Wednesday, December 28, 2016

History of Mission Control - NASA

Orion Backstage: NASA's Super Guppy Takes on Heavy Lifting for Orion

Space Station Crew Celebrates the Holidays Aboard the Orbital Lab - Cdr.Shane Kimbrough and Peggy Whitson,USA and Thomas Pesquet,ESA

From Metal To Masterpiece: Orion's 2016 Progress - NASA

Orion Rising:What To Expect in 2017 and Beyond From the Deep Space Spacecraft

At this writing,the constellation Orion has begun rising in the eastern sky shortly after nightfall,pleasing those both with and without telescopes.At the same time,its namesake spacecraft is steadily being prepared for its 2018 launch on Exploration Mission-1,the first unmanned,integrated test of the complete Orion deep space exploration system,including the Crew module,ESA Service Module and Space Launch System rocket,in a high orbit around the Moon.These preparations will continue throughout the new year,bringing the first manned,record-breaking test of Orion,Exploration Mission-2,ever closer - as soon as 2021.At that point,NASA plans one launch a year of Orion in pursuit of its deep space objectives.
If 2016 was a time for integrating structural elements into the spacecraft,and then critical systems such as avionics components and propulsion tubing,next year will unfold as:
1.In spring 2017,computers in the Crew Module for EM-1 will be turned on for the first time to verify that the spacecraft can route power and send commands in an integrated test to verify Orion's systems are connected and responding appropriately.
2.The ESA Orion Service Module that will propel and power Orion will be shipped to Kennedy Space Center after structural and systems work is finished up at Airbus Defence & Space in Bremen,Germany.
3.The heat shield will be secured onto the Crew Module in summer,and then the Crew and Service Modules will be stacked one on top of the other.In early 2018,this stack will be shipped to NASA Glenn Plum Brook Station,Ohio,where it will undergo tests in the dynamics of launch and the harsh environment of deep space flight.
4.Several parachute tests will take place over the Arizona desert to verify the safety of recovery operations.
5.Human factors tests such as a legibility test will help evaluate how humans interact with the new spacecraft.
6.Orion prime contractor Lockheed Martin will carry out its own series of stress tests at its Denver facility.*
Even as these tests for EM-1 go on,construction work for the EM-2 Crew Module will begin in 2017.
Lockheed Martin (LMT)

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Britain's secretive and lethal force in Syria - BBC News

Battle of Mosul 2016 - French Artillery Fire on ISIS + M109 Paladins Fir...

UK and US Defence Ministers:Why ISIL Is Losing

Defence ministers from member countries of the anti-ISIL Operation Inherent Resolve coalition met in London last week to assess the campaign's progress and chart the way ahead to ultimate victory over the Islamist extremists.
ISIL is now failing,said UK Defence Minister Michael Fallon.It controls less than 10% of Iraq.It's lost more than a quarter of land it once held in Syria.Its supply of recruits has dried up and more than 25,000 fighters have been killed.*
Thanks to the determination and the courage of our local partners in Iraq,Syria and elsewhere,pointed out US Defense Secretary Ash Carter,as well as the contributions made by service members from across our coalition and the leadership of the countries represented here today,our campaign has continually accelerated the execution of the campaign,simultaneously pressuring ISIL from all directions and across all domains.
As we look to the future of our campaign,there's clear value in our strategic approach of enabling local forces to seize and hold territory rather than attempting to substitute for them.This approach has not only been effective;it's also sustainable.It will be necessary to continue this kind of cooperation with our local partners,Dr.Carter emphasised.

LIVE: Full US Marine Corps Honors:John Glenn Memorial Processional - with audio

US Marine Corps Honor Guard:John Glenn lies in repose at Ohio Statehouse - with audio

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

On 10 December 2016,members of Hellenic Air Force Squadrons 341 and 347 visited His Beatitude Greek Orthodox Patriarch Theophilos III of Jerusalem and All Palestine ΜΟΙΡΑ ΤΗΣ ΕΛΛΗΝΙΚΗΣ ΑΕΡΟΠΟΡΙΑΣ ΕΠΙΣΚΕΠΤΕΤΑΙ ΤΟ ΠΑΤΡΙΑΡΧΕΙΟ.

SecDef Outlines Success,Plans for Europe at Italian Air Base - at a critical time

US Secretary of Defense Ash Carter spoke to airmen of the US Air Force's 31st Fighter Wing at Aviano Air Base,Italy on 13 December 2016 as part of his holiday visit to the troops,his last before leaving office in January.Dr.Carter revealed a successful airstrike in the Middle East that directly impacts European security:
I wanted to tell you something that I have not said before.And,you know,we don't talk about these operations very much;but you're the first to know.I can confirm that today we took out three of ISIL's key leaders in the last couple of weeks.It was one strike.These are guys who were linked to plots right here in Europe.And I can't share all the details with you,but,for example,with the Paris attacks.And they were associates of al-Adnani,who was,if you'll recall,the chief external plotter for ISIL and its chief spokesman.*
Addressing members of the US Army's 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team,who are based at Vicenza,Italy,Dr.Carter noted that:
We have,just to remind you,just two brigades stationed all the time here;another one that we'll be putting in on a persistent rotational basis;equipment for a fourth,so that will be an armoured division that troops can fall in on in a crisis;a battalion in the Baltics;and of course much,much more at sea,on land and in the air-a sad necessity of our time,but one that we need to do.
So whether it is in Europe;whether it is in the Middle East;whether it is in Africa,all the things you're doing here are necessary;they're extremely important.So you're right here,right now at a critical time in our strategic history,Dr.Carter concluded.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Nature Note:Fishers Reintroduced to Mt.Rainier - rare North American weasel species

Sometimes called the "fisher cat" because it is about the size of a large house cat,a close look at the fisher (Martes pennanti) shows much larger and longer claws than a house cat's,rounded ears and a pointed snout,with a facial resemblance to its cousin the wolverine.Now 10 of the rare forest weasels have been reintroduced to Mt.Rainier National Park.The creatures were set free on the Nisqually River Watershed on 2 December 2016.Over-trapping and habitat loss had extirpated them from Washington state in the mid-twentieth century,and they were listed as state-endangered in 1998.The US Fish&Wildlife Service has requested they be listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.*
The four female and six male fishers released were captured in British Columbia as part of a multi-year project to reintroduce fishers to the Southern Cascade Mountains.They got health checkups by veterinarians and radio transmitters so biologists can track them,the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife said.Lead partners in the effort were the WDFW;National Park Service;US Forest Service;and Conservation Northwest.The British Columbia Ministry of Environment and BC Trappers Association provided the animals.
Last year,the group released 23 fishers,11 females and 12 males,on Gifford Pinchot National Forest.Next,the Northern Cascades are targeted for more releases,with another 80 set for release beginning as early as autumn 2017.The Nisqually and Cowlitz tribes,along with Canadian Chilcotin and and Northern Shushrip First Nations,attended the Mt.Rainier release and performed their blessings and songs.*
From 2008-10,90 fishers were released in Olympic National Park,Washington.They have dispersed throughout the Olympic Peninsula and successfully reproduced.A secretive carnivore that favours low to mid-elevation boreal and mixed forests,the fisher preys on mountain beavers;squirrels;snowshoe hares;and even porcupines.The goal is to eventually be able to downlist the species,a valuable furbearer,to a less protected status.