Friday, September 30, 2005

Expedition 12 Liftoff

The Expedition 12 crew, plus the third paying 'space tourist', has just launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome on their way to the International Space Station.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Roberts is In!

John Roberts was confirmed and sworn in today as Supreme Court Chief Justice. Meanwhile , the usual suspects are already howling and shrieking about the next nominee before he/she is even named.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Rita Fading

Rita has done severe damage and cause disruption of people's lives. However, the devastation that could have happened didn't, especially in the Houston area.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Rita Rising

Hurricane Rita is approaching landfall early Saturday along the Texas/Louisiana coast after an unprecedented evacuation of Houston and other areas. Here is CNN's continuing update page.

While the eye of Rita will likely pass a little east of the Houston area, NASA is taking no chances, pulling the 'rideout crew' out of Johnson Space Center.

We need to keep all those affected by this storm in our prayers.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Return to the Moon Plan

NASA today publicly unveiled its plan to resume human exploration of the Moon within the next fifteen years. Images released show vehicles that appear to be enlarged versions of the pioneering Apollo spacecraft, but equipped with 21st Century software and electronics.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Big Picture Thinking

While recovery from Hurricane Katrina and determining the direction of the Supreme Court demand the attention of our leaders right now, Phil Smith, writing in The Space Review, looks at the long term future of humanity and the vision and policy needed to get there.
In practical terms, this means very little to most people. However, it really should mean something to our nation’s leaders, because recognizing the beginning of a revolution in thought is the essence of vision, and vision is essential to leadership. For the first time, life is poised to leave the Earth for permanent residence in space. This represents the most significant biological event since the emergence of life itself about four billion years ago. A leader who recognizes this can more aptly produce a policy that will guide us into space.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Lest We Forget... is the fourth anniversary of the horrific attacks on the nation. Yesterday, I went over to the Pentagon where the public was allowed to see the (now rebuilt) site where the plane had crashed, including a memorial shrine and chapel.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Taming the Floods

CNN reports that Federal officials in charge of Hurricane Katrina recovery efforts in New Orleans said that pumping the water out of the city is the "number one challenge", while the Army Corps of Engineers says the outlook is improving.
According to the Army Corps of Engineers, 32 of the 148 pumps in and around New Orleans were operating as of noon Saturday.

Allen said the pumps are steadily coming back on line.

"Everything is related to the unwatering at this point," he added.

The Army Corps of Engineers Saturday revised its timetable for draining the flood waters from New Orleans, saying the draining should be completed in October, far sooner than previous estimates.

While not understating the immense suffering already experienced and the challenges ahead, the amazing resiliency of human beings once again may bring about recovery faster than predictions made in the darkest days of the crisis.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Katrina Update

Here is today's update from CNN, including the continuing evacuation of New Orleans, status of levee repair and pumping of water out of the city, and W's request for additional federal funds for the Gulf Coast region.

And here's a list of organizations and ways to help.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Honoring a Giant in American History

I went downtown after work earlier this evening to pass through the Supreme Court and pay my respects to the late Chief Justice William Rehnquist. (Fox News article here)

Chief Justice Rehnquist left his mark in many ways. Early in his Supreme Court service, he proved to be on the right side of justice and history by dissenting, along with Justice Byron White, from the infamous 1973 decisions which imposed abortion-on-demand on American Society.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Hubble in 'Two Gyro Science' Mode

The Hubble Space Telescope (HST) Has been reconfigured to carry out science observations on two gyroscopes instead of three. This will help extend the telecope's life while awaiting a possible Shuttle servicing mission.
Chief Justice William Rehnquist, 1924-2005

The Chief Justice passed away Saturday evening.

Having the Chief Justice slot open as the Senate hearings for John Roberts for Associate Justice are about to begin and as the nation begins the long work of recovery from a massive natural disaster is the latest twist in the drama of history.