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Celebrities At the ISS
Liftoff of Falcon 9/Dragon May 22, 2012: 3:44 am EST
James Doohan Visits NASA In 1967
Scotty Goes Up to Outer Space at Last
A portion of the remains of beloved Chief Engineer Montgomery "Scotty" Scott (Canadian actor James Doohan) of Star Trek®, the Original Series and several of the series' films have waited to be launched into space since 2008.
At that time, the rocket on which they were dispatched could not make earth orbit.
Celestis, the company that offers the service of distributing human ashes in space, came to an agreement with SpaceX to launch Doohan's ashes on the May 22, 2012 cargo shipment to the ISS aboard the Dragon capsule atop the Falcon 9 rocket. His ashes were to be released into outer space after traveling on the ISS, perhaps for a full year.
Over 300 lipstick-sized containers of the ashes of space enthusiasts and astronauts like Gordon Cooper (d. 2005) traveled to the ISS aboard Dragon.
James Doohan died in 2005 of complications of Alzheimer's Disease at the age of 85.
ISS Astronauts - Team of Six
Commerical Space Flight Is Here
It is hard for some to believe that the Wright Brothers invented aircraft for long term use in 1903, we landed on the moon in 1969 just 63 years later, and we designed 7 commercial space craft by May 2012. On the other hand, some feel that the space craft could have been "up there" 20 years ago.
Interestingly, the Wright Brothers were a commercial outfit, so flight began as a commercial enterprise and when Henry Ford became involved, the first commercial airport in America took form just outside Detroit. The Wrights built bicycles successfully and turned their hands to aircraft and aircraft engines. So successful were they, that they have a national park named after them.
The American public is watching in hopes that present day commercial aerospace companies will be successful in continuing the US Space Program beyond the Space Shuttles that are now museum pieces around the nation. NASA and the private sector are determined toward that success. For example, Google invested $30 million in moon landers ready to launch in early 2013, years ahead of schedule, and with James Cameron, a larger pot of money in near-earth Asteroid Mining, with help from commercial spacecraft.
NASA Commercial Crew development programs for aerospace businesses extended into 26 US States by May 2012 when the SpaceX company's Dragon crew capsule launched to the International Space Station atop the company's Falcon 9 rocket. SpaceX did it for a fraction of the cost of similar government backed launches of the US Shuttle Program. The price for a SpaceX launch is $300 million - for a government launch, several times that amount. Internet bulletin boards around the US are fired up with discussions about how successful SpaceX can become.
One of the next commerical spacecraft to expect is Sierra Nevada Corp.'s Dream Chaser, which resembles the US Space Shuttles. In May 2012, a model was tested in wind tunnels. Sierra Nevada was given $130,000,000 for two two NASA Commercial Crew development competitions before May 2012 involving Dream Chaser.
A full size non-flying model and a 30-foot long model made in wood are used for various engineering tests in order to establish improvement priorities in the flying version. Other crew transport capsules are also on deck. These include:
- ATK Liberty - The Alliant Tech Systems 2-stage rocket and Crew/Cargo capsule.
- Blue Origin Biconic Space Vehicle - The New Shepard
- Boeing CST-100
- Excalibur Human Spacecraft
- Lockheed Martin Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle - For use with Altair lunar module from the cancelled Constellation program.
- SpaceX Dragon
- United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V Rocket
ATK LIberty Transportation System
If you are interested in the following the progress of the US Space Program and the opening of new jobs in the aerospace and related sectors, follow these top companies on Twitter and Facebook.
NASA Commerical Crew
- On Twitter: @Commercial_Crew
- On Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/nasacommercialcrew
Others On Twitter
@Blue_Origin - May or may not be the correct handle. The company is quite secretive and this Twitter account is protected, not accessible to the public.
@GLXP - LunarX Prize
@LockheedMartin - Company founded on May 21, 1912, just 9 years after the Wright Brothers flew at Kitty Hawk NC.
@ulalaunch - ULA
63 Aerospace Companies and Growing
May 22, 2012, 3:44 am to the ISS
SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket
According to Star Wars fans, the Falcon 9 was named for the Millennium Falcon, the ship Han Solo won from Lando Calrissian in Star Wars: A New Hope way back in 1977.
If we continue to name spacecraft and other technologies after our favorite space opera models, we're going to bring those film and TV series into reality. This is fast approaching the ST IV: The Journey Home 1986 film in which Captain Kirk and company travel in time back to 1986, need clear-steel transparent metal and teach a local San Francisco manufacturer how to produce it, creating the initial 1986 invention.So, who really invented it?
Incidentally, in the 1990s translucent metal was created in America and clear-steel is still in development.
And a Star to Steer Her By...
Captain Jean-Luc Picard told a young adult Wesley Crusher that he envied the younger man because he would live through a new era of space exploration and technology unreachable by the older generation that could not live long enough to explore those reaches.
I am feeling that concept now, because Mars is probably 20 years to the future for us in 2012 - unless the private sector continues to break time records as they have on Google's LunarX moon lander contest. Still, how must John Glenn feel today at age 93, even though he is still teaching at The Ohio State University and traveling the lecture circuit? How much past the cellular-programmed 113-year +/- 5 maximum age for human DNA and cell division can we push our longevity limit? Space Medicine may provide the answer to that.
Excalibur Human Spacecraft
- Advantages of Transport and Flight Nursing
Flight and transport nursing are becoming more important in recent years, given the development of high-tech treatment centers requiring air travel. Another change is the increase in aerospace work under the umbrella of Google in LunarX technologies
- Jobs Of the Future - Stellar Cartographer, Needed fo...
What job of the future would you like to have? We may dream about far off places and new kinds of jobs that do not yet exist, but the emergence of space age jobs is surprising.
- NASA's Partnerships with the Private Sector and the ...
NASA took a proactive stance toward partnerships with the private sector for future space exploration and commercial aerospace enterprises long before the final US Space Shuttle launch during Independence Week in July 2011. Almost before the...
- Google and James Cameron Entered the Space Mining Bu...
We have lift off of privatized space flight. Partnerships between NASA and private designers, astronaut trainers, and manufactures overlapped the end of the US Space Shuttle Program by at least a year, with astonishing results.
Interested In Space Research and Space Travel?
Results of the HJune 2012 Conference
- American Astronautical Society
ISS Research and Development Conference