Jamesb101.com

commentary on Politics and a little bit of everything else

The World Trade Center and Space Shuttle…..June 2012….

The Space Shuttle passes One World Trade Center -- which recently became the tallest building in New York City -- on its way to the Intrepid Air & Space Museum, where it will be on permanent display.

photo…The Port Authority of NY and NJ…..

from Politicaldog101 

Advertisements

June 17, 2012 Posted by | Aircraft, Blogs, Boats, Government, Media, Other Things, Space, Updates | , , | Leave a comment

The last touchdown for an American Space Shuttle……

The Atlantis Space Shuttle closes the door on American manned space travel for next few years in its return from space early this morning…..

Atlantis and four astronauts returned from the International Space Station in triumph, bringing an end to NASA’s 30-year shuttle journey.

July 21, 2011 Posted by | Aircraft, Blogs, Breaking News, Government, Media, Men, Space, Travel, Updates, Women | | Leave a comment

Space Shuttle Discovery taking its last space trip…..

 

The space shuttle Discovery is prepared for launch to the Interational Space Station, its final mission on a mission to the International Space Station.

 

The Space Shuttle Discovery mated to it’s booster rockets waits for it last voyage…..

(AP)

“Am I sad because this is Discovery’s last mission? I am. I would love to see Discovery continue to fly, as would everybody else that I work with as well,” says Stephanie Stilson of Kennedy Space Center in Florida, who leads the ground crews that take care of Discovery between its flights. “We all would love to see the shuttle program continue for years and years.”

But NASA plans to retire its aging fleet this year. Each of the shuttles has just one flight left. After that, they are slated to become museum exhibits. And NASA astronauts will have to be ferried up to the International Space Station first by the Russian space program, then possibly by commercial space companies…..

 

More….

From Politicaldog101……

 

February 24, 2011 Posted by | Aircraft, Breaking News, Government, Media, Men, Space, Updates, Women | , | 2 Comments

The Space Shuttle Atlantis returns from its final flight……

Shuttle

What Can I say???

Space shuttle Atlantis returned from orbit on its last scheduled voyage Wednesday, closing out a 25-year flying career and safely bringing back six astronauts who boosted the International Space Station’s power and size.

The smooth landing was indicative of the entire 12-day mission — NASA’s third-to-last shuttle flight.

“That was pretty sweet,” Mission Control radioed after Atlantis glided through a clear morning sky and rolled down the runway. “That was a suiting end to an incredible mission.”

Commander Kenneth Ham said he was ready to turn the shuttle over to the ground teams and get Atlantis “back in the barn for a little bit.”

Mission Control had monitored storms throughout the early hours, but they dissipated by daybreak and remained at a safe distance. The cockpit erupted in cheers when Mission Control finally radioed the “go” to come home.

About 1,200 guests lined the Kennedy Space Center runway to welcome Atlantis and its crew home, the maximum allowable crowd. The lead flight directors for the space station construction mission came in from Houston for the event. Space center employees wore white ribbons with the name “Atlantis” and its picture embossed in gold.

“The legacy of Atlantis is now in the history books,” Mission Control’s commentator announced at touchdown.

This was Atlantis’ 32nd journey; the shuttle logged its 120-millionth mile shortly after midnight.

Only two shuttle missions remain, by NASA’s two other spaceships. NASA is pushing for one more flight for Atlantis, which would need White House approval.

The astronauts accomplished everything they set out to do after rocketing into orbit May 14, and did it with some humor. When Comedy Central’s Stephen Colbert called to chat Tuesday, the one-liners zipped back and forth.

“We’ve got a new antenna on the space station, a new six-pack of batteries, a new module docked to the station, and generally have defeated the forces of evil, so we’re very happy about how things have gone,” said astronaut Garrett Reisman.

Ham and his crew turned serious, though, when reflecting on Atlantis’ quarter-century of service and the impending end of the space shuttle program…..

More……..

May 26, 2010 Posted by | Aircraft, Breaking News, Government, Media, Men, Military, Politics, Space, Travel, Updates, Women | , , | Leave a comment

Seven of Nine……and Barack Obama in Illinois…….

You know……. I’ve know this story for a long time……

But I never connected the dots……

Damn!

How soon we forget!…..and…..

What a small world it is….

And the Borg DO win in the end!…….

Seven of Nine Human Version


Some people look at actress Jeri Ryan and see the former cover girl for Maxim andFHM. Some recall her days in a latex catsuit as Seven of Nine in Star Trek: Voyager. Show biz junkies call her a show killer because she’s appeared in so many doomed series, from Dark Skies to Shark. But for me she will always be the woman who made Barack Obama’s career possible.

She ought to have been appointed as Illinois’s senator; no one deserved it more.

Jeri is not an attorney, although she’s often played one on TV.  None of her roles matched the part she played in the “sex scandal” that ruined her ex-husband’s career.  That’s “sex scandal” in quotes because, as the Washington Post noted in the aftermath, this was a sex scandal without sex.

Here’s what happened:  The Ryans met in 1990 and married the following year. The former Jeri Lynn Zimmerman had been Miss Illinois 1989, and third runner up in the Miss American pageant. (She sang “On My Own” from Le Miz.)  She had just graduated from Northwestern. Jack Ryan was a Dartmouth man, with Harvard law and business degrees, who left Goldman Sachs with a $95 million fortune, and chose to teach in a boys school on Chicago’s rough South Side. The Ryans settled in Chicago, while Jeri pursued her acting career, making her debut in a TV movie, Nightmare in Columbia County, as the teenage target of a serial killer. The Ryans’ son was born in 1994, but as Jeri’s career heated up, especially after she was cast in Star Trek: Voyager, she spent more and more time on the West Coast.  Her name was linked to Brannon Braga, executive producer of Star Trek Voyager.  (He’s currently a writer-producer on 24.)
In 1999 Jeri filed for divorce. It was civilized and quiet, Jeri got a third of the Ryan fortune and the couple agreed to share custody of their son with Jeri holding physical custody. All records were sealed. A year later, Jack Ryan tried to revisit the custody agreement. Jeri responded with a 24-page Declaration filed with the Los Angeles Court.  In it she described the last days of a doomed marriage.  For her the marriage was over in the spring of 1998, but Jack Ryan went ahead and arranged surprise trips to New Orleans, New York, and Paris. He remembered them as “romantic weekends.” She remembered them as visits to sex clubs. He hated to go out to dinner, Jeri said, but he took her out in New York, then said the least she could do in return was go to one such club with him.  She went to the clubs, but as far as any activity went, she resorted to the most empowering phrase any woman can use—“No.”
Besides, she was by now in love with another man, had been since spring, and the Ryans finally separated in fall 1998, divorcing the following year. Divorce and custody papers were sealed.

[ Jerry and Jack Ryan and Barack Obama in the Illinois State Senate ]
Jeri’s recollections lay buried in the 2000 Declaration like an Internet worm until Jack Ryan won the 2004 Illinois Republican primary, defeating seven other candidates to become the Republican candidate for United States Senator from Illinois. Ryan’s Democratic opponent would be Barack Obama, a virtual nonentity who had served three undistinguished terms in the Illinois state senate and had already lost one Democratic primary fight for a chance to run for Congress.
Almost immediately, Obama supporters began an e-mail campaign calling for Jack Ryan’s sealed records. He released his tax records and his divorce records, but in the tradition of Woodward and Bernstein, the Chicago Tribune investigative team refused to let go. The Tribune made history when it went to court to have the custody files opened, over the objections of both Jack and Jeri Ryan who were concerned about the effect on their nine-year-old son. The public’s right to know overruled that and Judge Robert T. Schnider of the Los Angeles Superior Court released 360 pages of sworn testimony. Diligent investigative reportage unearthed Jeri Ryan’s 2000 Declaration containing her description of their visits to sex clubs. Forget that this was a married couple and that nothing actually happened in the clubs.  This kind of thing still doesn’t play in the Midwest.
The Republican leadership quickly bailed on Jack Ryan……..

More……..

May 23, 2010 Posted by | Blogs, Counterpoints, Entertainment, Family, Government, Media, Men, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, Space, Updates, Women | , , , | 9 Comments

The X-37B…Some Answers….A Recon Bird?

The Air Force mini shuttle seems to be ‘trucking along’ doing its ‘thing’…

That ‘thing’…… seems to be recon….

Several amateur astronomers have found the truck sized space vehicle orbiting the planet…..

It is being maneuvered by the Air Force’s Space Command…….

The ‘skywatcher’s seem to think that the bird is a recon bird since it adjusts it’s orbit to look down on a wide area that encompasses

From New York to Iran and Afghanistan…..

The X-37B can stay up for up to 187 days…..

There are secrets about its payload specifics…but if spacecraft is up there….the ‘skywatchers’ and other governments know where it is…….

Last month, the unmanned successor to the space shuttle blasted off from Florida on its debut mission but attracted little public notice because no one knew where it was going or what it was doing. The spaceship, known as the X-37B, was shrouded in operational secrecy, even as civilian specialists reported that it might go on mysterious errands for as long as nine months before zooming back to earth and touching down on a California runway.

In interviews and statements, Pentagon leaders strongly denied that the winged plane had anything to do with space weapons, even while conceding that its ultimate goal was to aid terrestrial war fighters with a variety of ancillary missions.

The secretive effort seeks “no offensive capabilities,” Gary E. Payton, under secretary of the Air Force for space programs, emphasized on Friday. “The program supports technology risk reduction, experimentation and operational concept development.”

The secretive flight, civilian specialists said in recent weeks, probably centers at least partly on testing powerful sensors for a new generation of spy satellites.

Now, the amateur sky watchers have succeeded in tracking the stealthy object for the first time and uncovering clues that could back up the surveillance theory. Ted Molczan, a team member in Toronto, said the military spacecraft was passing over the same region on the ground once every four days, a pattern he called “a common feature of U.S. imaging reconnaissance satellites.”

In six sightings, the team has found that the craft orbits as far north as 40 degrees latitude, just below New York City. In theory, on a clear night, an observer in the suburbs might see the X-37B as a bright star moving across the southern sky.

“This looks very, very good,” Mr. Molczan said of the identification. “We got it.”

In moving from as far as 40 degrees north latitude to 40 degrees south latitude, the military spacecraft passes over many global trouble spots, including Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and North Korea.

Mr. Molczan said team members in Canada and South Africa made independent observations of the X-37B on Thursday and, as it turned out, caught an earlier glimpse of the orbiting spaceship late last month from the United States. Weeks of sky surveys paid off when the team members Kevin Fetter and Greg Roberts managed to observe the craft from Brockville, Ontario, and Cape Town.

Mr. Molczan said the X-37B was orbiting about 255 miles up — standard for a space shuttle — and circling the planet once every 90 minutes or so.

A fair amount is known publicly about the features of the X-37B because it began life 11 years ago as a project of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, which operates the nation’s space shuttles. The Air Force took over the program in 2006, during the Bush administration, and hung a cloak of secrecy over its budget and missions.

The X-37B has a wingspan of just over 14 feet and is 29 feet long. It looks something like a space shuttle, although about a quarter of the length. The craft’s payload bay is the size of a pickup truck bed, suggesting that it can not only expose experiments to the void of outer space but also deploy and retrieve small satellites. The X-37B can stay aloft for as long as nine months because it deploys solar panels for power, unlike the space shuttle.

More……..

Note……The US Air Force Catalog Number 36514, 2010-015A, OTV-1 (USA 212). [Video: X-37B space plane spotted.]

But thanks to a worldwide eyes-on-the-sky network of amateurs, the spacecraft is reportedly in a 39.99 degrees inclination, circling the Earth in an orbit 401 kilometers by 422 kilometers. This data may change slightly as the vehicle’s orbit is better refined, said Greg Roberts of Cape Town, South Africa, a pioneer in using telescopic video cameras to track spacecraft, chalking up exceptional results over the years.

May 23, 2010 Posted by | Aircraft, Breaking News, Government, Media, Military, Space, Updates | , , | 8 Comments

The Aries Program continues on……Until Obama’s budget REQUEST….. tries to shut it down….

[ A prototype of the Ares I, known as the Ares I-X, was launched last October, and plans call for testing it again three more times. ]

Last month President Obama made a speech in which he announced that the Orion/Aries program was dead…

He announced that the Space Shuttle was going out of business…

And that private companies would be encouraged to take up the NASA slack and produce Americans next manned low orbit vehicles….

The announcement was not well received in Congress….

In an example of what the head wants….

The body may not do….

NASA has reminded everyone that contrary to the President’s wishes…..

Both Manned programs are obligated to continue on untill the new budget cuts their funding….

Of course we don’t know IF the Congress will follow the President’s direction a close the manned program down….do we?

NASA managers in charge of the rocket, the Ares I, which is part of the program to send astronauts back to the moon, have put together an ambitious testing program to accelerate its development, including a flight in November 2014 with astronauts aboard.

That would be four months earlier than NASA’s current schedule, which calls for the first manned flight in March 2015, and much faster than the 2017 date predicted by a blue-ribbon panel that reviewed NASA’s human spaceflight program last year.

Delays and rising costs are the primary reasons the Obama administration cites for its desire to kill the moon mission and turn over to private companies the business of launching astronauts.

But loud objections have come from some members of Congress, particularly those in Texas, Florida and Alabama, the homes of the NASA centers undertaking most of the development work for the moon program, known as Constellation.

Last month, in a speech at the Kennedy Space Center, President Obama modified his proposal, originally unveiled in February, and called for continuing the development of the Orion crew capsule that was to ride on top of the Ares I, but only as a stripped-down lifeboat for the International Space Station. The Ares program would still be canceled.

Jeffrey M. Hanley, the Constellation program manager, said in an interview that given the uncertainty of what might emerge in the final budget, “we felt it prudent to continue to operate in the program as if the program were to continue.” He described that possibility as “the unlikely case.”

Douglas R. Cooke, NASA’s associate administrator for exploration systems, said Mr. Hanley was not subverting the White House and NASA leadership.

“Until Congress passes the president’s proposed 2011 fiscal year budget that restructures the Constellation program,” Mr. Cooke said in a statement, “Mr. Hanley is obligated by law to comply with the fiscal year 2010 Appropriations Act, which requires planning for the future of the Constellation program.”

Mr. Hanley described the proposal, first reported last week by the Web siteNASASpaceFlight.com, as “a fairly rigorous planning exercise” that would be refined through the summer. The plan also outlines how the Ares I could evolve into a heavy-lift rocket by around 2018……

More……..

May 17, 2010 Posted by | Aircraft, Breaking News, Government, Media, Men, PoliticalDog Calls, Space, Travel, Updates, Women | , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Aries Program continues on……Until Obama's budget REQUEST….. tries to shut it down….

[ A prototype of the Ares I, known as the Ares I-X, was launched last October, and plans call for testing it again three more times. ]

Last month President Obama made a speech in which he announced that the Orion/Aries program was dead…

He announced that the Space Shuttle was going out of business…

And that private companies would be encouraged to take up the NASA slack and produce Americans next manned low orbit vehicles….

The announcement was not well received in Congress….

In an example of what the head wants….

The body may not do….

NASA has reminded everyone that contrary to the President’s wishes…..

Both Manned programs are obligated to continue on untill the new budget cuts their funding….

Of course we don’t know IF the Congress will follow the President’s direction a close the manned program down….do we?

NASA managers in charge of the rocket, the Ares I, which is part of the program to send astronauts back to the moon, have put together an ambitious testing program to accelerate its development, including a flight in November 2014 with astronauts aboard.

That would be four months earlier than NASA’s current schedule, which calls for the first manned flight in March 2015, and much faster than the 2017 date predicted by a blue-ribbon panel that reviewed NASA’s human spaceflight program last year.

Delays and rising costs are the primary reasons the Obama administration cites for its desire to kill the moon mission and turn over to private companies the business of launching astronauts.

But loud objections have come from some members of Congress, particularly those in Texas, Florida and Alabama, the homes of the NASA centers undertaking most of the development work for the moon program, known as Constellation.

Last month, in a speech at the Kennedy Space Center, President Obama modified his proposal, originally unveiled in February, and called for continuing the development of the Orion crew capsule that was to ride on top of the Ares I, but only as a stripped-down lifeboat for the International Space Station. The Ares program would still be canceled.

Jeffrey M. Hanley, the Constellation program manager, said in an interview that given the uncertainty of what might emerge in the final budget, “we felt it prudent to continue to operate in the program as if the program were to continue.” He described that possibility as “the unlikely case.”

Douglas R. Cooke, NASA’s associate administrator for exploration systems, said Mr. Hanley was not subverting the White House and NASA leadership.

“Until Congress passes the president’s proposed 2011 fiscal year budget that restructures the Constellation program,” Mr. Cooke said in a statement, “Mr. Hanley is obligated by law to comply with the fiscal year 2010 Appropriations Act, which requires planning for the future of the Constellation program.”

Mr. Hanley described the proposal, first reported last week by the Web siteNASASpaceFlight.com, as “a fairly rigorous planning exercise” that would be refined through the summer. The plan also outlines how the Ares I could evolve into a heavy-lift rocket by around 2018……

More……..

May 17, 2010 Posted by | Aircraft, Breaking News, Government, Media, Men, PoliticalDog Calls, Space, Travel, Updates, Women | , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Space Shuttle Atlantis lifts off on it last voyage?…….

What a beautiful picture!

As the United States moves out of the manned space business…

Hopefully the private guys will work up their spacecraft……

The space shuttle Atlantis, carrying a crew of six, a Russian docking module and critical spare parts, vaulted into orbit Friday on a 12-day space station assembly mission, the orbiter’s 32nd and final planned flight after a quarter century of service.

With NASA bracing for the looming retirement of the shuttle fleet after a final three missions, Atlantis roared to life and rocketed away from its seaside pad at 2:20 p.m. Eastern time. The eight-and-a-half-minute ascent appeared normal as the spacecraft climbed through a partly cloudy sky, putting on a familiar, soon-to-be-missed show for area residents and tourists who turned out in droves to catch a glimpse of Atlantis’s final launching.

A camera mounted on the shuttle’s external tank provided dramatic views of the climb to space with no obvious signs of foam insulation or other debris that might have caused any damage.

Strapped in on Atlantis’s flight deck were Capt. Kenneth T. Ham of the Navy, the commander; Cmdr. Dominic A. Antonelli, also of the Navy, the pilot; the flight engineer, Michael T. Good, a retired Air Force colonel; and Garrett E. Reisman, veteran of a three-month stay aboard the space station in 2008.

Seated on the shuttle’s lower deck were Capt. Stephen G. Bowen of the Navy, a former submariner, and Piers J. Sellers, a British-born astronaut who arranged to carry a piece of bark from Isaac Newton’s apple tree into the weightlessness of space. All six astronauts are shuttle veterans.

If all goes well, Captain Ham will guide Atlantis to a docking with the forward port of the International Space Station early Sunday, kicking off a busy week of assembly work.

The day after docking, Captain Bowen and Mr. Reisman plan to stage a six-and-a-half-hour spacewalk to install a spare Ku-band dish antenna and to mount an equipment stowage platform on a Canadian robot arm extension. The next day, Mr. Reisman, operating the station arm from inside the station’s new multiwindow cupola, will attach the 17,760-pound Rassvetmodule to the Earth-facing port of the central Russian Zarya module.

The new compartment will serve as an extended docking compartment, providing needed clearance between the Russian segment’s forward port and an American storage module scheduled for installation on the next shuttle mission later this year. The new module was loaded with 1.5 tons of American supplies and equipment for launch aboard Atlantis.

The day after the Rassvet installation, Captain Bowen and Mr. Good will stage a spacewalk to begin replacing six 375-pound batteries in the station’s far left set of solar arrays. A final spacewalk with Mr. Reisman and Mr. Good is planned to finish up the work.

Atlantis is scheduled to undock from the space station May 23 and land back at the Kennedy Space Center around 8:44 a.m. on May 26.

More……..

Note……NASA is trying to possibly wring one more flight out of Atlantis as a last supply mission for the International Space Station sometime later this year…..

Here is a quick link to a final farewell…

http://www.space.com/common/media/video/player.php?videoRef=SP_100514_AtlantisLegacy

Thanks BDog!

May 16, 2010 Posted by | Aircraft, Breaking News, Government, Media, Men, Space, Travel, Updates, Women | , | 4 Comments

The Space Shuttle program starts it's shutdown……

Ah, I’m not happy……

Not at all…….This is wrong….


The Sierra Nevada people need to kick their program into HIGH…..

The shuttle Atlantis is poised for its final scheduled mission—the delivery of a compact Russian docking and laboratory module to the International Space Station.

Liftoff from Kennedy Space Center is set for May 14 at 2:20 p.m. EDT initiating a 12-day flight.

The spacecraft’s six-man crew has trained to deliver Rassvet, or “Dawn,” a 23-ft.-long compartment that will open a fourth docking port on the orbiting lab for the Russian Soyuz and Progress capsules that will continue to come and go long after Atlantis, then orbiters Discovery and finally Endeavour, complete their final flights by year-end.

During three spacewalks, the crew also will overhaul the station’s oldest solar-power module with new storage batteries and install a backup high-data-rate communications antenna. Other supplies delivered by Atlantis and upgrades planned by the astronauts will prepare the orbital outpost for operations well beyond the shuttle’s retirement.

“It’s a soul-searching moment right now,” says astronaut Ken Ham, the U.S. Navy captain who will command the 25-year-old winged orbiter on its 32nd space voyage.

In a harbinger of things to come as the program winds down, last week shuttle contractors shed 800 workers from hardware production, launch and landing support, as well as the spare parts depot, shrinking the national shuttle workforce to 10,700, according to John Shannon, NASA shuttle program manager.

Once Atlantis returns to Earth, only two scheduled missions remain, both of them still angling to pin down their departure dates. Discovery is tentatively slated to lift off on Sept. 16 on an eight-day flight to the ISS that will deliver an Italian Multi-Purpose Logistics Module upgraded as a permanent supply compartment. Endeavour, recently bumped to a tentative Nov. 27 launch date from late July, will deliver the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer, an external observatory with 16 national sponsors for the study of cosmic rays and space particles……

More……..

May 13, 2010 Posted by | Aircraft, Blogs, Breaking News, Government, Media, Men, Space, Updates, Women | , | 3 Comments