NASA's Meteorologists expect fine weather this afternoon for the launch of space shuttle Discovery. The STS-133 mission will launch today at 4:50 p.m. EST from Launch Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Discovery will deliver and install the Permanent Multipurpose Module, the Express Logistics Carrier 4 and provide critical spare components to the International Space Station. This will be the 35th shuttle mission to the station. Read more...
21st Century Earth and Space Explorations Spawn New
On this anniversary of Thomas Edison’s birth (Edison's Birth: Feb 11, 1847. See photo of inventor known as, The Wizard of Menlo Park, at right), it is fitting that we reflect on the value of invention and commercialization as part of our country’s heritage. Last week NASATalk featured a blog about student experiments aboard the final space shuttle flight Several commercial ventures and investments are behind this first national space science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) program. This article provides examples of commercial, nongovernmental organizations and independent schools involved in International Space Station experiments—continuing the tradition of successful ties between entrepreneurs and new discoveries.
Last week’s call for student participation in International Space Station STEM experiments was inspired by the 48 Challenger Learning Centers that were established as a loving tribute to the Jan. 28, 1986, tragedy. By recalling the Challenger tragedy on its 25th anniversary, I’d hoped to stimulate student and teacher interest in current STEM in space opportunities while many were remembering the brave Challenger STS-51L crew.
Looking at space exploration 25 years later, government leaders realize that continued involvement in space exploration and research is quite expensive. Involving capable commercial collaborators such as the NanoRacks company and organizations like the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education (NCESSE), which oversees the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SEEP), is one way to make space missions and research viable. As commercial space entrepreneur Jeffrey Manber points out, in many cases the commercial space partner “first proved their programs in the marketplace before asking for NASA funding and operational support” (personal correspondence Feb. 7, 2011). Read more...