What NASA knew

On the tenth anniversary of the Columbia Space Shuttle accident, Raw Story published my first hand account of the Columbia accident investigation. Also published that day on Raw Story was an article titled "NASA knew Columbia crew could die but chose not to tell them" In addition to the dubious headline, the second article contained the following statements which are demonstrably untrue:

Keep reading... Show less

The Purple Corkscrew

At 5:53am on the morning of February 1, 2003, Sarah and I stood on Bernal Hill in San Francisco looking west in the sky. Broken low clouds had barely parted enough for us to find what we had come for, above the western horizon. “There it is,” I said, as a pale orange dot began to brighten and move slightly north. I aimed my camera and began a series of time exposure pictures of the elongating orange trail. Repositioning the camera about every 10 seconds, I captured five images of the Space Shuttle Columbia, as it flew from hundreds of miles offshore, passed north over Napa Valley, then Tahoe and into Nevada. It was over in less than 2 minutes.

Keep reading... Show less

Exciting news from Mars! Nothing 'Earth-shaking'!

(Playing The Martian Guessing Game - Addendum #2)
The American Geophysical Union 2012 Annual Meeting, a San Francisco December tradition, is one of the premier settings for presenting the latest in planetary science.  The first day was no exception.  Heard today, in order of scientific importance:
1)  Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity landed safely four months ago.

2)  MSL landed on target, on an ancient river bed where water flowed from ankle to hip deep.

Keep reading... Show less

No 'Little Green Men' on Monday (?)

(Playing The Martian Guessing Game - Addendum #1)

Now this is unusual:

Keep reading... Show less

Playing the Martian guessing game

The Martian Guessing Game is in full swing.  Triggered by an interview with Mars Curiosity Rover P.I. John Grotzinger, NPR's Joe Palca reported on Tuesday (11/20/2012) that a very exciting result has been returned from the Sample Analysis at Mars instruments (SAM), the onboard miniature chemistry laboratory.  With such loaded teasers as "the analysis shows something earthshaking", "one for the history books" and the data "are looking real good", how can any close observer of the mission not fantasize about the Holy Grail of space exploration... the first sign of extraterrestrial life?  Is it real this time?

Keep reading... Show less

How to say goodbye to Endeavour and NASA's space shuttle program

The parking lot on Twin Peaks is no place for a San Francisco resident from September to October. Huge tourist buses and shiny new rental minivans disgorge hundreds of visitors from England, France, Japan and especially Germany, who line the viewing area to marvel at and photograph the beauty of the City from the Golden Gate Bridge to the South Bay. This morning, the last day of summer 2012, was an exception.

Keep reading... Show less

... for a man

Neil Armstrong turned 82 three weeks ago, on the day that the Curiosity Rover landed safely on Mars. Two days later he underwent surgery on blocked coronary arteries, the procedure led to complications and his death Saturday. One should hope that this modest hero can be remembered and respected by all, without reservation. Such simple hopes, once so easy to assume before "faked moon landing", are as gone as our long boyhood summers.

Keep reading... Show less

Nerds don't need you

Last night nerds shut down the Internet. To be accurate, some clouds of sport and p0rn remained online, but the only tubes that mattered went through NASA, or to be more specific, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The NASA spokesperson was quick to apologize for the overload, however in true PR cluelessness, she missed the irony of 1) apologizing for success, 2) apologizing on the medium that was offline, and finally 3) suggesting that anyone who can't reach NASA online, try the NASA URL to get back online. No worries for nerds who broke the Internet, as they had already followed the Mars Science Laboratory rover to a safe landing in Gale Crater.

Keep reading... Show less

Mars 'Curiosity': Empty Pipelines and Promises

This Sunday night millions of people worldwide will be glued to their media delivery systems watching not (just) the Olympics, but the most ambitious and daring interplanetary landing ever. The Mars Science Laboratory created by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory will land on Mars at 10:31pm PDT. The unanimous hope of everyone watching will be that it lands safely.

Keep reading... Show less

Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Raw Story Investigates and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.