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Submission + - Summer Fades, But NASA's Summer of Records Remains.

tetrahedrassface writes: Stennis Space Center spent a long summer testing the J2-X engine. The story hasn't received much press, but Stennis, and the J2-X had a very good summer indeed. Of note for this critical piece of equipment that will help up once again undertake manned exploration class space mission was that it smashed its endurance record not once, but twice. The first was the successful throttling up and down of the engine for 1,150 seconds. The second came on July 24'th with a test that lasted 1,350 seconds. That's great news for NASA as they try to move forward past the Shuttle Era and back into an age of beyond Low Earth Orbit manned missions.

Submission + - NASA Successfully Test Fires J-2X Engine. (

tetrahedrassface writes: "NASA successfully test fired the J-2X engine today for 500 seconds at Stennis Space Center. The J2-X is derived from the J2 engine from the Apollo Era, and will power the upper stage of the SLS. From the article: 'We have 500 seconds of good data, and the first look is that everything went great. The J-2X engine team and the SLS program as a whole are extremely happy that we accomplished a good, safe and successful test today,” said Mike Kynard, Space Launch System Engines Element Manager at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. “This engine test firing gives us critical data to move forward in the engine’s development.'"

Submission + - U.S Pwned In Space, No One Cares. 1

tetrahedrassface writes: The narrative over the last five years in the U.S. has been rife with an increasing number of attacks on NASA, its funding, how it arrives at its funds, and the governments role in space exploration. The detractors would have us believe that privatization is the only way forward, short of a erstwhile and fully cognizant federal plan. Yet, during this time as we have dallied and preferred to argue over the best course of action, other countries have continued to fund both manned and unmanned platforms on a governmental basis. The result is that Russia is preparing to launch a Soyuz from South America. The Chinese are busy preparing to launch a trial space station in September, and India just overtook Canada's place in space competiviness. Does anyone else care that we are being owned by all these other countries. Isn't it time we get our space program in gear?

Submission + - 'Adrift' NASA Manned Space Program Faces Budget Ax (

tetrahedrassface writes: It's no secret the manned U.S space program is in dire straits. The cancellation of the pricey Constellation program, and the shuttering of the Shuttle fleet is leaving our manned presence reliant on Russian rockets, while pinning our domestic manned aspirations on as-yet-developed platforms. Now potential budget cuts loom for a program that just weeks ago was 'salvaged' in a grand gesture of Congressional compromise, yet in which Congress did not give money to, and likely will not fund. Meant to be built using off the shelf components of the Shuttle, the heavy lift vehicle is encountering doubts as to whether it can be built on time and on budget, leaving many in the space community worried that NASA's manned space program is on a terminal trajectory with terra firma, never to rise like the phoenix again. As infighting brews amongst participants in the program some of the power players (Lockheed) is trying to change the tone of the debate, by offering an Orion capsule stacked on top of a Delta IV-Heavy; a system with many successful launches under its belt. According to John Karas, who is the GM of Lockheeds Manned Flight division, 'Everybody's arguing, debating. We are in this giant storm with no direction, and more than likely we're gonna get hit with more waves of money cuts. So we have to have some future plan here; some future direction — or we're just going to get capsized,'. A giant storm indeed; trying to navigate the minefield and trip the light fantastic while unseen hands keep changing the tempo of the song leaving us to wonder where is the downbeat in the symphony of spaceflight.

"Consider a spherical bear, in simple harmonic motion..." -- Professor in the UCB physics department