Many folks would like to see us back on the Moon and developing its resources.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Sea Launch has successfully completed the Thuraya-3 mission

Sea Launch carried live coverage of the Thuraya-3 mission via satellite,
as well as streaming video on its website.
I missed letting you know about it but you can watch the archived video
here <> and see other
available archived launch videos as well.
- LRK -

Payload - Thuraya-3

Boeing built the Thuraya satellites - the first in the GEM series of
spacecraft - to provide a range of cellular-like voice and data services
over a large geographic region. The innovative contract, signed just
over 10 years ago, included the manufacture of three high-power
geosynchronous satellites as well as integration with a ground segment
and user handsets. The Thuraya ground segment includes terrestrial
gateways plus a collocated network operations center and satellite
control facility in the United Arab Emirates. The Primary Gateway in
Sharjah, UAE, serves the entire coverage area and Thuraya plans to
establish additional national gateways at other locations as necessary.


Larry Klaes posted a bit about Bussard's WB-7 prototype being activated,
which I copied.

Also some clips from NASA News.


[If you know of someone that blind or has a vision problem you might
check it out for them. - LRK -
--- BALTIMORE - At a Tuesday ceremony at the National Federation of the
NASA unveiled a new book that brings majestic images taken by its Great
Observatories to the fingertips of the blind. --- ]



Thanks for looking up with me.

Larry Kellogg

Web Site:
RSS link:
Launch Update sent as a courtesy from AGI. - LRK -
Their source is

Launch: 2008 January 15, 1149 UTC
Site: Sea Launch PLatform (mobile)
Launcher: Zenit 3 SL
International Designator: 2008-001A
SSC - 3204
Name - THURAYA-3
Owner - UAE

"Sea Launch has successfully completed the Thuraya-3 mission. A Sea
Launch Zenit-3SL rocket lifted off from the Odyssey Launch Platform at
3:49 am PST. All phases of the flight profile performed as expected. The
mission ended with spacecraft separation from the Block DM upper stage,
placing the Thuraya-3 communications satellite into a Geosynchronous
Transfer Orbit. A ground station at Fillmore, California, USA, acquired
the spacecraft signal shortly after spacecraft separation. All systems
are operating nominally.

Sea Launch's Zenit-3SL rocket resumes operations with this flight,
carrying the Boeing-built Thuraya-3 mobile communications satellite into
geosynchronous transfer orbit. Once operational, this satellite will
expand Thuraya's network coverage to include all key markets of the Asia
Pacific region."

*Source:* Sea Launch, "Current Launch"

AGI's Launch Notification e-mails will help you stay current with all
new spacecraft launches. E-mails are sent after every launch and include
key spacecraft information such as: the date, time, launch site,
launcher, international number, name, and owner. Get more information on
thousands of satellites and other vehicles by viewing STK models,
animations, and our encyclopedic "Spacecraft Digest" database at
/ <>.

Larry Klaes posted this memo. - LRK -

Bussard's inertial electrostatic confinement fusion WB-7
prototype activated

EMC2 Fusion has built an upgraded model of Bussard's
last experimental plasma containment device, which was
known as WB-6.

"We got first plasma yesterday," Nebel said - but he and
his colleagues in Santa Fe, N.M., still have a long way to
get the WB-7 experiment up to the power levels Bussard
was working with.

This work is very important because we could have
commercial fusion in as little as 5 years if the work is
successful. Success would also transform space travel
(40 to 1000 times cheaper to get into space).

Full article here:

See this attached article - The World's Simplest Fusion
Reactor and How to Make it Work
NASA News e-mail has this information. - LRK -

Jan. 15, 2008

Grey Hautaluoma
Headquarters, Washington

Ray Villard
Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore

Chris Danielsen
National Federation of the Blind, Baltimore
410-659-9314 ext. 2330

RELEASE: 08-007


BALTIMORE - At a Tuesday ceremony at the National Federation of the
Blind, NASA unveiled a new book that brings majestic images taken by
its Great Observatories to the fingertips of the blind.

"Touch the Invisible Sky" is a 60-page book with color images of
nebulae, stars, galaxies and some of the telescopes that captured the
original pictures. Each image is embossed with lines, bumps and other
textures. These raised patterns translate colors, shapes and other
intricate details of the cosmic objects, allowing visually impaired
people to experience them. Braille and large-print descriptions
accompany each of the book's 28 photographs, making the book's design
accessible to readers of all visual abilities.

The book contains spectacular images from the Hubble Space Telescope,
Chandra X-ray Observatory, Spitzer Space Telescope and powerful
ground-based telescopes. The celestial objects are presented as they
appear through visible-light telescopes and different spectral
regions invisible to the naked eye, from radio to infrared, visible,
ultraviolet and X-ray light.

The book introduces the concept of light and the spectrum and explains
how the different observatories complement each others' findings.
Readers take a cosmic journey beginning with images of the sun, and
travel out into the galaxy to visit relics of exploding and dying
stars, as well as the Whirlpool galaxy and colliding Antennae

"Touch the Invisible Sky" was written by astronomy educator and
accessibility specialist Noreen Grice of You Can Do Astronomy LLC and
the Museum of Science, Boston, with authors Simon Steel, an
astronomer with the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in
Cambridge, Mass., and Doris Daou, an astronomer at NASA Headquarters,

"About 10 million visually impaired people live in the United States,"
Grice said. "I hope this book will be a unique resource for people
who are sighted or blind to better understand the part of the
universe that is invisible to all of us."

The book will be available to the public through a wide variety of
sources, including NASA libraries, the National Federation of the
Blind, Library of Congress repositories, schools for the blind,
libraries, museums, science centers and Ozone Publishing.

"We wanted to show that the beauty and complexity of the universe goes
far beyond what we can see with our eyes!" Daou said.

"The study of the universe is a detective story, a cosmic 'CSI,' where
clues to the inner workings of the universe are revealed by the
amazing technology of modern telescopes," Steel said. "This book
invites everyone to join in the quest to unlock the secrets of the

"One of the greatest challenges faced by blind students who are
interested in scientific study is that certain kinds of information
are not available to them in a non-visual form," said Marc Maurer,
president of the National Federation of the Blind. "Books like this
one are an invaluable resource because they allow the blind access to
information that is normally presented through visual observation and
media. Given access to this information, blind students can study and
compete in scientific fields as well as their sighted peers."

The prototype for this book was funded by an education grant from the
Chandra mission and production was a collaborative effort by the NASA
space science missions, which provide the images, and other agency

For more information on NASA's Great Observatories, visit:


To subscribe to the list, send a message to:

Also from NASA News. - LRK -

Jan. 15, 2008

Beth Dickey/Stephanie Schierholz
Headquarters, Washington

Lynnette Madison
Johnson Space Center, Houston

RELEASE: 08-008


WASHINGTON -- NASA's Constellation Program has released a broad agency
announcement for study proposals to evaluate human landing craft
concepts for exploring the moon.

The Altair spacecraft will deliver four astronauts to the lunar
surface late in the next decade. NASA plans to establish an outpost
on the moon through a sustainable and affordable series of lunar
missions beginning no later than 2020.

"By soliciting ideas and suggestions from industry and the science
community, NASA hopes to foster a collaborative environment during
this early design effort," said Jeff Hanley, the Constellation
Program manager. "Such collaboration will support the development of
a safe, reliable and technologically sound vehicle for our crews."

NASA is seeking responses in two primary areas before the release of a
prime contract for lunar lander design, development, test and
evaluation. Those areas include an evaluation of NASA's current
developmental concept and innovative safety improvements, and
recommendations for industry-government partnerships.

This broad agency announcement will be open to industry for 30 days
from the issue date of Jan. 11.

NASA expects to award study contracts in the first quarter of 2008. A
total of $1.5 million is available for awards. The maximum individual
award amount is $350,000. The contract performance period is six

The Constellation Program, based at NASA's Johnson Space Center,
Houston, manages the Altair Project for NASA's Exploration Systems
Mission Directorate. Constellation is developing a new space
transportation system that is designed to travel beyond low Earth
orbit. The Constellation fleet includes the Orion crew exploration
vehicle, the Ares I and Ares V launch vehicles and Altair human lunar

For more information about NASA's Constellation Program on the
Internet, visit:

For information about NASA and agency programs, visit:






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