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space (spās) n. 1. space beyond the atmosphere of the earth.

prag·ma·tism (prgm-tzm) n. A way of approaching situations or solving problems that emphasizes practical applications and consequences.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Dateline May 9, 2006: Space News from the Internet

  • Alan Boyle has comments on Peter Diamandis's plan to send colonist to Mars. I am not sure how credible he thinks it is since it "assumes that 100,100 contributors would drink the Red Planet Kool-Aid." To tell you the truth, as much as I like Dr. Diamandis and hope that it works, I think more a more traditional, capitalist approach is far more likely to get us off this rock. But that will take time. Investors like projects that can happen in five years or so with a good ROI.
    Alan does talk with NASA about Mars, and according to Dan McCleese, Mars Exploration chief scientist, the 2030 dates previously thrown around are no longer possible with the budget constraints. To tell you the truth, at this point I think Elon Musk has the best long term plan (vague as it may be) of getting people to Mars.
  • Alan also comments on Dr. Diamandis's Nazi slave labor comments and his later apology.
  • Alan (busy day for Alan) also comments on the Space Elevator Games being held at the X-Prize Cup this year. The Spaceward Foundation is currently working on the rules.
  • NASA employees are getting older and NASA has no idea how to get younger people. They could start by actually hiring people. I have applied four times to MSFC have never heard a peep back. From what I hear they haven't hired engineers in years.
  • All the shuttle seats are book. Sorry India.

  • UP Aerospace is preparing for their July launch from New Mexico.
  • RLV News has comments on the reliability of the Merlin engine from SpaceX. Apparently, the Falcon 9 would have made it to orbit anyway. Jon Goff talks about the Merlin Engine upgrade.
  • XCORE and ATK will be working on LOX/methane engines for NASA.
  • Forbes has an article on Mrs. Ansari's trip to Space.
  • Discovery is moving into the Kennedy Space Center this week, in preparation for the July launch.
  • Seed Magazine has a humorous look at some of NASA's predictions over the years. This is a good one:
    1975 NASA launches a six-man space station as a proof-of-concept for a larger 12-man space station, and afterwards decides that from then on concepts should be "proved" with large charts and graphs and artists' renditions that include tanned astronauts of all races and creeds.
  • has an article on Space Adventures. Dr. Diamandis responded to Burt Rutan's comments about them only being out to make money with "God bless us if we do."

View from Titan (from Huygens Probe)

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