NASA Tweetup for STS-129: Day 1

NASA Tweetup for STS-129: Day 1

It’s morning and none of us have had enough coffee, but the approximately 100 of us in a conference room in the Rocket part are wide awake. Jon Cowart, Ares 1X deputy mission director, is currently going from table to table asking us to identify mystery items in a run morning mixer. Earlier this morning (which at 8:18am is a scary concept), after checking in and getting badges and goody bags (and taking the goody bags back to the car), we all invaded a large conference room that NASA has tricked out in perfect fashion for a room full of New Media Addicts. Ahead of time they had sent us the SSID and password for the private network. They set up a power strip on each table (with more outlets than chairs per table!). On the screens, they’re displaying...

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STS-129 NASA Tweetup, Day 0

STS-129 NASA Tweetup, Day 0

A few weeks ago one of my students pointed out, OMG THE NASA TWEETUP PAGE WENT UP EARLY! While most of us in the room had alarms set off to go off at noon to register for this special event, it wasn’t yet noon, and in a rush of adrenaline and typing we went to the sign in page and used are various autocomplete software to fill out the sign up page as soon as possible. We were all chasing one thing: The chance to attend one of the last 6 scheduled space shuttle launches. Now, I have to admit, I signed up without checking the launch date, without checking the cost of going, without checking with my husband (my poor husband). I just registered on instinct. And now I’m here, sitting in a Holiday Inn, waiting to attend a special 2-day event NASA is hosting...

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Raise a Wing to Hubble and the Servicing Team

If all goes well, next week a team of well trained astronauts will be working to refurbish the first of the Great Observatories. Astronomers all across the world will be holding their breath in anticipation of the word that all is A-OK and a first glimpse of the first downloaded images. In Tuscaloosa, AL, a few of these astronomers and members of the public will be waiting with BBQ baited breath. Dr. William Keel of the University of Alabama Department of Physics and Astronomy will be at the local Buffalo Wild Wings watching NASA TV on the big screens with colleagues and students. Together they’ll take in the EVAs and perhaps even raise a Wild Wing in salute of the astronauts achievements. While this idea started in Tuscaloosa, there is no reason for it to...

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NASA seeks input on how to recycle space craft

One of the many random listserves I belong to is a NASA list that sends me announcements about new calls for proposals and requests for information. Last week I received one of these emails and it is actually a request that is really cool, and that isn’t usually true – it’s usually the programs that are funded that are cool. In Solicitation Number NNH08ZDA005L NASA’s Science Mission Directorate is requesting community input on how spacecraft can get repurposed and duly purposed beyond their original mission program. Specifically, they write, “With input from responses to this RFI, NASA intends to consider (i) whether there are science opportunities for new uses of existing spacecraft and (ii) whether a solicitation for proposals is...

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LPSC Audio Files: Dusty NASA Pig Skin

The following interview is from what was by far the funniest poster I’ve ever seen that was legitimate. [audio:http://media.libsyn.com/media/starstryder/StarStryder-080311-DustCotton.mp3] Here is a link to her science: Paper

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News from NASA: Jim Green & Andrew Thomas

Quick notes, often copied from PowerPoints. Attempts to write in full paragraphs not made. Jim Green, Director of Planetary Science Division at NASA State of the State of NASA Planetary Science Division (PSD) 18 months ago PSD had these problems: The Reserarch and Analysis budget had been cut 15%. This below life support levels! With this level of cuts, professors began telling students not to go into Planetary Science. Astrobiology had been cut 50%. This got people asking if Astrobiology can survive? NASA is the parent of the astrobiology field and considers astrobiology very valuable. The field has the important mission to determine if there is life in the solar system. Somehow, in one year it’s budget saw $30 disappear! New Frontiers mission...

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