January 2010
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Trillions for Global Warming Hoax, Nothing for NASA

In yet another blow to progress and achievement and the advancement of man, Obama aims to ax the moon mission.

Update: Obama to End NASA Constellation Program

On the eve of the fullest moon of the year, NASA scientists were told they won't be able to visit any longer. In his new budget, President Obama plans to eliminate the space program's manned moon missions.

Today In Space History: Challenger Disaster

STS-51L Mission Patch. NASA image.Jan 28th marks the 24th anniversary of a terrible tragedy in the history of the Space Program: The Challenger disaster. On 28 January 1986, 7 astronauts lost their lives when Shuttle Challenger exploded just 73 seconds after launch. Mission Fact sheet here; Crew info here; Video here; Image collections here and here. A new home video of the launch accident has recently come to light.

Mission STS-51L was the 25th Shuttle flight, and it carried the first "Teacher In Space", Christa McAuliffe. The Challenger, (OV-99), was the second orbiter built, and had completed 9 successful missions (starting with STS-6 in 1983) before the awful incident, which was caused by O-rings in the right solid rocket booster becoming brittle in the winter cold.

NASA: Day Of RemembranceThe accident rocked the nation and became embedded in the minds of an entire generation. The remains of some crewmembers were buried with honors at Arlington National Cemetery, and the wreckage of the spacecraft is sealed in a missile silo at Cape Canaveral. NASA grounded the Shuttle program for more than two years while safety improvements were made.

The Challenger Learning Centers, dedicated to space science education, were founded in honor of the crew. Remember the brave men and women of Challenger, Apollo 1, and Columbia!

Obama to End NASA Constellation Program?

When President Obama releases his budget on Monday, there may be a big hole where funding for NASA's Constellation program used to be.

Today In Space History: Apollo 1 Fire

Flowers and plaque at the KSC Astronaut Memorial. NASA PHOTO NO: KSC-07PD-0174January 27th marks the 43nd anniversary of a tragic day in the race for the moon: the Apollo 1 fire. On 27 Jan 1967, three astronauts lost their lives on the launch pad at Cape Canaveral during a test procedure in preparation for what would have been the first mission in the lunar program. Gus Grissom, Ed White, and Roger Chaffee perished when a spark ignited the pure-oxygen atmosphere of the Apollo Command Module at Pad 34. Crew info here; Image collections here and here. The loss of AS-204 caused a delay of nearly two years in the Apollo program, resulting in many changes to the spacecraft design.

Life Magazine photo from the Grissom burialIn December 1997, nearly 31 years after the accident, President Clinton posthumously awarded the Congressional Space Medal of Honor to Chaffee and White. Grissom's was among the first medals awarded in October 1978 by President Carter.

This week will see remembrances of the three tragedies whose anniversaries fall so closely on the calendar: Apollo 1, Challenger, and Columbia. Never forget the heroes of space exploration!

A 10 minute video on a flight of the U-2 Spy plane