A NASA Antares rocket exploded shortly after lift-off Tuesday night. The rocket was carrying Orbital Sciences’ Cygnus spacecraft carrying supplies for the International Space Station. The spacecraft was unmanned and no personnel were hurt on the ground. The cause of the explosion is not yet know.
Tag Archives: NASA
WASHINGTON, June 2, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — NASA’s flying saucer-shaped test vehicle is ready to take to the skies from the U.S. Navy’s Pacific Missile Range Facility in Kauai, Hawaii, for its first engineering shakeout flight.
The first launch opportunity for the test vehicle is June 3, when the launch window opens at 8:30 a.m. HST. The test will be carried live on NASA TV and streamed on the Web. The Low Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD) will gather data about landing heavy payloads on Mars and other planetary surfaces.
“The agency is moving forward and getting ready for Mars as part of NASA’s Evolvable Mars campaign,” said Michael Gazarik, associate administrator for Space Technology at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “We fly, we learn, we fly again. We have two more vehicles in the works for next year.”
As NASA plans increasingly ambitious robotic missions to Mars, laying the groundwork for even more complex human science expeditions to come, accommodating extended stays for explorers on the Martian surface will require larger and heavier spacecraft.
The objective of the LDSD project is to see if the cutting-edge, rocket-powered test vehicle operates as it was designed — in near-space at high Mach numbers.
“After years of imagination, engineering and hard work, we soon will get to see our Keiki o ka honua, our ‘boy from Earth,’ show us its stuff,” said Mark Adler, project manager for the Low Density Supersonic Decelerator at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California. “The success of this experimental test flight will be measured by the success of the test vehicle to launch and fly its flight profile as advertised. If our flying saucer hits its speed and altitude targets, it will be a great day.”
The way NASA’s saucer climbs to test altitude is almost as distinctive as the test vehicle itself.
“We use a helium balloon — that, when fully inflated, would fit snugly into Pasadena’s Rose Bowl — to lift our vehicle to 120,000 feet,” said Adler. “From there we drop it for about one and a half seconds. After that, it’s all about going higher and faster — and then it’s about putting on the brakes.”
A fraction of a second after dropping from the balloon, and a few feet below it, four small rocket motors will fire to spin up and gyroscopically stabilize the saucer. A half second later, a Star 48B long-nozzle, solid-fueled rocket engine will kick in with 17,500 pounds of thrust, sending the test vehicle to the edge of the stratosphere.
“Our goal is to get to an altitude and velocity which simulates the kind of environment one of our vehicles would encounter when it would fly in the Martian atmosphere,” said Ian Clark, principal investigator of the LDSD project at JPL. “We top out at about 180,000 feet and Mach 4. Then, as we slow down to Mach 3.8, we deploy the first of two new atmospheric braking systems.”
The project management team decided also to fly the two supersonic decelerator technologies that will be thoroughly tested during two LDSD flight tests next year.
If this year’s test vehicle flies as expected, the LDSD team may get a treasure-trove of data on how the 6-meter supersonic inflatable aerodynamic decelerator (SIAD-R) and the supersonic parachute operate a full year ahead of schedule.
The SIAD-R, essentially an inflatable doughnut that increases the vehicle’s size and, as a result, its drag, is deployed at about Mach 3.8. It will quickly slow the vehicle to Mach 2.5 where the parachute, the largest supersonic parachute ever flown, first hits the supersonic flow. About 45 minutes later, the saucer is expected to make a controlled landing onto the Pacific Ocean offHawaii.
NASA TV will carry live images and commentary of LDSD engineering test. The test vehicle itself carries several onboard cameras. It is expected that video of selected portions of the test, including the rocket-powered ascent, will be downlinked during the commentary. Websites streaming live video of the test include:
It’s been a rough week. Here’s a little levity sure to bring a smile.
Sometimes parodies are better than the original. If you’re like me you’ll like that 1)these students are promoting science and space study as something fun and 2)you can actually understand the lyrics.
Reports on Saturday afternoon report that the 82 year old, former astronaut has passed away.
As commander of the Apollo 11 mission, Armstrong became the first human to set foot on the moon on July 20, 1969
Armstrong underwent a heart-bypass surgery earlier this month to relieve blocked coronary arteries.
Rest in Peace Neil, and may God be with you.
WASHINGTON, March 2, 2012 — Astronomers using data from NASA’s Hubble Telescope have observed what appears to be a clump of dark matter left behind from a wreck between massive clusters of galaxies. The result could challenge current theories about dark matter that predict galaxies should be anchored to the invisible substance even during the shock of a collision.
Abell 520 is a gigantic merger of galaxy clusters located 2.4 billion light-years away. Dark matter is not visible, although its presence and distribution is found indirectly through its effects. Dark matter can act like a magnifying glass, bending and distorting light from galaxies and clusters behind it. Astronomers can use this effect, called gravitational lensing, to infer the presence of dark matter in massive galaxy clusters.
This technique revealed the dark matter in Abell 520 had collected into a “dark core,” containing far fewer galaxies than would be expected if the dark matter and galaxies were anchored together. Most of the galaxies apparently have sailed far away from the collision.
“This result is a puzzle,” said astronomer James Jee of the University of California in Davis, lead author of paper about the results available online in The Astrophysical Journal. “Dark matter is not behaving as predicted, and it’s not obviously clear what is going on. It is difficult to explain this Hubble observation with the current theories of galaxy formation and dark matter.”
Initial detections of dark matter in the cluster, made in 2007, were so unusual that astronomers shrugged them off as unreal, because of poor data. New results from NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope confirm that dark matter and galaxies separated in Abell 520.
One way to study the overall properties of dark matter is by analyzing collisions between galaxy clusters, the largest structures in the universe. When galaxy clusters crash, astronomers expect galaxies to tag along with the dark matter, like a dog on a leash. Clouds of hot, X-ray emitting intergalactic gas, however, plow into one another, slow down, and lag behind the impact.
That theory was supported by visible-light and X-ray observations of a colossal collision between two galaxy clusters called the Bullet Cluster. The galactic grouping has become an example of how dark matter should behave.
Studies of Abell 520 showed that dark matter’s behavior may not be so simple. Using the original observations, astronomers found the system’s core was rich in dark matter and hot gas, but contained no luminous galaxies, which normally would be seen in the same location as the dark matter. NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory was used to detect the hot gas. Astronomers used the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope and Subaru Telescope atop Mauna Kea to infer the location of dark matter by measuring the gravitationally lensed light from more distant background galaxies.
The astronomers then turned to the Hubble’s Wide Field Planetary Camera 2, which can detect subtle distortions in the images of background galaxies and use this information to map dark matter. To astronomers’ surprise, the Hubble observations helped confirm the 2007 findings.
“We know of maybe six examples of high-speed galaxy cluster collisions where the dark matter has been mapped,” Jee said. “But the Bullet Cluster and Abell 520 are the two that show the clearest evidence of recent mergers, and they are inconsistent with each other. No single theory explains the different behavior of dark matter in those two collisions. We need more examples.”
The team proposed numerous explanations for the findings, but each is unsettling for astronomers. In one scenario, which would have staggering implications, some dark matter may be what astronomers call “sticky.” Like two snowballs smashing together, normal matter slams together during a collision and slows down. However, dark matter blobs are thought to pass through each other during an encounter without slowing down. This scenario proposes that some dark matter interacts with itself and stays behind during an encounter.
Another possible explanation for the discrepancy is that Abell 520 has resulted from a more complicated interaction than the Bullet Cluster encounter. Abell 520 may have formed from a collision between three galaxy clusters, instead of just two colliding systems in the case of the Bullet Cluster.
A third possibility is that the core contained many galaxies, but they were too dim to be seen, even by Hubble. Those galaxies would have to have formed dramatically fewer stars than other normal galaxies. Armed with the Hubble data, the group will try to create a computer simulation to reconstruct the collision and see if it yields some answers to dark matter’s weird behavior.
The Hubble Space Telescope is a project of international cooperation between NASA and the European Space Agency. NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., manages the telescope. The Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Baltimore, Md., conducts Hubble science operations. STScI is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., in Washington, D.C.
NASA’s Gravity Recovery And Interior Laboratory (GRAIL)-A spacecraft successfully completed its planned main engine burn at 2 p.m. PST (5 p.m. EST) today. As of 3 p.m. PST (6 p.m. EST), GRAIL-A is in a 56-mile (90-kilometer) by 5,197-mile (8,363-kilometer) orbit around the moon that takes approximately 11.5 hours to complete.
“My resolution for the new year is to unlock lunar mysteries and understand how the moon, Earth and other rocky planets evolved,” said Maria Zuber, GRAIL principal investigator at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge. “Now, with GRAIL-A successfully placed in orbit around the moon, we are one step closer to achieving that goal.”
The next mission milestone occurs tomorrow when GRAIL-A’s mirror twin, GRAIL-B, performs its own main engine burn to place it in lunar orbit. At 3 p.m. PST (6 p.m. EST) today, GRAIL-B was 30,018 miles (48,309 kilometers) from the moon and closing at a rate of 896 mph (1,442 kph). GRAIL-B’s insertion burn is scheduled to begin tomorrow at 2:05 p.m. PST (5:05 p.m. EST) and will last about 39 minutes.
“With GRAIL-A in lunar orbit we are halfway home,” said David Lehman, GRAIL project manager at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, Calif. “Tomorrow may be New Year’s everywhere else, but it’s another work day around the moon and here at JPL for the GRAIL team.”
Once both spacecraft are confirmed in orbit and operating, science work will begin in March. The spacecraft will transmit radio signals precisely defining the distance between them as they orbit the moon in formation. As they fly over areas of greater and lesser gravity caused by both visible features, such as mountains and craters, and masses hidden beneath the lunar surface, the distance between the two spacecraft will change slightly.
Scientists will translate this information into a high-resolution map of the moon’s gravitational field. The data will allow scientists to understand what goes on below the lunar surface. This information will increase knowledge of how Earth and its rocky neighbors in the inner solar system developed into the diverse worlds we see today.
If you are familiar with the name, but just can’t quite remember where you’ve heard it, Mark Kelly- an astronaut with NASA, is Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords’ husband.
According to The Hill, Mr. Kelly “rips” Speaker of the House John Boehner for not coming to visit Congresswoman Giffords in the hospital, and is upset that he only sent a get well card.
From the beginning of the Arizona tragedy, where Congresswoman Giffords was shot, this writer has prayed for her recovery. In fact, the very next day, after the tragedy, a blog was born with the express purpose of praying for her on a daily basis. If you ever read from this blog, you will see that politics were put to the side. This writer is not the only one to do this!
Politics had no place in this tragedy. While many on the left blamed Sarah Palin, the Tea Party, an countless others they do not agree with politically, there were also many on the left that never brought politics into the discussions surrounding the tragedy in Arizona.
Lives were lost that day. A Congresswoman’s life hung in the balance. We did not know if Gabrielle Giffords was going to live or die.
Republicans and Democrats across the nation came together to pray. Yes, as mentioned above, there were numerous people on the left that played the blame game, but there were also many who did not.
A real chance for healing for this nation was missed. While tragedy has turned to triumph in many ways, the Tuscon massacre only served to divide this nation further.
Now, the very parties that could once again build a bridge of healing are doing everything they can to tear it down.
While Mark Kelly’s grief, frustration and anger are understandable, to turn this into a political game is sickening.
The comments in the article referenced above speak volumes. This one in particular is a resounding sentiment for this writer:
“Giffords stopped to greet Boehner and told him with “a big smile on her face”: “You stay out of my district. Okay. Remember. Stay out of my district.””
interesting… and this administration literally defunded NASA and he’s criticizing Boehner for a get well card…
BY DEE on 11/15/2011 at 15:45
There has been no public criticism for President Obama de-funding the very place of Mr. Kelly’s livelihood! Oh, but wait! Yes, that’s right… Mr. Kelly retired from NASA over the summer, so this is no longer a concern for him. That leaves plenty of room to chastise the Republican Party leader for simply sending a card. He should be grateful they received that. From the quoted comment above, there was obvious tension between Giffords and Boehner. Whether she meant it as a joke or not, there is always truth in a joke. Maybe Speaker Boehner felt it was in Congresswoman Giffords’ best interest that he not make a personal appearance. Anyone who knows anything about recovery knows you do not add stress to the environment for the person healing.
We have no way of knowing exactly why Speaker Boehner chose to send a card rather than making a personal appearance. Maybe his intentions were not so pure in heart. Maybe they were a slight against the Congresswoman. However, it is doubtful.
If this nation does not put on her big girl pants and stop whining and crying every time someone “offends” them, we have absolutely no hope of healing. America is known for her strength. Even our astronauts are whining and crying these days! Or it could simply be as this comment says:
Nice to know that Mr. Kelly is busy getting his “15 minutes of fame” and cashing in on his wife’s horrific shooting. Tells you what kind of person he is.BY ANNE MARIE on 11/15/2011 at 15:58
If this is the case, it makes it even more sad and sickening.
HOUSTON, Sept. 6, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — NASA will share the accomplishments, promise and opportunities for research aboard the International Space Station through an exhibit and a series of events in Colorado during September and October.
NASA will display its newest exhibit, “Destination: Station,” at the Wings Over the Rockies Air and Space Museum in Denver. The exhibit will be open to the public for six weeks from Sept. 16 through Oct. 28. It is included at no additional fee with admission to the museum.
“Destination: Station” is a multimedia exhibit that immerses visitors in the story of the space station. Visitors of all ages will learn about the 24-hour-a-day, 365-days-a-year space-based research that brings results down to Earth. The exhibit includes hands-on activities, imagery and audio and visual technology.
In a keystone event, the Wings Museum will host an International Space Station Science and Research Expo that is open to the public from 1-5 p.m. Sept. 23. Participants in the exposition will include universities, companies and researchers who are taking advantage of the unique orbiting National Laboratory to improve our lives on Earth. NASA speakers will include astronaut Mike Good, International Space Station Program Scientist Julie Robinson, and National Lab Education Program Lead Regina Blue.
Sept. 21 through Sept. 27 astronauts, engineers, education specialists and program scientists will make presentations at public schools, universities, the Fiske Planetarium, the Denver Botanic Gardens and the Butterfly Pavilion.
The full schedule of public events includes (in Mountain time):
Friday, Sept. 16
Wings Over the Rockies Air and Space Museum, Denver
“Destination: Station” open to the public through Oct. 28. Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Sundays noon to 5 p.m. Display included at no additional fee with museum admission.
Wednesday, Sept. 21
Fiske Planetarium and Science Center at University of Colorado, Boulder
5 – 8:30 p.m. Former astronaut Jim Voss presentation
Thursday, Sept. 22
Fiske Planetarium and Science Center at University of Colorado, Boulder
11 a.m. – 1 p.m. Space station research and education presentations
University of Colorado Denver and Metropolitan State College of Denver, Auraria Campus
2 – 3 p.m. Astronaut Mike Good presentation and autographs, NASA engineers display spacesuit parts and tools
Denver Botanic Gardens
6:30 – 8:30 p.m. Space station research and education presentations
Friday, Sept. 23
Wings Over the Rockies Air and Space Museum, Denver
1 – 5 p.m. International Space Station Science and Research Expo
Colorado State University Professional Learning Institute, Fort Collins
4 – 5:30 p.m. Space station research presentation
Denver Botanic Gardens “Family Fun Night: Celestial Celebrations”
5:30 – 8:30 p.m. Astronaut Mike Good presentation and autographs, NASA engineers display spacesuit parts and tools, and NASA education activities
Saturday, Sept. 24
Butterfly Pavilion, Westminster
11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Astronaut Kjell Lindgren presentation and autographs, NASA engineers display spacesuit parts and tools, and NASA education activities
Monday, Sept. 26
University of Denver
3:30 – 5 p.m. Astronaut Kjell Lindgren presentation
University of Colorado Students for the Exploration and Development of Space, Boulder
6 – 7 p.m. Astronaut Kjell Lindgren presentation
Tuesday, Sept. 27
Colorado State University Innovations Breakfast, Denver
7:30 – 9 a.m. Astronaut Kjell Lindgren presentation
University of Colorado School of Medicine, Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora
Noon – 1:30 p.m. Astronaut Kjell Lindgren presentation
For more about the International Space Station and “Destination: Station,” visit:
For biographies of the astronauts who will be appearing, visit:
HOUSTON, Sept. 2, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — For years, NASA’s Desert RATS – or Research And Technology Studies – team has been trekking to the Flagstaff, Ariz., area for its annual tests. This year the public can come see what they have been up to.
Students and space fans young and old are invited to the Desert RATS Community Day from 1 – 4:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 11. It will be held at this year’s Desert RATS test site, located 40 miles north ofFlagstaff on U.S. Highway 89, less than one mile past the 454-mile marker, on the right.
Desert RATS is one of several analog tests that NASA uses to try out new hardware and ideas for future use in space exploration. The 2011 Desert RATS test is simulating a mission to an asteroid using prototype rovers (called Space Exploration Vehicles), habitat mockups (the Deep Space Habitat) and a humanoid robot identical to the one currently living on board the International Space Station (Robonaut 2 on a four-wheeled base). Astronauts and geologists are teaming up to try out different methods for exploration, and a team of mission and science operation personnel is monitoring the test from the Mission Control Center at Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.
During the Community Day, attendees will be able to get an up-close look at the hardware being tested and talk with NASA scientists, engineers, technicians and astronauts about their work.
For more information on the Desert RATS tests, visit:
Follow the progress of the tests via Twitter at:
“Stroke of the pen. Law of the land. Kinda cool.”
–Clinton presidential aide Paul Begala, July 1998
“All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.”
–Article 1, U.S. Constitution, 1789
Executive Orders are a presidential policy directive that implements or interprets a federal statute, a constitutional provision, or a treaty. Congressional approval is not necessary for an Executive Order to go into effect. Until recently, they were primarily used to direct the internal operations of federal agencies as well as being related to everyday administrative duties. They are the way a President assigns special days for particular actions, such as the National Day of Prayer. One Executive Order can be used to revoke the Executive Orders of other Presidents, or one of the currant president’s EOs. Now, they are primarily used to enforce legislative policies and programs. Some EOs are hidden from public view as they are related to United States security issues.
A TOUCH OF HISTORY
George Washington issued the first Executive Orders in 1789 using the Constitution as his authority to do so: Article II, Section 1 and Article II, Section 3 of the Constitution. Some people point to Article II, Section 2 also, though this section deals mainly with the President as Commander in Chief.
In 1788, James Madison, in Federalist 47 argued that Montesquieu’s warning, “There can be no liberty where the legislative and executive powers are united in the same person or body of magistrates”-did not apply to our Constitution because “the magistrate in whom the whole executive power resides cannot of himself make a law…”
In 1792 Thomas Jefferson, in conversation with George Washington, said “…if the equilibrium of the three great bodies, Legislative, Executive and Judiciary, could be preserved, if the Legislature could be kept independent, I should never fear the result of such a government; but that I could not but be uneasy when I saw that the Executive had swallowed up the Legislative Branch.”
Every President of the United States of America has used Executive Orders. In 1907, Executive Orders were given official numbers by the State Department. These were retroactively numbered from 1862 when Lincoln suspended habeas corpus and issued the Emancipation Proclamation by EO. Many EOs were lost and therefore, are not available. There are over 13,000 Executive Orders recorded and they are listed at several sites online.
EXECUTIVE ORDERS TODAY
We live in a post-constitutional age wherein the Federal Government has a rule for every area of our lives. Gardens, helmets, seat belts, food handling, all these are under the microscope of one federal agency or another and the list goes on and on.
The present occupant of the White House continues to dump on the American people regulations and laws which have not originated in, and therefore, have not been approved by Congress. To date, he has written 91 Executive Orders.
I don’t know if this is an excessive number or not. Many Executive Orders were written by FDR during his 16 year “dictatorship” and it would be unfair to compare numbers of EOs with other Presidents as situations and national, as well as foreign concerns, change.
Some of Obama’s EOs are innocuous or helpful and others are draconian. For instance, the EO “Federal Leadership on Reducing Text Messaging While Driving” is directed to all Federal Agency employees to stop a dangerous habit.
Another of his EOs, “Removing Barriers to Responsible Scientific Research Involving Human Stem Cells,” revokes the EO of George W. Bush which limited Federal funding of stem cell Research. It also revoked another EO of G.W. Bush which expanded approved stem cell research in an ethically responsible way. By removing this guideline for researchers, Obama may have unleashed usage of stem cells in dangerous as well as medically unethical methods. This may not affect us directly, but it does affect how researchers may discover medical procedures. The question this EO raises is, “What are the medical ethics that will be used?” Will Peter Singer’s ethics of death be used or will more life oriented ethics be applied to research? Obama sides with Singer and other bioethicists in agreeing that children born of botched abortions should be left to die. He even blocked passage of an Illinois bill to protect these children and give them treatment. When he left the Illinois Senate, the bill finally passed.
At this time, there is rumor of an Executive Order to be penned which will limit gun sales on the American/Mexican border. I cannot find a recent EO that addresses this subject; however, it has been reported at The Blaze.com and at The Daily Beast.com. that an EO is forthcoming. This comes after the discovery of our Justice Department and BATF being involved in a gun smuggling ring from Arizona to the drug lords of Mexico. Senator Daniel Issa thinks this is a political move to deflect attention from Operation Fast and Furious which is clearly unlawful. Attorney General Mr. Holder has written a memo to ATF ordering them to “interdict all weapons and pursue straw-buyers.” (A straw-buyer is one who purchases something for another person who wishes to remain anonymous.) Some believe that the attempted assassination of Gabby Gifford spurred this EO as well as reaction to the news of Fast and Furious being investigated. It is a chink in the already vulnerable 2nd Amendment, and is part of the statist agenda of firearm confiscation.
There is an EO concerning NASA’s new directive. But it’s not listed in the Official White House Site of Executive Orders. It was written on April 15, 2010. We know that their new directive is aimed at helping Islamic nations with their efforts at space travel as well as assisting NOAA with garnering proof of Global Warming. There are to be no more Shuttle Missions; we will buy space for our astronauts on Russian vehicles going to the Space Station at an astronomical cost to the taxpayers of our country. The elimination of NASA from space exploration is tantamount to cutting off scientific discoveries which filter down to the common man for use: case in point, Velcro. It also removes the United States from any efforts to set up bases on the moon which could be used to observe the changing panorama of the universe as well as to watch activities on the earth which could endanger our national security. Recently, he announced that he wanted NASA to put together an initiative for a manned landing on Mars.
“While committed to terminating the Bush administration’s Constellation moon program, the president supports development of a scaled-down version of Constellation’s Orion crew capsule for use as a space station emergency escape vehicle and possible technology test bed. Speaking on background, a senior administration official said Tuesday the Orion capsule could be launched unmanned to the International Space Station using commercial rockets as part of a broad effort to reduce reliance on Russian Soyuz spacecraft. The official said the use of a scaled-down version of Orion, along with the development of new private-sector rockets and capsules to replace the shuttle, would end NASA’s reliance on Russia for space transportation services sooner than would have been possible with the Constellation program’s Ares rockets. While no timetable for such flights will be specified, a decision on what sort of heavy lift rocket architecture to pursue will be made in 2015, based in part on advanced technologies research that will be funded at more than $3 billion over the next five years. ” – April 10, 2010, five days before the NASA EO was written. source: CBS News Tech
Along with these provisions for the Mars mission, NASA will have to share its technological information with Muslim countries. Right now, Iran has a nuclear weapon and silos in Venezuela. This doesn’t make me feel safe since those silos have missiles that are pointed at the United States. The EO doesn’t provide for sharing information with Iran, but what’s to stop the countries that are getting the briefings from sharing it with Iran?
Mr. Obama wants to push the Dream Act, which makes all the illegals in this country citizens, by virtue of the Executive Order. Of course, he wants them to vote for the Democratic Party.
What else do EOs mean to us? As evidenced by Lincoln’s declaration of Martial Law and the suspension of Habeas Corpus, the same thing could be done by Obama if there is a National Emergency, which of course, he would declare. Many political and legal writers as well as political pundits have expressed the opinion that EOs could be used to set up a dictatorship.
Is Obama a power hungry man, or will he go quietly into the night when his Presidency is over? Only the 2012 election stands between the United States as a Constitutional Republic and a progression into a Socialistic European style country.
Which way will the nation choose to go?
Today is a historic day in our country. There is much cause for celebration, pride in our country, and great satisfaction for what has been accomplished. There is also much cause for sadness and anger in our country.
The beauty of today is multi-faceted. The weather was made-to-order for an event such as this.
One lady in attendance is a beautiful glimpse of the true hope in God Almighty.
And yet, on the very same day, the very same moment, the very same event brings cause for much sadness, anger, and yes, even bitterness.
Today was the last launch of the Space Shuttle Endeavor.
There are many miracles intertwined in this event- first and foremost is the actual Space Exploration Program this country has had for nearly 53 years.
On October 1, 1958, NASA was born. NASA history is vibrant with a wealth of extraordinary scientific and technological accomplishments in man’s quest to conqueror that last frontier known to man- outer space. That man has walked on the moon and flown to other planets in our solar system is a miracle indeed.
Today’s shuttle’s mission is commanded by Mark Kelly, who is the husband of Arizona’s U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords, who was brutally shot in the head during an assassination attempt just four months ago. If you have read any of my previous articles you may know that this tragedy affected me deeply. The day after the tragedy I made a commitment to pray daily for Congresswoman Giffords. Though I have not made public posts daily, as I did in the very beginning when things were so touch-and-go with Ms. Giffords, I still pray every day for her complete healing and restoration.
One of the most beautiful things about this event today is that Congresswoman Giffords was actually in attendance for the final space launch that her husband is commanding. I know this is something they both treasure and rejoice over, if for no other reason than she is alive! Her life is truly a miracle!
The sadness, anger and bitterness comes from the actions of President Obama, who has cut the budget for NASA to next to nothing, essentially closing down the entire Space Program as we know it. This affect not only the Space Exploration Program itself, but it also abolishes thousands of jobs! Once again, this President knows nothing about leadership. He is truly an embarrassment to the American people- current, past and present!
Now, coming from someone who has stated many times that we must cut everything we can in the National budget you may be wondering why I am so upset with this budget cut. As with most things, with this Administration, their priorities are completely off kilter. Real jobs are being eliminated by dismantling the space program. Is there government waste in this agency? Well, yes, that is a given, because it is in fact a government agency! So I am sure there are many effective cuts that can be made to the budget without dismantling the program competely. There are other programs that should be dismantled before we think about walking away from this historic project. I say we start with the Department of Education. Give Education back to the States where it belongs! This one cut alone would solve several problems right off the bat, one being cutting the budget by billions, if not trillions of dollars!
The United States has been the leader in Space Exploration and Space Travel since its inception. What will happen to us, now that we will become dependent on the Russians to lead the way? This has the potential for disaster in many ways. Even if you are not a “fan” of NASA or Space Exploration and Travel, as many people are, thisaffects much more than just the “Trekkie’s” out there.
You must ask yourself how much of what we do and depend on each day has roots in outer space. Stop and think how many of these things affect your life. There are more than two thousand satellites that allow communications that would not be available otherwise. There are commercial satellites, government satellites, military satellites, and civil satellites. How much of what you do on a daily basis falls under one of these categories?
Will we notice an immediate difference in our country once Endeavor returns to earth? No- not immediately. The first affect we will see is the loss of jobs that will impact our jobless rate and economy.
I believe the real affects- the most important affects- will come later down the road when The United States no longer holds the reigns in this program that has become a vital part of our lives.
With great sadness, I bid you farewell, NASA. Though for now you still exist in theory, I fear it will not be long before we see a mere shadow of the thriving queen you have become.
I pray for a successful mission and a safe return to earth for the crew of Endeavor. May the hand of God Almighty be with each of you every step of the way on this historic mission.
NASA- We The People salute you! Your accomplishments are forever embedded in our hearts. You will be greatly missed. Maybe one day we will enter the race once again. Maybe.