October 10 News Items

Alabama's Rep. Griffith, Bolden Revisit Ares (Source: Huntsville Times)
U.S. Rep. Parker Griffith held a second meeting with NASA Administrator Charles Bolden Thursday to discuss the future of America's space program and the role Marshall Space Flight Center will continue to play in manned spaceflight, according to Griffith's office. "As we await the full release of the Augustine Commission Report, we know that the Ares program is our best option to provide our nation with reliable access to space," Griffith said.

"The bottom line is that our space program is and must be a national priority, and we need to invest more resources to ensure that our nation remains the global leader in space and launch systems," Griffith said. "I am confident that Marshall will continue to be the foundation of our national efforts to send mankind into space." Griffith met with Bolden last week to discuss the needs of NASA and the programs that must be prioritized if the American space program is to take the next step forward. (10/10)

Another Resignation at Andrews Institute (Source: Pensacola News Journal)
Dr. Joe Story, a driving force behind the $40 million Andrews Institute for Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine, has resigned, effective Sep. 30, and was hired as a manager of an environmental technology firm. The Institute — and Story himself — came under controversy over Project Odyssey, a space tourism program funded by state grant money. Story hand-picked Pensacola native Brice Harris in Aug. 2008 to run Project Odyssey. Odyssey was to be funded in part with a $250,000 grant from Space Florida and another $250,000 grant from the Governor's office, where Harris previously worked.

Space Florida froze $200,000 of the $250,000 it was to contribute to Project Odyssey following the report detailing Harris' role in steering the grant to Andrews and landing the $150,000 annual salary as its director. Following Harris' resignation, Story said Andrews would continue with Project Odyssey and other space tourism-related programs. An Andrews spokeswoman said Project Odyssey "definitely will not leave with (Story.) The project continues to move forward, and our staff is working on providing a final report on agreed deliverables." The "deliverables" are a set of medical guidelines to be used to test and clear civilians for space travel. (10/8)

NASA Ames Spacecraft Collides with Moon (Source: Silicon Valley Mercury News)
A Silicon Valley-directed spacecraft collided with the lunar surface Friday in a flash of energy that could soon reveal whether significant water exists in perpetually shadowed lunar craters. Thrilled scientists said the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite returned a trove of valuable data, including intriguing "blips" in spectroscopic analysis of the vapors produced by the impact. That is a finding scientists expected to pore over immediately as they search for the fingerprints of water molecules. "When I saw the spectra, I said, we've got something," Anthony Colaprete, principal investigator for LCROSS, said at a news conference Friday at NASA's Ames Research Center, where the mission was directed. (10/10)

Clown Beams Message of Water Conservation from Space (Source: AFP)
The first clown in space, Guy Laliberte, has launched a 14-city poetic planetary extravaganza to promote clean drinking water, from the International Space Station. The billionaire space tourist and founder of Cirque du Soleil described his journey as a "poetic, social mission." The two-hour live One Drop show, broadcast online Friday included guests Al Gore, Bono, Salma Hayek, Peter Gabriel, Shakira, Canadian astronaut Julie Payette and a musical theatrical performance by Laliberte's circus troupe. (10/10)

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