Shuttle schedule pressure: before and after Columbia

Before the Columbia disaster, NASA was under intense schedule pressure to complete the International Space Station. Today they find themselves struggling to fly an aging and fragile space shuttle that has been placed squarely in the critical path for the new exploration vision. Two recent newspaper articles provide a sobering … Continue reading

STS-121 Launch Delayed to July Window

NASA has delayed the next space shuttle launch from May until at least the first of July, in order to replace suspect engine cut-off (ECO) sensors in the external fuel tank. Discovery is slated to fly mission STS-121, the second of two engineering test flights in the return to flight … Continue reading

Space advocates beware journalists with agendas

Sorry outside distractions kept me from posting recently so I’m going to do a bit of catch up. First up, is an article that appears to have taken a wonky turn posted a couple days ago on Wired News. Okay kids, adjust your tinfoil hats and take a look… “The … Continue reading

Part-Two of: A conversation with Paul Spudis

Dr. Paul D. Spudis is a Senior Staff Scientist at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland and Visiting Scientist at the Lunar and Planetary Institute in Houston, Texas. Dr. Spudis was formerly with the Branch of Astrogeology, U. S. Geological Survey in Flagstaff, Arizona and the … Continue reading

Part-One of: A conversation with Dr. Paul Spudis

Dr. Paul D. Spudis is a Senior Staff Scientist at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland and Visiting Scientist at the Lunar and Planetary Institute in Houston, Texas. Dr. Spudis was formerly with the Branch of Astrogeology, U. S. Geological Survey in Flagstaff, Arizona and the … Continue reading

Could COTS come to the rescue of NASA’s Shuttle budget overrun?

Only a handful of days remain until NASA’s FY2007 budget is revealed. There’s been plenty of speculation about what’s going to be in there, and more to the point what isn’t: as things currently stand, the Shuttle has a funding shortfall of several billions of dollars between now and its … Continue reading

Mike Griffin gets it

Hey everyone – lets stop bitching about “Apollo on steroids” for a minute or two, and listen to what the NASA administrator actually has to say about space commerce and NewSpace participation in the Vision for Space Exploration. We may not agree with everything, but we might be pleasantly surpised: … Continue reading

Back from a business trip

Observant OotC readers will have noticed that Mark has been holding the fort for the last week or so. I’ve been off doing day-job work in Australia. I’m back now though, and I thought that might be a good excuse for a Great Big List-O-Links Roundup: Leonard David at Space.com … Continue reading

Senate Approves NASA Budget at $16.4 Billion

Space.com is reporting that the senate has passed the budget for NASA, giving the agency a $200 million dollar increase over last year, but about $60 million less than the request. All the major NASA undertakings, including shuttle, station, VSE, Hubble and aeronautics are funded. Now it just has to … Continue reading

Krikalev Performs Manual Progress Docking at ISS

Russian Cosmonaut and current commander of the International Space Station Sergei Krikalev performed an unscheduled manual docking today of a newly arrived progress space freighter. The freighter was to have used its automated KURS docking system, but a ground-related problem sending the command for final approach and docking led to … Continue reading

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