Monroe Lee King Jr.
12-07-10: Had to take a day job to make it through Dec. and
Jan. This year first time I had to work another job in three years! I'm
determined to get NSE 5.1-2-3 and NSE 6 fling though!
12-07-10: Viper Flight emblem is now official. Gary Horlacher
is the 76th Flight Director from the four member Class of 2008. he
worked his first sift on console as a certified Flight Director on July
16, 2009 and chose "Viper" as his team name. Since attributes of the
character "Viper" from Top Gun were part of the reason he chose the
name, I used some elements of the Top Gun titles in forming the text.
Gary wanted seventeen stars added for the astronauts who died in
spaceflight related activities, with three grouped around Florida
representing the Apollo 1 crew who died during a pad test, and the rest
in space for the Challenger and Columbia crews who lost their lives in
12-05-10: Running another entry sim with STS-133 crew with
landing video of previous landing to add a bit of reality to sim. Our
Capcom, Charles "Scorch" Hobaugh, commented that the video was from the
best shuttle landing ever. It was STS-129, and of course, Scorch was the
12-05-10: NEW INTERVIEW: Geoff of "MM" rejoins his favorite
extra-cool science fiction experts at Slice of SciFi for an in-depth
interview about NASA, the space program, life on other worlds . . . oh,
and zombies and Harry Potter lingerie too, of course. FREE podcast!
Slice of SciFi #293: A Conversation with Geoffrey Notkin of "Meteorite
Men" : Slice of SciFi
12-03-10: I am recovering from eye surgery (a semi-detached
retina). It is very serious business. The surgery went well. But time
will be important. I will be on the mend for a month or longer at home
with very limited Internet-computer use. Thanks to those friends who
send good wishes and prayers. It is seriously appreciated.
Don Davis 12-03-10:
Taking a crash course (no pun intended) in asteroid deflection, ways to
nudge or shove a space rock from crossing paths with Earth. The earlier
such an asteroid with our name on it is detected and dealt with the
12-02-10: Ascent sims today, INCO & EECOM MPSR certs, plenty
of cabin leaks and instrumentation failures. Meeting on tanking test for
STS-133 immediately after the sim, test may happen as early as next
Wednesday. Still a small chance of launching in the December window, but
smart money now is on late February. Should know more next week.
12-02-10: The mystery spaceplane is returning soon! The USAF
X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle is scheduled to land as soon as Friday
morning at Vandenberg AFB.
11-30-10: I was just discussing these lines on Nov 28th with
my 15yr old daughter as the Sydney sky was filled with them on that
evening. By a lovely co-incidence it was here in APOD on the same day!
Don Davis 11-29-10:
Starting a new show, a 3D fulldome feature. 3D in a dome is an
interesting thing to compose for, requiring rendering the scene twice by
carefully displaced 'cameras'. Several spacecraft models will be
11-28-10: (Meteorite Men posted by Steve Arnold) Meteorite
Men is on hiatus this Tuesday, but on Dec. 7th we go to Wisconsin, then
a week later to Sweden. I am not sure, but if it makes the cut, I will
encounter eating putrid fish in Sweden. Then we go to the opposite side
of the globe a week later. Good times. We have saved the best for last.
Butler 11-24-10: Me at age 6. Fewer keys on my key ring, but
less worries. Otherwise, still the same guy! Also, photo of me at age
11-22-10: Pretty cool - the first ever commercial license to
RE-enter spacecraft from orbit! I guess if you're coming to Earth for
the first time, you don't need a license to enter the atmosphere.
Visiting Extraterrestrials take note; you don't have to go to the DMV.
11-21-10: Pearl Harbor illustration I did in pencil when I
Don Davis 11-20-10:
Now would be a good time for trains to step up to the occasion and offer
upgraded transportation options. Reliable, respectful travel to people
who are not really in that much of a hurry to get somewhere. Tele
conferencing should also get attention to provide an alternative to
business travel when possible.
11-19-10: So . . . it's employee
appreciation week here at Aerolite Meteorites LLC. What do you think
we're doing? Going out for dinner at a restaurant? Boooooring! Giving my
team a bonus? Too expensive! : ) No, I'm taking them all to see Social
Distortion! Don't you wish I was your boss? : )
Louis Varricchio 11-16-10:
We now know the Moon has lots of water ice. But did the primordial Moon
have lots of liquid water? Maybe even oceans? Here's my take on the
Varricchio 11-16-10: Can an
airliner fly higher than 41,000 feet? Yes, but in most cases, not above
43,000 feet. The Boeing 747-SP (Special Performance), like NASA's SOFIA
flying observatory shown here, was designed to be able to fly as high as
43,000 feet. The defunct Concorde was able to fly up to 60,000 feet and
normally did so, because of its extremely small windows and its
Hardy 11-16-10: Moonbase by Earthlight. This
was painted, in gouache in 1970 for the magazine 'Visions of Tomorrow'.
Although this was for a factual series (which I also wrote), I also had
my SF work first published on this magazine, and then on F&SF (1971).
Carroll 11-16-10: Hey gang, I'm giving a
little talk on Saturday, November 20 at 9 am at the local Reasons to
Believe meeting. The subject is "Weather on Other Worlds". Come hear
about hurricanes the size of Earth, bizarre methane rainstorms, and how
our own planet is uniquely designed for life! Saint John's Lutheran
Church, 700 S. Franklin, Denver.
All-new "Meteorite Men" premiere tomorrow night on Science Channel at 9
pm e/p. We bask in the wonders of the incredible 100,000 year-old
Monturaqui Crater, visit the amazing European Southern Observatory at
Paranal, and explore the mystery of the San Juan strewnfield! How can
you stand to miss it? : )
Geoffrey Notkin 11-15-10: Geoff visited KPNX TV 12 News in
Phoenix this morning, for a live interview with the lovely Sarah
Walters, who turned out to be a space program enthusiast and loved our
show-and-tell meteorites! Great interview Sarah—thank you!
William Foster 11-15-10: Running a refresher entry sim with
133 crew while shuttle managers and engineers continue to assess repairs
on the Discovery stack and launch options. Currently working to maintain
options for a tanking test on 11/26 with launch on 11/30, but this could
easily slip several days, especially as they try to better understand
cracks on the External Tank stringers.
Rawlings 11-14-10: Linda and I just watched Dennis Quaid and
Marcia Ball play pianos together and Quaid sang on 6th St in Austin.
He's pretty good! We were about 10 feet away on the first row.
Spadoni 11-13-10: My good friend Kurt Gugisberg is a Master
rocket builder & flyer. I'm standing next to his impressive collection
of V-2s. He's got one for every occasion!
Spadoni 11-12-10: Attending ROCstock XXXII on Saturday.
Rocket launching out in the California high desert.
William Foster 11-09-10: On console in WFCR getting ready for
ascent sim and watching repair work on the GUCP at pad 39A. Big issue is
whether they can fix the crack in ET foam on the pad, expect to know by
Lee King Jr. 11-08-10: (Team Prometheus) NSE-6 is nearly
complete we only nee the FPV/OSD equipment so we can watch the launch
LIVE! at 100kft! This is so we can manually control the launch and watch
the rocket leave the platform!
Varricchio 11-08-10: Enjoyed a fabulous concert Nov. 7 in
Vermont performed by the U.S. Air Force Band of Liberty, a top-notch big
band with highly skilled, dedicated musicians.
The band that Glenn Miller directed in World War Ii is now based at an
air base outside Boston, Mass. and still performs favorites from Goodman
and Miller swing to 1950s cool jazz. And they do it all in uniform!
The band also performed some daring new jazz compositions based on music
from the 1939 classic film"The Wizard of Oz". The band's recording of
this will appear early next year. CDs are free to local libraries, so
you can request CDs from your local librarian. No cost to the library.
Uncle Sam (the taxpayer) foots the bill. Good work that's good for
ChaiKin 11-05-10: Last night I had the honor of giving the
banquet speech at the 2010 astronaut reunion in Houston. Very cool ....
Spadoni 11-05-10: Recently attended an all-day company
research & development program review. Best comment of the day: "Nothing
beats a big missile".
Christopher Butler 11-05-10: I will just say that, no matter
how you feel about the US elections, the IMPORTANT thing is that the
Hobbit films have been green lighted. I even like the top of the ticket
casting choice, and I know Sir Peter will lead us to victory.
William Foster 11-05-10: Room busy working launch scrub
turnaround actions. Next launch attempt no earlier than Monday at 11:53
am. Scrub due to leak at GUCP interface to external tank.
STS-133 postponed until 11/30
at the earliest. Guess I can take the mission plaques back to the office
for a few weeks, just put them there a few minutes before the initial
scrub this morning.
William Foster 11-04-10: Not the way I wanted the room to be
when I got on console today! More rescheduling and will try and launch
tomorrow at 2:04 PM CDT, if the winds are not too strong.
Weather brief with 133 crew in
progress. Today would have been NoGo, but tomorrow looks better. May
have some problems with wind, but we have a decent chance.
Davis 11-03-10: Took an early morning bike ride, noticed
Sirius was near its maximum height so I decided to look for Canopus, a
bright star in the Southern skies. A mile or so farther from the hills
to my south made the difference, there it was, brightly but barely and
briefly looming over the horizon. On the way back a thin yellow orange
crescent Moon rose over the distant Eastern mountains.
Varricchio 11-03-10: The rocky, rocky road to private
spaceflight: this U.S. Armadillo suborbital two-person 360-degree vista
"bubble" spacecraft was supposed to be flying this year. What happened?
Excessive optimism runs smack into reality (aka funding).
William Foster 11-03-10: Different view of the room, still
empty as Flight Directors and Flight Controllers meet on the technical
issues. GC's and OST will continue support around the clock as long as
our command link is active to Discovery!
Another quiet morning in the
MCC as engineers & management work through the main engine controller
issue. There is some optimism about clearing it for a launch attempt
tomorrow, but weather will be a major challenge. MCC will be ready to
support when technical and weather factors converge!
And here is the right hand
corner with lamps lighting up NASA Flag and memorial plaques. The
original two lamps were connected to torchiere bases and a clamp on
goose neck used to illuminate the plaques. The bright spot in bottom
center is the clamp on lamp. Black foil is used to minimize light
spillage and somewhat focus the light on target.
Left front corner of MCC. Large
US Flag used to be on a pole in the corner, hard to see in person,
invisible on TV view. It was hung on wall after 9/11 attacks, still hard
to see. A few hours before STS-108 launched, I went to a nearby hardware
store and bought a couple of goose neck lamps, which made it, and the
NASA Flag in the other corner, much easier to see. Added more lamps
later for other artifacts.
Display for the band built on
very short notice, so not as lined up and color coordinated as I would
Finally some activity in the
room. Members of the Canadian rock band Barenaked Ladies stopped by for
a quick tour of the MCC. Meanwhile, still waiting on word about launch
dates. Good chance Discovery will be cleared for tomorrow, even better
chance weather will not cooperate then.
William Foster 11-02-10: I was asked to talk to 500 Taiwanese
high school students last week via videoconference from Space Center
Houston. They emailed me photos from their side today. It was a lot of
fun and very interesting to field some of their questions.
Geoffrey Notkin 11-01-10:
(Meteorite Men) Heavy metal dude! We guest star on "American Chopper"
tonight. Special screening on Discovery (not the usual TLC) at 10 pm.
Showtimes vary, please check your local listings.
Picture by Suzanne Morrison
11-01-10: Shuttle control room in quiescent mode as KSC
countdown continues smoothly. We will pick up here tomorrow morning to
interface the MCC with Discovery. Weather for Wednesday's launch attempt
will be a challenge with chances of broken cloud decks and
thunderstorms, but not unusual for a Florida space coast afternoon.
10-31-10: Halloween fun last night with my wonderful Libby
10-29-10: I cut a pattern of round holes in my pirate eye
patch so I don't trip all over myself while, you know, engaging in
pirate mayhem. Yeah, I know, it's cheating. But hey, I kinda look like
the cockpit of Spaceship One!
10-29-10: There is fun, and then there is extra-fun.
Extra-fun is defined as spending the evening with the Slice of SciFi
team, and doing a video interview showing off my favorite "Star Wars"
and "Hitchhiker's" props, and a few meteorites. An absolute blast it
10-29-10: Hot air balloons preparing to
launch from a parking lot across the street from the MCC as we rework
schedules due to a one day slip in the STS-133 launch. Now set for
Election Day, Tuesday Nov 2nd at 3:17:57 pm.
Hot Air Balloons over the MCC as
we work once more to replan pre-mission timelines. New launch date is
Wed, 11/03 at 2:52:13 pm CDT.
MCC has been mostly empty today waiting for
word on the next launch attempt. Shuttle managers should be meeting at
KSC soon to decide if leak repairs can be completed in time to support a
Tuesday launch. They are working schedules to meet both a Tuesday and
Wednesday launch, hoping for a decision soon!
10-27-10: Extra-fun mission: I am taping a
show with my super-cool friends at Slice of Sci Fi. I suppose we'll have
to spend *some* time talking about "Meteorite Men" Season Two, but I
wanna hear what they have to say about the new "Dr. Who" and "Caprica."
New PKD film anyone? TANSTAAFL!
"Meteorite Men" co-host based in Tucson:
New interview with Geoff Notkin of MM in the "Arizona Daily Star"
Kim Poor 10-26-10:
(Novaspace) Spacefest 2009, Apollo 9 Reception at the
San Diego Air and Space Museum--a very extravagant affair.
10-26-10: Abort Landing to Moron on run 3
of the final ascent sim with the STS-133 crew. One more run left then
all training for the mission will be complete. Launch set for next
Monday, 11/01/10 at 3:40:17 CDT. Time may shift slightly due to debris
avoidance maneuver by ISS earlier today, dodging a piece of the UARS
10-25-10: USAF Thunderbirds (sans jets) visited the MCC this
morning before heading to their next venue. This is the display I pulled
together to welcome them. Next weekend they will be performing in the
Cocoa Beach air show, just prior to STS-133 launching. NASA set the
launch date a day or two later than they wanted to deconflict with the
Butler 10-24-10: Ah, back in the US,
ironically under clouds when it was sunny in Britain! Sure had a good
time and can vouch for Southampton as a destination - although I missed
10-24-10: Great pass of ISS over La Porte,
TX Sunday evening as we were celebrating my mother & father in-laws
birthdays. Both were among the first arrivals at the Manned Spacecraft
Center in the early 60's. ISS looked brighter than Jupiter as it flew
within a degree or so of it. Such a great reminder of what we are
working for as we get ready to launch the final flight of Discovery in a
bit over a week from now!
Geoffrey Notkin &
Steve Arnold 10-23-10: (Meteorite Men)
Today is the big day! The Meteorite Men are at the USA Science and
Engineering Fest in person. We're in the Discovery tent, close to the
Capitol Building. If you're in or around D.C., come on down and meet a
meteorite. Recommended by President Obama, no less! It's free and it's
gonna be great.
Geoffrey Notkin & Steve Arnold 10-22-10: My latest
interview—along with the mighty Steve Arnold—for science writer
Elizabeth Howell of "High 5" on PARS3C
10-21-10: Most of STS-133 crew stopped by
the White FCR a few minutes ago to say hi to their entry team. They are
heading over to the simulator now for the final entry sim before flight.
One more ascent sim next Tuesday, then they head to KSC for launch on
Butler 10-17-10: Hello all, one day from
England on Queen Mary 2, had a smooth crossing from New York. Weather
has been kind and this is ending too soon. My first Facebook post while
wearing a tux, that's for sure!
Kim Poor 10-17-10:
We'll announce the website, schedule and guests for Spacefest early
10-17-10: New article about our recent
visit to NASA's Johnson Space Center by "Houston Chronicle" science
writer Eric Berger. It's a good one, thank you Eric! And special thanks
to our friend Raul for the great photo.
10-16-10: The remains of The Outpost Tavern
after a fire overnight. Tragic end to a major landmark of the space age,
home to lots of irreplaceable space memorabilia and featured in movies
"Space Cowboys" and "Rocketman". After it was forced to close last
January there was hope it would be preserved as a museum, but that is
now dashed. Thanks to Robert Pearlman of "www.collectspace.com"
for posting this photo, I am sure he will be posting details of what
happened there as they become available.
10-15-10: Linda's watching an Oprah on DVR (while on
treadmill) about people's behavior with Dr Phil. Says that men lie 9
times a day and women 3 times a day. I think the women were just lying
on the survey.
Louis Varricchio 10-14-10:
The Wejua Files: Does "Bigfoot" exist? There are several dedicated
researchers who stalk the forests of northern New York and Vermont to
follow its trail. Here's my current multi-part newspaper series about
the legendary apelike thing of the North Woods. Up here the native
Abenaki people call it Wejua.
Aldo Spadoni 10-12-10: This is my kind of race! The
Canadians, the South Africans, and the Americans lead the three drilling
teams attempting to reach the trapped Chilean miners. The Americans won
and our system is now bringing the Miners up safely. American
engineering ingenuity at its finest! Step aside, all you Taliban, Al
Qaeda, and other associated global morons. Witness what it means to be
REAL can-do Citizens of this world!!
Louis Varricchio 10-11-10: Toured the construction
site of the largest solar-power array north of New Jersey, located near
Vergennes, Vt. along U.S. Route 7. It's a 15-acre site. My news story
and photographs appear this week in New Market Press newspapers.
Aldo Spadoni 10-09-10: In the 1990's, I worked on a
great "swords to plowshares" program. Northrop Grumman applied its
expertise in military systems integration to improve the world of
medical devices. The result was a series of products that combined all
the elements of a medical intensive care unit into a single device that
could be carried directly to patients on the battlefield or disaster
area. We successfully spun off a separate company called Integrated
Medical Systems (IMS).
Monroe Lee King Jr. 10-04-10: (Team Prometheus) We
have been getting help with reduced prices! But we still have more
components to buy! I took a job restoring a 56 Ford to make up some of
the difference! We need some ESC controllers so Chip-in and get your
name on this historic flight! I'm still looking for more sponsors but
time is a factor too!
The humble new home of Team Prometheus! Lot's of work to do! Nice high
ceiling and very long!
William Foster 10-04-10: In the MCC getting ready to
run our 4th ascent sim with the STS-133 Crew. Astronaut Mike Massamino
is in the room filming more of his "Behind the Scenes" videos. He has
documented several missions now with episodes available on You Tube.
Geoffrey Notkin 10-03-10: (The Meteorite Men) The
Meteorite Men are appearing live and in person at the inaugural USA
Science & Engineering Festival in Washington, D.C. October 23 and 24!
NEW! Detailed photos of the Meteorite Men's amazing
Orange County Chopper in the OCC bike gallery. The Meteorite Bike will
be seen in several upcoming Season Two of MM episodes:
David Archer 10-03-10:
Shane and Amy Bugbee were on
the road today and stopped by with Lonnie D. Wages to introduce me to a
fellow artist and songwriter. Here's a photo of Lonnie and me taken by
Amy (I think) as the three of them were leaving Roseburg for Long Beach,
Washington. Hell of a drive, but hey, Lonnie's driving and used to be
Willy Nelson's roadie and Shane and Amy did 365 Days At The Wheel not
that long ago. Lonnie's GREAT! We had roasted garlic chicken feta pizza
and coffee and talked about chupacabras and sang songs for each other.
Louis Varricchio 10-01-10:
As close as you can get to
the edge of space without a rocket, the venerable, modified two-seat U2.
NASA still flies the civilian version for high altitude atmospheric
research. Crew must wear a Project Gemini-like spacesuit. You don't want
to bail out at altitude! Heck, I wanna go!
Aldo Spadoni 10-01-10: It's my pleasure to be
currently working with UCLA Professor Moshe F. Rubinstein, a very
interesting and dynamic fellow. Corporations call this guy in to solve
problems and help them infuse a spirit of creativity and innovation into
their organization. He's also gracious enough to reach down the
corporate ladder and personally help me with my own organizational
I've recently discovered that a number of people
consider the team I've built to be a "shadow organization" within the
large corporation I work for. I kinda like the sound of that.
Louis Varricchio 09-30-10: Each day passes and I
question my intellect, my heart, and my soul. Who am I? Where am I
going? What do I believe in? What is beyond me... and why? Faith is my
flashlight in the eternal dark. Yet doubt and skepticism are constant
companions inside my life's penumbra. My existence is a mystery lived
between sunlight and abyssal shadow. (Lou Varricchio ;-)
William Foster 09-28-10: Scott Stover became the 79th
NASA Flight Director on March 29, 2010. He was selected as part of the
three member class of 2009. At the beginning of his first shift, he
picked "Keystone Flight" as his team name and approved my artwork for
his team yesterday. This is the 37th emblem I have designed for Flight
Directors and the 19th one to be assigned NASA Photo I'D numbers.
Varricchio 09-27-10: Went fossil collecting at an ancient
reef outcrop on Rickard Hill in the beautiful Mohawk Valley of New York
on Sept. 25.
Photo shows me (wearing spiffy pork-pie hat), retired
mining chemist Bill Dudley, and Dana on a field trip with the Rutland ,
Vt. Rock & Mineral Club. Fellow fossil hunter Sharon Gage took the took
Mr. Sponge Bill Blue Pants (center) is holding an excellent specimen of
a rare, extinct tiny Devonian reef sponge, called “Hindia”. Over 300
million years old.
Lee King Jr. 09-27-10: (Team Prometheus) Early this morning
the flight computer for Prometheus III became functional and passed some
simulated flight test! So the basic hardware for NSE-6, the rocket
flight computer and the platform control unit passed their first test!
Pat Rawlings 09-26-10:
Went to Carmina Burana at Austin 's Long Center today-it was very
impressive. 100 voice choir, symphony, and original ballet. Oh Fortuna
was mind blowing with the sonic blast you hear used in many movie
trailers. John William's Duel of the Fates from the Phantom Menace Star
Wars soundtrack is derived from it.
John Christopher Butler
09-25-10: I'm getting close to my first sailing across the
north Atlantic , figuring out what clothes I need, and considering
seasick meds...and hoping that Getting There Is Half the Fun, as the
Cunard Line once said!
William Foster 09-23-10:
View of cockpit activities on NASA 946 today as pilot Steve Nagel,
right, (a former space shuttle commander) configures the G2 to act as a
shuttle on final approach for STS-133 Commander Steve Lindsey, left.
Nagel can be seen turning on shuttle mode near the beginning of the
video, after which the ride gets a bit bumpier. Near the end of the
video Nagel switches back to G2 mode and you can hear a whine as he
powers the aircraft into a climbing turn from about 20 feet above the
runway. The whole process takes the plane from 18-20 Kft to 20 ft in
about 2 minutes.
Before the STA session, I was taken to the 255 ft
level of launch pad 39A to see the Discovery stack. She was wrapped up
securely by the Rotating Service Structure so not much visible, but
great view of her External Tank.
The scene this afternoon at the KSC Shuttle Landing
Facility getting ready to train the STS-133 Commander, Steve Lindsey,
and Pilot, Eric Boe, in shuttle landing procedures. The two jets closest
to the camera are the G2 Shuttle Training Aircraft while the two smaller
T-38 jets in the background are what they used to fly from Houston to
Florida for the training session.
Monroe Lee King Jr. 09-23-10:
(Team Prometheus) The components for the CPU and the IMU for NSE-6
arrived today! I will be assy. them over the next few days! We still
need the radio! Photos soon!
Richard Bizley 09-22-10:
A little painting I've just done. It is a Globular Star Cluster nearby a
William Foster 09-21-10:
Did not get cabin pressure issue resolved today, maintenance
continues to work the problem as the pilots confer on tomorrow's plans.
William Foster 09-21-10:
Waiting in NASA Base Ops at Ellington for word on NASA 946. The
cabin would not pressurize during pre-flight, they are working on it
William Foster 09-21-10:
Getting ready to head to KSC on NASA 946, one of the four modified
Gulfstream II jets used as Shuttle Training Aircraft. Will Land at
Shuttle Landing Facility and participate in several days of testing with
the MILA tracking station.
Aldo Spadoni 09-21-10:
Just witnessed an Atlas 5 rocket launch from Vandenberg AFB carrying a
classified payload for the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office.
Beautiful! News blackout following jettison of the rocket's payload
shroud, but it looked good to me.
Aldo Spadoni 09-18-10:
I'm very pleased to announce that I've accepted an invitation to be the
Artist Guest of Honor at the annual Loscon Science Fiction convention to
be held in November 2011. Loscon is Southern California 's primary
regional Science Fiction literary convention, produced by the Los
Angeles Science Fantasy Society (LASFS). I've never done anything quite
like this before. I’m honored and looking forward to this interesting
Kim Poor 09-18-10:
LOS QUATROS Close buds since HS. L-R: Gary Gifford. Kim Poor, Bo Wixted,
Steve Adams....in Rocky Point , Mexico .
Aldo Spadoni 09-17-10:
People have been asking me when "my" Hitler's Stealth Fighter
documentary will be on TV again. Tune in Sunday, Sept 19 at 4:00 PM on
the National Geographic channel. Wow, based on that day's programming,
it appears to be "Nazi Day" on NatGeo!
Kim Poor 09-17-10: Art
Monroe Lee King Jr. 09-16-10:
The spirit of Team Prometheus is to try innovative means to accomplish
our mission and we will not be deterred by mediocrity. NSE-6 will be the
most innovative and boldest attempt to date by amateurs to claim space
as the new frontier.
Addrew Chaikin 09-15-10:
Having a really great time teaching my space history course at Johnson
Space Center in Houston this week!
William Foster 09-12-10:
Odd behavior for a jet over La Porte. It made at least three race track
passes, apparently gaining altitude. Currently beginning another curve
much further to the north. Could not see it clearly enough to identify
what type, but appeared to have very wide wings like the two NASA WB-57
high altitude research jets based nearby at Ellington Field.
David Hardy 09-12-10:
I've just added two paintings to my Photos. One is 'Gateway', from my
1981 book with Bob Shaw, GALACTIC TOURS, and the other is a very recent
commission for a large (76 x 122cm) acrylic painting based on this, but
with 5 'portals' to other worlds, on a deserted and ruined planet. Why
is it this way? That's for your imagination to supply the answer!
Most of these are images that were shown at the
International Astronautical Congress (IAC)
in Glasgow in October 2008. It's a representative sample of my
astronomical, as opposed to SF, art. (See also
William Foster 09-10-10:
Back in the Space Shuttle MCC today for second ascent sim with the
STS-133 crew. Discovery was mated to her External Tank and SRB stack
earlier today. Two more STS-133 sims next week, along with several days
of meetings with NASA network personnel who will be at JSC for
semi-annual Network Support Group conference.
William Foster 09-09-10:
Working refresher shift on ISS as Discovery is rolling over to the VAB
for her final mission in November.
Monroe Lee King Jr. 09-08-10:
(Team Prometheus) The NSE-5 rose to 106,400 max altitude. Here are some
shots taken from the flight.
William Foster 09-08-10:
Running first entry simulation with the STS-133 crew this morning. Just
started our fourth sub-run, probably two or three more to go. Although
Discovery's roll over to the VAB was delayed due to a water main break
at KSC, this should not threaten the 11/01/10 final launch of Discovery.
Don Davis 09-07-10: I am
imagining a future Lunar rover that could show wide views of the scenery
in near real time to audiences in tilted dome Planetariums. That would
be a great way to share space exploration with interested people! The
wide angle view would allow many interesting things to be noticed and
'zoomed in' on with another camera, as opposed to current rovers whose
narrow angle preplanned views undoubtedly miss much.
Andrew Chaikin 09-06-10:
Apollo 13th / 40th Anniversary / Cosmosphere on April 17, 2010.
Photo 1 - In this photo: Fred Haise, Jr., Joe Kerwin,
Gene Kranz, Gerry Griffin, Sy Liebergot, Milton Windler, Jack Lousma,
Chris Orwoll, Guenter Wendt, Ed Fendell, Andrew Chaikin
Photo 2 - In this photo: Fred Haise, Jr., Joe Kerwin,
Gene Kranz, Gerry Griffin, Sy Liebergot, Milton Windler
Photo 3 - In this photo: Fred Haise, Jr., Joe Kerwin,
Gene Kranz, Gerry Griffin, Sy Liebergot, Milton Windler, Chris Orwoll,
Guenter Wendt, Wayne Koons
Photos by Deb Koons
Andrew Chaikin 09-05-10:
Saw CSN at Tanglewood a few days ago. Most fun was hearing them do
covers in 3-part harmony: Norwegian Wood (Beatles), Ruby Tuesday
(Stones), Midnight Rider (Allman Bros), and even Behind Blue Eyes (The
Monroe Lee King Jr. 09-04-10:
(Team Prometheus) NSE-5 Rocket - 106,400 Max altitude! On it's way
back to us! From Near space!
William Foster 09-04-10:
Because our new Prince is so small, his Vet recommended we get a cat
collar with a bell so we don't step on him by mistake. He is trying to
find where that blasted ringing is coming from now!
Geoffrey Notkin 09-02-10:
(Meteorite Men TV Series) Coming to the Great White North! Good news for
our many friends in Canada: "Meteorite Men" premieres on the new
Discovery Science Canada on September 27. Be sure to check with your
cable provider and make sure you get it!
William Foster 09-02-10:
Not the normal pose, and attire, for the Father of our Country! This
sculpture was originally created for the Capital Rotunda, but not well
accepted by the public. Currently resides in the National Museum of
William Foster 08-29-10:
Newest member of the Foster family came to join us this morning, found
him at a dog expo in the Galleria are for a very reasonable price. He
will help fill the void after we had to put our previous poodle, Luna
Ray Moon, down last month after sudden kidney failure. We named him
Prince Charming which seems appropriate as he will most certainly
quickly come to rule his new domain!
William Foster 08-25-10:
Mercury Flight became the 63rd certified Flight Director for US Human
Spaceflight on January 16, 2006. Dana Weigel was part of the nine member
class selected in February of 2005 and named her team "Mercury". Most of
her classmates are still active duty Flight Directors but Mike Moses,
"Apex Flight", has moved on and has run Launch Integration for Shuttle
at KSC for the last 2-3 years.
Kim Poor 08-25-10:
Geoffrey Notkin 08-25-10:
(Meteorite Men TV Series) A short piece (desperately in need of fact
checking!) about us in Spotlight-Online from Germany. Funny, we just
flew over Germany quite recently and Geoff had the song "Snoopy Versus
the Red Baron" stuck in his head, of all things. Quote: "Hundreds of
professional [meteorite] hunters in the US"? Really! Do you have a list
of their names and addresses? We'd like to send them all a fridge magnet
: ) Anyway, we already "found the big one" (several times), so what does
he know : ) At least they posed our fab "Crater Spot" promo, so really
we shouldn't be overly nitpicky.
Louis Varricchio 08-24-10:
Included in the NASA-DARPA joint projects area: power-beam propulsion
R&D funding! Wow! My M.Sc. thesis team at the University of North Dakota
in 2002 worked on the design and marketing of a portable power-beam
launching system for small comsats. We assumed it would be at least a
century away. Well, maybe a lot closer now than anyone ever thought.
NASA Jump starts Space Technology Program | SpaceNews.com
Don Davis 08-23-10: A
blog post has come to my attention about the Apollo 17 Launch Cruise. It
has vanished without a trace in space history, yet it may have been a
pivotal stage in the networking that blossomed into the 'space
movement', in the wake of the end of the Apollo program. Perhaps those
still living on the guest list should pool their stories...
William Foster 08-23-10:
After two weeks away from the MCC, strapped back on console and started
off with an RTLS abort coupled with a fire at the MILA tracking station.
Spent 5 days there week before last, hated to see it burn down (in a
simulated kind of way, of course!). Now it's time for the second ascent
Dina Contella became
the 80th Flight Director on 5/10/2010 when she worked her first
certified shift on console supporting ISS. In accordance with tradition,
she chose a name for team, becoming "Steel Flight". She has just
approved my artwork for her team.
William Foster 08-25-10:
Great demonstration of lunar lander prototype after initial aborted
attempt. Ground crews resolved problem and were ready for second attempt
in less than 10 minutes. Amazing! And much louder in person.
Andrew Chaikin 08-19-10:
JSC / KSC / Marshall folks: I'm giving my course on the history of NASA
missions, entitled "Engineering Exploration," at JSC next month.
Enrollment is open to civil servants here:
Hope to see you!
NASA Goddard folks, past and present: If anyone has
interesting pictures they would like to share of activities at Goddard
on past missions, especially 1960s-1980s, please let me know. I'm giving
a presentation the history of Goddard missions at the center next month
and looking for good visuals.
Pat Rawlings 08-17-10:
Linda and I rafting down about 8 miles of the Nantahala River.
Photos of rides. I'm not the fastest rider, but I ride
several days a week.
Geoffrey Notkin 08-17-10:
Fly, shoot, drive, get rained on, mud, OTF, pack, move, fly, drive,
shoot, sunscreen? Remember to hydrate, fly, new PA, drive, return rental
truck, pack, fly, drive, OTF, sandwiches, salt flats, OTF, broken
motorcycle, grump out, OTF, hydrate, wait at airport. Sleep? Ha, that's
Robert Brand 08-17-10:
This one is doing the rounds again and it is very interesting. It seems
the full moon is affected by being a full moon! It charges up for 6 days
each month - shocking!
Monroe Lee King Jr. 08-17-10:
(Team Prometheus) The TV Show we did airs tomorrow 7/8pm "Eiffin
Science" Cable Channel G4! Check out the Near Space photography!
William Foster 08-17-10:
Suddenly, they were there, first one, then more showed up. They looked
so innocent, but soon it their real intent became obvious. Only food in
massive quantities could quench this ravenous mob. But what will happen
when the corn runs out? Will they turn on their benefactors, rendering
the very flesh from their bones in a mad frenzy of bloodlust? Nah, not a
chance, they're just deer, not birds!
Don Davis 08-17-10:
I am beginning to wish I could find a good home for some of my art. I
still own about 70 percent of all the paintings I have ever done. Once
in awhile some of my oil paintings have to be retouched because their
black skies are marred by physical contact with other paintings. I won't
be around to do this forever. Perhaps some collector or a museum will be
interested some day.
William Foster 08-14-10:
View of launch this morning from one of the Coast Guard boats stationed
off shore to keep the launch danger zone clear. Seas were calm and the
Atlas seemed to come right over us. It took about 30 seconds for the
sounds of launch to reach us.
William Foster 08-13-10:
Was able to drive up to the pad perimeter this afternoon at SLC 41 to
see Atlas V on pad ready for launch tomorrow with an Air Force payload.
All still looks good to watch it from a 45 ft Coast Guard jet boat
running about 3-4 miles offshore to keep boat traffic out of the launch
danger area. Then time to head back home to my family. Should be a great
Kim Poor 08-13-10:
OK, OK. We were trying to keep a lid on this for awhile longer, but
SPACEFEST III will be held in June 2-5 in Tucson at the Starr Pass
http://www.jwmarriottstarrpass.com ...There! We're withholding
programming, guests, the website and other details till November.
William Foster 08-12-10:
Grill's Tiki Bar at Port Canaveral earlier this evening. Approaching mid
point of training classes at MILA, all going well so far. If everything
stays on schedule, I should be on a 45 foot Coast Guard jet boat about 2
miles offshore to watch an Atlas V launch Saturday morning. Hope to have
some neat pictures RO post by then!
On this small patch of dirt and grass, located on Cape
Canaveral Air Force Station, once stood America's original Mission
Control. It supported all six Mercury missions and the first Gemini
mission before the new Mission Control in Houston became operational. It
was still standing when I was here in October 2009, but hardly a trace
remains now. Very sad, it was a unique and essential part of our
heritage as a fledgling space faring nation and deserved to have been
MILA 9-meter antenna pointed at rack of test equipment
in a small shack half mile north. First launch case aborted just before
liftoff when a lightning alert forced the operators in the shack to
return to main building. Alert cancelled a few minutes later, they are
heading back out we hope to get a couple of runs in during the time
Operations floor at MILA Tracking Station during
interface checks with Goddard. JSC checks next, followed by 3 or 4
ascent sims as part of week long training class for new station
personnel. Very productive week so far, finish up tomorrow.
Monroe Lee King Jr. 08-12-10:
(Team Prometheus) We are scrubbing the 14th launch and using the scrub
date. So we will be launching NSE-5 on the 21st. We just are not ready
yet. We have to test the APRS tracking further and decide on a better
William Foster 08-09-10:
View from hotel in Cocoa Beach. A bit overcast and hazy day dawning over
the Atlantic Ocean. Getting ready to head up to MILA Tracking Station at
KSC to help with five days of training for some of their new operators.
Louis Varricchio 08-09-10:
Discounting unmanned U.S. and USSR rockets and probes to the Moon
between 1959-62, NASA's Mariner II spacecraft to the planet Venus was
the first successful interplanetary flyby mission ever. Until the
December 1962 flyby, astronomers were divided between three theories
about the Venusian surface under the mysterious cloud cover: 1. a
planetwide hot ocean, 2. planetwide swamps, and 3. a planetwide desert.
(The No. 3 theory was closest to the real McCoy but Venus turned out to
be hotter than astronomers imagined.) Trivia: Mariner II served as the
basic design "block" for the lunar Ranger spacecraft series. They are
Aldo Spadoni 08-09-10:
New book coming out! I'm part of the writing team for "The Beauty of
Space", to be published by Apogee Books in 2011. This book will showcase
the amazing artwork of the International Association of Astronomical
Artists (IAAA, http://iaaa.org). I wrote
the chapter on, you guessed it, Spacecraft and Space Hardware Art: Our
Contraptions and How We Get There (into space). More info to come.
Currently writing a paper with a colleague for the
AIAA (American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics). The paper is
titled "Aviation Archeology of the Horton 229 v3 Aircraft", and
describes how we built and tested a full-scale replica of a WW II
top-secret Nazi aircraft to determine if it was the world's first
stealth fighter. Paper to be presented at an upcoming AIAA conference.
John Christopher Butler
08-09-10: I guess the biggest thing recently was completing
the animated planetarium show Light of the Valkyries for Griffith
Observatory. The First Lady and First Children actually came to see it,
although the president wasn't with them. I am told they liked it. I'm
working on some new astronomy lectures to deliver on board Queen Mary 2
this October, my ninth sailing on that ship, but my first across the
infamous North Atlantic...let's hope the sea doesn't throw 80 foot waves
at us (it can). I am also starting some exhibit concept work for the
Columbia Memorial Space Center in Downey California, on the site where
the Apollos and Shuttles were built (and where I once worked, and my
father before me).
Andrew Chaikin 08-09-10:
I'm doing quite a bit of teaching these days, mostly for NASA HQ. I'm
giving a course to NASA engineers on the history of NASA missions, both
robotic and piloted. So far I've given the course at JPL, Goddard, and
Ames, and I will be at JSC next month. Really fun, and I'm learning a
William Foster 08-04-10:
Stopped by the Space Vehicle Mockup Facility today to say goodbye to
Robonaut 2. He is heading to KSC on Sunday to get ready for his ride to
ISS on STS-133 in November. Coincidentally, I am heading to KSC on
Sunday as well, but not for so lofty a purpose. Going to Caddo Mills, TX
tomorrow to watch a flight test of a prototype lunar lander that may put
a next generation Robonaut on the moon in the next three years.
Geoffrey Notkin 08-04-10:
It's a wrap! We've completed field location filming of two major new
episodes for Season Two of Meteorite Men. Really, I can't wait to see
them : High adventure indeed.
Louis Varricchio 08-02-10:
As we learned in November 2009, the Moon is far wetter than once
believed. Also, I believe the Moon will be found to be more geologically
active, too. Rare hydrogen-volcanic outbursts may explain, in part, most
LTP (Lunar Transient Phenomena) events seen by amateur astronomers as
well as by several Apollo astronauts. Actually, more likely to be
volcanism than meteor flashes. The Aristarchus Plateau appears to be the
Moon's greatest source for recent volcanism. I discuss this in my first
book, "Inconstant Moon".
William Foster 07-31-10:
Recently got involved with "Project M", developed by JSC Engineering to
put a Robonaut on the moon in 1000 days after turn on (M is Roman
numeral for 1000). The technologies required have been funded, including
tests of lander prototypes at Caddo Mills (near Dallas) and Ellington
Field (near JSC). I am going to Caddo Mills next week to see one of the
test flights, Ellington tests later this year. Check it out on You Tube.
William Foster: 07-29-10:
This Sunday is NASA Day at Reliant Stadium where the Houston Astros take
on the Milwaukee Brewers. They will play a Space Shuttle tribute video
before the game, and I was one of eight people asked to throw out the
"first pitch". Should be interesting!
David A. Hardy 07-29-10:
OK, here's the photo you've all been waiting for -- proof that I
actually was on Easter Island! (Of course, I could have done this in
Photoshop, but actually it was taken by my astronomer friend Martin
Mobberley. . .)
Louis Varricchio 07-26-10:
A Voyage to Pluto: A forbidding world that has always fascinated me!
NASA's New Horizon probe is more than halfway to Pluto now. When it
arrives humans will get their first up close look at this most distant
of planetary bodies in our solar system. I had the honor and thrill of
meeting Pluto's discoverer, the late astronomer Clyde Tombaugh, back in
1977; he was guest at the Lehigh Valley Astronomical Society in
Allentown, Pa. I remember (and paraphrase) his comment when I asked if
he believed there was any meaning to the cosmos: "I think there's a
supreme intelligence. Look at instincts in animals; we have ingenious
ways to survive. And if I cut myself, I don't have to think about it."
Pat Rawlings 07-26-10:
This is where I grew up, learned to ride a bicycle, buit treehouses,
played football, watered down the evaporative coolers, had a chemistry
lab, drew my first pictures, and celebrated many Christmases and
Thankgivings. Mom moved out June 24, 2010. I moved in when I was 3.
David A. Hardy 07-25-10:
On 11 July 2010 I saw a wonderful total solar eclipse from the Hao atoll
in the South Pacific. A few days later I visited Easter Island for
several days, and saw the legendary moai, or stone heads. In the 1980s I
had painted a scene there with a lunar eclipse, which I later updated to
a solar eclipse. Here it is. A dream realised (with a little
William Foster 07-23-10:
The latest finalized Flight Director emblem. Royce Renfrew was the 74th
Flight Director selected to lead US Human Spaceflight operations, one of
four people in the class of 2008. He was the first to certify in his
class and chose "Tungsten Fight" for his team name at the beginning of
his first shift as a certified ISS Flight Director on October 31, 2008.
W is the chemical symbol for tungsten, and 74 is it's
atomic number. Both are formed using a filament. I originally had
glowing filaments in the border surrounding the emblem, which was
initially blue, but last minute changes deleted them and changed the
border to match the text.
William Foster 07-22-10:
Working a rendezvous sim in shuttle control room, lots of uncertified
flight controllers getting mauled by the Sim Supv. Not many failures in
the network though since everyone else needs comm to work their issues.
Still 4.5 hours until docking with ISS, I will be relieved well before
then. Kodiak Flight (Mike Sarafin) is leading the team today.
William Foster 07-20-10:
Quite an honor to meet Nicelle Nichols! Her escort, Bob Castle, is in
background. My shirt was perfectly ironed when I left home, amazing what
a day on console can do! Bob Castle in background.
Antares Flight, our 29th Flight Director from class of
1988, is retiring from NASA this month. Obviously a Star Trek fan, only
fitting that Bob Castle escorted Lt. Uhura around the MCC before
Members of the Houston Texans are visiting JSC today.
Threw together a display for the front screens to welcome them to the
Don Davis 07-20-10:
Images from my recent three week adventure to Egypt, culled from over
William Foster 07-19-10:
I received the mission plaques for STS-133 this morning and hung the
mission plaque by the door. It will stay there until a couple of weeks
after landing, then moved to the other wall by the mission MVP during
the plaque hanging ceremony.
Running a simulation with the Santiago, Chile tracking
station from the back of the space shuttle control room. On the screen
is a live view of KSC technicians working in the payload bay of
Discovery, getting her ready for the STS-133 mission in November. The
room is empty now, but will be filling up shortly for an ascent sim this
In a back corner of JSC an incomplete boilerplate
version of a Gemini-Titan rocket lays on it's side waiting renovation.
KSC gave it to JSC after they acquired a more complete version. Sometime
over the next several months (or years), this will be restored and on
display in Rocket Park next to the Mercury- Redstone and Little Joe
William Foster 07-07-10:
Launch sim with the ground network (GN) wrapping up. Eight ascent cases
with various equipment failures inserted help keep the GN personnel
ready to support the next shuttle launch in November. The MILA station
at KSC, PDL station 40 miles north at the Ponce de Leon Inlet, and
Wallops station on Wallops Island, VA participated. Power Amps,
blockers, muxes, data switches and TDRS were failing left and right, but
the operators in the network performed admirably! Goddard Test Conductor
Carl Cramer was at his best putting the Ground Network to the test!
Several more to go before STS-133 launches, I will be at the MILA
station for the next one in August. (BTW, the antenna shown is similar
to the 9 meter XY mounted one at MILA, but is actually at the Santiago
Tracking Station in Chile, which supports Shuttle orbit ops).
William Foster 07-07-10:
Supporting network launch simulation from super-secret GC-X room.
Unfortunately too many people now know the location of the room and even
worse, the 6-digit combo to the cypher-lock. No peace anywhere for a
hard working GC!
Richard Bizley 07-07-10:
Tomorrow (Thursday) a lady from BBC Radio 4 is coming from London to
interview me about my cochlear implant. So I will do my bit to explain
everything about deafness. They want to know 'before' and 'after' the
implant sounds experiences. Wish me luck!
Louis Varricchio 07-05-10:
In June 2006, while hiking on stat elands in the Nebraska badlands, I
discovered an outcrop of mass bone remains, most likely of Miocene age
rhinos and early horses, the victims of a supervolcanic eruption thought
to have occurred in New Mexico, more than 600 miles away. I am still
awaiting word on my discovery. I have not made a return trip there and
plan to collect there; apparently there are no funds available to do
much fossil excavation in today's bleak economic environment. Who knows
if I will receive credit for the discovery?
Geoffrey Notkin 07-04-10:
It's a wrap! The Meteorite Men are back home after completing location
filming for Episode One of Season Two. Believe me, it's going to be an
amazing episode. Thanks to our crew for all their hard work. Tentative
air date is October 15, and you are not going to want to miss this one!
photo by Suzanne Morrison
David Hardy 07-04-10:
I'm off travelling again. On Tuesday (6th) I'm off to Tahiti and Easter
Island, hoping to see the total solar eclipse on 11th. Please wish me
clear skies for that day (early morning)! But even if we don't see it,
I've always wanted to go to Easter Island. . .
Dave Archer 07-02-10:
This happened to me yesterday, and crap, I was driving ...
Pat Rawlings 07-02-10:
Here are a couple of pics of me riding the "Dragon" in western North
Carolina. The Tail of the Dragon is the internationally famous bike and
sports car road between Deals Gap NC and Tennessee.
William Foster 07-01-10:
Running first ascent sim with STS-133 crew. First of 4 or 5 ascent cases
underway, looks like we will make orbit. New launch dates announced
today for next two missions. STS-133 now on 11/01/10 with 3:33 pm CDT
launch time, STS-124 now on 2/26/10 with 3:19 pm CDT launch time.
Banker's hour for the ascent team! Expect word on whether STS-135
becomes official in late August.
William Foster 06-29-10:
Group photo of MCC Ground Control Officers was taken this afternoon in
the shuttle control room. Lot's of retired GC's were there, great seeing
a lot of old friends and mentors!
Dave Archer 06-26-10:
My studio is in Roseburg, Oregon where I'm painting every day, and
trying to survive this downturn in the economy. As you know, when the
economy goes south, we go with it. Art is the first thing people stop
buying, and the last thing they start buying again when things improve.
Galleries got belly up all over America. I just go on, and try not to
worry. What good would that do?
Aldo Spadoni 06-26-10:
My Engineering Visualization crew. I'm privileged to lead this team of
talented and creative professionals. From left to right: Yours truly,
production supervisor Michael J. Addabbo, visualization consultant
Robert A. Small, lead systems and software engineer Azad Kupelian, lead
animator Christine D. Smith, animator Anne Beamon, and industrial
designer/engineer Peter A. Barnett. We are ready to take on any
Aldo Spadoni 06-26-10:
And here's another illustration I created more recently for the
aerospace/defense industry. Nuthin changes, 'cept maybe the color of the
William Foster 06-25-10:
The entrance to the MCC is getting a facelift. Seems they forgot
something after laying new wallpaper!
John Christopher Butler
06-25-10: Been playing at MoonZoo.org where you can help
scientists by viewing images of the moon from Lunar Recon Orbiter and
count craters, note oddities, etc. I found dark curving lines and blobs
today, really odd, noted as weird...and found out later the image was of
the valley of Taurus Littrow. Those were footprints and rover tracks.
Oops. BIG discovery I made, right? Bit embarrassing.
Aldo Spadoni 06-24-10:
Rocket destruction at the Large and Dangerous Rocket Ships event - LDRS
29. Here's what happens when you push a rocket airframe beyond its
limits under the thrust of a large motor. The rocket blows apart as it
approaches sonic speed . . . what we call a shred.
Richard Bizley 06-24-10:
I have just completed a fairly large 30" x 20" Early Cretaceous scene in
the Isle of Wight. Took me weeks to do!
Geoff Notkin 06-24-10:
Geoff of "MM" will be appearing at this weekend's ALCON astronomy expo
in Tucson, with a great meteorite display, and will be giving out signed
photos, identifying suspected meteorites, showing excerpts from the show
and generally carrying on the way he does : ) David Levy will be there
too, no less! Please note, Geoff is only there on Friday and Saturday.
William Foster 06-23-10:
Fourth console support in as many days tomorrow, each day seems to get
progressively earlier. Bad news, tomorrow is the earliest yet, 5:30 CDT
and I'm still awake. Good news, it is not a simulation but a White Sands
Missile Range radar pass with ISS. That means no white shirt & tie
required! Always the possibility of sleeping in and letting DFE handle
Dave Archer 06-20-10:
Great Oregon day today ... the Mill road is bursting with life, the pond
is flourishing, green thistles growing tall, milk weed blooms ready to
fly off, a bird chorus serenading the scene, garter snakes on the road,
their orange bellies flashing, balmy, soft air, sun, thunder clouds in
the distance, Canadian geese, wood ducks, a family of nutria, great
friends, played monkey organ for bar-b-qued burger feast, and Osama bin
Scruffy, the Terrierist loves it, although this picture was taken last
year. It's Spring in Oregon, in Summer ... weird ...
Walter Myers 06-20-10:
"Flying at this low altitude will mark the first time Cassini will be
below the moon’s ionosphere...As a result, the spacecraft will find
itself in a region almost entirely shielded from Saturn’s magnetic field
and will be able to detect any magnetic signature originating from
within Titan." (Cassini to swing low into Titan’s atmosphere. NASA blog)
Aldo Spadoni 06-19-10:
Visiting SpaceX was fantastic! It restores my faith in the future to see
that innovative companies like SpaceX are still forming and thriving, in
the Los Angeles basin no less! It's obvious that the SpaceX team has a
high level of esprit de corps. The Merlin rocket engine is a thing of
beauty and it was so cool to see them being built on the shop floor like
hot rod engines. Thanks to Roger Gilbertson and Brian Bjelde of SpaceX
for giving us a great briefing and tour, and thanks to Steve Bartlett of
OASIS for herding the cats.
Don Davis 06-18-10:
Finishing my animation of the double star Algol, working late and in the
early morning going outside and looking at that very star in the North
Eastern sky. Getting things wrapped up before my trip to Egypt next
Monroe Lee King Jr 06-15-10:
Got an advisory position on a science TV show about high altitude
balloon launches! The launch and final shoot for the TV show is set for
the 22nd at 3am. Right after that I plan on heading for Texas! For the
4th and spending some time with my family and friends!
Louis Varricchio 06-14-10:
I just got the good news: I have been promoted from 2Lt. to First
Lieutenant in the U.S. Civil Air Patrol! Lots of study and many exams
ahead: CAP, USAF and FEMA courses I must complete! But I feel good to
voluntarily offer my personal service back to the nation that has
provided my family with freedom and oh, so many, many blessings.
Louis Varricchio 06-14-10:
Wow, a long, amazing weekend just past. Completed a U.S. Air Force
evaluated mission with the Vermont Wing of the Civil Air Patrol. I
functioned as mission public information officer for a simulated missing
aircraft followed by "pop up", unrelated emergencies. It was like
whack-a-mole! But the team was superb. Had several comm and human factor
problems thrown my way including a rogue "widow" played by an Air Force
officer. Happy to say I kept my cool (grace under fire, as Hemingway
called it). As a result, I got an "excellent" rating by the USAF officer
assigned to monitor me. Just glad it's over.
Monroe Lee King Jr 06-13-10:
I've decided to take on a job as Exec. Producer for a Movie! After
receiving an interesting offer. It was in line with current events so I
said "sure" Now I'm contributing my skills at fund raising to the
project manager for the film. So many interesting people I have meet
lately! I'm really enjoying my life! Who is this guy? LOL!
Monroe Lee King Jr. 06-13-10:
Aldo Spadoni of Northrop Grumman and I meet at LDRS in the California
Desert. I got to speak with Ky Michaelson after 20 years and remember
some old rocket dragster days. LDRS was a good thing! I meet a fella
from Space-X and just had a bang up time all around.
Pat Rawlings 06-10-10:
Speaking to UHCL Art Camp today. Wonder if their tents are made out of
canvas and they paint them?
William Foster 06-10-10:
STS-132 Ascent Team photo taken immediately after plaque hanging on
Tuesday. Ladder is still up next to freshly hung (but slightly skewed)
plaque. Ascent Flight Director Richard Jones (Sigma Flight) is holding
an STS-132 plaque with mission Commander Ken Ham (Hock), with the rest
of the crew in their mission Land's End polo shirts. I am in the back
under the launching shuttle with lead Flight Director Mike Sarafin
(Kodiak Flight) in the doorway. Entry Flight Director Tony Ceccacci (Intrepind
Flight) is furthest to the right in second row. He served as Weather
Flight on the Ascent team.
Pat Rawlings 06-09-10:
Just finished the MyMoon webcast for the Lunar and Planetary Institute
and it went pretty well. I had some good questions and the technology
all seemed to work well. Thanks to those who participated.
Pat Rawlings 06-06-10:
I will be doing a webcast with the Lunar and Planetary Institute's
MyMoon website. I better shave:
Michael Carroll 06-06-10:
Taking a break from planets and moons tonight to paint cows, campfires
and cowboys for VBS!
Louis Varricchio 06-03-10:
Starting work on the ms. of my second book, titled "Seeing Stars:
Dispatches from an Armchair Astronaut" set for early 2011 (publisher
Xlibris, a Random House Partner). Its a collection of my weekly
newspaper column "Seeing Stars" with additional narrative and info
sidebars about a variety of astronomical, earth-science and
space-science related topics [from the Big Bang to mass extinctions and
dark-matter stars to the secret lives of outer space-loving tardigrades].
More later. I am planning a Facebook page for my books so don't be
surprised if you get an "invite" to check it out.
Spadoni 05-30-10: Nick and I had a great weekend of skiing
and hiking up in Mammoth Lakes, California. Mammoth was awesome with
spectacular weather and plenty of snow. It's been a while since I've
been up here and I'd forgotten how huge this place is. Snow conditions
were impressive considering it's almost June. They still have 6.5 to 10
feet of snowbase!
Robert Brand 05-29-10:
A lot of rain today. Had fun last night. Y10 science is studying
Newton's laws and how spacecraft orbit. It took a while for it to sync
in to my daughter's head. It finally clicked! There were a lot of
questions relating to fuel use and the way his second law comes into
play with staging, burning fuel. I love it. It is great when you see the
light come on when it is something you personally love!
William Foster 05-29-10:
My granddaughter, Madeline Penny Darby, "Maddie", now 3 1/2 months.
Great to meet her today!
John Christopher Butler
05-23-10: Good news: finally got invited to lecture on Queen
Mary 2 on the transatlantic run. Bad news: in October...rough weather? I
am turning green already...mustn't barf on the tux!!
Varricchio 5-21-10: Well, here it is after three years in the
making! The first ever Vermont State Historical Roadside Marker to
commemorate the almost forgotten Vermont Gold Rush of 1855! The effort
to erect the marker was coordinated by the Rutland Rock & Mineral Club.
I wrote the text on the plaque. (tough to research a history that didn't
leave many records). You can see the marker at the entrance of Camp
Plymouth State Park (near President Cal Coolidge’s birthplace) .5 miles
from the ruins of the Rooks Gold Mine on Buffalo Brook. Even today you
can still find gold in the brook.
Foster 05-21-10: Busy night in MCC, nose to the grindstone
all shift. Testing on voice loops needed for landing support and a very
mysterious problem with one of our TDRS Comm passes have been the
highlight while the crew sleeps. Continue to work TDRS anomaly, trying
to get better understanding before EVA3 in a few hours.
Peridot Flight, Emily Nelson, was the 70th Flight
Director, part of the class of 2007. Her first shift as a certified
Flight Director was on 12/03/2007 and she is the Lead ISS FD for the
current STS-132/ULF4 mission. After several revisions, her emblem was
finalized this week.
Aldo Spadoni 05-19-10:
Gave a talk today at the Society of Manufacturing Engineers' RAPID
2010/3D Imaging Rapid Prototyping conference at the Disneyland Hotel in
Anaheim, CA. Also had a chance to walk the trade show exhibition. I'm
astounded by the many advances in Additive Manufacturing technology. I
think we're on the verge of a manufacturing revolution!
William Foster 05-18-10:
Working on newest Flight Director team name graphic for Scott Stover,
Keystone Flight. Still not complete, but converging on final version.
Hope to have it ready before we start taking Team photos for
STS-132/ULF4 on Thursday.
Monroe Lee King Jr. 05-10-10:
Prometheus II Maiden Flight. (Photo of lift off)
Dave Archer 05-10-10:
My new computer ... I feel like I'm at the control panel of Starship
Enterprise ... also feel like a kid at Christmas with a new red bike ...
just can't stay off the sucker and am staying up way too late at night
watching documentaries. Anybody out there know of any new doc's or
websites I should try. I LOVE DOC'S!!!
Monroe Lee King Jr. 05-08-10:
Team Prometheus is recruiting! We are seeking members with
business and marketing skills as well as engineering. We need legal
assistance with the FAA and related space authorities! We are making our
move on the N-Prize attempt! Be a part of something historical and join
our team! "Today's the Day! We go into Space!" Now is the time to join
we have the ground work laid out for you! Let's do this!
Spadoni 05-08-10: I Attended last weekend's charity event for
military families in Torrance, CA. The great MotoArt venue & people, WW
II Warbirds in flying condition, Pin-up girls. What's not to like? My
buddy Chuck Slezak gave me a personal tour of the North American
"Mitchell" B-25J bomber, "Executive Sweet". Chuck is former Manager of
Quality Assurance for American Airlines and part of the B-25's
maintenance crew. Crawling around inside this cramped aircraft was
fascinating. It's great to see this magnificent piece of flying history
and American aerospace industry legacy being preserved!
I was on the set of IRON MAN 2 last summer. I worked
on this film as a technical consultant. Though I had nothing to do with
it, they gave me a sneak peek of Tony Stark's legendary garage. Very
cool stuff in here. Though you can't see it in the photo, I had to wear
clean room booties to get on the set!
Don Davis 05-07-10:
Just had a look through binoculars at Epsilon Aurigae glimmering
in the late twilight, then went indoors to finish my animation of this
Andrew Chaikin 05-07-10:
I will be teaching my history of NASA missions course at NASA Goddard on
June 24 and at NASA Ames July 7-9. I just finished teaching the course
at JPL this week -- great time! More info here:
03-12-10: Andrew had an appreciation of space artist Robert
McCall, who died earlier this month, on NPR Morning Edition.
listen to Andrew's speech and read article on Robert McCall.
David A. Hardy 03-12-10:
Just a reminder to anyone who can get in, that the open exhibition at
Birmingham's Gas Hall (just around the corner from the Art Gallery, is
now open until May 2nd). there were over 1200 entries, of which 142 were
accepted, and this is one. No doubt the first space art ever seen there!
Pat Rawlings 03-06-10:
Going to art show at Wehmohs Ranch on Old Spicewood Road today. The
ranch is a working ranch that hosts workshops by nationally recognized
painters. I've been thinking about starting to do some hill country
landscapes. I'll just have to remember not to put in any craters!
Pat Rawlings 01-31-10:
About 90 of us crazies dealt with subfreezing temps yesterday to meet in
Hico TX at the Koffee Kup for the best pie in Texas. The 140 mile ride
up yesterday was 31 when we left Austin dropped to 27 when we were
halfway there, Brrrr...
Aldo Spadoni 01-30-10:
My engineering visualization team and a few other colleagues were
invited to visit Digital Domain, one of the world’s premier feature film
visual effects companies, located in Venice, CA. We were treated to a
tour of their facilities and were briefed on some of their latest
projects and cutting edge techniques. Man, these guys are good.
David A. Hardy 01-28-10:
I’m delighted to say that I’ve just heard that my painting, ‘Snow On
Enceladus’, has been accepted for the City of Birmingham Museum and Art
Gallery’s open Exhibition. There were over 1200 entries, of which 146
will be included in the exhibition. Since I’m quite sure that this will
be the first space art ever seen here, it will be interesting to see the
reaction! It’s on at the Gas Hall from 6 March – 2 May.
I'm giving a public lecture at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry
in Portland, January 22, at 7 p.m. Admission is free; a 42 donation is
Chris Butler: 01-19-10: Snuck into work on holiday, almost the only human in the
observatory. Not a problem until the power failed when I was three
stories underground making a potty stop. Pitch black, no one around.
managed to feel my way back up stairs and drive home through the
rainstorm. Next time, I will stay home on holidays.
David A Hardy:
Please take a look at this video on YouTube:
We'd like to get more people to contribute to this, which is all about
sending a message to aliens. . . Take part in a world-wide message video
to be placed on a future deep space mission! (Check out Mosaic Earth,
Appeared on 'The Space Show'; an hour and a half of talking about space
art, with forays into space colonization, Mars, and modern planetarium.
"I was lucid and didn't say anything that would make me want to commit
suicide...covered a lot of ground. Looks like I'll be back."
Richard Bizley: I
am in the middle of doing another painting of alien floating life-forms.
Michael Carroll 12-14-09:
My new book is out and apparently doing well. It's called The Seventh
Landing: Going back to the Moon, this time to stay. The publisher is
Springer, and it's in bookstores and on Amazon. I had a blast chatting
with various Apollo astronauts, scientists, and engineers about the
world's plans to return humans to deep space. Enjoy!
Richard Bizley 11-22-09:
I have just been painting a Triceratops in full gallop towards a T-Rex.
A rather overused theme I know, but children and adults love this sort
of thing! It was hard working out the leg position of the Triceratops,
so I used Rhinos for reference.
David A. Hardy 11-08-09:
I'm looking forward to Novacon (SF con, 13-15 November), which this year
is moving to the Park Inn, Nottingham. I shall have lots of stuff in the
Art Show as usual, of course. Hope to see you there. Then on 19th I'm
giving my Keynote ('Apple Powerpoint') presentation to the Astronomical
Society of Haringey (ASH).
Visit David A. Hardy on
Facebook and at his
We've spun off Astronaut Central.com and put all our
astronaut items there. The Novaspace site is getting too large and
cumbersome, and we need to turn it back into a (smaller) space art site.
The new Astronaut Central website is a live
'beta-test'. We need your input: complaints and plaudits; ideas and
suggestions; reports of bad links, bad grammar, misspellings, etc. Some
things we're aware of, and are working on, but we need your help to run
smoothly by this Christmas season. Be sure to update bookmarks!
Any orders from the new site are LIVE and will be
processed. We share the Novaspace shopping cart to some extent. so
registered users can use the same login.
An autograph signing by 4-time Shuttle icon Robert
Crippen is being held by our friends at the Astronaut Scholarship
Foundation (ASF, founded by Alan Shepard in the 1980s.) Info at:
WE will host our own John Young autograph signing in
January. He and Bob Crippen were the daring crew of STS-1, the first
space shuttle flight. STS-1 crew-signed photos are rare and valuable.
This is your opportunity. We'll have NO multi-signed or completion fees.
Info on our John Young signing available later. (Dec. or so.)
New HUBBLE photos! from the recently-upgraded space
telescope. We've already got giclee posters at INTRODUCTORY PRICES until
Thanks for your time Kim & Saly Poor
Lynette Cook 10-14-09::
Today the 2009 PaintAmerica Top100 exhibit opens at the Kolb Studio
Gallery in the Grand Canyon. My painting "Archway to the Sky" is
included. It is an acrylic painting of the La Ventana Arch at El Malpais
National Monument in New Mexico. The exhibit is up through September 15,
then travels to the Old Courthouse Gallery in St. Louis, Missouri.
Frank Hettick 10-14-09:
We have done a few exciting things since we last chatted!
Just finished a new home (right in front of the the
old one which we tore down) and trying to now find everything from all
the boxes of stuff we had to store during the tear-down and construction
- so not too much new art happened during the construction phase!
But we did have a 2-month long one-man show at Lowell
Observatory in Flagstaff AZ (April through May) which went very well
(nice reception, slide show along with a Q & A presentation, plus met a
lot of 'friends n' fans as well as made some new ones). Also sold
three-or-four pieces there during the show!
We now have our middle daughter's two oldest (11 and
12) from Holland on an educational exchange program for two years so I
suspect our lifestyle is going to change dramatically for a while!
Another ripe piece of news! Two or three of my pieces
will appear in "Out of This World" art exhibition at Hearst Art Gallery
at St. Mary's College in Moraga, CA (near Walnut Creek in the East Bay
Area) for a two-month run opening Oct 10, 2009. - I get to share in the
limelight with 11 other distinguished space and astronomical artists
including Chesley Bonestell.
Poor 09-10-06: Novaspace invites you to the VIP reception of
our Harrison Schmitt
book signing, Saturday evening November 18, 2006 from 5-10:00 PM at our
NEW Tucson workshop. (720 W. Prince) Admission to the event is $20 ea,
or $30/couple, children under 12 free.
We'll have catered food, wine, desserts, telescope viewing, free photo,
police security...our usual extras. Dress is high casual. See our last
VIP booksignng report, pix, & video at:
Poor 09-07-06: Novaspace is sponsoring a major event –
SpaceFest 2007 (next year) August 17-19 in Phoenix (Mesa). We will
feature an astronaut autograph show, space art show, live auction,
exhibits, vendors, speakers and banquet.
Please see the website for
details. Check back for we update daily.
It seems early to announce the show, but we will be in China for a month
of stem cell treatments for Kim.
Dr. Mark A. Garlick 07-26-06: My latest
book has just been published. It's called the Illustrated Atlas of the
Universe, and is published (in the UK) by Fog City Press. I don't know
who is publishing it in America. I wrote it and did over 70 of the
Michael Carroll 07-19-06:
The most time-consuming recent project is a book I am coauthoring with
volcano expert Rosaly Lopes of JPL. The book will be called Alien
Volcanoes, and comes out through Johns Hopkins University Press late
this year. I am doing 15 paintings for the book, which covers volcanism
on the Moon, terrestrial planets, and Io, then proceeds to the outer
system to explore the bizarre cryovolcanoes of Enceladus, Triton, and
Lynette R. Cook 07-19-06:
Regarding new news, I have created eleven illustrations for Dava Sobel
to visually express the individual chapters in her new book The Planets.
These images will be featured in the paperback version of The Planets,
available in November 2006.
I don't recall if I mentioned my book Infinite Worlds when I sent you
material before. "Infinite Worlds: An Illustrated Voyage to Planets
Beyond Our Sun," co-authored with Ray Villard is available via
Amazon.com, and other major booksellers. It is about planets and life in
the universe and includes nearly 70 of my illustrations. The Foreword is
by Geoffrey W. Marcy, the after word by Frank Drake, and the Publisher
is The University of California Press.
Frank Hettick 07-18-06:
Only real excitement on our end is the move-in now underway with our new
private studio/gallery building. About 4,000 sq. ft. total with
over half devoted to gallery exhibits (which includes some Bonestell
pieces, Alan Bean prints, plus a couple of dozen of my own canvas
Looking forward to some personal gatherings off and on over the next
couple of years - and hope you might make it up this way for a quick
stop/lookey thing (let us know a few days in advance if you do ever plan
anything up our way and we will dust everything off and throw open the
doors for you).
No new pieces recently that I can talk about since
almost all my time has been devoted to overseeing the finishing of the
gallery - plus completing 12 very unusual and different pieces for a
2008 calendar (the deadline is this November for the set to be completed
- and I have finished seven pieces so far). I haven't even had
time to post anything new on our Selection of the Month page since
After the calendar is published (and if it is successful) the publisher
wants to start on a coffee table book of my art to be printed a year or
two later (retirement just seems to be slipping further and further from
my grasp these days).
Had an art-showing at a coastal gallery for three days (last weekend)
and have been so busy trying to catch up from that I haven't had time to
post the up-to-date pics and notes on my news link page (will probably
accomplish that later next week - in the meantime here is the link to
the overall News page -
Joe Tucciarone 07-17-06:
Let's see, I've been creating computer-generated astronomical video
clips. For example, in one video we travel through the early solar
system and see Jupiter as a molten ball while in another we descend into
the bowels of a black hole. Several of my newest clips appeared in
the History Channel's "Asteroid Apocalypse" show in May. These
clips depicted the Tunguska Impact event of 1908.
My current "work-in-progress" involves the violent impact of a
proto-planet with the proto-Earth which is thought to have formed our
David A. Hardy 07-17-06:
Until 10 September I have some very early (1950s) work in an exhibition
called 'Starry Messenger: Visions of the Universe' at Compton Verney --
Last March I saw the total solar eclipse from the Sahara, which was
great -- I've put some pictures up on my website. In October the
paperback, revised edition of FUTURES, re-titled '50 YEARS IN SPACE:
What We Thought Then . . . What We
Know Now' is due out. I'm giving my Keynote video talk to
the British Interplanetary Society at the British Space Centre in
Leicester on 28 October. And _next_ September (21-23)
I am Artist Guest of Honour at Eurocon, the SF convention, in
Chris Butler 07-02-06:
I guess the biggest things for me these days are finishing up the new
planetarium film for Griffith Observatory (after 3 years). We'll
be opening in the fall or winter, so it has been a huge project. I
can't talk about what’s IN the film, but as art director, I have been
responsible for the "look and feel" of everything, and doing a lot of
research to assure any historic locations that appear are right.
Also, I have been continuing to perform my own planetarium shows
aboard the Queen Mary 2, most recently in February 2006 when she sailed
from Los Angeles to Hawaii and back. I'll be aboard again this
December in the Caribbean, and then again in February 2007 when she
sails from San Francisco to Sydney.
Other than that, life is proceeding pretty uneventfully!