May 28, 2011

A Fraudulent Charter (Source: TEA Party in Space)
The House Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics held a hearing on NASA’s Commercial Cargo Providers. The charter was prepared for the committee by staffer Ken Monroe. This is the same Ken Monroe who said NASA was run by a bunch of idiots. We all have opinions about NASA, congress, the president, and our bosses; however, how many would actually tweet something like that?

This hearing was a setup. A setup to show just how “poorly” the COTS program has been performing. However, those who follow the U.S. space program know that the COTS providers are given small amounts of money as they achieve milestones. If either Orbital or SpaceX does not meet a milestone, they do not receive any taxpayer dollars. Moreover, both SpaceX and Orbital have shown that they can do more with less.

Mr. Monroe authored the charter for the hearing in which his personal bias was evident and clear. This is a disgusting example of manipulation and lying by omission. The methodology used to create the tables does not offer a fair and honest assessment of the costs associated with Commercial Cargo. Only in congress can you justify wasting $11.1 billion and not have anything to show for it and at the same time insult the private sector for doing more with less. (5/28)

NASA Picks Hawaii to Prep Moon Base (Source: Honolulu Star Advertiser)
Fifty years after President Kennedy's speech committing the country to landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to Earth, the state and NASA announced a new partnership aimed at involving Hawaii in the next phase of the agency's manned and unmanned exploration of the moon and deep space.

NASA would lend its expertise to Hawaii and any potential partners — government, academic or private-sector — in developing a prototype and in the testing of new technology to be used for an International Lunar Research Park, a project envisioned as a multinational base on the moon's surface from which future space research could be performed.

The research park would be developed at the University of Hawaii-Hilo with test sites at higher elevations of Hawaii Island, possibly within Volcanoes National Park, where the unusual terrain simulates lunar conditions. (5/28)

Some of the Gutsier (and Goofier) Proposed Shuttle Missions (Source: IEEE Spectrum)
After Atlantis, the Shuttle fleet will have flown 135 missions, the first in 1981, but there were many more on the drawing board. With scrubbed missions that included daring rescues, in-orbit satellite snatches, and dangerous explosives, you can see why some of these didn't make the cut. But just imagine if they had. Click here to read the article. (5/28)

Competition Seeks to Understand Dark Matter (Source:
"Mapping Dark Matter" is a image analysis competition whose aim is to encourage the development of new algorithms that can be applied to challenge of measuring the tiny distortions in galaxy images caused by dark matter. Click here. (5/27)

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