Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Naval Officer Had Three Careers

Captain Bradley Alan Peterson,U.S. Navy retired,died on 7 March from a severe brain injury received when the car he was a passenger in was struck by a speeding car in Albuquerque,New Mexico.He was 53. Captain Peterson was a 1980 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy.He went on to serve as an officer aboard the nuclear-powered attack submarine USS Grayling(SSN 646)and the ballistic missile submarine USS Alaska(SSBN 732).Following active duty,Captain Peterson served as a high-ranking intelligence officer in the U.S. Navy Reserve.Beginning in 1991,he began his third national security career with the Department of Energy as a nuclear safety engineer.Eventually,Captain Peterson moved into leadership positions in nuclear weapons transport and security with the DOE's National Nuclear Security Administration in Albuquerque. He is survived by his mother,two brothers and three children.Following their father's sterling example of service to the nation,his son will graduate from the U.S. Military Academy in June,while his two daughters recently graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy and U.S. Merchant Marine Academy,respectively.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Shop Talk:A Photo Worth Looking At-a new voyage begins

Dear Readers, Below this post you will find a link to an attractive NASA photo of a recent Orion spacecraft test.The mainstream media did not report prominently on this test;their coverage of the new voyages NASA is quietly embarking on has been generally inadequate,leaving the public in the dark not of space.This blog will not follow suit,but will report what ought to be known.It has always done and will continue to do so. The U.S. Navy and Marine Corps have always been a primary source of the astronaut corps.Countless space explorers have come from their ranks.The same questing spirit that sends men and women to sea and air extends into the heavens.We are pleased to follow this thread of history as warranted. Sincerely, Andrew Taylor, Publisher

NASA - Testing the Orion Crew Vehicle's Parachutes

NASA - Testing the Orion Crew Vehicle's Parachutes

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

After the Shuttle:SpaceX Prepares For ISS Demonstration Mission

Good progress is being made in the successor to the space shuttle program,even as the shuttles are being retired to museums.On May 7,NASA contractor SpaceX is set to launch its unmanned Dragon spacecraft on its Falcon 9 rocket toward the International Space Station.According to NASA,this date now appears unlikely,however,because of a software problem.A firm date will be announced when the issue is resolved.The spacecraft and rocket were successfully sent into low earth orbit in 2010-the first time a commercial entity had achieved low earth orbit,or LEO.
On this mission,the goal is to rendezvous with the ISS.At that point,the ISS will grapple the Dragon,which is a capsule atop a module,draw it close with its robot arm and dock with it.The ISS astronauts will enter the Dragon,retrieve 1200 pounds of cargo,and insert a return load into the Dragon.
The Dragon spacecraft will undock,reenter earth's atmosphere and splash down.The spacecraft and its return cargo are then to be retrieved.Should this mission succeed,SpaceX will begin regular resupply missions to the ISS under its 12 mission contract with NASA that has a renewal option.
SpaceX was founded in 2002 by South African native Elon Musk,a noted engineer and billionaire entrepreneur,who cofounded PayPal.
Another NASA contractor,Orbital Sciences,is to conduct an unmanned demonstration mission with its Cygnus spacecraft later this year.Once the cargo missions are underway and further testing is completed,manned low earth missions with NASA astronauts in commercial spacecraft are slated to begin.SpaceX and Boeing are vying for the manned LEO mission contract.
The low earth orbit contractors allow NASA to husband its resources for deep space exploration with the new Space Launch System and Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle,which are to be capable of taking astronauts to the asteroids and Mars,as well as the Webb Space Telescope,successor to the Hubble.Initial testing of the SLS and MPCV have been going well.The first launch of the SLS is planned for 2017.
Orbital Sciences(ORB),Boeing(BA)

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Ornament of Spring:The Eastern Redbud

One of the best sights of early spring is the eastern redbud,Cercis canadensis.A lover of moist soils,it is among the finest ornamental trees of North America,besides being a wildland mainstay.At this time,the tree is enlivening many a vista.The bright purple flowers emlazon the landscape from Northern Mexico up to New Jersey and Southeast Nebraska,growing to an altitude of about 2200 feet,or 671 meters.
This slender-trunked tree may reach only 40 feet/12 meters in height.The flowers are followed by flat seed pods that start to fall in late autumn,containing a number of flat,elliptical seeds.Frequently seen along slopes and roadsides,their vivid flowers make for an outstanding April journey.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Inside the Industrial Base:Navy Shipbuilder Has Successful Q4-and what they're doing now

Huntington Ingalls Industries,the former Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding,had outstanding earnings in Q4 2011.Alliance Bernstein gave the stock a price target of 51 dollars on margin expansion and transparency.It closed at 40.00 on Tuesday.The nation's sole builder of aircraft carriers,HII has built more ships in more classes than any other firm.
HII anticipates a new contract to build the John F. Kennedy carrier(CVN 79)in 2013.The JFK would be completed in the 2020-21 time frame.The company is already building five other ships to be delivered by 2015.The next 3-5 years are already under contract.By 2015,the firm will be back to normal business after the Hurricane Katrina disruption in 2005.
CEO Mike Petters said 2012 will be a lot like last year,with maybe a little better return because of retiring risk.Our attrition rates are historically low,Mr.Petters added.
HII is preparing to close its Avondale,Mississippi shipyard in 2013 unless it can find a joint venture partner,despite Mississippi's offer of an incentive package worth more than 200 million dollars to keep it open.Avondale's workforce has gone down from 5,000 to 3,300 workers so far.The yard is currently completing its final projects,which are two amphibious assault ships for transporting U.S. Marines and their equipment,the Anchorage(LPD 23) and the Somerset(LPD 25).
Once Avondale closes,the company will have two remaining shipyards at Newport News,Virginia and Pascagoula,Mississippi,respectively.The Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier(CVN 78)is currently under construction at Newport News.
Huntington Ingalls Industries(HII)