Friday, January 31, 2020
Thursday, January 30, 2020
Wednesday, January 29, 2020
Tuesday, January 28, 2020
On January 28, 1986, at 11:39 EST, the space shuttle Challenger lifted off from the Kennedy Space Center. Her crew consisted of six NASA astronauts, Commander Francis R. Scobee, Pilot Michael J. Smith, mission specialists Ronald McNair, Ellison Onizuka, Judith Resnik and Gregory Jarvis, and teacher Christa McAuliffe, who had been chosen to become the first American civilian to go into space. No one cheering when the Challenger cleared the tower knew, but both shuttle and her gallant company were doomed.
Monday, January 27, 2020
On Jan. 24, the House Science, Space and Technology Committee released the draft of a NASA authorization bill that canceled the planned lunar base. Instead, the U.S. would mount a series of Apollo-style expeditions to the lunar surface solely to practice going to Mars. But the plan makes no sense — even to go to Mars.
NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine has some thoughts, which is to say a devastating takedown of the House bill.
Homer Hickam has some marching orders for the committee.
Sunday, January 26, 2020
Saturday, January 25, 2020
A travesty for a whole host of reasons. The House bill should be opposed with the utmost vigor. More to come.
Friday, January 24, 2020
Thursday, January 23, 2020
Wednesday, January 22, 2020
Tuesday, January 21, 2020
Monday, January 20, 2020
It is not every day that a successful test of a rocket involves destroying the launch vehicle in midflight. SpaceX managed the feat during the inflight abort test it conducted Sunday morning. The test was an important milestone in the development of commercial human spaceflight.
Sunday, January 19, 2020
Saturday, January 18, 2020
Friday, January 17, 2020
Thursday, January 16, 2020
Wednesday, January 15, 2020
Tuesday, January 14, 2020
Monday, January 13, 2020
A recent article in Defense One suggests that while the United States Space Force knows how it will fight wars beyond the atmosphere, those plans are so highly classified that industry is not able to build the things that will make war in space possible.
Sunday, January 12, 2020
Saturday, January 11, 2020
The custom was to ask a fellow member of the Turtles, "Are you a Turtle?" If the respondent did not answer, "You bet your sweet ass I am" he had to buy drinks for everyone in earshot. This caused some complications as we will see.
During the Mercury-Atlas 8 mission (part of the United States space program), astronaut Wally Schirra was asked by a ground controller whether he was a turtle. Not wanting to use vulgar language while his communications were being broadcast worldwide, he temporarily stopped transmitting while he gave the required response "YBYSAIA".Deke Slayton, a mere three minutes into Sigma 7's flight, came on the radio, which was open for everyone to hear, and asked, "Hey, Wally, are you a turtle?" Schirra switched his mic from live to record and uttered the appropriate response. On the open line, he said, "Rog."Later, on board the recovery ship USS Kearsarge, in front of Slayton, Walt Williams and the other astronauts, Walt Williams demanded to know how Schirra replied to Deke's question. Schirra played the recorder. "Hey, Wally, are you a turtle?" followed by the proper response, "YBYSAIA". This incident is also recounted in Tom Wolfe's book The Right Stuff.Wally Schirra's membership in the Ancient Order of Turtles came up again during Apollo 7, which was captured by the in-flight recorder:
- CAPCOM radioed, "Just a minute, Wally. Let's see. Oh, it's a little message to Deke Slayton. A little bit closer Wally. Kind of looks like something about - 'Are you a, are you a—" Schirra acknowledged, "That's right." CAPCOM continued, "Looks like it says, 'Are you a turtle, Deke Slayton?"
- Schirra confirmed, "That's right." Eisele added, "You get an A for reading today Jack." Swigert continued, "Here comes another one. Walt, oh, that-a-way, that's the way to turn it. It says, 'Paul Haney, are you a turtle?'" Cunningham radioed, "You'll get a gold star. Perfect score!" Swigert reported, "And there is no reply from Paul Haney there." Cunningham asked, "You mean he's speechless?"
- A short while later, CAPCOM Cernan informed Schirra, "Wally, this is Gene. Deke just called in, and we've got your answer, and we've got it recorded for you return." Schirra acknowledged, "Roger. Real fine."
- Shortly thereafter, Schirra asked CAPCOM Swigert, "Have you got Haney's answer yet?" Swigert replied, "No, Haney's isn't talking, Wally." Swigert then added, "Somebody tells me he isn't talking, but just buying." A pleased Schirra responded, "He is buying. Thank you very much. Very good."
- This exchange about turtles was a reference to the notorious Turtle's Club drinking club of which Wally Schirra held the title of a Grand Potentate. During Schirra's Mercury flight Deke Slayton had radioed up to Schirra asking Schirra if he was a turtle.
- A membership card for the "Interstellar Association of Turtles (Outer Shell Division)" signed by astronauts Scott Carpenter, Gordon Cooper and Wally Schirra sold at auction for $1,952 on May 5, 2011.President Kennedy was allegedly asked if he was a Turtle at a press conference, to which he replied, "I'll buy you your drink later
Friday, January 10, 2020
Thursday, January 09, 2020
Wednesday, January 08, 2020
Tuesday, January 07, 2020
Monday, January 06, 2020
Sunday, January 05, 2020
Friday, January 03, 2020
Thursday, January 02, 2020
The Apple TV+ alternate history series “For All Mankind” has completed its first season, which was rife with political commentary. Its producers should consider focusing less on left-wing commentary and more on space in future seasons.