Author Topic: Discovery STS-39 – Sky Ballet  (Read 11968 times)

Offline Ares67

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Re: Discovery STS-39 – Sky Ballet
« Reply #580 on: 10/09/2018 12:29 AM »
June 5: SPACE STATION IS A SPACE PROGRAM ISSUE
NASA Administrator Richard Truly today pledged to work with President George Bush and the Congress to make sure Space Station Freedom is a part of NASA’s future. Truly and Associate Administrator for Spaceflight William Lenoir took a few minutes to meet with reporters at the Kennedy Space Center after the successful launch of Columbia STS-40.

During the recent weeks, Congress has discussed the Space Station Freedom project extensively. The House Appropriations Committee voted Monday to delete the space station funding request from the 1992 budget. A vote by the full House is expected tomorrow.

“We’ve been actively pointing out this issue is more than a space station issue,” Truly said. “It’s a space program issue about America having a balanced space program. It’s early in the Congressional season and I’m confident just as the Congress has supported NASA over the last 30 years or more, that we’ll continue to get that support.” The administrator said a chief concern is that cancelation of the Space Station would result in an unbalanced space program. “Space Station has been in the American civil space program plans since the Colliers magazine articles of the early 1950s and before Alan Shepard and John Glenn ever flew the first flights,” Truly said. “I think the setback of losing Space Station would totally disrupt all of NASA’s planning.”

The Space Station Freedom program has been surrounded by controversy, Truly said, but as NASA moves forward the project becomes more and more stable. “We’re in the kind of business in the space program where we draw a lot of interest, and whether we succeed or fail or stub our toe – even though we’re a small agency in the budget sense – we draw the interest of the media and the American people,” he said.

Lenoir said NASA has not spent enough time educating the country and Congress about the benefits of the Space Station program. When the agency did discuss such benefits, it focused on narrow discipline specific activities. “We did not spend enough time talking about the larger, global benefits to education, the motivation factor for for the youth of America that will help us ten and twenty years from now, the effect on the United States economy, our global competiveness, keeping our aerospace industry as one of the major exporters that fills out its balance of trade numbers with black ink and not with red ink, an keeping the United States in leadership worldwide in forging international partnerships,” he said. (Fluegel, JSC Space News Roundup, June 7, 1991 – edited)

Offline Ares67

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Re: Discovery STS-39 – Sky Ballet
« Reply #581 on: 10/09/2018 12:31 AM »
Freedom Station Escapes Unexpected Storm in the House

Space Station Freedom had weathered many storms over the years. When it rode out a congressionally mandated redesign in 1990, smooth sailing appeared at least on the horizon. Thus, the storm that hit the Station Program came all the more unexpectedly. NASA Administrator Richard Truly was in Europe at the time on business. Station Director Richard Kohrs did not learn of the approaching hurricane until the eve of its landfall.


EASY CHOICE?

On Wednesday, May 15, 1991, in a closed-door session, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Veterans Affairs, Housing and Urban Development and Independent Affairs (including NASA), headed by Rep. Bob Traxler (D-Michigan), voted six to three to delete funding for the Space Station from the Fiscal Year 1992 budget. By killing the $2.03 billion budget for the Station, the subcommittee was able to make up a $1.2 billion allocation shortfall in its $60 billion piece of the overall budget pie. The extra funds freed by the move went into housing and veteran projects – including, of course, some pet construction projects in the districts of key congressmen. In addition, some NASA science projects would gain from the Station’s loss.

The panel approved a NASA budget of $13.7 billion instead of the $15.7 the Bush Administration had requested. The House already had voted in favor of the Station during the authorization process (allocation committees set the overall spending allocation under which the appropriation committees then work). The House had passed an authorization for NASA of $14.9 billion, only slightly nicking the Station project.

Traxler painted the vote in terms of big, wasteful science projects against the needs of veterans and the poor. “We simply can no longer afford huge new projects, with huge price tags, while trying to maintain services that the American people expect to be provided,” he said.

Some panel members painted the vote in terms of space science versus the Station. The subcommittee “faced the choice of eliminating or dramatically scaling back NASA’s many worthwhile science programs or funding a program which is still searching for a mission,” said Rep. Bill Green (R-New York), the ranking Republican on the panel, who vote for the Station cut. “Given the options, the choice was easy for me.”

Some lawmakers are being short-sighted in their bid to cut Space Station funding, the crew of Discovery STS-39 commented on Friday, May 17. "It would be almost inconceivable to me that they would cancel the Space Station," Discovery Commander Mike Coats told a Johnson Space Center news conference. "I fear that a decade, two decades from now we're going to look back and wonder what we were thinking of," said astronaut Rick Hieb. "We should have been investing our money in the space program, where it will make a difference for our country and all of the human race."

Coats said he will take advantage of any goodwill visits associated with his successful flight to urge lawmakers to restore the funding. But he stressed that it is the public, quiet supporters of the space program, who must now urge Congress to back the $30 billion project.


BEGINNING OF THE END

Space Station supporters began gearing up for a battle further on in the budget process. The weight of the Bush Administration was thrown into the battle. “Failure to fund the redesigned Freedom Station will effectively postpone manned exploration by at least a decade. A credible argument can be made that it would be substantially more,” said Richard Darman, administration budget chief.

Rep. Bud Cramer (D-Alabama) said, “We are talking about abandoning this vital field to the competition. Make no mistake about it, we are talking about the beginning of the end for the U.S. manned space program.”

On Monday, June 3, the full House Appropriations Committee rubberstamped the subcommittee’s vote, as expected. Supporters of the Station had already decided to make a stand in the full House.

Two Station supporters, Rep. Jim Chapman (D-Texas) and Rep. Jim Lowery (R-California) devised an amendment to be presented when the full House took up the issue. The amendment would restore $1.9 billion in Station funding, enough to keep the project alive, by freezing other NASA programs at their 1991 funding levels and transferring $217 million from housing appropriations.

On Thursday, June 6, the House debated the amendment for eight hours. In the end it passed by a vote of 240 to 173. “The totally bipartisan vote in the House of Representatives to continue development of Space Station Freedom was a big victory for all America,” said Richard Truly. “It was a vote to remain the leader in space exploration, to inspire and challenge our young people to do better, to reassert our technological leadership, to make an investment in America’s future, and set the stage for discovery and breakthroughs in medicine, materials, transportation and energy.”

The amendment saves the Station, but at the expense of other NASA projects, although none would face cancellation. Station supporters hope that the Senate, which has yet to take up the budget, will restore funding to the programs. Truly said that NASA opposes freezing its projects at 1991 funding levels. “We will continue working with the Senate to ensure that is not the final result.”

“I am confident that Freedom will win support in the Senate. Much work remains to be done to provide a final FY 1992 budget for NASA that is well balanced between science, manned spaceflight and exploration, aeronautical research, Earth observation and technology development,” Truly said. “I remain committed toward that end.”

However, the Senate faces the same budget squeeze as the House. The storm – which seems as long-lived as the Great Red Spot on Jupiter – will rage on at least a while.

(Countdown, July 1991; Carreau, The Houston Chronicle, May 18, 1991; Chronology of KSC and KSC Related Events for 1991, KHR-16, March 1992 – edited)


Offline Ares67

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Re: Discovery STS-39 – Sky Ballet
« Reply #582 on: 10/09/2018 12:33 AM »
America’s Commitment to the Future

(By Richard Darman)

The following is the abridged text of a statement delivered June 4, 1991, by Richard Darman, Director of the Office of Management and Budget, to the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology. Darman testified before the committee after the House Appropriations Committee voted to virtually eliminate Space Station Freedom funding in 1992.


A DETOUR ON THE PATH

The Appropriations Committee vote to cancel Freedom is, at this stage, a preliminary action in a process that will involve several opportunities to bring broader perspective to bear. Nonetheless, it is, in its way, a pathetic commentary.

America is the world’s number one politic-economic power, an inspiring beacon of hope, a continually self-renewing pioneer of new frontiers. America did not rise to this remarkable position on the strength of votes for the status quo. America will not preserve its position – or fulfill its historic responsibility – with short-sighted votes of retreat.

The moving concept, “the American Dream,” has never been static or closed or merely material. Our culture has defined itself as uniquely open, expansive, courageous, risk-taking, and forward-looking; not intimidated by limits, but challenged by them; not cowered by technology, but determined to use it to advance man’s highest aspirations.

It was in this spirit that President Kennedy delivered perhaps the most resonant of inaugural addresses, seeking to invoke “the wonders of science instead of its terrors.” He inspired future generations with the call, “Together let us explore the stars…” – His inaugural would surely have been less inspirational if he had advanced the wisdom of the appropriations committee, “Together let us fund a Miami parking garage and a hundred lesser special interest projects.”

Space Station Freedom is a direct outgrowth of the spirit of the Kennedy inaugural – the American spirit. I believe that spirit to be irrepressible. So I am confident that, in due course, the Congress will live up to America’s tradition, responsibility, dreams, and mission – and will set us firmly on the path toward manned exploration of the next frontier. For the moment, however, we are obliged to address a misguided “Detour” sign that would steer us away from America’s historic pioneering path.

It is difficult to discern any satisfactorily defensible logic in a vote to kill Space Station Freedom at this point. The arguments for cancelation simply do not withstand inspection. Indeed, each of the major arguments represents a curious fallacy:


THE DEFICIT-REDUCTION FALLACY

From a financial perspective, the failure to appropriate $2 billion for Space Station Freedom would not “save” a dime. Under the budget agreement, total discretionary spending is set. What is at issue is the allocation, not the total. Indeed, the appropriations committee has already proposed to reallocate and spend every single penny that would otherwise go to Freedom.

It is true that the failure to fund Freedom would have the following effects:

- It would reduce related jobs in 24 states
- It would break international commitments to Canadian, European and Japanese partners
- It would renounce the specific funding guidance provided by the legislative process less than a year ago

That guidance called for NASA budget increases of 8-10 percent. The appropriators have now switched to minus 1 percent. The legislative guidance called for a redesigned Space Station, increasing in cost at the rate of ten percent per year, up to a level of $2.5 billion. The administration has met that test. The House, in effect, approved it by voting 361-36 – only a month ago – to reauthorize NASA and the Administrator’s proposed funding level for Space Station Freedom. Yet now, all the redesign work and commitments would be thrown to the wind if the action of the House appropriations committee were to stand.

I do not deny that this is Congress’ prerogative. And I favor making tough choices on the merits. But we should be clear: The case for cancellation has not been made on the merits. And breaking faith on Space Station Freedom should not be confused with deficit reduction.


THE THERE’S-GOTTA-BE-A-BETTER-WAY FALLACY

There are several respectable designers and analysts who have offered paper alternatives to Freedom as would-be better approaches to manned exploration of space. With the benefit of hindsight, one can admit that there may have been better approaches to have pursued – if the political system had recognized and adopted then years ago. But it did not. Looking forward, one can confidently predict that there will be better approaches than the current design which may be used in the future… There is almost always a better way coming along to replace the way of the moment. But that is not the point.

Progress does not come without beginnings. And if the rule were never to proceed if better alternatives might be conceived, there would be no beginnings. A decision to wait for the “better way” to space would be a bit like telling the 19th-century wagon masters who led Americans west, “Don’t go to California now. Wait a century and your descendants will be able to fly to San Francisco by air!”   

There is a partially appealing logic to such visionary wisdom. Presumable detail-people would solve the problem of there being no “there” there when one were ready to fly – no California aerospace industry, and no place to land, for that matter! Indeed, maybe the generations of 20th century air travelers could be told, “Postpone the California trip until mankind has invented the hovering spacecraft!” – Unless, of course, someone were to have in mind an even better way.
 
The practical reality of the moment is this: A failure to fund the redesigned Station Freedom will effectively postpone manned exploration by at least a decade. If one is serious, the time to commit is now.


THE SPEND-THE-“SAVINGS”-ON-SCIENCE FALLACY

There is a group of well-meaning scientists and science advocates who favor Freedom’s cancelation in order to allocate the “savings” to purer forms of science. Their position rests on two premises:

First, that space exploration is not “science.” This is partially correct – although it ignores the extent to which exploration can enable, stimulate, and inspire science.

Second, that “savings” from reduced exploration will be allocated to increased science. That is politically naïve.

The reality is that appropriators will tend to do exactly what the station-killing committee has proposed to do: give no more to science than in the President’s budget; reduce station to zero; and reallocate every single dollar thus “saved” to non-science – to subsidies for the type of housing programs that have proven to be failures, to a quarter of a billion dollars in unrequested special interest earmarks, etc…

The Bush Administration has been a strong proponent of both science and space, proposing higher levels of science and space investment than any administration in history. And we have achieved record levels of investment – in part, because of the strength of the science-and-space coalition supporting the President’s proposals. It is therefore with the deepest of regret that we have observed the recent outbreak of factional cannibalism. Indeed, the unfortunate irony is that, given the cannibalism, the resources available for both space and science may not be less than they would have been if there had been no outbreak of cannibalism.


THE POOR-RETURN-ON-INVESTMENT FALLACY

Type 1: Methodological Error – Some critics of Space Station Freedom criticize it as if it were a single-purpose enterprise. Thus, it can be shown that there may be more cost-effective means to do some types of microgravity research (alone); or that Freedom’s infrastructure investment is excessive for the amount of life sciences research (alone) that it permits in its early stages.

But, of course, Space Station Freedom is intended to serve multiple purposes, and to expand incrementally with relatively low-cost modular additions. The appropriate methodology for evaluating it must give weight to its capacity to serve multiple purposes, to expand over time, and to bridge forward across generations. When evaluated from this perspective, the return promises to be well worth the investment.


Type 2: Imaginative Error – There is a more fundamental problem with narrow-purpose evaluation of Freedom. Simply put, they show a remarkable lack of imagination. If Columbus’ trip to America had been similarly evaluated, he would have been forbidden to sail on the grounds that the Nina, the Pinta and the Santa Maria were not the most cost-effective means to research motion sickness! The obvious point is: Exploration is up to something somewhat larger than narrowly focused evaluations can capture – larger even than the pioneering participants themselves can imagine.

So it has been with the expansion of all frontiers. In 1803, the Louisiana Purchase was completed for what seemed like the large and fair sum of $15 million ($137 million, if inflated to today’s dollars). The frontier thus purchased is now 15 states, producing almost $200 billion in federal taxes each year. By that crude measure, the original purchase is repaid again and again at the rate of several times each day!

In 1867, Alaska was purchased for $7.2 million (about $70 million, if inflated to today’s dollars). The purchase was subject to considerably more criticism than Space Station Freedom. It was ridiculed as “Seward’s Folly” out of disrespect for the Secretary of State who negotiated the terms with Russia. Today, Alaska’s proven oil reserves alone exceed $125 billion. And no one is rushing forward to propose the return of Alaska.

And so it will be, one day, with the vast resources of space: Future generations will be delighted to have developed them – and may even take them for granted.

We cannot now know exactly how all this will transpire. We can point to potential leaps forward in telecommunications, materials processing, energy and mineral resource development, environmental protection, and the expansion of the human frontier for living and work. But we can only trust that, as with every other great frontier, the returns on investment in exploration will exceed the imaginative grasp of the pioneers – and will mark still further triumphs of the expansive human spirit.


NEXT LEAP OR BACKWARD GLIDE?

There are several tests that define whether or not a culture is, in the most basic sense, “civilized.” Does it create symbols and communicate with them? Does it plan and invest for the future? Does it organize itself to transfer value and values in a way that builds across generations? From this perspective, the decision whether or not to commit to Freedom may be seen as a defining test of our civilization.

When President Kennedy ignored his science advisors, took the leap of faith, and committed man to walk on the Moon, he helped reaffirm America as a pioneering civilization. It is only from that perspective that the famous Neil Armstrong phrase has meaning: “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” The moonwalk was not intended or understood as a mere stunt. It was part of a very much larger process intended to build across the generations.

School children now have come into a world in which the walk on the Moon has long since taken place. In their lifetimes, the only miraculous “moonwalk” has been Michael Jackson’s backward glide. For them, the next big step in space is Space Station Freedom. That is what some of them do their science projects about. That is what they understand to be America’s next intended leap for all mankind – on the path toward the next frontier.

So, using the moonwalk metaphors, the question before Congress might be simply put: Does the Congress mean to affirm the next leap forward? Or would it rather content itself with the backward glide?

(Darman, Toward the Next Frontier, JSC Space News Roundup, June 14, 1991 – edited)

Offline Ares67

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Re: Discovery STS-39 – Sky Ballet
« Reply #583 on: 10/09/2018 12:36 AM »
June 6: ANOTHER DELAY FOR PROSPECTOR
The launch of Prospector has been tentatively reset for June 8 at 7:00 a.m. EDT from Launch Complex 20 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The Joust 1 mission was scrubbed after poor weather prevented the OSC launch team from completing vehicle processing work yesterday. Lightning around LC-20 kept the team away from the launch pad for approximately three hours. Weather permitting, the team will resume work today; because of the delay, a simulated countdown scheduled for today will be conducted at 6:30 a.m. tomorrow. A final decision to pursue a June 8 launch will be made tomorrow morning. Air Force weather forecasters said today that there was a 40 percent chance that weather conditions would be favorable for a launch June 8; weather conditions must also be taken into account for the safe operation of the payload recovery ship which is located in the Atlantic Ocean about 250 miles from the launch site. (Banke, Florida Today, June 7, 1991; Joust 1 Update, June 6, 1991 – edited)


June 7: WAVES DELAY PROSPECTOR LAUNCH
 The launch of a Prospector sounding rocket has been delayed until June 9 at the earliest because of high waves in the Atlantic Ocean. For recovery of the Joust 1 experiment payload to be successful, waves must be six feet or less. Air Force forecasters predict that waves are expected to remain high through the weekend. (Banke, Florida Today, June 8, 1991 – edited)


June 9: PROSPECTOR AIMS FOR JUNE 14 AFTER DISAPPOINTING SCRUB 
Prospector was ready to launch this morning when a technical problem could not be solved quickly and the launch was scrubbed. “It was most disappointing because the countdown was proceeding the scrub was so clean,” said Scott Webster, President of OSC’s Space Division. About forty minutes before the scheduled 7:00 a.m. EDT launch, workers prepared to connect two wires aboard the rocket when it was discovered that one had more electrical energy running through it than launch rules allowed. The cause of the high voltage readings is attributed to batteries which power the flight termination system. Officials now say that June 14 is the earliest possible date for the next launch attempt, because an ocean recovery ship will not be available until that date. (Banke, Florida Today, June 10, 1991; Halvorson, Florida Today, June 11, 1991 – edited)

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Re: Discovery STS-39 – Sky Ballet
« Reply #584 on: 10/09/2018 12:37 AM »
America at the Threshold

“Leading world powers have always explored and profited from new frontiers and territories. Space is the new frontier of the industrialized world in the 21st century. As Americans we must ask ourselves what our role will be in human exploration of the Solar System: to lead, follow or step aside.”

Thomas Stafford, former astronaut and Synthesis Group chairman, June 11, 1991


A STRONG STATEMENT

After a heated debate on the future of America’s manned space program, the full House of Representatives voted by a wide margin June 6 to restore funding for Space Station Freedom by taking money from other NASA programs. The bill adds only $184.4 million to the overall budget that had been previously approved by the House appropriations committee, but reverses that group’s decision to virtually eliminate Space Station funding.

Under the spending plan, now on its way to the Senate, $1.9 billion was approved for Space Station Freedom. But the money comes from a $463 million reduction in space science and applications funding: a $165 million decrease in physics and astronomy; a $170 million drop in planetary exploration; a $79 million decrease in aeronautics; an $11 million cut in academic programs; and a 233 million cut in shuttle operations. Those reductions plus the added $184 million compose the station spending plan for the next year.

The 1992 NASA budget will now go to the Senate for debate, and NASA Administrator Richard Truly said he is confident that the Space Station will win support in that arena. Vice President Dan Quayle, chairman of the National Space Council, echoed Truly’s sentiments following the vote. “The House has made a strong statement for Space Station. It is now up to the Senate hopefully to not only concurring on the Space Station, but to see what other budget adjustments can be made within the NASA account,” Quayle said. “This was an extremely important test vote on the political support for the station. I am convinced by that vote that there is enough political will in the Congress to support the President in his manned space exploration program.”

Space Station Freedom received another boost on Tuesday, June 11, when the Synthesis Group, appointed by the Vice President and led by former astronaut Tom Stafford, released its 180-page report on methods for carrying out the exploration of the Moon and Mars. The Synthesis Group’s research, which took 27 experts from government, industry and academia ten months to complete, pointed to the need for Freedom as a life sciences stepping stone for the solar system.

At a Washington D.C. press conference releasing those results, Quayle repeated its findings. “Without a Space Station, you’re basically saying that manned exploration of space will not be permanent. It will be only temporary… we want a balanced approach. We want manned and unmanned,” Quayle said. “This report, as well as the Augustine report, has been extremely supportive of the Space Station.”

Indeed the Synthesis Group strongly urges focused life sciences studies on Space Station Freedom, but, because recent changes in Freedom’s schedule may delay the acquisition of necessary data, states that the Moon may be a better “preparatory environment.” The group’s members believe that data on human adaptation to long stays in space from the Soviet Mir space station and extended duration Space Shuttle flights useful but prefer that these be secondary sources.

However, Stafford’s “America at the Threshold” report, differing from NASA’s year-old policy and Administrator Richard Truly, states that it would be too complicated to use Space Station Freedom as an assembly facility or transportation way station for space expeditions.


FOUR PATHS TO THE FUTURE

The Synthesis Group set forth four possible paths for future U.S. space exploration, each emphasizing different areas of interest but all concentrating on human visits to the Moon and Mars. In order to avoid the danger of the program becoming bogged down by trying to do too much, the group selected specific activities to concentrate on, to be modified according to which overall approach is chosen. The group did not work out the price tag for these space efforts, but Bush Administration officials have said it will take about $500 billion to get a crew of eight to Mars.

1) Mars Exploration

- Emphasis on Mars exploration and science
- First human mission to the Moon in 2005
- Lunar infrastructure developed only to the degree necessary to test and gain experience with Mars systems and operations and to simulate Mars stay times
- Robotic precursor missions scout the territory for a Mars landing site
- First human landing on Mars in 2014, with a surface stay of 30 to 100 days
- Next mission in 2016 is 500 day stay
- Designed as a minimal approach to achieving Space Exploration Initiatives objectives

2) Science Emphasis for the Moon and Mars

- Moon and Mars emphasized equally
- First human mission to the Moon in 2003
- Life sciences data required for Martian missions generated through extensive lunar operations
- Emphasis shifts to larger scientific experiments and instruments after developing surface capabilities for construction, maintenance and operations on the Moon
- Human missions to Mars begin in 2014
- All knowledge gained in lunar orbit and on the lunar surface become part of dress rehearsals for Mars missions

3) The Moon to Stay and Mars Exploration

- Emphasizes permanent human presence on the Moon, combined with the exploration of Mars
- Builds toward life support and self-sufficiency for breathing gases and food production on the Moon
- Permanent human presence on the Moon in 2004
- Traverses in pressurized rovers permit detailed study of lunar features and processes
- Advanced astronomical observatories installed and maintained
- Lunar operations provide necessary life sciences and engineering data to prepare for exploration of Mars in 2014 with a surface stay of 30 to 100 days

4) Space Resource Utilization

- Makes maximum use of available space resources to support exploration missions directly
- Seeks to develop a large class of available resources for a broader range of transportation, habitation, life sciences, energy production, construction and other long-term activities
- Robotic experimental resource plant landed on the Moon in 2003
- First human mission to Moon in 2004 and to Mars in 2016
- Basic Mars exploration on first two missions
- With addition of more resource development, missions could be expanded beyond first two
- Long-term possible benefits to Earth include providing Helium-3 for Earth-based fusion reactors and beaming solar-produced electricity to Earth


BUILDING ON THE PRESIDENT’S CALL

In accepting the report, Vice President Dan Quayle noted that it included ideas submitted through the Outreach Program, which actively solicited innovative ideas and technologies from inside and outside the government. “There were at least 1,700 valid recommendations that came from outside of government,” Quayle said. “This shows the net was cast wide. We went to universities, we went to industry, we went to scientists; there were no limits to where we were going to go for ideas.”

Those recommendations included:

- Developing “incremental levels of capability,” with each step of the 30-year program to yield major payoffs in science and technology
- Reordering the Apollo program’s ranking of priorities from (1) safety, (2) schedule, (3) performance, and (4) cost to (1) safety, (2) cost, (3) performance, and (4) schedule
- Reviving Saturn V technologies to produce launchers capable of lifting payloads of at least 330,000 pounds, possibly increasing to 550,000 pounds later
- Definitely continuing to use humans and robots for exploration
- Developing technology for new suits for working in open space, for new methods of handling super-cooled liquids and for producing nuclear electric surface power at megawatt levels (Note: The Lewis Research Center began a nuclear propulsion development program in March 1991)

The report builds on President Bush’s call for a permanent lunar base and Mars exploration and the administration’s plan for a collaborative effort led by NASA and including major roles for the Department of Defense and the Department of Energy. “We look forward to leading the NASA/DOE/DOD effort to evaluate the ideas and innovations and to factoring them into our Space Exploration Initiative implementation plans,” said NASA Administrator Truly. Vice President Quayle said the administration would continue to push for implementation of the Stafford report and for space exploration funding.

(Humphries, JSC Space News Roundup, June 14, 1991; Countdown, August 1991 – edited) 

https://history.nasa.gov/staffordrep/staffordreport.pdf

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Re: Discovery STS-39 – Sky Ballet
« Reply #585 on: 10/09/2018 12:38 AM »
June 18: COMMERCIAL PROSPECTOR LOSES FIRST JOUSTING MATCH
For 15 seconds after lifting off from Cape Canaveral today, the first Prospector rocket appeared on course to keep the commercial promise of its maiden flight. Then it began to veer off course. After ten seconds, destruction commands sent the solid rocket tumbling towards the Atlantic Ocean, leaving behind an impotent corkscrew pattern of smoke. Review of videotapes of the launch showed an irregular burst of flame coming from the rocket’s nozzle. Cameras also recorded a part falling from the rear of the vehicle before it was destroyed. The rocket lurched higher at first, and then veered lower than its planned path. There was an explosion again on vehicle impact in the Atlantic. No one was injured in the incident.

So ended the drawn-out drama of the Prospector’s first mission, to loft the Joust 1 payload of microgravity experiments on a suborbital flight. The first attempt to launch it, on May 6, 1991, was cancelled when a faulty safety switch stopped the motor from igniting. Battery problems in the emergency destruction system prevented completion of a June 9 countdown.

“All systems are go; everything looks good,” OSC spokeswoman Laura Ayres said before today’s third launch attempt. And indeed, the weather and launch equipment worked flawlessly. The 50-foot commercial Prospector lifted off at 7:34 a.m. EDT, only to meet a quick and ignoble end to its first jousting match with the sky. The rocket plunged 6,000 feet into the ocean about two miles offshore.

The rocket was carrying experiments from the University of Alabama at Huntsville’s Consortium for Materials Development in Space. The mission was to have exposed the ten materials and biotechnology experiments to microgravity for about 13 minutes before parachuting gently back into the Atlantic. The payload module’s 70-ft.-diameter parachute deployed at least partially after the destruct signal was sent, but officials are not sure if it was still attached to the package. Scraps of the payload container were found afloat in the ocean. Two Coast Guard ships searched for the missing payload itself into the afternoon, when officials called off the hunt.

The $1-million payload was not insured. The rocket and payload container were covered by a $2.5-million policy, which officials say will be used toward another mission. The Joust 1 mission was meant to entice commercial clients to use launchers made by the Space Data Division of the Orbital Sciences Corp. Orbital’s schedule included sending up a sounding rocket for the Strategic Defense Initiative Organization in August with a set of experiments dubbed “Red Tigress.” However, the company declared all Prospector launches on hold until it knows the reason for the Joust 1 failure.

“We realize that failure can happen. That’s part of the whole business of putting things in space,” said Charles Lundquist, Director of the UAH Consortium for Materials Development in Space. “While we are disappointed, we’re not in any way discouraged,” he said. Prospector was NASA’s second Commercial Space Development Center failure; a Space Services Inc. Starfire rocket failed just after launch from New Mexico in 1989.

(Banke, Florida Today, June 18 & 19, 1991; USA Today, June 19, 1991; Joust 1 Update, June 19, 1991; Date, The Orlando Sentinel, June 19, 1991; Countdown, August & September 1991 – edited)

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Re: Discovery STS-39 – Sky Ballet
« Reply #586 on: 10/09/2018 12:39 AM »
June 21: ULYSSES LINK RESTORED – INSTRUMENTS OPERATING
Ulysses operations have been restored to nearly normal following loss of downlink communications from the solar probe for two hours last Friday, June 14. After loss of the downlink telemetry at 10:58 a.m. EDT, the spacecraft went into a safing mode, which automatically switched off all nine science experiments. The link was reestablished at 1:01 p.m. EDT.

The space craft was returned to nearly normal operational and thermal conditions by Saturday, at which time the first of the science instruments was switched back on. All but one of the science instruments were back on by Tuesday. A continued shutdown of the S-band transmitter, used for radio science, interrupted the Solar Corona Experiment that measures the electron content of the Sun’s outer atmosphere.

The cause of the incident remains unknown. Following a complete return to normal operations later this week, ground controllers will monitor spacecraft subsystems to asses the behavior of the Ulysses power system. Ulysses is about 378 million miles from Earth, traveling at 46,000 miles per hour relative to the Sun. (JSC Space News Roundup, June 21, 1991 – edited)


June 22: CONGRESSMEN APPLAUD WORK ON FREEDOM
Five members of the House Subcommittee on Space visited Johnson Space Center today, getting a close-up look at the progress that has been made on Space Station Freedom. Chairman Ralph Hall (D-Texas) said after the visit that he was convinced more than ever that Freedom needs to be built, citing potential medical advances that could help discover cures for some of Earth’s most insidious diseases as just one example of the work that could be done.

All five said they would continue to try to convince their colleagues in the House of Representatives that long-term support of the Station is needed, and that the nearly $5 billion that has been spent should not be wasted at this stage of the game. “I think what we now want to do is to go back and encourage the appropriations committee to see what we’ve seen on this trip,” said Rep. Ron Packard (R-California).

Hal and Packard were joined by Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas), Rep. John Rhodes III (R-Arizona), and Rep. Jim Bacchus (R-Florida). JSC was the last stop on their tour that included Kennedy Space Center and Marshall Space Flight Center. (JSC Space News Roundup, June 28, 1991 – edited)
 

June 27: ATLAS-CENTAUR FAILURE – WE’LL NEVER KNOW FOR SURE
The Atlas-Centaur rocket failure on April 18 was probably caused by a piece of debris, according to investigators. Jack Isabel, spokesperson for Atlas manufacturer General Dynamics Corp., said, “We’ll never know for sure, but it probably was a bolt, a washer or some foreign object that caused the engine’s turbo machinery to seize up. Then everything stopped and the rocket tumbled.”

The commercial Atlas-Centaur was carrying a Japanese television satellite. Worth $100 million together, both were destroyed and plunged into the Atlantic Ocean after one of two Pratt & Whitney RL-10 engines used in the Centaur upper stage shut down, causing the whole assembly to start tumbling off course.

Since the two-month investigation has concluded that the malfunction was not something inherent to the engine, three more Atlas rockets may be launched this year. General Dynamics has added more quality control inspections to the testing and launching procedures; special boroscope and X-ray equipment will be used to examine the upper stage engines. (Countdown, September 1991 – edited)

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Re: Discovery STS-39 – Sky Ballet
« Reply #587 on: 10/09/2018 12:40 AM »
June 29: SCOUT LAUNCH SUCCESS AT VANDENBERG AFB
NASA’s 114th Scout launch vehicle has successfully placed a 212-pound Air Force Radiation Experiment REX payload into a 517-mile polar orbit; after a delay of 24 hours due to rain, the only Scout flight planned for 1991 went off without a hitch. The launch took place at 7:00 a.m. PDT at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. It was the first one directed by a 25-member KSC launch team. “It was beautiful. We saw it all the way through third stage ignition,” said Jim Meyer, Test Conductor for the launch team.

The 75-foot Scout has performed perfectly since 1975. The four-stage, solid-fueled rocket is managed by NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland. The 188-pound REX is a $3-million satellite that will test communications in a high-radiation environment. It is managed by the Air Force Space Systems Division in Los Angeles. (Countdown, September 1991; Florida Today, June 23 & 30, 1991 – edited)


July 3: BOTTOM FELL OFF PROSPECTOR ROCKET
Investigators know that the Prospector rocket went off course because the bottom of the rocket fell off; what they don’t know yet is why. “We still are investigating the precise mode of failure,” said Laura Ayres, spokeswoman for manufacturer Orbital Sciences Corp. She said that investigators found no indication that the rocket’s motor, guidance or control system contributed to the failure. She added that investigators are still trying to determine whether an unanticipated recirculation of exhaust gases within the rocket played a role in the accident and that a rapid flapping of the rocket’s fins as the vehicle reached speeds of about 700 mph might also have contributed to the failure. (Halvorson, Florida Today, July 3, 1991 – edited)


July 3: COATS ANNOUNCES RETIREMENT
Michael L. Coats announces his retirement from the Navy and NASA, effective August 1, and his new job as Director of Advanced Programs and Technical Planning at Loral in Houston. “My years at NASA have convinced me that the finest folks in the world are attracted to the space program. I am extremely pleased to be able to change career directions and still be involved with this wonderful group of people.”

“Mike has been an outstanding asset to the space program and his expertise will be missed. We are sorry to see him leave, but we are happy that we will be able to continue working with him in his new capacity,” Director of Flight Crew Operations Donald R. Puddy says. (Countdown, September 1991 – edited)

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Re: Discovery STS-39 – Sky Ballet
« Reply #588 on: 10/09/2018 12:42 AM »
From a distance

“The U.S. had just won the Cold War in Europe. Now it had prevailed in a hot war in the Middle East, while taking few casualties and establishing American dominance among one of the world’s most important regions. Above all, the war was popular at home, its troops welcomed back warmly.

American power appeared to be at its zenith.

Yet where some saw victory, others saw a job unfinished. And where some in the Middle East thanked the U.S. for its help, others thought it was time for the Americans to go home. The seeds of the next war in Iraq were planted in part in 1991, and future victories there would prove much more elusive.”


- Steven Beardsley, Stars and Stripes

https://www.stripes.com/news/special-reports/the-gulf-war-25-year-anniversary








GEOPOLITICAL CONSEQUENCES

“Desert Storm ended in 42 days, with only four days of ground fighting. The United States suffered 137 casualties while thousands died in Iraq. A much weakened, but apparently not chastened, Saddam remained in power to oppress the Kurdish population and execute his enemies, including his two sons-in-law after promising them a safe return from Jordan.”

- Helen Thomas (1920-2013), Front Row at the White House, Scribner 1999


The victory against Iraq had several important and positive geopolitical consequences, both in the Persian Gulf and for the role the United States plays in the world. The geostrategic objectives set by the President on August 5, 1990, were achieved. Kuwait was liberated, and the security of Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf was enhanced. Saddam Hussein's plan to dominate the oil-rich Persian Gulf, an ambition on which he squandered his country's resources, was frustrated. The threat posed by Iraq's preponderance of military power in the region was swept away. Although underestimated before the war, Iraqi research and production facilities for ballistic missiles and nuclear, chemical and biological weapons were significantly damaged; furthermore, victory in the war was the prerequisite for the intrusive United Nations inspection regime, which continues the work of dismantling those weapons programs. And even though Saddam Hussein remains in power, his political prestige has been crippled and his future prospects are uncertain. He is an international pariah whose hopes of leading an anti-Western coalition of Arab and Islamic peoples have been exposed as dangerous but ultimately empty boasts.

Although Saddam Hussein today has been reduced enormously in stature and power, we need to remember that the stakes in this conflict were large. Had the United States and the international community not responded to Saddam's invasion of Kuwait, the world would be much more dangerous today, much less friendly to American interests, and much more threatening to the peoples of the Middle East and beyond. The seizure of Kuwait placed significant additional financial resources and, hence, eventually military power in the hands of an aggressive and ambitious dictator. Saddam would have used Kuwait's wealth to accelerate the acquisition of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and to expand and improve his inventory of ballistic missiles. Saddam had set a dangerous example of naked aggression that, unanswered, would ultimately have led to more aggression by him and perhaps by others as well. Having defied the United States and the United Nations, Saddam Hussein's prestige would have been high and his ability to secure new allies would have grown.

Unfortunately, Saddam Hussein's brutal treatment of his own people, which long preceded this war, has survived it. The world will be a better place when Saddam Hussein no longer misrules Iraq. However, his tyranny over Kuwait has ended. The tyranny he sought to extend over the Middle East has been turned back. The hold that he tried to secure over the world's oil supply has been removed. We have frustrated his plans to prepare to fight a nuclear war with Iran or Saudi Arabia or Israel or others who might oppose him. We will never know the full extent of the evils this war prevented. What we have learned since the war about his nuclear weapons program demonstrates with certainty that Saddam Hussein was preparing for aggression on a still larger scale and with more terrible weapons.

This war set an extraordinary example of international cooperation at the beginning of the post-Cold War era. By weakening the forces of violence and radicalism, it has created new openings for progress in the Arab-Israeli peace process, hopes that are symbolized by the process that began with the unprecedented conference in Madrid. This is part of a broader change in the dynamics of the region. It may not be a coincidence that after this war our hostages in Lebanon were freed. The objectives for which the United Nations Security Council authorized the use of force have been achieved. Potential aggressors will think twice, and small countries will feel more secure.

Victory in the Gulf has also resulted in much greater credibility for the United States on the world scene. America demonstrated that it would act decisively to redress a great wrong and to protect its national interests in the post-Cold War world. Combined with the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the victory in the Gulf has placed the United States in a strong position of leadership and influence.

(Conduct of the Persian Gulf War – Final Report to Congress, April 1992 – edited)
« Last Edit: 10/09/2018 12:42 AM by Ares67 »

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Re: Discovery STS-39 – Sky Ballet
« Reply #589 on: 10/09/2018 12:45 AM »
The Two George Bushes

“There are no permanent victories – or defeats – in politics.”

- Bill Clinton, 42nd President of the United States of America (1993-2001)


(By Mark D. Updegrove)

George H.W. Bush would find that popularity, like military glory, was fleeting. After the parades were over and the confetti was swept up, the country went back to worrying about domestic issues at a time when the economy was sagging and crime was on the rise. At home, Americans increasingly came to believe Bush’s vision was lacking.

Time magazine’s last issue of 1990, its renowned “Man of the Year” issue, offered a political portent. On its cover were dual photos of the forty-first president morphed grotesquely together: one of him looking up, strong and statesman-like; the other of him looking down as though groping for an answer. The “Man of the Year” became the “Men of the Year: The Two George Bushes.”

Bush “seemed to be almost two Presidents last year,” the story read, “turning to the world two faces that were not just different but also had few features in common. One was a foreign policy profile that was a study in resoluteness and mastery, the other a domestic visage just as strongly marked by wavering and confusion.

Dana Carvey, whose manic portrayal of Bush became a staple of Saturday Night Live, once described his impression of the president: “You start out with Mr. Rogers,” he said. “You add a little John Wayne… you put them together (and) you get George Herbert Walker Bush.” The disparity – the strong John Wayne versus the meek Mr. Rogers – reflected Bush’s bifurcated political image, which would become his central dilemma.

It didn’t help that Bush seemed older in 1991. Normally indefatigable, the president complained of a lack of energy throughout the spring. He had inexplicably slowed down and lost fifteen pounds. The culprit, it was quickly discovered, was Graves’ disease, a rare disorder causing an overactive thyroid for which he was treated with radiation and hormone-replacement therapy.

George W. Bush was struck by his father’s appearance when he and Laura flew to Washington for the state dinner his parents were hosting for the Queen of England in May. He had never seen his father look old before.

(Mark K. Updegrove, The Last Republicans, HarperCollins Publishers 2017 – edited)

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Re: Discovery STS-39 – Sky Ballet
« Reply #590 on: 10/09/2018 12:50 AM »
Let’s do this one more time… Doctor-Style!

“You and me, time and space. You watch us run!”

- River Song (Alex Kingston), Doctor Who, Season 4/Ep. 9, Forrest of the Dead


Okay, as was mentioned before, it was “Two in April,” so indeed now I’ll do it again, return to April 1991, working on that STS-37 report, and as always I will be happy if you will join me on that next journey back in time, when Jay and Jerry will take us on a nice walk or two… So, ladies and gentlemen, let’s step back into that Police Public Call Box!

Next stop:

Atlantis STS-37 – Keep Walking

which in addition will deal with the tenth anniversary of Columbia STS-1 (of course, I’ll do that in memory of the late astronaut legend John W. Young) and Endeavour joining the fleet.

Coming up after that will be

Columbia STS-40 – Flying Doctors

which in addition will cover the Russian space program and a woman from Mars flying to Mir… 

And for those of you interested in ELV coverage for July 1991 and beyond – this will be continued in the Atlantis STS-43 report later on.








Don’t ask when. I may be late again – but I’ll return... 

Geronimo!

- Ares67 at 50… to be honest, almost 51 now…



Midlife crisis?

No, because last November somebody told me at 50 you are the oldest of the young ones, but – thank God – at 60 you will be the youngest of the old ones…

So, go, NASA! The future is ours!


“At 50, everyone has the face he deserves.”

- George Orwell, British novelist (1903-1950)


“Huh?”

“Time and space, you know. They’re having an impact.“

“I’m hearing voices again.”

“That can be another effect of aging…”

“Oh, come on!”



BTW, did I ever tell you what I think about Donald J. Trump?

;D   

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Re: Discovery STS-39 – Sky Ballet
« Reply #591 on: 12/01/2018 02:40 PM »
Bumped for obvious reasons…


A THOUSAND POINTS OF LIGHT

“My view on legacy is let the historians figure out what I screwed up and figure out what I got right.”

- George Herbert Walker Bush (June 12, 1924 – November 30, 2018)


A great yet humble man who shaped history during a time of tectonic changes

The right man at the right time… a world leader his nation can be proud of.


Farewell, President Bush.

Rest in Peace.
« Last Edit: 12/01/2018 06:08 PM by Ares67 »

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