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David Archer 01-28-11: A painting surprise for Terry Mignerey from when we worked on some pieces together. Terry did the amazing "high-tech lacework" on the end of the painting best seen in the close up. Thanks Terry. I think I still have this piece in the Museum Vault. I sure hope so. It come from the Joseph Campbell book, "The Hero With A Thousand Faces." The "artist" is stepping out into the unknown, past the classic mythological "Threshold" where there is no going back until if and when the "job" or "quest" is accomplished. One makes one's own path. Into the forest where it is darkest and there is no path. The Western way. The individual. This painting is the step over the "Threshold."

One other picture of the "Herobot" painting showing the whole thing which was around six feet long. I wish this photo was larger but I think this is it for now.

Don Davis 01-28-11: A quarter century. I remember when that far in the past was a long time ago, as in World War II. Now it is the anniversary of the Challenger Disaster, one of those days you remember vividly as long as you live.

Louis Varricchio 01-28-11: The winter of discontent: A warm sunny day can profoundly change my mood and perspective. A glimpse of blue sky, green hills and liquid water has always acted as a personal tonic—my problems seem easier to face when balmy weather returns. Then, the whole mad, mad, mad world seems renewed. I am reborn. Yes, I tell myself looking at a 2011 wall calendar, very soon I will feel the warm rays of sunlight on my bare face. And the oppressive Vermont winter of 2011 will finally fade into the glorious spring of 2011. The daffodils will emerge. The birds will hop and sing again. Yes. There is hope for me—for all of us dwellers of northern

David Archer 01-27-11: Can't read the date. Circa '64. Pen and ink drawing I did of Mike Kelly in the Golden Eagle Hotel, San Francisco's North Beach.

Richard Bizley 01-27-11: I have just done this painting of Kepler 10b. It is a rocky planet orbiting a sun-like star. The planet is tidally locked, so the side facing the star is hot enough to melt iron.

William Foster 01-27-11: Ascent Team handing over to Orbit 2 during STS-133 Post Insertion sim. Discovery is in bad shape and TDZ is out of service for 24 hours. Hoping for better luck on the real day. Clip ends with view of Spaceflight Memorial plaques as the team gets ready for a moment of silence.

Flight Control Team gathered outside MCC for moment of silence.

David A. Hardy 01-26-11: For a while at least, anyone who's interested can see my grandson Aidan being interviewed on Anglia TV about his prize-winning animation. He's a star! See:

William Foster 01-26-11: Good news today, network simulator feeling much better, turned that solar frown upside down! Unusual to get to 8 ascent sims for one training flow, still one more to go. Any more delays will put us in double digits.

Kim Poor 01-25-11: One time, during a power outage, my only light was a flash camera... It took me 60 pictures to make a sandwich. --Steven Wright

William Foster 01-25-11: All set to support generic ascent sim this morning but the network simulator (NSS) did not want to play. Supposed to have been a final certain sim for one of the INCO's, but he was out sick. Hopefully it will be fixed in time for flight specific STS-133 ascent sims tomorrow and Thursday!

Geoffrey Notkin 01-23-11: Dear Friends: I am very pleased to announce my new book: "Meteorite Hunting: How To Find Treasure From Space." It will be published on February 1 (my birthday!) and advance copies are now available for pre-order at If you are planning on visiting me at the Tucson gem show, we will also have copies for sale there.

Andrew Chaikin 01-22-11: "Happy New Year all ...! I am doing quite a bit of teaching these days, including a space history course for NASA engineers, which I give at the different NASA centers. I've also been giving a course on Mars exploration at Williams College as part of their Winter Study Program. And I am teaching an online space-history course for Montana State University."

David A. Hardy 01-21-11: Easter Island. (photo)

Louis Varricchio 01-21-11: I hope to get back to night driving soon! Dealing with Vermont's daily dumping of snow. Soon we enter and exit the house on the second floor! Non-stop since Christmas time. When do daffodils bloom?

Photo: Snowy Vermont. Taken this morning on a U.S. Forest Service access road, off Route 125 in Ripton, Vt., in the Green Mt. National Forest near Mt. Grant, in Vermont's Presidential range.

William Foster 01-21-11: View from the dreaded middle lobby at the JSC Clinic while waiting for part 2 of my annual Flight Controller Physical earlier today. Amazingly, I passed, so good for another year of console operations. Now if we could just stretch out the shuttle program that long, but at least ISS is waiting for me (I hope)!!

Louis Varricchio 01-17-11: Interstellar Space Mission under consideration: NASA-APL Innovative Interstellar Explorer: The mission is aimed within 20° of the incoming interstellar wind; the robot spacecraft will depart Earth without Venus, Earth, or Mars gravity assists to 200 Astronomical Units (1 AU = 93 million miles).

Not as ambitious as the 1980s proposed NASA-JPL TAU (1,000 A.U.) mission but better than no interstellar mission.

Opening of first launch window at Cape Canaveral, Florida, will be at noon, Eastern Daylight Time on Oct. 22, 2014!

Louis Varricchio 01-16-11: My 2011-2013 personal challenge is to learn to fly in a Challenger II LS aircraft; A CFI in Deland, Florida can help me: 31.5 ft wingspan, great on floats and for soaring, 500 lb, payload, 700/1,200 fpm climb, 20 mph cross-wind capability, and 65-85 mph cruise speed. I have done enough namby pamby test flights. I have completed ground school, need to restudy the material, time to recommit and focus.

Next Gen Space Warfare: ICBMs are so--well--Cold War.

By 2020 orbital kinetic strike weapons, known as "Rods from God" will have replaced ICBMs as the primary WMD of the United States.

Artwork: Project Thor is an idea for a weapons system that launches kinetic projectiles from Earth orbit to damage targets on the ground. Sci-fi author Jerry Pournelle originated the concept at Boeing in the 1950s before becoming a writer.

P.S. The system is not prohibited by either the Outer Space Treaty nor the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty.

Pat Rawlings 01-16-11: Linda and I had a great ride down to New Braunfels past Canyon Lake. We ate German food at Oma's Haus and then rode back past the beautiful Guadalupe River on River Road. We then cut over to Blanco and ha coffee at the Redbud Cafe across from the Old Blaco Courthouse where they filmed True Grit. Then we rode back on RR 165, Creek Rd and RR 12 to home. One of the more scenic rides we' ve had in a while.

David A. Hardy 01-16-11: Having worked out how to upload these, I have now added 3 'FX wheels', as used by Hawkwind in the 70s. These rotated at, I think, about 1 1/2 revolutions per minute, so that a continuous landscape/horizon moved slowly across the screen behind the band. They are 'Space Ritual', 'End of the World', and 'Ancient Mysteries'.

Richard Bizley 01-16-11: Went fossil hunting at 8am and I managed to find this Ichthyosaur fossil. It is part of the jawbone. You can make out the teeth. A satisfying find especially as I have painted pictures of these creatures many times!

Pat Rawlings 01-14-11: (Self photo) 1. Photo with digital cam 2. Scanned pencil drawing of an Antartic explorer 3. Masked face with freehand stylus work and blended into drawing in Photoshop. 4. Ran a filter (can't remember which that made the photo look sketchy) 5. Lots of hand sketching and coloring to meld two images. 6. Painted shade reflections with Wacom stylus. BTW-I did the drawing I scanned.

William Foster 01-13-11: Visited Mate Demate Device at Dryden, got to go to the top via elevator for 40 feet, stairwell for next 40 feet, then vertical ladder to top. Incredible view from up there.

Dryden Western Aeronautical Test Range control room for radar and s-band communications. Running shuttle orbit and landing simulation with JSC.

Louis Varricchio 01-13-11: Marilyn and me on Sanibel Island, Florida. Somebody said I look like Donald Sutherland in this photo. I suppose that's better than Danny Devito or Abe Vigoda, eh?

Richard Bizley 01-13-11: Another little Apollo painting. This time it is the ascent stage lifting off from the moon.

William Foster 01-12-11: At Hobby Airport waiting for flight to LAX. Palmdale tonight followed by two days at Dryden. Looking forward to seeing friends at the tracking station and shuttle landing area.

David A. Hardy 01-11-11: A new 'Earthlike' (ie. rocky) planet has just been discovered, Kepler 10b. The planet is 1.4 times as big as Earth, and orbits in only 0.84 days, 20 times closer to its sun than Mercury is to ours, meaning that its surface must glow red-hot. Its star, Kepler 10, is in the constellation of Draco, and is a G-type star similar in size and spectral type to the Sun.

Pat Rawlings 01-08-11: Cedar fever in high gear!! It's the only thing that keeps me from riding my bike...well other than ice, and torrential rain, hurricanes and rabid pit bulls nipping at my heels.

William Foster 01-07-11: Early start on day at 4:15 this morning, arriving at MCC to get configured for launch simulation with KSC. Sim is in full swing now, all working well. The simulated orbiter, unfortunately, is experiencing tons of problems, keeping the team busy and voice loops very active!

Much easier to see in daylight hours, long day wrapping up, more training next week for both 133 & 134 missions, plus a trip out to Dryden Tracking Station at Edwards AFB in California to better understand some new upgrades out there.

Aldo Spadoni 01-02-11: Pretty cool time-lapse sequence showing the Australian assembly of an F/A-18F Super Hornet Strike Fighter. At 2:30 minutes, the entire rear half of the aircraft conveniently appears, provided by my company, assembled in California not far from my office.

F/A-18 PTQ [HQ]

Monroe Lee king Jr. 01-02-11: (Team Prometheus) We are setting out on a campaign to visit schools and universities to promote higher education in the New Space Frontier and provide presentations and demonstrations in Nearspace and amateur rocketry experiments!

Almost ready for first test flight!

Geoffrey Notkin 01-01-11: Bonnie the Meteorite Cat.