February 19, 2014 |
Anyone who thinks the U.S. space program is done with and permanently parked at the California Science Center in the form of the space shuttle Endeavour hasn't heard NASA astronaut Tracy Caldwell Dyson and aerospace engineer Camille Alleyne (yes, a rocket scientist) talk about the International Space Station. Which is what they were doing on a very earthbound mission this week in Los Angeles to promote NASA's involvement in the space station and the exhibit, “Destination: Station,” showcasing what it's like to live aboard the International Space Station.
February 14, 2014 |
Bob Thompson fondly remembers when Downey was buzzing with pride and payrolls as a major hub for work on the Apollo space program and the construction site for six space shuttles. "Since the beginning of time, we had all these world leaders who looked up at the moon," said Thompson, a 72-year-old local history buff who worked for 34 years on the site where the spacecraft were built. "Here in Downey we built the vehicles that put the first man on the moon, and that is why it's a great source of pride.
January 5, 2014 |
The gig: Wanda M. Austin, 59, is the president and chief executive of Aerospace Corp., an El Segundo brain trust for the Pentagon's space program. Although not well known outside defense circles, it is regarded as one of the nation's most important assets. Classified space: For decades, Aerospace, which receives federal funds, has provided oversight for development of highly secretive spy satellites, ballistic missiles and launch vehicles. Aerospace scientists and engineers oversee the technical side of contracts awarded to defense firms to ensure the work is being done properly.
December 9, 2013 |
Some 10 years ago, during testimony before Congress, I was asked by Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.), "Do you think we are in a space race with China?" I quickly answered "no" and proceeded to explain that, in my view, the concept of a space race represented old thinking. The modern way forward in space would be through international cooperation and coordination. Today, I think my insistence that the space race was over was naive. There are now many space races. One is taking place between China and India, dramatized by India's launch of a Mars orbiter last month and China's launch this month of a lunar lander and rover.
November 2, 2013 |
Col. Chris Hadfield, who until recently was commander of the International Space Station, has a workout regimen that is out of this world. Sorry. Couldn't resist. Hadfield's new book, "An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth," goes into detail about what it takes to be in shape for space travel. What kind of shape do you need to be in to qualify for the space program? To qualify to live on the space station, you have to pass the hardest physical exam in the world. There has to be a high lack of a probability of a problem, whether it's your appendix or an injury.
September 14, 2013
Re "NASA confirms Voyager milestone," Sept. 13 Iread of Voyager 1 leaving our solar system with more excitement, pride and soaring emotion than I had expected. I'm a retired teacher, and I remember the excitement that Voyager 1 stirred when it was launched in 1977. It was proof of American ingenuity, a measure of our national resolve to be first in everything we tried to accomplish. My students' imaginations were fired up by America's achievements in space. In fact, two of them went on to earn seats on space shuttle missions.