The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA)
Welcome to the AIAA Houston Section International Activities Committee (IAC). This committee mirrors the IAC at the national level of AIAA.
Click here to jump down to our “news” section.
Since before 1987, this committee was our AIAA Houston Section International Space Activities Committee (ISAC). We changed the name from ISAC to IAC for a few reasons, starting with our 2014-2015 AIAA year.
We send our thanks to Ludmila Dmitriev-Odier, our outgoing Chair of AIAA Houston Section ISAC, now called IAC. She served in this role for approximately 6 years, and a more exact record is preserved in Horizons, our Section’s newsletter. She brought many new people to participate in the work of our Section’s Council. She brought speakers to our Annual Technical Symposiums (ATS), though ISAC started in our Section’s Operations branch (see our Section’s organization chart), and those committees are not required to bring speakers to ATS. She represented our Section when she traveled to Russia to see a Soyuz launch that included cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko. She brought a man who is a famous opera singer (Nikolay Didenko, shown below) to perform at our Section’s dinner meeting at the NASA/JSC Gilruth Center when Congressman Nick Lampson was our guest of honor. ‘O Sole Mio! She did much more than that for our Section, and much of that work is documented in Horizons. She now lives in Oklahoma.
AIAA Houston Section IAC Chair: Douglas Yazell. I started in this role in early 2017.
- We express appreciation the late AIAA Associate Fellow James C. McLane, Jr. (1923-2012) He might have started our Section’s ISAC (now IAC) in 1987 after a visit to China based on President Dwight Eisenhower’s Citizen-to-Citizen diplomacy program.
- His son, AIAA Associate Fellow James C. McLane III (1945-2015), participated in our Section activities in many ways, including writing articles for our newsletter, Horizons, as summarized in a 2015 special issue of Horizons.
- James C. McLane, Jr. co-founded our Section’s Chinese sister section relationship in 1987 with the Chinese Society of Astronautics (CSA) in Shanghai (The Shanghai Astronautical Society, SAS). See below for more details about that, and of course, see our archived issues of Horizons at www.aiaahouston.org/newsletter and an AIAA SharePoint website (link not specified here for now).
- Douglas Yazell, AIAA Houston Section contact person for our French sister section work, 3AF MP (www.3af-mp.fr). Our France-USA sister section contacts are (I am writing this on August 2, 2020.) Alain Chevalier and Francis Guimera. Mr. Guimera succeeded Mr. Chevalier as President of our French sister section.
- Our Ethiopia-USA sister section contact people in Houston are Angela Beck, Thomas Haregot, and Dr. Yared Kidane. 2017 AIAA Houston Section IAC Acting Chair Douglas Yazell is listing their names here as of March 19, 2017.
- Jackelynne (Jacky) Silva-Martinez proposed a Peru-USA sister section relationship with the Arequipa chapter of an astrobiology scientific society in Peru, SCAP. As of March 19, 2017, AIAA Houston Section is in the process of voting on that. [We voted yes, and this Peru-USA sister section relationship started on March 27, 2017, as shown in a news article below.] Jacky is AIAA Houston Section Young Professionals Chair. She proposed, organized and followed through on a December 2016 dinner meeting for our Section. Diversity of professional disciplines in the NASA community was the theme of that dinner meeting.
Philippe Mairet and Douglas Yazell were writing regularly in Horizons, the newsletter of AIAA Houston Section. This was part of our French sister section work. As we search for a new Horizons Editor (since July 1, 2014), Philippe Mairet and Douglas Yazell continued to write with Horizons in mind. We occasionally published on this IAC web page below. [Note that Past Chair Dr. Michael Martin published (as Acting Editor for a few months) two 2015 issues of Horizons in the second half of the calendar year. Enjoy those issues on the Horizons web page.]
- 2014_08_31_Yazell_and_Mairet_for_Horizons (3 pages, 964 KM, PDF file), August 31, 2014. This contains articles about the 3 subjects shown below.
- NASA’s NEEMO 18 with ESA Astronaut Thomas Pesquet
- Rosetta Comet Rendezvous is a Triumph for the European Space Agency
- The Copernicus Program of the European Space Agency
- 2014_10_31_Yazell_and_Mairet_for_Horizons Reduced Size PDF.pdf (8 pages, 378 KB). This installment contains two articles.
- The first subject is the ESA Service Module for the NASA Orion MPCV.
- The second subject is the inevitable rise in sea level now that global warming destabilized the ice sheets in western Antarctica. NASA/JPL published those results in May of 2014 using data from ESA’s CryoSat.
- Additional writing by Philippe Mairet and Douglas Yazell is presented below in the News section of this web page.
[March 19, 2017] We now have two active sister sections, our since-2007 French sister section and our since-2017 Ethiopian sister section. Since March 7, 2017, AIAA Houston Section is voting on a Peruvian sister section. More information about all 3 of those is provided elsewhere on this web page. After James C. McLane, Jr. founded or co-founded our Chinese sister section in 1987, others followed (India, with Dr. Zafar Taqvi, Austria or Germany, with Chris Burmeister, Australia, with Russ Filler, and maybe others).
[Mach 19, 2017] Our Ethiopia-USA sister section is the Addis Ababa branch of The Ethiopian Space Science Society (ESSS, www.ethiosss.org.et, updated as of October 8, 2022, to the following link, www.ethiosss.org). The one-page proclamation is officially dated February 7, 2017. Today we are publishing a draft of a news article on this web page at www.aiaahouston.org/iac/#news, also available, we hope, at www.aiaahouston.org/#ESSS, so that readers need not scroll down later. Houston contact people: Angela Beck, Thomas Haregot, and Dr. Yared Kidane. Addis Ababa contact people, Dr. Tulu Besha Bedada and Dr. Berhan Gessesse.
Our French sister section is l’Association Aéronautique et Astronautique de France (3AF), Midi-Pyrénées Chapter (3AF MP). See their website at:
A few details:
- The 2007 proclamation creating our sister section relationship. This is a permanent sister section relationship. It is still going well as of October 2018.
- The 3AF MP organization chart is in Horizons. It is found in the May / June 2014 issue and earlier issues.
- As of October 2018, the current 3AF MP President is Francis Guimera. About 10 years ago, the 3AF MP President was Alain Chevalier. Mr. Chevalier is now the 3AF MP newsletter Editor. Their newsletter is la Gazette.
- In France, Philippe Mairet of 3AF MP was the a longtime contact person for AIAA Houston Section’s sister section work with 3AF MP. As of October 2018, no specific sister section contact person is assigned within 3AF MP. They are searching for the next person to fill that role, but the sister section relationship continues in any case.
Our Ethiopia-USA sister sections:
Documents from our work (1987 to the present) with our Chinese sister section, the Chinese Society of Astronautics (CSA) in Shanghai:
- Proclamation from 1987: the creation of our sister section relationship
- Trip Report 1 from 1988 (from our Houston to Shanghai delegation)
- Trip Report 2 from 1992 (from our Houston to Shanghai delegation)
- A Shanghai to Houston delegation visited us in the NASA/JSC community in 1990.
A record of our committee’s events from 2004 and 2008:
- Jules Verne and ISS, a 2004 lunch-and-learn event at NASA/JSC in Building 16. Our speaker for this event was Brian Rishikof of Odyssey Space Research. That company was being created at about the time of this event. Jules Verne was the first of five Automated Transfer Vehicles (ATVs) provided by the European Space Agency to carry cargo to the International Space Station (ISS).
- The Rise of China’s Space Program, a 2008 lunch-and-learn event at NASA/JSC in the Gilruth Center. Our speakers for this event were Marlo Graves and Stephen Abrams.
An unusual photo from January 28, 2015, by Douglas Yazell, above Armand Bayou at Bay Area Park: A Slovakian Aero L-39 Albatros jet trainer!?
[2015 02 17] February 17, 2015: End of the the ESA ATV program supporting the ISS: From AIAA Daily Launch:
Last ATV Leaves ISS.
AFP (2/14) reported that on Saturday, Europe’s last Automated Transfer Vehicles (ATV) undocked from the ISS “ahead of an operation on Sunday” to destructively reenter the atmosphere. The article noted that because of a “minor” power issue, a plan to use the “suicide plunge” to plan for the ISS’ eventual deorbiting was scrapped. Furthermore, the operation was pushed forward to Sunday “as a precaution.”
The CBS News (2/16, Casey) website noted that the cargo spacecraft “burned up safely” over the Pacific. ISS astronaut Terry Virts was able to capture the spacecraft leaving the ISS in a time-lapse video.
[2015 03 01] March 1, 2015. An amazing photograph by Jay Ouellet (below). It is copyrighted and used here with permission. It shows a night scene of Quebec City Canada. It includes not only the Moon, but also Venus and Mars. For February 28, 2015, this was the NASA Astronomy Photo of the Day (APOD). While anyone can view it on that website, we add it here since this photograph is so inspiring.
Above: Here is the caption (without its hyperlinks) from that NASA website:
Image Credit & Copyright: Jay Ouellet
Explanation: Taken on February 20, five different exposures made in rapid succession were used to created this tantalizing telephoto image. In combination, they reveal a wide range of brightness visible to the eye on that frigid evening, from the urban glow of the Quebec City skyline to the triple conjunction of Moon, Venus and Mars. Shortly after sunset the young Moon shows off its bright crescent next to brilliant Venus. Fainter Mars is near the top of the frame. Though details in the Moon’s sunlit crescent are washed out, features on the dark, shadowed part of the lunar disk are remarkably clear. Still lacking city lights the lunar night is illuminated solely by earthshine, light reflected from the sunlit side of planet Earth.
[2015 11 30] December 7, 2015: A proposed newsletter article: An Inconvenient Present and Future, by Douglas Yazell, Horizons contributor. Subtitle: A 2004 Book, a 2006 Movie, & a 2008 GeoJournal Issue. A proposed newsletter article for Horizons, newsletter of AIAA Houston Section. We do not have an Editor at the moment so I will store this article here for now. (24 pages, NewGeoJournalAIAAYazellHorizonsFromTemplate, PDF, 8 MB).
I can format the article using a word processor. That is good enough. I will submit the article to an editor. But I experimented with formatting. I wanted free newsletter software that would automate creation of a Table of Contents. With help from an Apple Store, we used iBooks Author on my 2010 MacBook Pro using OS X El Capitan. But I cannot link to that iBook on this web page. That violates a security rule on this WordPress web page. I could email it or use Dropbox. But we were surprised to learn that only iBooks can read that output format (ePub). So the proposed article is in the iBooks Store, but only Apple internet devices can read it. It is a free book. Just search the iBooks Store for the author or title above.
I discuss the 2004 Michael Crichton book State of Fear, the 2006 movie An Inconvenient Truth, and the 2008 issue of GeoJournal which reviewed the scientific accuracy of that 2006 movie.
News articles selected by AIAA Houston Section IAC:
- “AIAA Houston Section IAC Chair” Douglas Yazell
- Members of our France-USA (created in 2007, including this founding document, and made permanent in 2010, as recorded in Horizons and elsewhere), Ethiopia-USA, and Peru-USA sister sections. Dr. Catalina Stern sometimes joins SpaceGeekSpeak (weekly Saturday morning breakfast, now online, since December 2018, for members, friends, and family of AIAA Houston Section, hosted by Svetlana Hanson, using this link for our Zoom meetings), since Saturday, December 19, 2020, and a few weeks earlier. Dr. Stern is Dean of the College of Science of UNAM. About 10,000 students attend that college, and about 365,000 students attend UNAM, whose main campus is in Mexico City. Here is a link to the Wikipedia UNAM article. AIAA members in Mexico were recently placed in AIAA Houston Section (part of AIAA Region IV), though AIAA retains our Region VII (International). Here are the first three paragraphs about UNAM from the Wikipedia article: “The National Autonomous University of Mexico (Spanish: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, lit. ‘Autonomous National University of Mexico‘, UNAM) is a public research university in Mexico. It ranks highly in world rankings based on the university’s extensive research and innovation. It is the largest university in Latin America and has one of the biggest campuses in the world. UNAM’s main campus in Mexico City, known as Ciudad Universitaria (University City), is a UNESCO World Heritage site that was designed by some of Mexico’s best-known architects of the 20th century. Murals in the main campus were painted by some of the most recognized artists in Mexican history, such as Diego Rivera and David Alfaro Siqueiros. In 2016, it had an acceptance rate of only 8%. UNAM generates a number of strong research publications and patents in diverse areas, such as robotics, computer science, mathematics, physics, human-computer interaction, history, philosophy, among others. All Mexican Nobel laureates are either alumni or faculty of UNAM. UNAM was founded, in its modern form, on 22 September 1910 by Justo Sierra as a liberal alternative to its predecessor, the Royal and Pontifical University of Mexico, the first to be founded in North America. UNAM obtained its autonomy from the government in 1929. This has given the university the freedom to define its own curriculum and manage its own budget without government interference. This has had a profound effect on academic life at the university, which some claim boosts academic freedom and independence. UNAM was the birthplace of the student movement of 1968, which turned into a nationwide rebellion against autocratic rule and began Mexico’s three-decade journey toward democracy.”
[2020 12 20] NASA Johnson Space Center publishes a Flickr photo (December 16, 2020) of artwork (a poster-type image) from the European Space Agency (ESA) celebrating, “Gateway poster created by ESA displayed at the TAS-F facility in Cannes, France,” and “Artemis – Humanity Returns to the Moon.”
[2019 12 31] Ethiopia Launches its First Satellite into Space (Friday, December 20, 2019). Congratulations to our Ethiopian sister section! Dr. Yared Kidane here in the USA emailed us (Dr. Tulu Besha Bedada in Ethiopia and Douglas Yazell in the USA) to suggest a mention of this event in AIAA publications. For this first mention on this webpage (www.aiaahouston.org/iac) we can use this link (www.aiaahouston.org/iac/#news). Below are four relevant links:
- AP (Associated Press)
- YouTube (China Global TV Network)
- NASASpaceFlight (not a NASA website)
Below we added two image files from a report of our 2015 Ethiopia-USA dinner meeting of AIAA Houston Section. (The image files are the first and last pages of this 22-page report.) Our Section’s Chair at the time, Alan Sisson, did a great job, and of course, so did many others, and the entire event was the work of Angela Beck. That report is available to the public using this link (http://www.aiaahouston.org/Horizons/NewsletterArticleDraft_AIAA_HS_Dinner_2015_12_03.pdf).
[2019 08 28] News related to science and Ethiopia, if not our Ethiopian sister section: Here is a link to the science news article in the Guardian.The headline: “Skull of humankind’s oldest-known ancestor discovered. ‘Iconic’ finding of 3.8m-year-old fossil in Ethiopia casts doubt on previous evolutionary theory.” This article includes a photograph of the scientist holding the amazing discovery in his hands, with this caption for the photograph, “Yohannes Haile-Selassie with the skull. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images.” As noted elsewhere on this AIAA Houston Section IAC webpage, our Section hosted an Ethiopia-themed dinner meeting a few years ago. Two of our four guests of honor were the Prince and Princess of Ethiopia (living in the USA but allowed to use those titles, as I recall), and the Prince is a grandson of the late 1930-1974 emperor of Ethiopia, Haile Selassie I. It is interesting to note the biblical references about the late emperor from the Haile Selassie I Wikipedia article, “Haile Selassie’s full title in office was ‘By the Conquering Lion of the Tribe of Judah, His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie I, King of Kings of Ethiopia, Elect of God’. This title reflects Ethiopian dynastic traditions, which hold that all monarchs must trace their lineage to Menelik I, who was the offspring of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba.”
[2019 06 19] June 19, 2019, Juneteenth. Human-Induced Climate Disruption Requires Urgent Action. Climate disruption, not climate change. The Guardian recently started using that language, including global heating, not global warming. Here is a link to the PDF version of this document. Internet links will not work in the JPEG image below. The position statement of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) has been taking this stance since 2003, the stance noted in the title of this article. The American Astronomical Society (AAS) has been endorsing the position statement of the AGU since 2012. The article below discusses the climate crisis views of NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine, climate and energy journalist David Roberts, Dr. Jacqueline Battalora, Philippe Matthews, the Green New Deal resolution in the Congress of the USA, and more. [Please note that the JPEG and PDF files state that the NASA Administrator took office on a date in 2019, but the year was 2018, not 2019.]
[2019 05 06] School Strike 4 Climate, a Worldwide movement among K-12 students. [May 6, 2019, Douglas Yazell] Here is a link to the PDF version of this document.
[2018 10 27] NASA Seeks Information for Gateway Cargo Delivery Services, [October 23, 2018, NASA news article “Moon to Mars”]. AIAA Houston Section news article prepared by Philippe Mairet and Douglas Yazell. Here is a link to the PDF version of the JPEG image below. Image credits: NASA.
[2018 03 09] “What if Aliens Were Hiding from Us All This Time?” Maïlys Gleizes, Already a Great Artist at Age 16. Her father, Gilles Gleizes, is a member of 3AF MP. We send our thanks to Maïlys Gleizes for permission to use her art here. Here is a link to the PDF version of the JPEG image below.
[2018 02 02] Published here February 2, 2018. International Space Exploration Coordination Group (ISECG) Global Exploration Roadmap (GER) 2018 and Deep Space Gateway (DSG) 2018. Here is a link to the PDF version of the JPEG image below.
[2017 11 22] Published here November 22, 2017. Drawing by Valentin Delas. In other news from NASA, Solar System’s First Interstellar Visitor Dazzles Scientists. Here is a link to the PDF version of the JPEG image below.
[2017 09 05] Published here September 5, 2017. ESA Retrieves NASA Astronauts with New Procedure in Wake of Hurricane, a news article from the European Space Agency (ESA), September 3, 2017, with the connection between the human-induced climate crisis and Hurricane Harvey, by Douglas Yazell & Philippe Mairet. Here is a link to the PDF version of the JPEG image below.
[2017 06 29] Published here June 29, 2017. Mapping the Demographics of France in the USA. Here is a link to the PDF version of the JPEG image below.
[2017 06 20] Published here June 22, 2017, Energy Perspectives 2017, by Eirik Wærness, senior Vice President and economist at Statoil, James A. Baker III Hall, Rice University Baker Institute for Public Policy, Center for Energy Studies. Statoil is a Norwegian-based energy company with operations in more than 30 nations. Here is a link to the event web page of Rice University, which now (June 22, 2017) presents a video (and audio) recording of the event. I (Douglas Yazell) attended (8 to 10 AM) and used my iPhone 5 to create an audio recording, but I arrived 15 minutes late. The government of Norway subsidizes $50,000 to $60,000 for a purchase of a Tesla all-electric car. Regarding the human-induced climate crisis, I paraphrase by writing that the guardrail of 2 C must be respected, but radical changes are required. From the publicity flyer and the Rice University event website: Eirik Wærness, senior vice president and chief economist at Statoil, has broad experience in government, academia and private sector companies, and in different advisory and leadership positions. Since 2016, he has served as a nonexecutive member of the board of the Financial Supervisory Authority of Norway (Finanstilsynet), as a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on the Future of Energy, and as a chief expert advisor for the World Economic Forum’s Global Energy Architecture Performance Index. He also previously served as a member of the executive board of Norges Bank, the central bank of Norway. His prior experience includes positions with the Norwegian Ministry of Finance, Total E&P Norges, Pöyry Management Consulting and the ECON Centre for Economic Analysis. At Statoil, he has held roles in corporate strategy, corporate planning and analysis, the economic analysis of upstream Norway, energy market analysis, and mid- and downstream strategy, in addition to his current role. He has also served as a member of two public commissions on tax reform. Wærness received a B.A. in economics and comparative politics and an M.A. in economics from the University of Bergen in Norway. From the publicity flyer: Kenneth B. Medlock III, Ph.D., provided the welcome and introduction. He is the James A. Baker III and Susan G. Baker Fellow in Energy and Resource Economics and Senior Director, Baker Institute for Energy Studies.
[2017 06 16] Published here June 16, 2017. Nicolas Hulot wants to accelerate the fight against global warming. France wants to step up its efforts in the fight against global warming, affirmed the French Minister of Ecological Transition, Nicolas Hulot, Monday 12 June 2017, in Italy. Here is a link to the PDF version (2.4 MB) of the JPEG image below.
[2017 06 13] Published here June 13, 2017. The Climate Needs Space. An upcoming climate conference from AAE in Toulouse France. Here is a link to the PDF version (3.5 MB) of the JPEG image below.
[2017 05 29] Published here May 29, 2017. New Horizons for Alexander Gerst. Here is a link to the PDF version (4 MB) of the JPEG image below.
[2017 04 19] Published here April 19, 2017. First Peruvian Mission to the Moon Needs Your Support. Here is a link to the PDF version of the image file below. Note: AIAA Houston Section now (since 2017) is a sister section with the Arequipa chapter of SCAP, an astrobiology scientific society in Peru (http://www.scap.com.pe). Here is a link to the news article below announcing the 2017 creation of our Peru-USA sister sections.
[2017 03 28] Published here March 28, 2017. ESA’s Jupiter Mission Moves Off the Drawing Board. [ESA, March 16, 2017]. Also; We start our celebration of the 10-year anniversary of our since-2007 France-USA sister section partnership. Here is a link to the PDF version of the JPEG image below.
[2017 03 27] Published here March 27, 2017. The New Peru—USA Sister Sections. AIAA Houston Section and Sociedad Científica de Astrobiología del Perú (SCAP). Here is a link to the PDF version of the JPEG image below.
[2017 03 19] Published here March 19, 2017. New Ethiopia—USA Sister Sections; AIAA Houston Section and the Addis Ababa branch of The Ethiopian Space Science Society (ESSS). Here is a link to the PDF version of the JPEG image below.
[2017 03 18] Published here March 18, 2017. Toulouse Nuts (the restored 1944 TF-51 Mustang) in Houston in 2017; The 2016 Oshkosh AirVenture Grand Champion. Here is a link to the PDF version of the JPEG image below.
[2017 03 01] Published here March 1, 2017. Above: Hawaiian Airlines Joins Global Climate Change Monitoring Effort. Here is a link to the pdf version of the JPEG image below.
[2017 01 26] Published here January 26, 2017. The Space Program of China. Here is a link to the PDF version of the JPEG image below.
[2017 01 09] Published here January 9, 2017. NASA Climate Change Updates. Here is a link to the PDF version of the JPEG image below.
[2016 12 22] Published here December 22, 2016. ORION EUROPEAN SERVICE MODULE – AN INTERNATIONAL UNDERTAKING [European Space Agency (ESA), Orion blog entry, November 28, 2016], and NASA Readies for Major Orion Milestones in 2017 [NASA Feature, December 21, 2016].
[2016 12 19] Published here December 19, 2016. NASA Science Chief Discusses Plans, Earth Science Mission. From AIAA Daily Launch, Scientific American, December 16, 2016. Here is a link to the PDF version of the JPEG image below.
[2016 12 17] Published here December 17, 2016. NASA’s First Flight With Crew Will Mark Important Step on Journey to Mars [NASA article, December 1, 2016]. Here is a link to the PDF version of the JPEG image below. We added this article at the last minute: International Partnership with Europe Extended for Space Station, Orion. [NASA article, December 5, 2016]. We also added an Editorial article by Douglas Yazell talking about the use of the word Manned in aerospace, even in the acronym UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles).
[2016 12 13] Published here December 13, 2016. A Recent Presentation in France by Edgar Soulié, From a Conference about the Astronomer Kepler (1571-1630). Here is a link to the PDF version of the JPEG image below.
[2016 12 09] Published here December 9, 2016. ESA to Supply Service Module for First Crewed Orion Mission. Here is a link to the PDF version of the JPEG image below.
[2016 12 06] Published here December 6, 2016. From Clear Creek Independent School District (Houston Texas USA) to Collège (Montalembert – Les Maristes, Toulouse France). Here is a link to the PDF version of the JPEG image below.
[2016 12 01] Published here December 1, 2016. NASA’s ISS-RapidScat Earth science mission ends. Here is a link to the PDF version of the JPEG image file below.
[2016 11 27] Published here November 27, 2016. Saturday Launch Places
Advanced Weather Watcher in Orbit. [NASA Feature, November 19, 2016. GOES-R Satellite] Here is a link to the PDF version of the JPEG image file below.
[2016 11 27] Published here November 27, 2016. James Webb Space Telescope Mirrors Will Piece Together Cosmic Puzzles. [NASA, November 2, 2016] Here is a link to the PDF version of the image below.
[2016-11 27] Published here November 27, 2016. NASA’s Grace-FO to Study Climate by Measuring Gravity. [Inverse, James Grebey (NASA), November 14, 2016.] Here is a link to the PDF version of the JPEG image below.
[2016 11 26] Published here November 26, 2016. NASA Selects Launch Services for Global Surface Water Survey Mission. Here is a link to the PDF version of the JPEG image below. In the PDF version, the AIAA Houston Section logo and the AirSWOT image are hyperlinked. Acronyms: Surface Water and Ocean Topography (SWOT). AirSWOT refers not to the space-based mission but the prior aviation-based mission.
[2016 11 24] Published here November 24, 2016. Spaceship Orion: From Bremen Germany to Moon and Mars. Here is a link to the PDF version of the JPEG image below.
[2016 11 24] Published here November 24, 2016. Chinese Greetings from Space. Here is a link to the PDF version of the JPEG image below.
[2016 11 21] Published here November 21, 2016. Chinese Astronauts Return To Earth Aboard Shenzhou 11 Capsule. [AIAA Daily Launch] Reuters (11/18) reported that China’s Shenzhou 11 capsule “landed safely in the northern region of Inner Mongolia” around 2:00 pm on Friday, returning astronauts Jing Haipeng and Chen Dong safely to Earth after 30 days aboard China’s Tiangong 2 space laboratory. The Tiangong 2 is being used to carry out experiments in preparation for a permanent manned space station, planned for 2022, and is scheduled to dock with the country’s first cargo spacecraft, the Tianzhou, in April 2017. [Here is a link to the Shenzhou 11 Wikipedia article. Here is a link to the PDF version of the JPEG image below.]
[2016 11 19] Published here November 19, 2016. Russian Soyuz Launches Expedition 50 Crew For ISS Rendezvous [November 17, 2016, NASASpaceFlight.com], from AIAA Daily Launch. The 3-person crew includes ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet, a citizen of France. Here is a link to the PDF version of the presentation slide below.
[2016 11 07] Published here November 7, 2016. Conference with Apollo 15 Astronaut Alfred Worden October 12, 2016 in Switzerland. Here is a link to the PDF version of the JPEG image below.
[2016 09 05] Published here September 5, 2016. Orion, the new European and American Spacecraft. Date: October 5, 2016. Time: 6:30 PM. Place: Cité de l’espace, Toulouse France. Here is the Cité de l’espace event link.
Post-event notes from Philippe Mairet:
“The event was a success : more than 80% of IMAX room was full of participants. There was one speaker, Mr Jean-Luc Bonnaire, Airbus Defence and Space Les Mureaux, Deputy Director of Orion Program. Jean-François Clervoy, ESA Astronaut, Emeritus 3AF and AIAA Senior member, testified of his experience of spaceflight.
The event was not a technical one. Mr Bonnaire is working on the Program Management side. He explained all the tests (mechanical, propulsion, etc…) that were on-going concerning European Service module (ESM) models. He provided a table with relations between various NASA/Lockheed-Martin and ESA/Airbus Defence and Space centers (for example : Les Mureaux and Denver for Management, Lampoldhausen and White Sands for
propulsion, etc …), he showed photos of Plum Brook and Bremen installations with models, etc…). Airbus Defence and Space appeared to be the Prime on the ESA (European Space Agency) side. Thales Alenia Space (Torino, Italia) played also an important role.
The event started at 6:30 PM and was over at 8:00 PM. Then, Jean-François Clervoy returned to Bordeaux area, where he participates to parabolic flight campaign (Jean-François Clervoy is the President of Novespace Administration Council). Jean-Luc Bonnaire had dinner with friends of him. I enjoyed dinner with 3AF MP friends Jean-Luc Otal and Anne-Marie Delpont.”
[2016 09 03] Published here September 3, 2016 (three headlines).
[Headline 1 of 3] Breakthrough as USA and China Agree to Ratify Paris Climate Deal
[The Guardian, September 3, 2016]
[Headline 2 of 3] Free NASA Earth Science Bulletin Board
[August 31, 2016] From firstname.lastname@example.org.
Climate change is a hot topic and one that’s become a key part of science education. Introduce students to NASA’s climate-science research and Earth satellites with a free bulletin board from the Educator Resource Center at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
The set of posters, lithographs and stickers helps visually engage students while teaching them about topics such as sea-level rise, clouds and greenhouse gases. Learn more and see a list of the materials featured in the bulletin board, here.
To request your free bulletin board, email Paula Partida in the JPL Educator Resource Center. Please include the school or educational program, grade-level taught and a mailing address in your email. Materials are available on a first-come-first-served basis.
Note: Our Solar System and Mars Bulletin Board materials are now out of stock. To download and print out the resources, go here and here, and click on the links next to each product.
[Headline 3 of 3] Climate Reality Project in Houston Texas USA, August 16-18, 2016
[August 16-18, 2016] www.climaterealityproject.org
This event consisted of free training for hundreds of volunteers whose applications were accepted. These events have taken place about twice a year around the world since 2006. The Houston 2016 venue was the Hilton Americas Houston hotel in downtown Houston Texas USA.
[Associated Press, August 30, 2016, Washington Post, AIAA Daily Launch August 31, 2016]
[2016 08 31] Published here August 31, 2016. Rest in Peace, James “Jim” Duncan Rendleman, 1956 – 2016, AIAA IAC member since 2007.
Link for the obituary at The Springs Funeral Services in Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA:
The image below uses content from The View, the newsletter of AIAA Rocky Mountain Section. The public link is:
The three issues of the newsletter used in the image below are September 2012, December 2012, and June 2013.
[2016 08 31] Published here August 31, 2016. NASA: Earth is warming at a pace ‘unprecedented in 1,000 years’ Records of temperature that go back far further than 1800s suggest warming of recent decades is out of step with any period over the past millennium [The Guardian, Oliver Milman, August 30, 2016: Link:
“In the last 30 years we’ve really moved into exceptional territory,” Gavin Schmidt, director of Nasa’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, said. “It’s unprecedented in 1,000 years. There’s no period that has the trend seen in the 20th century in terms of the inclination (of temperatures).”
Next to last paragraph:
“Scientists are able to gauge greenhouse gas levels stretching back more than 800,000 years but the certainty around the composition of previous climates is stronger within the past 1,000 years. While it’s still difficult to compare a single year to another prior to the 19th century, a Nasa reconstruction shows that the pace of temperature increase over recent decades outstrips anything that has occurred since the year 500.”
An additional resource: the NASA climate website. The full URL is simply:
Related news: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of the USA Clean Power Plan includes this: Public Hearing on the Proposed Design Details for the Clean Energy Incentive Program (CEIP). EPA will accept public comment on the CEIP Design Details proposal through November 1, 2016. Link:
[2016 08 24] Published here August 24, 2016. NASA’s Journey to Mars and Beyond, by Dava Newman, PhD, NASA Deputy Administrator, at Rice University, September 7, 2016.
- Date: September 7, 2016
- Time: 7:00 PM
- Place: Rice University, Duncan Hall, McMurtry Auditorium
- URL: https://spacefrontiers.rice.edu
[2016 08 23] Published here August 23, 2016. Warming world may put most cities off-limits for summer Olympics [August 11, 2016] University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley News, Joel Bahr.
First two paragraphs:
“Health and safety of Olympians has been an ongoing story at Summer Olympic games. In 2008, air quality raised concerns in Beijing, while 2016 has been dogged with questions about polluted water and the Zika virus. Now, a new commentary co-written by UC Berkeley professor Kirk Smith says the future of the summer Olympics may be in jeopardy for another reason: rising heat and humidity due to climate change.
“Among the findings, appearing in the The Lancet today: By 2085, only eight Northern Hemisphere cities outside of western Europe are likely to be cool enough to host the summer games. San Francisco would be one of just three North American cities that could serve as hosts.”
[2016 07 28] Published here July 28, 2016. White House Announces Plan To Start Regulating Airplane Pollution [Greenhouse Gas Emissions]. Source: AIAA Daily Launch of July 26, 2016.
The New York Times (7/25, Subscription Publication) reports that in a move bound to set off “a battle between environmentalists and the airline industry,” the Obama Administration announced on Monday a plan to start regulating greenhouse gas emissions from commercial aircraft. The article explains that the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) “endangerment finding,” or aviation plan, “concludes that the planet-warming pollution produced by airplanes endangers human health by contributing to climate change.” While the plan does not “include the details of a regulation,” it triggers “a legal requirement under the Clean Air Act for the EPA to establish a rule.” EPA Acting Assistant Administrator for Air and Radiation Janet McCabe noted that the agency “has already set effective greenhouse gas standards for cars and trucks and any future aircraft engine standards will also provide important climate and public health benefits.”
The Washington Post (7/25) reports that in an interview, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said, “The good news about the opportunities in the aircraft sector is that it relates to aircraft becoming more efficient. It relates to aircraft engines that will produce less pollution – not just greenhouse gases, but less [nitrous oxide] pollution and potentially noise pollution.”
The Wall Street Journal (7/25, Subscription Publication) reports that the EPA said that it would coordinate any new regulation with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), a branch of the United Nations, although on Monday the agency indicated it could adopt standards that are even stronger than global standards currently used by the ICAO.
The Hill (7/25) reports that environmental groups have pushed for standards that “go beyond those proposed by the United Nations board,” whereas “Republicans have resisted the regulations.”
The AP (7/25) reports that he aviation industry is pushing the US “to adopt the more modest reductions proposed for international routes.”
Bloomberg BNA (7/25) adds that Airlines for America, which represents major airlines including FedEx Express, “commended the EPA for the endangerment finding but said it was crucial that any future regulatory actions align with international standards.”[2016 07 27] Published here July 27, 2016. Dan Adamo and NASA Juno Astrodynamics. These three images are shown below in the figure with its caption, and the 3 high resolution JPEG versions of those images are linked here (each less than 500 KB):
- Image 1: JunoHelioPart1.jpg
- Image 2: JunoHelioPart2.jpg
- Image 3: JunoJovJOI.jpg
Dan Adamo regularly publishes such astrodynamics trajectory plots and related data for his Astrodynamics Technical Integration Group (ATIG) email distribution list. A selection of those eye-catching and easily understood plots are a perfect fit for publication here, and we can link to his related text documents.
Mr. Adamo encourages email contact from anyone wishing to be added to his ATIG email list. His email address is adamod [at] earthlink.net.
Dan Adamo is an AIAA Distinguished Lecturer (DL) with 3 presentations listed in the DL manual, and he prepared a 4th presentation to add to that list:
- Interplanetary Cruising With Earth-To-Mars Transit Examples
- Aquarius, A Reusable Water-Based Interplanetary Human Spaceflight Transport
- Questioning The Surface Of Mars As The 21st Century’s Ultimate Pioneering Destination In Space
- Depot locations supporting Human SpaceFlight (HSF)
[2016 07 07] Published here July 7, 2016. Texas Dazzles the International Space Station (ISS), a 2013 article from the French magazine Ciel & Expace (Sky & Space). Light pollution prevents far too many people from seeing our immense Milky Way Galaxy at night. The 2013 news article below talks about a similar NASA photograph of southern France at night taken from the ISS. Here is a link to a 2010 NASA news article of that nature.
[2016 07 03] Published here July 3, 2016. China puts finishing touches to world’s biggest radio telescope. [The Guardian, July 3, 2016] Here is a link to the article in the Guardian US.
[2016 07 02] Published here July 2, 2016. Jupiter with a Crown in a new image from the Hubble Space Telescope, just before the Arrival of Juno at Jupiter.[2016 07 01] Published here July 1, 2016. The late astrophysicist André Brahic (1942 – 2016).
[2016 06 30] AIAA Houston Section dinner meeting of December 3, 2015.
Ethiopian Delegation Visits AIAA Houston Section
[2016 06 28] Published here June 28, 2016. Two NASA Weather and Climate Change News Articles, including Human-Induced Climate Change, with Effects on our French-American Sister Section Territories.
- [June 2, 2016] NASA Looks at Rainfall in Texas and Oklahoma Flooding (NASA link)
- [May 28, 2015] Severe Flooding Hits Central Texas, Oklahoma (NASA link)
- [March 1, 2016] NASA Finds Drought in Eastern Mediterranean Worst of Past 900 Years
- [February 12, 2015] NASA Study Finds Carbon Emissions Could Dramatically Increase Risk of U.S. Megadroughts (NASA link)
- [June 3, 2016] Paris France flooding (Link from rfi.fr)
- [June 1, 2016] Nemours France flooding (Link from huffingtonpost.fr)
- [June 23, 2016] Calais France flooding and violent supercell storms (link)
- [June 9, 2016] Flooding and Climate Change: French Acceptance, Texas Denial, Elliott Negin, Union of Concerned Scientists (EcoWatch link)
[2016 06 27] Published here June 27, 2016. June Probe Closes in on Jupiter after Five-Year Journey from Earth [The Guardian USA, June 26, 2016]. Here is the link to the article in The Guardian USA. Here is the link to the NASA Juno mission website. In Toulouse France, an excellent evening celebration will take place at Cité de l’espace on July 4, 2016, Independence Day for the USA! That is the date of the arrival of Juno at Jupiter. Here is the link to that article on the Cité de l’espace website.
[2016 06 26] Published here June 26, 2016. NASA Administrator Bolden at ESA Council. [ESA, June 16, 2016] Here is the link to the news article on the ESA website. The entire text of Mr. Bolden’s presentation is included. Excerpts:
[The first paragraph:]
“NASA Administrator Charles F. Bolden Jr addressed the ESA Council yesterday at the end of the session. This was an opportunity for him to share with Council Delegates information about NASA’s priorities, future direction and touch upon matters relevant to the ESA Council meeting at ministerial level in December, in particular NASA’s expectation that ESA will be able to commit to the extension of the International Space Station until 2024, as all other partner agencies have already done. Read the full transcript.”
[The last two paragraphs (emphasis by Douglas Yazell):]
“I would like to leave you with just a few more important thoughts and considerations. We live in turbulent times. There is anger and extremism permeating our lives and political discourse. There is terror and intolerance. Values and ideals that our parents and their parents paid for in blood and tears are in peril. I submit to you that the International Space Station represents what is best in humankind. It represents engagement rather than isolation, openness rather than building walls and it is worthwhile to continue as long as we are maximizing its utilization and return, which I am convinced we can do easily until 2024. I submit to you that beyond being a technological marvel, beyond being essential in our joint endeavors to reach further into the cosmos on behalf of the human race, it represents scientific discovery and enlightenment. It represents collaboration and tolerance, inspires and motivates our children and grandchildren and provides hope. That, indeed, is a beacon for humanity and civilization.
“Let us not extinguish this beacon, until we have secured our foothold in space and until we are ready – together – to take the next steps in space exploration for the benefit of our citizens and all humankind.”
[2016 06 25] Published here June 25, 2016. International Partners Provide Science Satellites for America’s Space Launch System Maiden Flight [May 26, 2016, NASA]. Here is the link for this article on the NASA website.
[2016 06 24] Published here June 24, 2016. Aerospace news articles, including the ESA announcement about a deep space habitat. A related article about that deep space habitat is included in AIAA Daily Launch of June 22, 2016; the Telegraph article.
[2016 06 24] Published here June 24, 2016. News of Enceladus, a Moon of Saturn. Here is a link to a NASA article [September 15, 2015.] News of the first country to ratify COP21.
[2016 06 23] Published here June 23, 2016. Tara Pacific 2016-2018: following the secrets of the coral. Here is the link to the online article from the French magazine Sciences et Avenir. Tara Pacific 2016-2018 : sur la piste des secrets du corail
Also, here is a link to the Tara Expeditions website.
[2016 06 23] Published here June 23, 2016. Small Asteroid is Earth’s Constant Companion. [NASA/JPL-Caltech, June 20, 2016]. Here is a link to the online article on the NASA/JPL-Caltech website. The French magazine Sciences et Avenir published a related article on June 17, 2016. Here is the link to that online article.
[2016 06 14] Published here June 14, 2016] European Space Agency (ESA): Methane and Carbon Dioxide on the Rise [May 13, 2016]. Here is a link to the online article. The first few paragraphs are shown here:
“Satellite readings show that atmospheric methane and carbon dioxide are continuing to increase despite global efforts to reduce emissions.
“Methane concentrations were somewhat constant until 2007, but since then have increased at about 0.3% per year, whereas global carbon dioxide levels continue to rise at about 0.5% per year.
“The results, presented this week at the Living Planet Symposium in Prague, combine data from ESA’s veteran Envisat satellite and Japan’s GoSat mission.
“The reason for this recent methane increase is not fully understood, but scientists attribute it to several sources such as agriculture and fossil fuels.”
[More information: Here is a link to the AGU climate change position statement, revised and reaffirmed in August of 2013. And here is a link to the NASA climate change website (climate.nasa.gov), shown by archive.org to exist since 2009.]
[2016 05 20] Published here May 20, 2016. Interstellar Voyages. Comments by Dominique Valentian. (PDF, Word)
[2016 05 01] Published here May 1, 2016. A Visit to the City of Space, April 25, 2016, by Carla Vanier, age 11. Mr. Mairet met her and her maternal grandfather at the City of Space in Toulouse France.
[2016 04 17] Published here April 27, 2016. Soft Docking, ESA’s IBDM. Here we provide a link to the ESA web page we used for this article. Wikipedia provides an IBDM article. The prime contractor (since June 2014) is QinetiQ Space, which mentions the IBDM in a 2015 blog entry. IBDM: International Berthing and Docking Mechanism.
[2016 03 14] Published here March 14, 2016. Green Light World Flight 2016. Here is the link to the web page for that excellent project. We first noticed this Aerobuzz article (in French) dated March 1, 2016. Wikipedia contains a short article about this pilot.
[2016 03 10] Published here March 10, 2016. Solar Impulse 2. The Around-the-World Journey Continues. Links: The Wikipedia article link. The Solar Impulse link.
[2016 02 27] Published here February 27, 2016. News article from the Orlando Sentinel, February 2, 2016, by Richard Tribou, NASA to Deploy Army of Science Satellites on Orion’s First Mission.
[2016 01 31] Published here January 31, 2016. Journey around the Moon powered by Airbus DS. This NASA Exploration Mission 1 (EM-1) will use the European Service Module as part of the Orion crew module (Multi-Purpose Crew Module, or MPCV), along with the Space Launch System (SLS). Airbus infographic link (1.8 MB, PDF, one page). Screen capture image file link for the Airbus infographic (JPEG, 225 KB).
[2016 01 17] Published here January 17, 2016. “If we weren’t partners with Russia in the International Space Station, neither of our countries would be flying people into space today.”
[2016 01 15] Published here January 15, 2016. NASA Selects SpaceX, Orbital ATK, Sierra Nevada For 8-Year Commercial Resupply Contracts. News from AIAA Daily Launch:
- The Wall Street Journal (1/14/2016, Pasztor, Subscription Publication)
- Ars Technica (1/14/2016, Berger)
- Reuters (1/14/2016, Klotz)
- Bloomberg News (1/14/2016, Johnsson)
- The Denver Post (1/14/2016, Rusch)
- Sierra Nevada Corporation (January 14, 2016)
[2016 01 11] Published here January 11, 2016. AIAA SciTech 2016: NASA Sees Proposed Moon-Orbiting Station as Step Toward Mars.
[[2016 01 11] Published here January 11, 2016. Launch of the Youth Project Mission to Mars. High school students from Toulouse France, Houston Texas USA, and Singapore are going to work together on the human challenges and necessary to implant a base camp on the red planet.
[2016 01 09] Ars Technical article dated January 7, 2016.
[2016 01 07] January 7, 2016 publication date. The first Black military pilot.
[2016 01 02 publication date on this web page] December 17, 2015, European Space Agency (ESA) press release,
European Space Agency (ESA) Confirms James Webb Telescope Ariane Launch
[2015 12 23 publication date] December 22, 2015. [New Scientist] New Kind of Moon Rock Found by Chinese Yutu Rover
[2015 12 22 publication date] December 22, 2105. [The Guardian] “Welcome back, baby!” Elon Musk Celebrates SpaceX Rocket Launch – and Landing.
[2015 12 22 publication date] December 15, 2015. [Space News article by Jeff Foust] FAA Advisory Group Endorses “Moon Village” Concept.
[2015 12 22 publication date] December 8, 2015. [CNES website press release] COP21 Space Agenda: CNES and DLR Reaffirm Commitment to Developing MERLIN Satellite.
[2015 12 14] December 14, 2015. The EU and Russia Want to Search for Water on the Moon.
[2015 12 13] December 8, 2015. At COP21, Ségolène Royal and Thierry Mandon present MicroCarb, a Satellite that Measures the Distribution of CO2 Globally.
[2015 12 12] December 7, 2015. NASA to Move On from International Space Station (ISS).
[2015 12 12] December 12, 2015: The European Space Agency (ESA), Space in Videos, Sets, Talking Climate, Essential Climate Variables, November and December 2015.
[2015 12 11] October 14, 2015: Buzz Aldin: New International Space University Chancellor. Wikipedia (Aldrin) shows that based on the tweet from Buzz Aldrin, this news is dated October 14, 2015.
[2015 12 11] September 4, 2013: Apollo XI Under the Sea at Marseilles France. This link is for the four-page (638 KB) 2013 press release.
[2015 12 10] December 4, 2015. A blog entry from the NASA website blog of the NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden. NASA’s Work to Understand Climate: A Global Perspective.[2015 12 06] November 23, 2015: Historic Rocket Launch; We Are of Blue Origin; It Came from West Texas:
[2015 12 06] December 6, 2015: First Soft Moon Landing on the Far Side in Work by China, December 2, 2015:
[2015 12 05] December 5, 2015: The Moon, Forgotten? by Philippe Mairet, 3AF MP (website: www.3af-mp.fr).
[2015 12 05] December 5, 2015: SOHO: 20 Years.
[2015 12 03] December 3, 2015: From AIAA Daily Launch: Lisa Pathfinder Launches, Will Test Gravitational Wave Technology:
[2015 12 04] December 4, 2015. Nice photos in this article about the results of an extreme climate event:
[2015 11 27] November 27, 2015:[2015 11 20] November 20, 2015:
[2015 11 19] November 19, 2015: NASA Unveils Shiny New Coat for its Orion Spacecraft:
[2015 11 13] November 13, 2015: From Le Temps, a Swiss publication. My Vision? Create a Lunar Village, With Other Nations. An exclusive interview with Johann-Dietrich (Jan) Wörner, Director of the European Space Agency (ESA), former Director of the German Space Agency (DLR):
[2015 11 12] November 12, 2015: Press release, European Space Agency (ESA), Thomas Pesquet Closer to Space with Mission Name Proxima:
[2015 11 10] November 10, 2015: Press release, European Space Agency (ESA), Orion’s European Module Ready for Testing
[2015 10 24] October 24, 2015: Press release, September 17, 2015:
Thales Alenia Space to Supply Thermomechanical Systems for the NASA Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle European Service Module (ESM)
Please use the above link to see that news article. This links to the English language version of that press release.
[2015 10 23] October 23, 2015:
Toulouse France Cité de l’espace event, November 26-29, 2015
November 26, 1965! France becomes the world’s 3rd leading space power
Launch of satellite A-1. A for Army. It was given another name in honor of a character in a television show for children, but at the French National Center for Space Studies, they preferred to call it Astérix, named for the famous comic book character created by A. Uderzo. Albert Uderzo will be a Guest of Honor at this 2015 event! The 10-page publicity document is available using this link (PDF format, 1 MB).
[2015 10 22] October 22, 2015: French Ameri-Can Climate TalkS (FACTS) at Rice University:
[2015 09 26] September 26, 2015 DSCOVR, EM-1, Rosetta, and Philae
As part of our French sister section work, Philippe Mairet (3AF MP) and I wrote this article for the August 31, 2015 [September] issue of Horizons, the newsletter of AIAA Houston Section. Please see that link to enjoy the article. It contains 3 images, which are presented here in their original, larger sizes (click to zoom):
[2015 08 05] August 5, 2015 From a Million Miles Away, NASA Camera Shows Moon Crossing Face of Earth (Images from NOAA DSCOVR Spacecraft)
[NASA press release.]
The first few sentences:
“A NASA camera aboard the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) satellite captured a unique view of the moon as it moved in front of the sunlit side of Earth last month. The series of test images shows the fully illuminated “dark side” of the moon that is never visible from Earth…”
The first few paragraphs of the Wikipedia DSCOVR article are presented below:
“Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) (formerly known as Triana, unofficially known as GoreSat) is a NOAA Earth observation and space weather satellite launched by SpaceX on a Falcon 9 launch vehicle on February 11, 2015 from Cape Canaveral.
“It was originally developed as a NASA satellite proposed in 1998 by then-Vice President Al Gore for the purpose of Earth observation. It is in a Lissajous orbit at the Sun-Earth L1 Lagrangian point, 1,500,000 km (930,000 mi) from Earth, to monitor variable solar wind condition, provide early warning of approaching coronal mass ejections and observe phenomena on Earth including changes in ozone, aerosols, dust and volcanic ash, cloud height, vegetation cover and climate. At this location it will have a continuous view of the Sun and the sunlit side of the Earth. The satellite is orbiting the Sun-Earth L1 point in a six-month period, with a spacecraft-Earth-Sun angle varying from 4 to 15 degrees. It will take full-Earth pictures about every two hours and be able to process them faster than other Earth observation satellites.
“DSCOVR started orbiting around L1 by June 8, 2015, just over 100 days after launch.
“Originally known as Triana, named after Rodrigo de Triana, the first of Columbus’s crew to sight land in the Americas, the satellite’s original purpose was to provide a near-continuous view of the entire Earth and make that live image available via the Internet. Gore hoped not only to advance science with these images, but also to raise awareness of the Earth itself, updating the influential Blue Marble photograph taken by Apollo 17. In addition to an imaging camera, a radiometer would take the first direct measurements of how much sunlight is reflected and emitted from the whole Earth (albedo). This data could constitute a barometer for the process of global warming. The scientific goals expanded to measure the amount of solar energy reaching Earth, cloud patterns, weather systems, monitor the health of Earth’s vegetation, and track the amount of UV light reaching the surface through the ozone layer.
“In 1999, NASA’s Inspector General reported that “the basic concept of the Triana mission was not peer reviewed”, and “Triana’s added science may not represent the best expenditure of NASA’s limited science funding.” The Bush Administration put the project on hold shortly after George W. Bush’s inauguration. Members of the U.S. Congress asked the National Academy of Sciences whether the project was worthwhile. The resulting report, released March 2000, stated that the mission was “strong and scientifically vital.”
“Triana was removed from its original launch opportunity on STS-107 (the ill-fated Columbia mission in 2003). The $100 million satellite remained in storage for the duration of the Bush administration. In November 2008 the satellite was removed from storage and began recertification for a possible launch on board a Delta II or a Falcon 9. Al Gore used part of his book Our Choice (2009) as an attempt to revive debate on the DSCOVR payload. The book mentions legislative efforts by Senators Barbara Mikulski and Bill Nelson to get the satellite launched. NASA renamed the satellite Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR), in an attempt to regain support for the project. In February 2011, the Obama administration attempted to secure funding to re-purpose the DSCOVR spacecraft as a solar observatory to replace the aging Advanced Composition Explorer (ACE) spacecraft.
“In September 2013 NASA cleared DSCOVR to proceed to the implementation phase targeting an early 2015 launch, which had been announced in December 2012 as launching on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center is providing management and systems engineering to the mission.”
[2015 05 06] May 6, 2015 Congratulations to Christian Mari of AIAA after the 2015 Election Results
Christian Mari, SAFRAN Group, is now the AIAA Director-At-Large, International, after the 2015 AIAA Board of Directors election. These results are announced in an AIAA press release dated April 15, 2015.
Here we provide a link to the Safran Wikipedia article.
Of course, one reason for the creation of this news article is Christian Mari’s service to 3AF, since 3AF MP (www.3af-mp.fr) is the French sister section of AIAA Houston Section. For example, a 2012 3AF internet article refers to Christian Mari, Emérite 3AF.
[2015 05 06] May 6, 2015 Congratulations to European Space Agency Director General Jean-Jacques Dordain
Congratulations to European Space Agency Director General Jean-Jacques Dordain on his successful ESA service in that role since 2003. His successor takes office on July 1, 2015, only about two months from now. Of course, if Mr. Dordain comes to Houston, AIAA Houston Section will do its best to ensure a pleasant visit, and we would enjoy hearing from him in a dinner meeting presentation, a Lunch & Learn forum, etc.
He we provide a link to the Dordain Wikipedia article.
[2015 05 06] May 6, 2015 From AIAA Daily Launch
Novespace To Resume Microgravity Flights With “Zero-G” Airbus A310.
Flightglobal (5/5, Thisdell) reports that on Wednesday, Novespace will resume microgravity science flights aboard a “new ‘Zero-G’ Airbus A310.” The flights, which make up “one of the world’s most demanding flight programmes,” were put on hold as the company worked to replace an A300 used for 18 years with a newer plane. The article notes that Novespace had to replace the older plane because maintenance was “difficult to impossible.”
Here we provide link to the company website for Novespace.
Former longtime Houston resident Jean-François Clervoy is president of Novespace, as explained in the Clervoy Wikipedia article.
[2015 03 05] March 5, 2015 100 YEAR STARSHIP ESTABLISHES EU HUB IN BRUSSELS TO ADVANCE SPACE, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY INITIATIVES WITH EUROPEAN PARTNERS
Read the press release using the 100YSS press page link and the press release date (March 5, 2015).
[2015 02 26] February 26, 2015 French National Center for Space Studies (CNES) at the First International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) Climate Change Conference
[This CNES press release (see this link) explains that climate change is an aerospace subject and explains that climate change is an astronautics subject. In fact, it mentions that of 50 variables used to define climate, 26 of them can be measured only from space.]
[Jean-Yves Le Gall, President of the French National Center for Space Studies (CNES), opened the first conference on climate change and disaster management, organized by the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) and the International Institute of Space Law (IISL), which was held from February 26 to 28 in Kovalam, Kerala, India.]
This conference, co-organized by the IAA, IISL, and the KSCSTE (Kerala State Council for Science, Technology and Environment), focuses mainly on the many contributions of space in the understanding of climate change. Specifically, of 50 variables used to define the climate, 26 can only be measured from space, demonstrating the importance of this area to assess the changing climate.
The IAA is a non-governmental organization recognized by the United Nations, which brings together 1,200 international experts in astronautics from about 75 countries. Its objectives are to promote the development of astronautics for peaceful purposes and to honor those who are distinguished in astronautics. It promotes international cooperation for the advancement of aerospace sciences.
Invited to deliver the keynote address, Jean-Yves Le Gall, Chairman of CNES, first emphasized the historic challenge facing the space to preserve the future of the planet: “Space agencies can not answer all questions but without space agencies, nothing will be done. ” In this context, he has said that, “global Earth observations were indispensable to understand climate change and to make the most appropriate responses.”
Then he emphasized, “the important role of the international program GCOS (Global Climate Observing System)”, recalling that, “Europe, and specifically France, were actors in the forefront in climate observation.” In this area, the programs named Copernicus, Jason, SWOT and Merlin are of major importance. Cooperation between India and France is already very productive, notably with missions Megha-Tropiques and Saral-AltiKa.
“The future Conference of Parties 21 (COP 21, a meeting of the IPCC, the International Panel on Climate Change, associated with the United Nations) to be held in Paris in December, the importance of the IAA and its voice in the world, and international cooperation in space are elements and events that must converge to a general awareness for the protection of the planet through the regular collection and continuous analysis of data from space technology,“ he said. He concluded by stressing the need to mobilize all actors because, quoting the Secretary General of the United Nations, “There is no Plan B because there is no planet B.”
Translation from French to English by Douglas Yazell, with excellent help from http://translate.google.com.
[2015 02 19] February 19, 2015 Climate Change Science & Public Policy. A link to the dinner meeting presentation charts (PDF and PowerPoint PPTX) are provided here. Our speaker was Dr. Barry Lefer of the University of Houston. He teaches climate science, though his specialty is air pollution. The title of the position statement of the American Geophysical Union is Human-Induced Climate Change Requires Urgent Action.
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