Thursday, January 29, 2004  [!]
pillar hubble protest:

AP reports that NASA is going to review the Hubble decision. Hooray! Like major surgery, gotta get a second opinion, says Sen. Mikulski of Maryland.

BALTIMORE -- NASA's chief has agreed to a review of his decision to cancel servicing missions to the Hubble Space Telescope and let it deteriorate and go out of operation, Sen. Barbara Mikulski said today.

Adm. Hal Gehman, chairman of the board that investigated the Columbia shuttle breakup last year, will "review the (Hubble) matter and offer his unique perspective," NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe said in a letter to Mikulski, who released a copy of the letter.

There've been editorials conveying dismay, columns stating that desperation makes inspiration. Petition, and stories about same.

The outcry is there. A buncha emailed responses to the Hubble decision on the NASAwatch site.

1/29/04; 7:09:59 PM | Space | Discuss | # | |

Good and hilarious things come in fives. [via BoingBoing]

1/29/04; 6:03:45 PM | Giggles | Discuss | # | |

Spirit sends a picture--the first since communications broke down.

Other Mars news:

Robby Stephenson riffs on the NY Times' Eager NASA Is Bringing Mars Down to Earth

QTVR panorama of Spirit and Lander Must-see. Must. must. see. (I get a sense for how far away that rock, Adirondack, is from the rover, assuming that Spirit hasn't rolled closer to it.)

Russia space boss slams U.S. Mars plans

"However, there cannot be a universal spacecraft as is being suggested at the moment," he said. "I don't think we will work together on this project."

Other Space News:

Lots of good links at Nasawatch, especially with the anniversary of Apollo, Challenger, Columbia accidents.

MSNBC: Shuttle Manager Reflects on mistakes; text of Wayne Hale's letter

The shuttle was supposed to be the DC-3 of space travel; the DC-3 became the first economically successful airliner; safer than anything flying at the time - not perfect, but just what was needed to cause air travel to become commonplace. Yet the analogy falls apart when we remember that in the 31 years between the Wright flier and the DC-3 ten thousand different aircraft types were designed and build. Designs and technologies were tried, tested, evaluated, and either discarded or incorporated into future, better aircraft. In the 42 years of human space flight, there have been exactly 9 different model spacecraft built by all the nations of the world. Without similar experience of trial and evaluation building multiple space vehicles, the wonder is that we came so close, not that we fell short. The real truth is, the shuttle does her job too well. She has never been quite bad enough to motivate the nation to build the next and better spacecraft. If the shuttle was not the DC-3 of the space age, the fact remains that the shuttle remains a huge advance in capability, technology, and even safety over all other spacecraft.

Op-ed: A year after Columbia, weaknesses remain at NASA

1/29/04; 2:32:06 PM | Space | Discuss (2 responses) | # | |

If I coulda gone onto the lab and Mars operations (fuggedabboutit), I'd have printed out a copy of this image (below) and plunked it on a bulletin board somewhere. Instead, I sent a link of it to Steve Squyres and Jim Bell. Got a response back from Dr. Squyres.

We have, of course, been receiving lots and lots of humorous images, cartoons, and so forth regarding our mission. None, however, have made me laugh as hard as yours did! I've printed it out and taped it to the door to my office. Thanks for sending it along. - SS

1/29/04; 12:54:11 PM | Giggles | Discuss | # | |

Sign the petition requestion more continuous live coverage of the Mars mission. [via Adot's Notblog*]

1/29/04; 2:49:33 AM | Space | Discuss | # | |

With apologies to Despair, Inc...

demotivation motivation:

...and affectionately dedicated to Steve Squyres and Jim Bell:

motivation demotivation mars2:

1/29/04; 2:41:08 AM | Space | Discuss | # | |

Over at Alcaide's Cafe, Update: NASA makes contact with Spirit, negotiations under way

and NASA ponders ransom, Amber Alert for Spirit.

And being a lover of puns, we liked this one at Transterrestrial Musings, The Spirit Was Willing, But The Flash Was Weak

1/29/04; 2:34:26 AM | Space | Discuss | # | |