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Hubble Snaps Closest Picture of Mars.


Ten Years Since The Revolution at Amazon.

SAS Black Ops at Amazon.
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Please Read the Report

Aug 27, 2003 - Since it was released yesterday, I've had a chance to read most of the Columbia Accident Investigation Report (I'm a little sleepy), not just because I'm supposed to, but because it's a great read. Seriously, this is one of the best written books about the current state of human spaceflight that I've ever seen. It delves into the history of the Space Shuttle and the culture of NASA. Most of what you read on the web and in print about the shortcomings of human spaceflight is very 1-dimensional, but this report has a very comprehensive discussion about the unfair constraints placed on NASA, shortcomings of the shuttle's design and the agency's own distorted culture.

Don't wait for me to give you an analysis, read the report with your own eyeballs and brain. It gets a little technical in Chapter 3 where it provides evidence on how foam destroyed the shuttle, but even that has been done with the non-technical person in mind. The recommendations in this report are going to have wide-ranging implications about the future of spaceflight, and will likely shake up NASA, the Space Shuttle program, and many other aspects of space exploration. This report could cause the US to turn its back on Space exploration (although, Bush just said it won't), or return to the challenge with renewed energy and vision.

Here's a link to that page that contains the report.

Image credit: NASA
NASA Accepts CAIB Report

Aug 27, 2003 - NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe officially accepted the report from the Columbia Accident Investigation Report, and vowed that serious changes would be made to the agency to reduce the risks of future shuttle flights. In fact, he said, many of the preliminary recommendations were already underway and would be ready when the shuttle returns to flight some time in Spring 2004. The board made 15 recommendations that must be fulfilled before the shuttle can return to flight, but their biggest complaint, that NASA's fundamental culture caused allowed this disaster to take place may be the hardest to fix.

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Image credit: Hubble
Hubble Snaps Closest Picture of Mars

Aug 27, 2003 - NASA's Hubble Space Telescope snapped this beautiful picture of the planet Mars when our two planets were only 56 million kilometres apart. The picture was actually assembled from a series of exposures taken between 2220-2312 GMT (6:20 - 7:12 pm EDT) - 11 hours before the moment of opposition. The picture shows many details on the planet's surface, including impact craters, clouds, and dust storms. The next opportunity for a picture like this will be in 26 months, when our two planets are reasonably close again.

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