Clock is Ticking on NASA Human Deep Space Program

Lamar Smith

It seems that nothing so becomes a politician’s public life like the announcement that he or she is leaving it.

George Washington’s decision in 1796 to not seek a third term as president is widely hailed as the ultimate example of a small-r republican virtue of restraint the general demonstrated throughout his public life. Americans trusted Washington with power because they knew he would exercise it wisely and, that when the time came, he would walk away. Voluntarily.

In an age when many kings claimed a hereditary right to rule for life with absolute authority, relinquishing power was an astounding act. But Washington, a master of exits in war and peace, knew it was time to go. In so doing, he set a two-term precedent for the presidency that would stand for 144 years.

More recently, we’ve seen another result of what happens when politicians decide they’ve had enough: candor. Sens. Bob Corker (R-TN) and Jeff Flake (R-AZ) both launched fiery broadsides at the current occupant of Washington’s old office — and a member of their own party, no less — upon announcing they would not seek re-election next year.

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Congressional Budget Gives NASA $19.6 Billion

NASA would receive $19.653 billion for fiscal year 2017 under an Omnibus spending bill released on Monday by Congressional appropriators, an increase of more than $600 million requested by the Obama Administration. NASA received just under $19.3 billion in FY 2016.

The bill was released seven months into the 2017 fiscal year. The government has been operating on continuing resolutions since the year began last Oct. 1.

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Crews Begin to Assess, Repair Damage at NASA Michoud

Recovery operations are underway at NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans where a tornado touched down on Feb. 7. Emergency personnel have secured the perimeter including repairing fences and are continuing to assess damage to buildings and structures. Credit: NASA/Jude Guidry)

NEW ORLEANS (NASA PR) — Teams at NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans worked overnight and are continuing Wednesday with assessment and recovery efforts following a tornado strike at the facility Tuesday.

Michoud remains closed to all but security and emergency operations crews. Temporary flight restrictions are in place over the area to ensure recovery and operations crews can complete their work without interference from other drones or low-flying aircraft. All Michoud personnel are accounted for, and no new injuries have been reported.

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Pictures of Tornado Damage at NASA Michoud

Tornado damage at NASA Michoud (Credit: (NASA/MAF/Steven Seipel)
Tornado damage at NASA Michoud (Credit: (NASA/MAF/Steven Seipel)
Tornado damage at NASA Michoud (Credit: (NASA/MAF/Steven Seipel)

Message From the Acting Administrator: Severe Weather Impacting Michoud Assembly Facility

The entire NASA Family pulls together during good times and bad, and the teams at the Michoud Assembly Facility are working diligently to recover from the severe weather that swept through New Orleans yesterday and damaged the facility. We are thankful for the safety of all the NASA employees and workers of onsite tenant organizations, with five sustaining minor injuries yesterday out of about 3,500 total workers at the facility. Everyone is accounted for, and we are inspired by the resilience of Michoud as we continue to assess the facility’s status.

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NASA Looks Ahead to Major Milestones for Orion Program

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (NASA PR) — From the beginning of assembly work on the Orion crew module at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida to testing a range of the spacecraft systems, engineers made headway in 2016 in advance of the spacecraft’s 2018 mission beyond the moon. A look at the important milestones that lie ahead in the next year give a glimpse into how NASA is pressing ahead to develop, build, test and fly the spacecraft that will enable human missions far into deep space.
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NASA to Air Rocket Engine Test on Thursday

The RS-25 engine fires up for a 500-second test Jan. 9 at NASA's Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. (Credit: NASA)
The RS-25 engine fires up for a 500-second test Jan. 9 at NASA’s Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. (Credit: NASA)

NEW ORLEANS (NASA PR) — NASA is offering a behind-the-scenes look Thursday, Aug. 18, at its Journey to Mars, including the test of a rocket engine that will launch the agency to the Red Planet, with live coverage on social media, NASA Television and the agency’s website.

The day’s events begin at 9:30 a.m. EDT from NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, where the agency’s social media followers will have a conversation with NASA officials about the numerous efforts enabling exploration of the Red Planet. The public can ask questions during the live broadcast, which will air on NASA TV, using the hashtag #askNASA.

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Plan Set to Deliver Space Shuttle External Tank to Los Angeles

Space shuttle external tank (Credit: NASA)
Space shuttle external tank (Credit: NASA)

LOS ANGELES (California Science Center PR) – Today the California Science Center Foundation announced the route for “Mission 26: ET Comes Home,” the journey of the external tank (ET-94).

It will travel from the Michoud Assembly Facility through the Panama Canal by barge to Los Angeles, then on through city streets, pulled by a truck on dollies, to its final destination near the California Science Center’s Samuel Oschin Pavilion. The entire journey will take six to eight weeks. ET-94 is expected to arrive around May 21, 2016.

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Boeing Awards Space Launch System Work to Dynetics

dynetics_logo
HUNTSVILLE, Ala., Sept. 23, 2014 (Dynetics PR)
– Boeing and Dynetics announced today they are partnering on NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) program, America’s heavy-lift launch vehicle designed to expand human presence beyond low-Earth orbit and enable new missions of exploration across the solar system. Boeing recently finalized a contract with NASA to develop the SLS Core stage and has selected Dynetics to provide some key elements of the stage including three structural test simulators and the Thrust Vector Control Exhaust Gas Heat Exchanger (TVC EGHE) for this stage.

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SLS Core Stage Passes Critical Design Review

A completed dome on a holding fixture at the Plug Weld Tool (PWT). (Credit: NASA/MAF)
A completed dome on a holding fixture at the Plug Weld Tool (PWT). (Credit: NASA/MAF)

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (NASA PR) — NASA continues to make progress toward its next giant leap to send humans farther into the solar system than ever before, including to an asteroid and eventually to Mars.

This week, the core stage for NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) has passed its Critical Design Review — a major milestone for the program which proves the first new design for America’s next great rocket is mature enough for production.

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Lockheed Martin to Manufacture LNG Tanks at NASA Michoud Facility

NASA_Michoud_aerial
NEW ORLEANS, March 12, 2013 (NASA PR) –
– NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, the agency’s only large-scale advanced manufacturing facility, soon will be building liquefied natural gas (LNG) tanks with commercial applications on Earth.

In a ceremony Tuesday that included Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, Lockheed Martin Corp. of Bethesda, Md., announced it is drawing on the unique experience and equipment at Michoud to manufacture the LNG tanks. Michoud also is crafting components for a new generation of NASA spacecraft that will take explorers deeper into space than they have traveled before.

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First Space-Bound Orion Arrives at Kennedy

The first space-bound Orion spacecraft at Michoud. (Credit: NASA)

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER (NASA PR) –– NASA’s Orion program reached a major milestone on June 28, 2012, when the first space-bound Orion crew capsule arrived at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Construction on the spacecraft was finished at NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility in Louisiana this week, and final outfitting and heat shield installation will take place at KSC.

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