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Gene Mikulka
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Gene Mikulka

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So if you fly a lot, its bound to happen to you. You get word that the bird that was supposed to take you home after your business meeting or vacation is busted, and a part is being brought in to replace it or a new bird is being prepared to fill in. So you sit at the gate waiting for all of this to get sorted out. Such is the case with the current expedition on board the ISS. Because of the unknown situation with the 59  Progress cargo ship and why it failed after separating with the booster, there will be a delay with the next crew coming up. The silver lining is that the Expedition 43 team gets a little bit more time on orbit. The bad news is what the 59 Progress Mystery may mean for getting logistics to and from the station. It puts both SpaceX and OrbitalATK in an interesting position to be sure. 
A six-month tour of duty turns into seven
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Gene Mikulka

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I know I usually discuss space exploration here but this was too cool not to post. An Octopus named Rambo at  Kelly Tarlton’s Sea Life Aquarium in Auckland City, New Zealand, has picked up an interesting talent... for photography.
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XCOR Aerospace is getting closer and closer to full assembly of the LYNX sub-orbital space plane. This Via Satellite article gives details on where the company is currently.
The Lynx Mark I manned suborbital spacecraft under construction at XCOR Aerospace in Mojave, Calif. Photo: Mike Massee / XCOR XCOR Aerospace has bonded the
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Have to agree with Chris Ferguson, former NASA astronaut now leading the charge on Boeing's Crew Space Transportation (system) capsule. he said that If you look at it as a global effort, we need to have a redundant way to get humans back and forth from space,"  Speaking of NASA's Commercial Crew program he indicated that "What you see here today, it goes a long way to making that happen."
Until at least 2017, Russia's Soyuz will provide astronauts' only ride to the ISS.
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To be blunt the fact that the House sub committee passed the NASA Authorization Act along party lines was no big shock. A lot of hype going on about the Earth Science budget taking it on the chin and funds being sent to both the Planetary Science and Exploration divisions. Also that the Technology Research budget also took a hit. My Thoughts: This is just the first salvo in a LONG budget battle and these funds are most likely going to come back as "Lets Make a Deal" is played. PS- If you are torques off about this, don't send an e-mail Write an actual letter, invest the stamp, to your Representatives, and let them know. #SpacePolicy
Learn about the partisan discord that arose during the House Science, Space and Technology Committee's markup of the NASA Authorization Act for 2016 and 2017, H.R. 2039, on April 30, 2015.
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Water is one of the constituents of life. How soon after the Big Bang, the colossal explosion that gave way to the universe, did water come to be? This article shines some light on some new findings about water vapor and the early universe. #Astronomy #Cosmology   
Water vapor could have been just as abundant in pockets of space a billion years after the Big Bang as it is today, according to new research.
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Gene Mikulka

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Interesting article on a technical solution to the issue of space debris mitigation. I applaud the article because not once did it mention a certain film that for some reason almost ever writer feels a need to invoke when discussion this topic. The technical solutions to the orbital debris mitigation issue are somewhat easy, The legal and policy  ramifications that's quite a tangled web. 
An international team of scientists have put forward a blueprint for a purely space-based system to solve the growing problem of space debris. The proposal combines a super-wide field-of-view telescope, developed by RIKEN’s EUSO team, which will be used to detect objects, and a recently developed high-efficiency laser system, the CAN laser, that will be used to track space debris and remove it from orbit.
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Join  the Planetary Society  in the adventure of space exploration and send your "selfie"  to space aboard the organization's 2016 LightSail mission! LightSail is designed to demonstrate solar sailing, using the momentum of sunlight to propel small spacecraft through space. Send your "selfie" though this post and be a part of the world's first citizen-funded solar sail adventure.
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Don't start writing the epitaph of the AtlasV just yet.. Aerojet/Rocketdyne is hoping to obtain the rights to the vehicle to be abandoned by United Launch Alliance in favor of the new Vulcan booster. Aerojet/Rocketdyne hopes to fly AtlasV using the AR-1 engine currently under development. This is predicated on Aerojet obtaining the copyrights for the AtlasV from ULA.
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The Roscosmos 59 Progress cargo ship looks like it's now an expensive piece of space debris. It is  expected to fall harmlessly into Earth's atmosphere in a few weeks. Already seeing the lunatic fringe articles out there about how this may hit populated areas.. its hype folks.. don't believe it. Short Term, the ISS is in good shape, long term planners are now no doubt juggling the cargo manifests of Dragon, HTV, and yes Cygnus and adjusting accordingly. Stay tuned. 
#Roscosmos #59Progress  
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Every once in awhile, I come across editorials like this, especially when a new company heads for low Earth orbit, claiming we are in a new "golden age" of spaceflight and this is just like the fledgeling aviation industry the 1930's. Nothing against Blue Origin, their unqualified success opens their door to space and possible sub orbital operations. But does this mean in 10 years we're going to see the orbital hotel depicted in 2001 and a people spending vacations on the lunar surface? No. Not yet anyhow. Spaceflight is still very expensive and an inherently a risky business. The more players on the field however should help reduce the expense of getting to low Earth Orbit.  The risk however will still be out there, as the losses we suffered with the OrbitalATK Antares and the Virgin Galactic VSS Enterprise  in late October 2014 and the loss of the 59 Progress cargo ship this week demonstrate. Spaceflight isn't "routine" and there is always something out there that will come back to bite you if you are not vigilant.  Make spaceflight  safe as air travel and affordable to John and Jane Citizen and not Seymour Moneybags, then you may have something.    
Parallels with the 1930s era of aerospace, with its buccaneering engineer/tycoons, are unavoidable. Will commercial space flight developments change our lives?
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This piece on the EarthSky web site describes the real meaning of May Day, which is based in Astronomy. It celebrates the point halfway between the Spring Equinox and the Summer Solstice  Some other traditions here that I just didn't know about are explained. Well worth the read.
Happy May Day! A few words about this annual celebration, whose roots are in astronomy.
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Have him in circles
663 people
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Founder and Panel Member, Talking Space Podcast.http://www.talkingspaceonline.com

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