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4.24.2007

Tuesday Flybys 4-24-07

(Not quite an analog of Friday Flybys; and I don't intend to make a habit of this . . .)

But first -- after the horror at Virginia last week, the last thing NASA and the nation needed was
more violence. Continued deep condolences to everyone living in the wake these tragedies. And hope for fast recovery for Kristina Heeger, the daughter of Space Adventures CEO Eric Anderson who was injured at Virginia Tech.
........................................

  • As you read on Instapundit, China, responsible for "the most severe orbital debris cloud in history" (per NASA's Orbital Debris Quarterly News, April 2007) has canceled the meeting of the Inter-Agency Space Debris Coordination Committee (IADC), which the China National Space Administration was scheduled to host in Beijing on April 23-26. Wonder why.

  • Speaking of China ASATs, according to my hometown paper, the U.S. Knew of China‚Äôs Missile Test, but Kept Silent (NY Times). Well, what could the US government have said or done? Cite the IADC Space Debris Mitigation Guidelines, perhaps? It's not like the US supports an ASAT treaty or anything.

  • US - UK space: Here is the agreement (or, more precisely, Joint Statement of Intent for Cooperation) signed April 19, 2007 by the US and UK in which "NASA and BNSC confirm their mutual desire for detailed discussions on specific areas of potential collaboration involving lunar science and exploration. These cooperative efforts may range from the exchange of information related to research and development to actual hardware contributions for particular missions. They will be studied in greater detail by a technical team representing NASA and appropriate British technical organizations designated by BNSC." Cheerio.

  • Speaking British space, does the UK need a more NASA-like space agency? The Royal Society thinks so. To clarify, the British National Space Centre (BNSC) "is a partnership of nine Government Departments and research councils which is at the heart of UK efforts to explore and exploit space." NASA it ain't.

  • Speaking of NASA, how many lawmakers does it take to vote to cut NASA's expected budget and then call for a summit to address how leadership in space could be threatened by a lack of funding?

  • Welcome to the club and congratulations to India on its first successful commercial rocket launch. Here is (video of the launch of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle-C8 (PSLV-C8) from Sriharikota spaceport carrying Italian astronomical satellite, AGILE.)

  • Speaking of India, via tele-conference from a studio in New Deli, the President of India, Dr. A.P.J. Kalam, himself an astronautical engineer (with the nick-name, Missile Man) participated in a symposium organized by Boston University on, "The Future of Space Exploration." Here is his presentation. (April 12, 2007)

  • Switching gears, Dick Stafford has pointers to info on how to incorporate your rocket club. No lawyers necessary.


  • The next Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee (COMSTAC) meeting is scheduled for May 17 (working groups) and May 18, 2007 (full committee).

  • Welcome home spaceman, Charles Simonyi.

  • Happy 17th birthday, Hubble.

    * * *

    IMAGE: Everybody's eyeballing the gorgeous glossies of the
    Carina Nebula, released by NASA to commemorate the birthday, but we love the classic shots, like this one, too. Credit - NASA, ESA, HEIC, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STSci/AURA). No birthday balloons or candles needed.



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