Daily Archives: June 7, 2011

Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle Deep Space Mission

NASA – The Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle (MPCV) is based on the Orion design requirements for traveling beyond Low Earth Orbit (LEO). The MPCV will serve as the exploration vehicle that will:

  • carry the crew to space
  • provide emergency abort capability
  • sustain the crew during the space travel, and
  • provide safe re-entry from deep space return velocities.

Capable of conducting regular in-space operations :

  • rendezvous
  • docking
  • extravehicular activity in conjunction with payloads delivered by SLS (Space Launch System) for missions beyond LEO (Low Earth Orbit)
  • Capability to be a backup system for ISS (International Space Station) cargo and crew delivery

Charles Bolden, 12th Administrator of NASA. Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls“We are committed to human exploration beyond low-Earth orbit and look forward to developing the next generation of systems to take us there,” NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said. “The NASA Authorization Act lays out a clear path forward for us by handing off transportation to the International Space Station to our private sector partners, so we can focus on deep space exploration. As we aggressively continue our work on a heavy lift launch vehicle, we are moving forward with an existing contract to keep development of our new crew vehicle on track.”

America will send a new generation of explorers to the moon aboard NASA’s Orion crew exploration vehicle. Making its first flights to the International Space Station early in the next decade, Orion is part of the Constellation Program to send human explorers back to the moon, and then onward to Mars and other destinations in the solar system.

First Test Orion Crew Module Shipped Out
NASA and Lockheed Martin engineers shipped out the first Orion crew module spacecraft structure on Monday, Feb. 10, from NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, La. The spacecraft is headed to Lockheed Martin’s Denver, Colo., facilities where it will undergo a series of rigorous tests to confirm Orion’s ability to safely fly astronauts through all the harsh environments of deep space exploration missions.

more> http://twurl.nl/x71zen



The revenge of the Baby Bells

Steven PearlsteinBy Steven Pearlstein – Such behavior by the industry giants can be found in almost every industry, of course, but over the years it has proven to be particularly effective in telecom, where there are huge efficiencies and other advantages that flow from being big. These scale advantages are the reason there has been so much consolidation in the industry over the past 20 years, why AT&T is willing to pay $39 billion to buy what it claims is a struggling competitor, and why, if it succeeds, Verizon will try to regain the top position by buying No. 3 Sprint.

The situation was much the same in 1913 when, in response to the first antitrust suit against AT&T, President Theodore Vail convinced the Justice Department that the phone business was a natural monopoly and that AT&T ought to be it, under government regulation. Today, there is probably competitive headroom for AT&T, Verizon and maybe one other firm in the market for wireless voice and data services, at least until the next technological breakthrough comes along. more> http://twurl.nl/d283zk


Text more, talk less?

By Joanie Wexler – As you’ve likely heard, the World Health Organization this week said that radio waves such as those emitted by mobile phones are “possibly” carcinogenic to humans.

The research showed that those using mobile handsets for 10 years had double the rate of brain glioma, a type of tumor.

The good news is that changing how you use the devices can help. Texting instead of talking or hands-free phone use, such as with speakerphone or earbuds, might help diffuse the signal away from your skull. more> http://twurl.nl/mk7c38

Cheeseburger Chemistry: Tomatoes

TomatoesNBC/NSF – Tomatoes are fruit, regardless of what the Supreme Court says!

How chemistry ripens and reddens tomatoes: ethylene, lycopene, gases, diffusion. This video, one in a six-part “Cheeseburger Chemistry” series, examines the role of the plant hormone ethylene, or C2H4, in ripening tomatoes (and other fruits); lycopene’s connection to tomatoes’ red color; and how ethylene gas diffuses. more> http://twurl.nl/zabeuk [VIDEO 5:46]

THOMAS Top Ten – compiled on Jun 5 2011

Congress watchLibrary of Congress –

  1. H.R. 1540 [112th]
    National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012
  2. H.R. 2017 [112th]
    Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2012
  3. H.R. 1473 [112th]
    Department of Defense and Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2011
  4. H.R. 1954 [112th]
    To implement the President’s request to increase the statutory limit on the public debt
  5. H.R. 3590 [111th]
    Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
  6. H.R. 4173 [111th]
    Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act
  7. H.R. 1380 [112th]
    New Alternative Transportation to Give Americans Solutions Act of 2011
  8. H.R. 3162 [107th]
    Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism (USA PATRIOT ACT) Act of 2001
  9. H.R. 1351 [112th]
    United States Postal Service Pension Obligation Recalculation and Restoration Act of 2011
  10. H.R. 1 [112th]
    Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2011