MAIN ARTICLE: Obama to order full review of NASA's Ares I, Orion plans.
Page 2: Return to the Moon: Outpost or sorties?
Poll Results: The poll yesterday had a bit lower then average turnout but DKOS members said no to spoilers.
Star Trek: In the News. Residents of Vulcan get private Star Trek screening.
Yesterday's Comments: "So comets are more than just dirty snowballs. Interesting. Also, if you're going to do a Tip of the Hat, you should really have a corresponding Wag of the Finger." - droogie6655321
Today's Poll: America is returning to Luna. Sorties or Outpost?
LET THE DEBATE BEGIN:
In a poll conducted on Dec 22, 2008, 'Americans in Space' asked the following question:
Take another look at the Vision for Space Exploration & Constellation.
58% Yes, better to know now before we really start spending.
10% No, The plans are set, contracts have been awarded, Moon or Bust.
Well DKOS members once again called it right. Last week it was rumored that a review was going to happen, then it came out that it was not the case there wasn't going to be a review and today the Orlando Sentinel says the Obama Administration is going ahead with a review of the lunar architecture.
"WASHINGTON -- In a major turnaround, the Obama administration intends this week to order a review of the spacecraft program that NASA had hoped would one day replace the space shuttle, the Orlando Sentinel has learned.
According to several administration officials and industry insiders, the review would examine whether the Ares I rocket and Orion capsule are the best option to send astronauts into orbit by 2015. It could start as soon as this month and be finished by early fall, depending on how soon a panel of experts can be assembled.
The decision follows months of critical reports that have questioned whether Ares and Orion can overcome major financial and technical hurdles that threaten to delay a scheduled 2015 launch to the international space station and even a return to the moon by 2020.
The outcome is critical for Kennedy Space Center, which is looking at as many as 10,000 job losses if the shuttle is retired in 2010. Right now, there's a five-year gap until the first Ares launch; proponents of different rocket designs say they could be launched sooner and save many jobs."
FLAGS AND FOOTPRINTS v.s. LUNAR HOME AWAY FROM HOME:
The battle is waging on whether the United States returns to the moon for short seven day "sorties", a sort of flags and footprints on steriods, versus returning to Luna to stay.
"Recently, the acting Administrator of NASA testified before Congress on his agency’s implementation of our National Space Policy, previously known as the Vision for Space Exploration (VSE). In the question and answer period, he made a rather startling statement to the effect NASA was still trying to understand what "lunar return" means - that an outpost would be "expensive" and that lunar return might instead entail a series of smaller scale sortie missions, similar to the later Apollo expeditions of the early 1970’s. He added that people should remember that the "original purpose" of the VSE was to prepare to go to Mars and other destinations.
I found this exchange fascinating because it suggests that NASA, as an executing entity, still doesn’t fully understand the nature of their mission to the Moon and to the extent that it is understood, they have transformed it into something very different from what the VSE actually said and what was intended.
To begin with, what did the Vision actually say about lunar return? The Vision consisted of both documents and speeches (all linked on this page) that included the following points:
- The purpose of the VSE is to serve national scientific, security and economic interests.
- The Moon is a source of material and energy resources that we can access and use to create new spacefaring capability.
- We return to the Moon to explore it scientifically, to learn how to live and work on another world and how to extract and use lunar resources.
- This experience on the Moon will allow us to journey beyond the Earth-Moon system, first to Mars and then to other destinations.
- We undertake this journey with small, incremental, cumulative steps, all designed to fit under NASA’s current budgetary envelope."--end quote--
Yesterday's poll: "Will you read the reviews of the new Star Trek before going to see it?", was an interesting survey and movie fans said no to reviews about the new Star Trek movie.
22% No! It'll spoil the movie for me.
38% I'll try not to, but I'm sure to catch a few.
10% Absolutely! I'll read everything at Rotten Tomatoes and everywhere else!
14% I do not watch Star Trek Movies.... EVER.
14% No Opinion.
"CALGARY, Canada (AP) -- About 300 Vulcans are beaming up to Calgary for a sneak peek at the newest Star Trek movie Wednesday.
The residents of the southern Alberta town of Vulcan will see the film two days before Friday's worldwide release.
They will also get the chance to meet Canadian actor Bruce Greenwood, who plays Capt. Christopher Pike in the film."
"if comets seeded ingredients for life on Earth then clearly they could do so for other planets in other star systems.
Wild speculation department: Similar chemistry produces similar biology.
Earth-like DNA & RNA turn out to be common on Earth-like planets though macro-evolution could vary widely.
Various other combinations of temperatures, pressures, and chemical composition of atmosphere & surface, would produce radically different types of life, using different mechanisms for information storage & transmission between successive generations. These probably fall into distinct categories with outer boundaries, and we may find an example or two on the satellites of the outer planets in our own star system.
After the excitement of discovering a radically different type of single-celled organism elsewhere in our own solar system, our first interstellar probe ends up returning the anticlimactic result that the bacteria and rudimentary plant life on (whatever Earth-like planet we aim for) use the same molecular building-blocks as Earth life.
Eventually (as in, thousands or tens of thousands of years from now) we could be classifying planets according to the category of life found: DNA based, and various others.
Over that span of time, if we run into another spacefaring species, we might adopt their system of classifying life, or, if they're also relative newbies in the interstellar game, collaborate on developing the science jointly." - G2geek
Rimjob - "Sequel Talks Even before it premiers, Paramount has already been discussing a sequel to J.J. Abrams' 'Star Trek.' Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman, and "Lost" producer Damon Lindelof will return to write the sequel. In an interview, they threw around some ideas of where they might go with it.
One idea they discuss is possibly casting Javier Bardem as Khan.
From TV Squad:
The writers also discussed putting a new spin on classic Trek stories and episodes for the sequel, which I suppose isn't the worst idea. But I don't exactly want to see strict reboots of classic episodes like "Space Seed" or "The City on the Edge of Forever" in the next film. I wouldn't mind references to those stories or events, but I think these guys are talented enough to give us brand new adventures in a new but familiar package.
"Dress up for the premiere? Not my style. I might not even go to the movie and wait for the DVD to come out.
However, I do know people who dress up as movie and TV characters. The top one on the list, if he were still alive, would probably have attended in costume. Unfortunately, I never had the pleasure of making his acquaintance. The one I know is much farther down the list. She and her boyfriend were roommates of mine for a year." - Neon Vincent