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Daring Shuttle Mission to Save the Hubble (Saving the best for last)

May 13, 2009

The Endeavour awaits (twice struck my lighting) at the ready of a moments notice for any unforeseen accident in space as NASA attempts one of its most daring space flights since the Apollo moon missions of the late ’60s and early 70’s. Thus saving the best of the shuttle for the very last. This could be the beginning of a new era in space exploration or signal the end of an era. The Shuttle fleet is soon to be retired and a new generation of heavy launch vehicles with a smaller but more dependable and expendable space capsule reminiscent of the Apollo moon craft are scheduled to replace the heavy lifting of the manned space efforts… Very likely this is the last manned mission as we have come to know them. Like the rocket plane flights of the late ’50s and early 60’s and later the missions that were the stepping stones to the moon, so too the shuttle have arrived to its moment of truth.

NASA – Space Shuttle

Shuttle Crew to Grapple Telescope… Space shuttle Atlantis will meet up with the Hubble Space Telescope today. The actual grapple of the telescope using the shuttle’s robotic arm is scheduled for 12:54 p.m. EDT as Atlantis soars 340 statute miles above the northeast coast of Madagascar. The telescope will be latched to a high-tech, “lazy Susan” device known as the Flight Support System for the duration of the servicing work.

The STS-125 crew will perform five spacewalks to refurbish, restore and renew the Hubble Space Telescope. The first spacewalk is scheduled for Thursday.

Engineers continue to examine the images captured during Tuesday’s inspection of Atlantis’ thermal protection system and exterior surfaces. During that inspection, mission managers noted one area of damage on the forward part of the spacecraft where the wing blends into the fuselage. Initially it appears to be very minor and of no concern for the mission, and the flight team notified the crew late Tuesday that no focused inspection of that particular area is necessary.

Spaceflight Now | Breaking News | Obama orders independent review of manned space plans

The Obama administration’s proposed fiscal 2010 NASA budget includes $630 million in additional near-term funding for development of follow-on rockets and spacecraft needed for the agency’s post-Columbia moon program, officials said Thursday. But most of the increase is from the administration’s economic stimulus package and projections through 2013 show a $3.1 billion reduction in overall funding for the program when compared with 2009 projections.

Unveiling NASA’s $18.7 billion fiscal 2010 budget today, acting Administrator Chris Scolese said the Obama administration had ordered an independent review of NASA’s plans to replace the space shuttle with a combination of manned and unmanned Ares rockets, Apollo-style Orion capsules and lunar landers needed to establish research stations on the moon by the early 2020s. The new rockets are the central elements of what NASA calls the Constellation program.

Endeavor Last flight from pad 39

Endeavor Last flight from pad 39

Still in this new dawn we may perhaps rejoice in the triumphant from the past as we lament the tragedy of the human sacrifice. The truth is a bit hard to grasp as we always seem to fall short between the cost over runs and tempest of climate change… Still NASA remains the only horse in the race and clearly it is a race that will demand a rider. Its a thing of beauty and in such a race Beauty always wins!

Sign of the times that both the shuttle story and Ms. California got something of the same billing

Miss California — Pants on Fire! |

Donald Trump Lets Miss California Keep Crown – ABC News

Donald Trump’s not letting a slew of semi-nude photos and conservative beliefs stop Carrie Prejean from being Miss California USA.
Miss California USA retains her title.

Carrie Wins!

Carrie Wins!

The real estate mogul and co-owner of the Miss USA organization announced Tuesday that the scandalized beauty queen, who spoke out against “opposite marriage” at the 2009 Miss USA pageant, igniting a fire storm of scrutiny about her stance on gay marriage and her modeling career, will keep her crown.

“[Prejean] gave a very, very honest answer when asked a very tough answer at a recent pageant. It’s the same answer that the President of the United States gave. It’s the same answer that many people gave,” Trump said. “If her beauty wasn’t so great, nobody really would’ve cared.”

About the 21-year-old beauty queen’s semi-nude photographs, more of which appeared online Tuesday, Trump said, “We have determined that the pictures taken are fine. … In many cases, they were very lovely pictures.”

has lied to the pageant that feeds her.

TMZ has obtained an email Carrie sent to Keith Lewis, Co-Executive Director of Miss California USA. The email, sent yesterday, refers to the topless photo of her circulating on the Internet
. The email reads: “This was when I was 17 years old. I was a minor. It was when I was first getting into the modeling world, being naive, and young. I shouldnt (sic) have taken the photo of me in my underwear. There are no other photos of me. This was the only one I took.”

Carrie is not telling the truth. Last Sunday, someone sent TMZ 4 — FOUR — photos of Carrie without her top and in her panties. We did not publish the pics after her rep contacted us and said she was 17 when the pics were taken.

We told Keith Lewis about the 4 photos. His reaction: “I’m absolutely stunned. This completely changes things for us. Yesterday we thought she had explained things accurately. We need to revisit this issue with her.”

Looks like the issue has been revisited and as the flames continue to spread across California and around the country Carrie will keep her crown, and manned space flight will continue to blaze the trail into space, because the more things change the more they stay the same… It is, after all, a BEAUTY PAGEANT (for some of the more bewildered suck up media moron types who still just don’t quite get it). Its not like she was poising for Playboy but actually Carrie and the entire country might be better served if she did… Just cannot understand the hypocrisy of all the moralizing on one hand while on the other Cheney and company are allow to get away with murder at the expense of American blood and treasure that was, from its inception, a complete and total fabrication. Anyone care to explain that one?

Hubble Update
The Space Shot – CNET News-Repaired Hubble relaunched from shuttle

by William Harwood

The repaired Hubble Space Telescope was relaunched Tuesday from the shuttle Atlantis after a historic fifth and final in-orbit overhaul.

Astronaut Megan McArthur, operating the shuttle’s 50-foot-long robot arm, released the 24,500-pound observatory at 8:57 a.m. EDT as the shuttle sailed 350 miles above the west coast of Africa. The repaired telescope now boasts two new instruments, new gyros, fresh batteries, a new science computer, a refurbished star sensor, and two instruments brought back to life by spacewalking astronauts.

“The release of the Hubble Space Telescope confirmed,” mission control commentator Kyle Herring said. “Hubble now back on its own for the final time with a gentle release by one, but carrying the fingerprints of hundreds of thousands.”

A NASA graphic shows the Hubble prior to release from the shuttle Atlantis.
(Credit: NASA TV)

As Atlantis pilot Gregory Johnson slowly backed Atlantis away, commander Scott “Scooter” Altman radioed mission control, confirming a smooth deploy.

So now mankind will have a new look that peers deep into the very creation of the universe, thanks to the crew of STS-125 Atlantis on a successful conclusion of their Hubble rescue repair mission. Altogether a remarkable conclusion to the manned shuttle missions.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. May 14, 2009 6:08 am

    Save the HUBBLE. Don’t let it become rubble!

    • May 25, 2009 9:05 pm

      Yes they did extend the life of the Hubble, just as hopfully some may extend the life of Playboy. There was a time not so long ago that Playboy was set apart not just because of the loveliness of the bevy of beauties that poised for its patrons portraits of beauty but rather not unlike The New Yorker or The Saturday Review it actually had a following of the eclectic elite.When Playboy was hot –

      Oct 9, 2002 | It’s December 1968 and you grab a mag at the local newsstand. The table of contents includes the following: A quartet of short stories by Alberto Moravia; a symposium on creativity with contributions from Truman Capote, Lawrence Durrell, James T. Farrell, Allen Ginsberg, Le Roi Jones, Arthur Miller, Henry Miller, Norman Podhoretz, Georges Simenon, Isaac Bashevis Singer, William Styron and John Updike; humor pieces from Jean Shepherd and Robert Morley; an article on pacifism in America by Norman Thomas; a piece on how machines will change our lives by Arthur C. Clarke; an essay on “the overheated image” by Marshall McLuhan; contributions from Eric Hoffer and Alan Watts; an article in defense of academic irresponsibility by Leslie Fiedler; a memoir of Hemingway by his son Patrick; Eldridge Cleaver interviewed by Nat Hentoff; a travel piece by the espionage novelist Len Deighton; and the first English translation of a poem by Goethe.

      Yes, folks, that was Playboy. And lest you think that issue was a fluke, an overstuffed Christmas goodie, the ad for the January 1969 issue promises a story from P.G. Wodehouse, an article by Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas, fiction from Robert Coover and Sean O’Faolain, and a never before published tale by Lytton Strachey.

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