Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘NASA

NASA, committed to lunar exploration, is shutting down a moon rover mission

Ashley Rodriguez, April 29, 2018

NASA is so devoted to lunar exploration that it’s shutting down its moon rover.

As part of its Resource Prospector mission, NASA was developing a lunar rover that would search one of the moon’s poles for compounds essential to human life, such as hydrogen, oxygen, and water.

The concept was still being formulated, with a goal of launching in the 2020s.

But on April 26, members of the team were abruptly ordered to shut down the project by the end of May, NASA Watch reported.

Scientists were reportedly rocked by the decision, which seems at odds with US president Donald Trump’s Space Policy Directive to send astronauts back to the moon. (Trump siding with private space industries)

The trouble arose after NASA shifted the project’s focus from human exploration to research with different goals than the Resource Prospect mission, The Washington Post reported (paywall).

An interdisciplinary group that includes lunar scientists, called the Lunar Exploration Analysis Group, wrote new NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine to get the project back on track, as part of the human exploration program.

NASA said on April 27 that it was developing an exploration strategy, in line with Trump’s directive, to meet its expanded lunar exploration goals.

The agency noted some instruments from Resource Prospector will still be utilized, and that it’s planning a series of robotic missions to the lunar surface.

Bridenstine added on Friday:

NASA’s press office was closed on Sunday and could not be reached by press time for further clarification.

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NASA posts a lot of cool images

NASA owes a great debt to women, and it’s great to see the agency highlighting their contributions

In short, NASA’s photos are awe-inspiring and completely breathtaking.

But the photo NASA posted for International Women’s Day may be one of the space agency’s most inspiring:

Image from NASA.

This 2010 photo was the first time four women were in space at the same time.

So who are the badass women in NASA’s International Women’s Day photo?

1. Stephanie Wilson, an engineer and the second African-American woman in space.

Stephanie Wilson in a training module. Image from NASA.

2. Dorothy Metcalf-Lindenburger, a former high school astronomy and earth sciences teacher, who served as a mission specialist on that particular flight.

Working in microgravity requires a little ingenuity when it comes to moving stuff around. Image from NASA/Wikimedia Commons.

3. Naoko Yamazaki, an engineer and researcher who was part of the Japanese Aerospace eXploration Agency and the second Japanese woman in space.

Naoko Yamazaki eats a snack in microgravity. Image from NASA.

4. And Tracy Caldwell Dyson, a chemist, who served as flight engineer and performed three successful spacewalks on that mission.

Tracy Caldwell Dyson in the ISS’ cupola, looking through the — hands-down — best windows in the solar system. Image from NASA/WIkimedia Commons.

Since the photo was taken in 2010, Yamazaki and Metcalf-Lindenburger have retired from spaceflight and moved on to different things, but Wilson and Dyson are still active in the astronaut program.

Though the first astronauts were mostly male, there’s a long list of awesome ladies without whose hard work humans would have never left the planet.

Women like Katherine Johnson, an African-American woman who calculated trajectories for the missions that put the first Americans in space and for the moon landing. She was so good that when NASA first started using computers, they called her in to verify the numbers.

Image from NASA.

Lately, Johnson’s been getting the credit she deserves. President Obama awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2015. A movie about her life and the other women who worked alongside her, starring Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, and Janelle Monáe, is slated to hit theaters in 2017.

Since Johnson began working at NASA, 58 different women have flown into space — and 49 women have flown in missions with NASA — in a variety of roles from engineers and specialists to managers and educators to commanders and crew.

Today, there are only three people in space, none of whom are women, but thanks to NASA’s 2013 astronaut class, more are on the way.

The 2013 astronaut candidate class is evenly split, with four men and four women — including Christina Hammock Koch, Nicole Aunapu Mann, Anne McClain, Jessica Meir.

This is the class of astronauts who might be part of our first mission to Mars!

They’re probably already preparing their “one small step” speeches and I, for one, can’t wait to hear them.

At a time when it’s so crucial that we show kids that women have an equal place in STEM fields, on International Women’s Day (and every day) it’s great to share these women’s stories and make sure their contributions are not forgotten.

NASA Confirms: What do you plan to do during these six days of Total Darkness starting on Dec. 16?

Is that a hoax? Get prepared anyway for a new life-style.

WORLDWIDE –

NASA has confirmed that the Earth will experience 6 days of almost complete darkness and will happen from the dates Tuesday the 16 – Monday the 22 in December.

The world will remain, during these three days, without sunlight due to a solar storm, which will cause dust and space debris to become plentiful and thus, block 90% sunlight.

October 24th, 2014 | by David Martinez
NASA Confirms Earth Will Experience 6 Days of Total Darkness in December 2014!

News
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Screen Shot 2014-10-24 at 6.36.06 PM

This is the head of NASA Charles Bolden who made the announcement and asked everyone to remain calm.

This will be the product of a solar storm, the largest in the last 250 years for a period of 216 hours total.

Reporters interviewed a few people to hear what they had to say about the situation with Michael Hearns responding “We gonna be purgin my n*gga, six days of darkness means six days of turnin up fam”.

Despite the six days of darkness soon to come, officials say that the earth will not experience any major problems, since six days of darkness is nowhere near enough to cause major damage to anything.

“We will solely rely on artificial light for the six days, which is not a problem at all”, says NASA scientist Earl Godoy.

Visit our website daily for more shocking news!

What do you plan to do during these six days of darkness? Tweet ‘#6DaysOfDarkness‘ including your plan for these six days!

Note: It might be a hoax.

Or maybe we are being injected with frequent small doses of fright to immune people for the critical moment in order to prevent mass hysteria.

Climate change has degraded and we have to face up to a few unpleasant realities that we will have to deal with. 

2012: Not on apocalypses; (Dec. 29, 2009)

Scientists at NASA published a report that is predicting sun flare up on September 22, 2012 at midnight.  The sun is far hotter and more active than it was a million years ago. This flare up is not your run of the mill gorgeous aurora borealis in the Arctic. The sun will eject particles (ions and electrons) that will grill all electrical infrastructure and electrical machines in the northern hemisphere.

What are the effects after electrical power going dead? Potable water is the major immediate problem since most potable water is purified electrically and distributed electrically to high rises.  Citizens will have to survive for at least a year before electrical infrastructure and electrical equipments are renewed and fabricated.  Urban people will try to relocate to regions enjoying clean potable water sources (which are becoming rare almost anywhere, even in Africa).

“Sun winds” carry one billion tons of plasma and when solar winds come in contact with earth magnetic field then a major catastrophe sets in.  This phenomenon occurred in 1859 (Carrington eruption) and lasted for 8 days; telegraph services were disrupted.  Luckily, potable water and clean water sources were intact at the time.

Thus, no transport relying on electricity in any part will function.  Hospital will have to replace their generators after the solar wind episode.  Mostly, modern health providing facilities will be at an end.  Pharmaceutical industry will stop producing vital medicines.

Solar eruptions are witnessed around the equinoxes (periods when the center of the sun faces directly the equator).  What do you think technology can offer to resolve the consequences of this solar wind hazard? In the meantime, diseases will spread; rats and roaches will invade urban centers in broad day light. Time to get used to eating rats but how to finding potable water?

Note: It is January 4, 2012: The date has elapsed for the apocalypse, and the doomsday promoter, Jose Arguelles, has passed away last March. Jose was an art historian, and passionate of the Maya cosmology.  Don’t rely on exact date: The year is not over?

Are you searching for a Job? (May 29, 2009)

 

            I recall that in 1991 the US was in serious recession during the Bush Sr. Administration and jobs were frighteningly scarce.  I had graduated with a PhD degree in Industrial/Human Factors engineering and missed better periods for hiring academicians. I was working as assistant to manager at a retirement community in Downtown San Francisco and visited an employment center on Van ness Street. It was a center meant to help you out re-write your CV for the nth time anytime you wanted to apply for the scarce job announcements posted in the center.  People swarmed this center just to feel busy and serious about searching for a job but not that hot for finding one.  I guess the center was one of the hundreds of facilities with the sole purpose to blaming the citizens for failure to doing their due diligence and compete since no one is about to beg you to work for them.  If you failed to re-write your CV and spent more money on useless stamps then you are not making good use of this “valuable” help facility. 

This was the period when ridiculous denials were the custom of the land. For example, this custodian at NASA who claims that he is contributing to sending astronauts to the moon; or redefining their jobs as sanitation “engineering”.  I recall that I was forced to accept a job cleaning and vacuuming the main library while working on my dissertation. I fooled my spirit into believing that as long as I am doing my job perfectly and with excitement then I am learning the value of a job well done, sort as a training period for toughening my character.  A state of denial is not a bad reaction; it is the string of successive states of denials that can be deleterious to your development.

This is no time for denial; get on it and find your own line of business.

 

If you loved your fields of “expertise” before you were fired then it is a matter of dignity to continue your education, update your knowledge, and “re-cycle” your skills in what you do best.  Otherwise, consider this liberty from an unsatisfactory job to revisit what you love to do next that would transform your wretched life into something of value to your pocket, nerves, and your soul.  Mindlessly resuming wasting your time and energy on “procedures” that millions are following without true hunger for what you like to work in and the conditions that suit your character is the road to hell.

 

Unemployment is increasing at a faster pace and the out of jobs in developed nations are anxious, except in the USA.  Not that the US has the potential to creating new jobs quickly but because the US citizens learned that unemployment is a period for working harder to locating a new job; they were indoctrinated that unemployed should invest 14 hours searching simply because the misery unemployment benefit is targeted for searching full time for a non-existing job.  For example, people still listen to the “guru” Harvey Mackay who said “Once you are fired then you have a new job; a harder job than your previous remunerating one because you should realize that you are required to invest 16 hours searching for a job” It is way of enslaving the mind of citizens and diverting them from getting on the march requesting answers to the state of affairs they are paying so dearly for.

 

Sir, there are no jobs for hire.  People who managed to retain their jobs are frantic about ways and for how long they could keep it.  Owners of enterprises are re-organizing and “re-structuring” their line of business until they figure out and absorb the new legal loopholes to cheat out the government for fresh money.

Sir, it is time you figure out your special skills that you have forgotten or never believed that people appreciated. The time for mass consumerism for redundant and similar items is coming to an end.  People are searching for value added products that express individuality, personal skills, and talent.

 

Sir, this is the time to militate for State health coverage, to joining organization helping the unemployed to re-cycling their skills, re-connecting to your professional associations and working for bureaucratic changes, newer opening, training, and facilities. This is an excellent time to joining the activists who are re-thinking alternative economic and financial systems.  The last think you need to believe and erase it from your mind with utmost prejudice is that searching for a job is indeed a full time job! Re-cycling skills that you hate and abhor is not a panacea either. 

            One thing is true: you are free at last to think straight, reflect about your life, your strengths and weaknesses, your set of values and what a world you want to live in.  You have vast potentials if you focus on your capabilities and concentrate on your forgotten skills.

 

Note: The theme was partly inspired from a short article by Barbara Ehrenreich.

 

“How Human Factors are considered at the NASA jet propulsion laboratory”?

Article #47 ( written in June 7, 2006)

Professor Charles Elachy, the director of NASA jet propulsion center at Pasadena in California, gave a lecture at LAU, Byblos, during his visit to Lebanon, and was inducted a member of the Board of Director of the university.

I instructed my class to prepare written questions to submit to Professor Elachy after the lecture, but we failed in our endeavor because questions were stricly managed.  I composed a series of questions, and after discussing them with my class, I e-mailed them to Elachy on May 30, 2006.  The mail stated:

            “I teach a single course “Human Factors in engineering“, which is required for industrial engineers. This course used to be elective for the computer and other traditional engineering fields before this year, until it was eliminated as a viable choice in the curricula.

The main value of this course is to offer a behavioral change at looking at the design of projects from a different perspective. A few students in my class of Human Factors in engineering prepared a series of written questions for your lecture at LAU at Byblos, and we would appreciate your reply on the following:

1)   As a leading member of one of the most sophisticated man-made system from conception, to designing, testing, evaluation, production, operation, and execution, then would you consider that any failure in your system is ultimately a human error?

2)  Could you offer us samples of what NASA would consider as near accidents?  In such cases, would your internal investigation of any near accident try to assign the error to a person, a team, or the organization as a whole in order to redress potential hazards?

3)  I read that the engineering work force at your department in NASA is around 5000.  What is the percentage of human factors and “industrial psychology” professionals in that work force who are involved in designing interfaces, facilitator’ tools, training programs, conducting controlled experimentation, testing, and evaluating human behavioral performance in operations in order to foreseeing potential errors and eliminating safety hazards?

4)  To what extent are tailor-made task analysis, foreseeable errors analysis, and decision flow diagrams in every stage of the development process computerized as expert systems, and how embedded is the role of experts in reviewing computer outputs?

5) Could you give us a few samples of the kind of expert opinions that NASA still seek in system development? What are the impacts of expert opinions in the development cycle and how critical are they? On what system do you rely in decisions concerning the allocation of tasks to either operators or automation?

6)  Do you think that NASA has already accumulated an exhaustive list of cognitive and physical capabilities/limitations of human operators compared to machine potentials?  How efficient is a human operator currently evaluated within this growing trend in technology and automation?  What kind of guidelines does NASA engineers rely on for designing interfaces or anything that requires operators’ interactions with the system?

7) What types of inspectors do you mostly hire, such as technical versus people oriented? Would your guidelines for hiring technical or people performance inspectors differ (for example in-house hiring or outside contracting)?  Is assigning an employee to inspection jobs is generally viewed by engineers as a negative coded message for position downgrading?”

On June 4, I received the following reply from Eachy:

“Dear Adonis, my response to your questions will not be in the direct order because our work here is not a production activity.

Each spacecraft is different and they are always first of a kind.  However, we do have a system of checks and balances.

We have one organization which does the design and development (about 3,500 technical people) and a separate organization which does Quality Control (about 350 technical people).

The role of QC is not only to check on the quality of the work, but also to help the development organization do it right to start with.  So, we assign a few QC experts to each project, but they report through a different chain than the project manager.

When we have a problem we try to understand the root cause and develop procedure/training to avoid it in the future.

We do not try to blame a person but we put a number of reviews and independent checks to make sure problems don’t slip through the cracks.”

I read Professor Elachy’s response to class.  It was clear that Human Factors professionals are still viewed as more relevant in the production activity phase, although there are many cases where they were involved in analyzing missions from their inception, knowing that NASA pioneered the process of hiring Human Factors in the agency.

Update 1:Professor Elachy was awarded this year 2011, the French highest order in scientific achievement. He had done his highest studies in France before Charles Elachy was hired in the USA.

Update 2: Charles Elachy is the head of the team that landed the rover on Mars to find out if there is life on this hot planet


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