—MRO at Mars, NASA Gets “Reality” Check, Discovery Delayed, and Other Stories


Where the “Ides of March” are the least of our problems—

Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter “comes back around” at Mars
SPACE.com — Red Planet Arrival: NASA’s MRO Spacecraft Enters Mars Orbit
No doubt there’s a collective sigh of relief at JPL, as the new Mars orbiter has safely entered its initial orbit at Mars. The orbiter is expected to provide unprecedented image quality and a much faster data downlink capability than the current orbiters. Over at MSNBC, James Oberg comments [Mars orbiter faces NASA’s ‘Ghoulish’ past – Space News – MSNBC.com] on NASA’s troubled history of Mars exploration.

NASA has a really bad week
Spaceflight Now | Breaking News | Ultrasound on Discovery arm; Endeavour tiles hit
I almost can’t bring myself to think about it—but what would happen if the “3 Stooges” got hired to maintain the STS? First Curly spins around too fast and smashes his inspection light against a railing, showering broken glass into the cargo bay. Then Larry is sent to sweep up the glass, but hits the Canadian arm, denting and cracking it. As Moe begins to berate their incompetence, he drops a film processor off a tool tray onto the body flap insulation tiles. See? It just isn’t that funny—but then, neither were their other movies.

Discovery launch delayed
FOXNews.com [AP] – Science News – NASA Delays Shuttle Launch Until At Least July
NASA decided to delay the next launch until July because of continued problems with the aging backup fuel level detectors in the H2 tank. I thought they decided to relax the launch rules on these things….what’s really going on?

Worlds collide
SPACE.com — Astronaut Forced Out Survivor’s Airlock
Yes, “reality TV”, that unfortunate blending of the worst of soap-opera melodrama and professional wrestling, meets NASA. NASA loses.

The “law”?
FOXNews.com – Moussaoui Mess
Once again, we see that American justice cannot produce what the proverbial “reasonable man” would consider a “reasonable” outcome. I guess we should be glad they didn’t let him out on bail…

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