Monday, September 29, 2008

STS-125 Delayed....

Due to electrical malfunction with the Hubble Space Telescope, the servicing mission that Atlantis and the astronaut crew were going to perform is now going to be delayed. NASA will press ahead with the launch of Endeavour on November 14th, 2008. Atlantis will be removed from pad 39A to the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB). Endeavour would then be moved to pad 39A for normal launch processing and modifications of pad 39B will continue for the transition to the Ares rockets to replace the space shuttle.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Project 10^100

Link: Project 10^100

If you have an idea that you believe would help somebody, Google wants to hear about it. They're looking for ideas that help as many people as possible, in any way, and they're committing the funding to launch them.

People are encouraged to submit their ideas, in any of 25 languages, at through October 20, 2008. Entrants must briefly describe their idea and answer six questions, including, "If your idea were to become a reality, who would benefit the most and how?"

Google employees, with the help of an advisory board, will narrow the submissions to 100 semifinalists by January 27, 2009. Between January 27, 2009 and February 2, 2009 the public will vote online for their favorite ideas. A panel of judges will then review the top 20 ideas and announce up to five winners in mid-February.

Good Luck!!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

NASA's 50 and the Spacecraft Technology Center

Since I have returned from Barcelona, I have been keeping myself very busy!

I have been applying to various schools for another Master’s. I have chosen to pursue a degree in either Materials Science & Engineering or Biomedical Engineering as both fields spark a great interest to me. I’ve rounded up all my transcripts and am about to mail those out along with the letters of recommendation. I hope to complete the application process for all schools by the middle of next week.

Speaking of next week, I will be in Houston on behalf of the Coalition for Space Exploration to promote NASA’s 50th Year Anniversary. Apollo 17 commander Gene Cernan and I will be available for various media interviews that will be on live television and radio at Space Center Houston. Together we hope to highlight NASA’s success over the last 50 years and benefits of space exploration.

The day after that, I will be traveling to where I received my undergraduate degree from, Texas A&M University, to do a presentation to the Space Engineering Institute students of the Spacecraft Technology Center (STC). While I was an undergrad, I worked for the STC and I have to say this is what helped my career get started in the space industry. I am very excited to go back and see some of the people I worked with as well as meet the SEI students and tell them of my experiences. Next week will be very busy!!

The following launch schedule changes were announced this morning:
STS-125 (Atlantis) launch has been moved to October 14th @ 10:19pm EDT
STS-126 (Endeavour) launch has been moved to November 16th @ 7:07 pm EDT

Friday, September 19, 2008

Space Shuttle Atlantis and Endeavour at the pads

The Best View of 2 Space Shuttles!!!!

If all goes according to schedule we should have a unique view at Launch Complex 39 tomorrow morning. Endeavour arrived at Pad B this morning and certain operations will keep the Rotating Service Structure (RSS) retracted (as in the launch configuration) until mid morning. Meanwhile over on Pad A, Atlantis is waiting for the delivery of the Hubble Space Telescope Service Mission (HST SM-4) payload. In preparation for the canister delivery and lift into the Payload Changeout Room (PCR), the Pad A RSS will also be retracted tomorrow morning. So for a few hours tomorrow morning (somewhere between 7:30am – 10:30am) we will have a clear unobstructed view of both vehicles on the pads. The only other time this occurred was nearly 20 years ago, in September of 1990 (see photo above). Columbia (STS-35) was on Pad A and Discovery (STS-41) was on Pad B.

Here's a picture of when Endeavour arrived at Pad B early this morning.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Astronaut Candidate Selection Process Timeline

It was recently pointed out to me that NASA has made a timeline available regarding the astronaut candidate selection process.

September - October 2008
Qualified Applications reviewed to determine Highly Qualified applicants

October - November 2008
Highly Qualified applications reviewed to determine Interviewees

November 2008 - January 2009
Interviewees brought to JSC for preliminary interview, medical evaluation, and orientation

February 2009
Finalists determined

February - March 2009
Finalists brought to JSC for additional interview and complete medical evaluation

May 2009
Astronaut Candidate Class of 2009 announced

August 2009
Astronaut Candidate Class of 2009 reports to the Johnson Space Center

Monday, September 08, 2008

2009 NASA Means Business Student Competition

Attention Undergraduate and Graduate Students!!!
About a year ago I was a judge for this student competition and I highly encourage students to participate in this!

NASA needs your help in designing a strategy to articulate the many anticipated contributions that its Constellation Program will make to space exploration as well as to everyday life on Earth. In return, NASA wants to give YOU an outstanding, one-of-a-kind educational experience!

The Constellation Program is designing and building America's next generation human spaceflight system, which will replace the Space Shuttle by providing access to the International Space Station and other destinations in Earth orbit. It will also take America back to the Moon and on to Mars.

Your assignment? design and prepare a Constellation Program Branding Strategy, and
Illustrate that strategy in a 30-second video public service announcement (PSA) production.

For this effort we strongly urge you organize a team with a wide range of backgrounds - not just science and engineering, but also business, advertising, marketing, public relations, graphic arts and animation, communication, radio-television-film, journalism and other similar disciplines.

The prize for the 5 finalist teams?
A cash award of $1,000, and an invitation to "behind-the-scenes" visits at both the Johnson Space Center and Kennedy Space Center.

The grand prize?
You have to choose between a cash award of $1000 or a ride on the Zero Gravity Corporation's G-FORCE ONE aircraft.

Read about the eligibility and requirements on the following site:

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Back to work...

Yesterday was my first day back at work. It is great to see everyone again and jump right back into things. I'm still a little jet lag and find myself wide awake around 4:30am and extremely sleepy around 9pm. But I'll get over it. :)

Our concern here at Kennedy Space Center is keeping in an eye out on Tropical Storm Hanna, Hurricane Ike and Tropical Storm Josephine. It looks like we may just get some rain from the outer bands of Hanna and that it will dodge the Florida coast. We are still not sure of Hurrican Ike's track, but we will need to keep on eye on it. Tropical Storm Josephine in weakening and we hope it will stay that way.

On a lighter note, there are two things to look forward to tomorrow.....NASA will attempt to roll Space Shuttle Atlantis to the launch pad at 10am....and I will be 27! :)