Daily Archives: August 8, 2011

Space Shuttle Update (41)

SPACE WATCH· NASA TV· STS-135: Last Space Shuttle Mission
Boeing: Slide show · Book (pdf)

Birds of a Feather
NASA – NASA’s modified Boeing 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft briefly flew in formation over the Edwards Air Force Base Test Range on Aug. 2, 2011. The aircraft were scheduled to be in the air on the same day, NASA 911 (plane in the foreground) on a flight crew proficiency flight, and NASA 905 (rear) on a functional check flight following maintenance operations. Since both aircraft were scheduled to be in the air at the same time, SCA pilot Jeff Moultrie of Johnson Space Center’s Aircraft Operations Directorate took the opportunity to have both SCA’s fly in formation for about 20 minutes while NASA photographer Carla Thomas captured still and video imagery from a NASA Dryden F/A-18. In addition to Moultrie, NASA 905’s check flight crew included pilot Arthur “Ace” Beall and flight engineer Henry Taylor while NASA 911 was flown by Larry LaRose, Steve Malarchick and Bob Zimmerman from NASA Johnson and Frank Batteas and Bill Brockett from NASA Dryden. Image Credit: NASA/Carla Thomas

Autograph Please!
STS-135 Commander Chris Ferguson, signs an insignia decal for his mission in the Quest airlock of the International Space Station. The shuttle insignia is mounted next to that of the Expedition 28.

Having docked shuttle Atlantis to the station over a week ago, Ferguson and three crewmates are preparing to undock from the orbiting outpost early on July 19 and prepare for a July 21 landing in Florida. July 18, 2011

Pilot on the Middeck
STS-135 Pilot Doug Hurley is pictured on the middeck of space shuttle Atlantis during the flight’s second day of activities in Earth orbit. July 9, 2011
Magnus on the Aft Flight Deck
STS-135 Mission Specialist Sandy Magnus is pictured on the aft flight deck of space shuttle Atlantis during the flight’s second day of activities in Earth orbit. July 9, 2011
Checking Out the Inventory
STS-135 Mission Specialist Rex Walheim (facing camera) and Pilot Doug Hurley survey just a portion of the large “inventory” of supplies aboard space shuttle Atlantis en route to the International Space Station. July 8, 2011
At the Commander’s Station
STS-135 Commander Chris Ferguson is pictured at the commander’s station on the flight deck of space shuttle Atlantis during the mission’s initial day of activities in Earth orbit. July 8, 2011
External Tank View
Space shuttle Atlantis’ external fuel tank is seen during its release following the successful launch of the STS-135 mission.

One of Atlantis’ crew members using a hand-held still camera exposed the image. July 8, 2011


GOP jobs plan targets federal regulations

By Erik Wasson – After focusing for months on the deficit, Republicans are preparing a ‘jobs’ pivot of their own in September by moving to roll back and limit new federal regulations.

Congressional Republicans and aides confirmed that regulations are going to be at the top of the GOP agenda next month as the party looks to counter the White House’s drive for jobs legislation addressing taxes and infrastructure.

The GOP will make a major push this fall for the REINS Act, which would require all major regulations to get a vote in Congress.

Unions and consumer groups are outraged over the REINS Act and have been lobbying against it. more> http://twurl.nl/5pbcnw


Artificial Lung Is Microfluidics Marvel

By Doug Smock – In an important technical breakthrough, researchers at Case Western Reserve University have created a prototype artificial lung that functions with air — just like human lungs.

The prototype weighs about 20 grams (0.71 ounces). The scientists used breathable silicone rubber versions of blood vessels that branch down to a diameter less than one fourth that of human hair to build the prototype lung with a design that mimics the natural lung’s tiny internal dimensions. more> http://twurl.nl/fjbbp7

ECB backs Italy, Spain in bid to halt euro crisis

By Kirsten Donovan and Paul Taylor – Significant ECB bond-buying — the only practical result of a weekend of frantic G7 and G20 crisis diplomacy — forced down Italian and Spanish borrowing costs in an initial reaction.

“The ECB will have to buy 320 billion euros of Italian and Spanish government bonds simply to maintain the same proportion of purchases made relative to the outstanding debt of Greece, Ireland and Portugal made through the 75 billion euro Securities Market Program acquisitions to date,” said Vincenzo Albano, Reuters Insider Fixed Income analyst. more> http://twurl.nl/5iwmes


How the U.S. downgrade will change the global economy

By Michael Schuman – Don’t expect a mass flight from U.S. government debt because of the S&P downgrade. The fact is that, whatever the financial state of the U.S., and the paralyzed state of decision making in Washington, the world is stuck with America and American assets for now. Just about every institution in the world holds Treasuries as a core part of their assets, from the Chinese central bank to European pension funds. There is simply no other country that can provide the depth of capital markets the U.S. offers the world. If people started selling Treasuries, what would they buy? Euro zone bonds? I think not. Emerging market assets? There simply are not enough of them out there to buy. And some of the world’s top developing nations (like China) control capital flows and currency trading, limiting access to the assets that exist. more> http://twurl.nl/0koshm



CONGRESS WATCH Guest Commentary: Energy in the West key to economic recovery, U.S. Reps. Doug Lamborn and Scott Tipton, Denver Post


CONGRESS WATCH Jaime Herrera Beutler Introduces Forest Roads Protection Legislation, US Congress Herrera Beutler bill wins praise from timberland owners, Kathie Durbin, Columbian In Our View: A Vote for Nature, Editorial, Columbian Details of the deal, Associated Press/Olympian