing over Sarychev Peak on Matua Island in the Kuril Islands on June 12th at the perfect time to allow astronauts to photograph its volcanic eruption.

NASA Earth Observatory

Hat tip to Karen L. Myers.

24 Jul 2008

Apollo 14 Astronaut Tells British Radio Interviewer UFOs Are Real

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News.com.au:

Former NASA astronaut and moon-walker Dr Edgar Mitchell – a veteran of the Apollo 14 mission – has stunningly claimed aliens exist.

And he says extra-terrestrials have visited Earth on several occasions – but the alien contact has been repeatedly covered up by governments for six decades.

Dr Mitchell, 77, said during a radio interview that sources at the space agency who had had contact with aliens described the beings as ‘little people who look strange to us.’

He said supposedly real-life ET’s were similar to the traditional image of a small frame, large eyes and head.

Chillingly, he claimed our technology is “not nearly as sophisticated” as theirs and “had they been hostile”, he warned “we would be been gone by now”.

Dr Mitchell, along with with Apollo 14 commander Alan Shepard, holds the record for the longest ever moon walk, at nine hours and 17 minutes following their 1971 mission.

“I happen to have been privileged enough to be in on the fact that we’ve been visited on this planet and the UFO phenomena is real,” Dr Mitchell said.

“It’s been well covered up by all our governments for the last 60 years or so, but slowly it’s leaked out and some of us have been privileged to have been briefed on some of it.

“I’ve been in military and intelligence circles, who know that beneath the surface of what has been public knowledge, yes – we have been visited. Reading the papers recently, it’s been happening quite a bit.”

Dr Mitchell, who has a Bachelor of Science degree in aeronautical engineering and a Doctor of Science degree in Aeronautics and Astronautics claimed Roswell was real and similar alien visits continue to be investigated.

He told the astonished Kerrang! radio host Nick Margerrison: “This is really starting to open up. I think we’re headed for real disclosure and some serious organisations are moving in that direction.”

Mr Margerrison said: “I thought I’d stumbled on some sort of astronaut humour but he was absolutely serious that aliens are definitely out there and there’s no debating it.”

9:15 video of Kerrang Radio Interview

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