Making good Mondays is like making coffee -

The week is before us - like the coffee pot - waiting to brew. Making it good is a matter of choice, luck, creativity, patience and acceptance of the outcome.

Currently at Making Good Mondays

Active elements on this page: Occasionally I will publish a new blog post, but I write mostly at other sites.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Cautious anticipation by NASA

STS-125 -- The next NASA shuttle mission is scheduled for 11 days in space beginning October 8, 2008. This mission to service the Hubble telescope is on track to be able to meet its scheduled launch date. To quote NASA:

An ambitious week is wrapping up at NASA's Kennedy Space Center. Preparations for the STS-125 mission to service the Hubble Space Telescope remain on target.

Inside Kennedy's Orbiter Processing Facility, Atlantis' payload bay doors were closed Thursday night, a few days earlier than scheduled. Finishing touches on the spacecraft's orbital maneuvering system will continue this weekend. . .

At NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston Atlantis' crew members ended their week reviewing the operation of the IMAX high-definition camera that will capture the repairs on Hubble from Atlantis' cargo bay. They also practiced entry simulations.

During the STS-125 mission, NASA astronauts will install new instruments on the telescope, including the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph and the Wide Field Camera 3. A refurbished Fine Guidance Sensor will replace one unit of three now on board.

Crew members will also install new gyroscopes, batteries and thermal blankets on the telescope enhancing the abilities of Hubble for several more years of service.

This final visit to Hubble by the crew of the shuttle Atlantis, STS-125, is unusual for NASA for several reasons.

  • It is the last visit to the Hubble Space Telescope before the shuttle fleet retires in 2010.
  • This crew – Commander Scott Altman, Pilot Gregory C. Johnson and Mission Specialists Andrew Feustel, Michael Good, John Grunsfeld, Mike Massimino and Megan McArthur – will be the fifth to fly to the telescope.
  • In contrast to assembling the "erector-set" elements of the International Space Station, this mission will be characterized by tasks that are very delicate and complicated. Five space walks will be needed to complete the repair and refurbishment that will allow Hubble another five work years in orbit.
  • The mission must be conducted out of the shuttle alone, much more confining and difficult than it would be out of the ISS.
  • The shuttle crew will be responsible for doing all the inspections necessary to assure the integrity of the vehicle for reentry into the earth's atmosphere.
  • In case of trouble, the shuttle Endeavour and the flight deck crew of STS-123 will be on the launch pad in Florida, ready to rescue a stranded crew in a few days.

International Space Station news -- Meanwhile the Expedition 17 crew, Russians Commander Sergei Volkov and Flight Engineer Oleg Kononenko, have recently completed two space walks outside the Russian segments of the ISS, beginning with installing exterior experiments. To quote:

In this spacewalk, their second in less than a week, they also continued to outfit the station's exterior, including the installation of a docking target on the Zvezda service module. It will help with the docking of a Russian mini research module on the space-facing side of Zvezda. That module will be launched next year. . .

As he did last week, Flight Engineer Greg Chamitoff remained in the Soyuz during the spacewalk. That was part of contingency preparations for the unlikely event the Pirs airlock could not be repressurized.

The July 10 spacewalk by Volkov and Kononenko focused on inspection of their Soyuz TMA-12 spacecraft and retrieval of an explosive bolt, one of 10 that help separate the spacecraft's return module from its propulsion module. The bolt will be returned to Earth for examination.

Failure of those two modules to separate on time during re-entry on the most recent two Soyuz returns resulted in ballistic entries. Those steeper-than-normal entries, while safe, resulted in high-G rides for Soyuz occupants and landings several hundred miles short of the planned area.

For dessert after this blog post's "meal in space," I recommend some delicious "eye candy." Explore the new website, NASA, a service of the Internet Archive. The image above is from this site.

My topical post today at South by Southwest and The Reaction is about politics.

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References on Spirituality -- Favorites from my old collection

  • "A Return To Love: Reflections On the Principles Of a Course In Miracles" by Marianne Williamson. Harper Collins, 1992
  • "A World Waiting To Be Born: Civility Rediscovered" by M. Scott Peck. Simon and Schuster, 1993
  • "Chicken Soup For the Unsinkable Soul" by Canfield, Hansen and McNamara. Health Communications, 1999
  • "Compassion in Action: Setting Out On the Path of Service" by Ram Dass and Mirabai Bush. Bell Tower Pub., 1992
  • "Creative Visualization" by Shakti Gawain. MIF Books, 1978
  • "Finding Values That Work: The Search For Fulfillment" by Brian O'Connell. Walker & Co., 1978
  • "Fire in the Soul" by Joan Borysenko. Warner Books, 1993
  • "Further Along the Road Less Traveled" by M. Scott Peck. Simon and Schuster, 1993
  • "Guilt Is the Teacher, Love Is the Lesson" by Joan Borysenko. Warner Books, 1990
  • "Inner Simplicity: 100 Ways To Regain Peace and Nourish the Soul" by Elaine St. James. Hyperion, 1995
  • "Insearch:Psychology and Religion" by James Hillman. Spring Pub. 1994
  • "Man's Search For Himself" by Rollo May. Signet Books, 1953
  • "Mythologies" by William Butler Yeats. Macmillan, 1959
  • "Myths, Dreams and Religion" by Joseph Campbell. Spring Pub. 1988
  • "Passion for Life: Psychology and the Human Spirit" by John and Muriel James. Penguin Books, 1991
  • "Peace Is Every Step" by Thich Nhat Hahn. Bantam Books , 1991
  • "The Heroine's Journey" by Mureen Murdock. Random House, 1990
  • "The Hope For Healing Human Evil" by M. Scott Peck. Simon and Schuster, 1983
  • "The House of Belonging" poems by David Whyte. Many Rivers Press, 2004
  • "The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth" by M.Scott Peck. Simon and Schuster, 1978
  • "The Soul's Code: In Search Of Character and Calling" by James Hillman. Random House, 1996
  • "The World Treasury of Modern Religious Thought" by Jaroslav Pelikan. Little, Brown & Co., 1990
  • "Unconditional Life" by Deepak Chopra. Bantam Books, 1992
  • "Wherever You Go There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation" by Jon Kabat-Zinn. Hyperion, 1994
  • "Zen Keys: A Guide to Zen Practice" by Thich Nhat Hahn. Doubleday Dell Pub. Group, 1974

About Me

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A retired counselor, I am equal parts Techie and Artist. I am a Democrat who came to the Southwest to attend college. I married, had kids and have lived here all my adult life.