MAIN / INDEX / GAMES / JOURNAL ENTRIES & UPDATES / ASK PARMAN! / VIDEOS / FRIENDS' GALLERY / GALLERY 2 / FAVORITES / FICTION / DRAWINGS / LINKS / AUTOGRAPHS / FILM NOTES / NAME IN SPACE / HUMAN SPACEFLIGHT BLOG / CREDITS


Friday, August 31, 2012

One of two space shuttle Solid Rocket Boosters (SRBs) arrives at Edwards Air Force Base (AFB) in California on August 29, 2012...for temporary storage.
NASA DFRC / Jim Ross

Endeavour: Retirement Update... Two days ago, the twin Solid Rocket Boosters (SRBs) that were originally on display at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida arrived at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base (AFB) in California. For the next few years, the SRBs will be in temporary storage at Edwards AFB while the California Science Center (CSC) constructs the Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center...a new museum wing that will permanently house the decommissioned orbiter Endeavour. Once the new Air and Space Center is completed, the SRBs will be transported to downtown Los Angeles to be displayed next to Endeavour. In fact, the CSC will combine the orbiter with the SRBs in vertical position (the external fuel tank that Endeavour will actually be attached to will be a replica), to simulate the launch configuration that Endeavour enjoyed for 25 flights before her retirement last year.

About three weeks remain before the shuttle embarks on her cross-country ferry flight to Southern California. Endeavour will arrive at Los Angeles International Airport on September 20, and be transported (during a parade through the streets of L.A.) to CSC's Samuel Oschin Pavilion, the orbiter's temporary home, on October 13. Endeavour will then officially open to the public on October 30.

One last thing I need to say is, the giant SRBs parading through the streets of Los Angeles towards their destination at CSC will definitely be a sight to see in person!

About to be placed in temporary storage, the two space shuttle SRBs approach Edwards AFB in California on August 29, 2012.
NASA DFRC / Jim Ross

A space shuttle SRB is prepped for temporary storage at Edwards AFB in California, on August 29, 2012.
NASA DFRC / Jim Ross

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Orion's parachutes are deployed above the U.S. Army's Yuma Proving Grounds in Arizona, on August 28, 2012.
NASA

Orion Update... While the world continues to honor Neil Armstrong after he passed away last Saturday, NASA continues to make progress on the spacecraft that will hopefully allow a new generation of explorers follow in the footsteps of Armstrong and his fellow Apollo astronauts within the next decade or so. Here are photos from yesterday's successful Orion parachute drop test, which once again took place above the U.S. Army's Yuma Proving Grounds in southwestern Arizona:

The Orion test article is about to be dropped from a C-130 aircraft 25,000 feet above the U.S. Army's Yuma Proving Grounds in Arizona, on August 28, 2012.
NASA

The Orion's parachutes are about to be deployed above the U.S. Army's Yuma Proving Grounds in Arizona, on August 28, 2012.
NASA

The Orion's parachutes are deployed above the U.S. Army's Yuma Proving Grounds in Arizona, on August 28, 2012.
NASA

The Orion's parachutes are deployed above the U.S. Army's Yuma Proving Grounds in Arizona, on August 28, 2012.
NASA

The Orion test article is about to touch down at the U.S. Army's Yuma Proving Grounds in Arizona after a successful drop test, on August 28, 2012.
NASA

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Neil Armstrong poses for a photo by fellow Apollo 11 crew member Buzz Aldrin inside the Eagle Lunar Module, on July 20, 1969.
NASA / Edwin E. Aldrin, Jr.

Neil Armstrong (1930-2012)... Thank you, Mr. Armstrong, for making that giant leap for mankind 43 years ago. The former test pilot, aerospace engineer, university professor and Gemini 8 and Apollo 11 astronaut passed away today at the age of 82. May Armstrong Rest In Peace.

Neil Armstrong poses in front of NASA's X-15 aircraft, on January 1, 1960.
NASA

A Saturn V rocket carrying NASA's Apollo 11 spacecraft launches to the Moon on July 16, 1969.
NASA

Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstrong is about to set foot on the Moon for the first time, on July 20, 1969.
NASA

Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstrong, his shadow visible in the foreground, photographs the Eagle Lunar Module at Tranquility Base, on July 20, 1969.
NASA / Neil A. Armstrong

Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Buzz Aldrin lie in quarantine aboard the USS Hornet during a visit by President Richard Nixon, on July 24, 1969.
NASA

Thursday, August 16, 2012

At Kennedy Space Center (KSC), the shuttle Atlantis (at right) is transferred to Orbiter Processing Facility (OPF)-2 for decommissioning while Endeavour is brought to the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) for temporary storage...on August 16, 2012.
NASA / Frankie Martin

The Final Shuttle Swap... Earlier today, Endeavour and Atlantis switched places—for the last time—inside the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) and Orbiter Processing Facility (OPF)-2 at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida. Endeavour is about a month away from being towed from the VAB to the Shuttle Landing Facility to begin her cross-country ferry flight to Southern California. And finishing touches will be made to Atlantis inside OPF-2 as her decommissioning process comes to an end, and Atlantis herself becomes a space artifact at the nearby KSC Visitor Complex. As mentioned in last Friday's journal entry, Atlantis' transport down the street to the Visitor Complex will take place on November 2. After that, KSC proper will finally find itself bereft of the historic orbiters that called Spaceport USA their home for more than 30 years. It is after Atlantis' departure from KSC that the presence of the Orion EFT-1 vehicle a few miles down the street at the KSC Industrial Complex (inside the Operations and Checkout Facility, to be exact) takes on more meaning. A new era of manned spaceflight for NASA will soon begin.

At KSC, Endeavour is towed out of OPF-2 to undergo temporary storage inside the VAB on August 16, 2012.
NASA / Dimitri Gerondidakis

At KSC, Endeavour emerges from OPF-2 to undergo temporary storage inside the VAB on August 16, 2012.
NASA / Dimitri Gerondidakis

Endeavour and Atlantis are about to come nose-to-nose as they switch places inside the VAB and OPF-2 at KSC on August 16, 2012.
NASA / Dimitri Gerondidakis

Endeavour and Atlantis are about to come nose-to-nose as they switch places inside the VAB and OPF-2 at KSC on August 16, 2012.
NASA / Dimitri Gerondidakis

At KSC, Endeavour is placed inside the VAB for temporary storage on August 16, 2012..
NASA / Dimitri Gerondidakis

Friday, August 10, 2012

The main access hatch on space shuttle Endeavour is closed and sealed for the final time, on August 10, 2012.
NASA / Jim Grossmann

Photos of the Day... Now that Endeavour has pretty much completed final decommissioning activities at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida, the orbiter will be transported from KSC's Orbiter Processing Facility-2 to the Vehicle Assembly Building on August 16 for temporary storage...prior to her being rolled out to the Shuttle Landing Facility next month to undergo final preps for her ferry flight to Los Angeles on September 17. Endeavour will then arrive at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) a few days later on September 20, and will briefly reside in a United Airlines hangar at LAX before she embarks on a 12-mile-long 'parade' through the streets of L.A. (mostly in the City of Inglewood) between October 12 and 13. Endeavour will arrive at the Samuel Oschin Space Shuttle Endeavour Display Pavilion at the California Science Center on the evening of October 13—and will open to the public for the first time on October 30th.

The route that space shuttle Endeavour will take through the streets of Los Angeles on October 12-13, 2012.
California Science Center

A few days after Endeavour officially becomes available for viewing at the California Science Center, Atlantis will be rolled over to her final home at KSC's Visitor Complex on November 2. The second oldest orbiter in NASA's retired shuttle fleet will then open to the public next July.

The tail cone is about to be installed around Endeavour's three Replica Shuttle Main Engines (RSMEs) at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, on August 6, 2012.
NASA / Jim Grossmann

A shot of Endeavour's three RSMEs from inside the tail cone, which was attached to the orbiter on August 6, 2012.
NASA / Jim Grossmann

The tail cone is installed around Endeavour's three RSMEs at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, on August 6, 2012.
NASA / Jim Grossmann

The Samuel Oschin Space Shuttle Endeavour Display Pavilion after construction was completed on it earlier this month.
Gene Blevins / LA Daily News

Monday, August 6, 2012

Posing with SpaceX's DragonRider replica outside of the Pasadena Convention Center in California, on August 5, 2012.

The DragonRider in Pasadena... Yesterday, I attended Planetfest 2012 at the Pasadena Convention Center to watch a live NASA TV broadcast (with around 2,000 people in attendance inside the auditorium) of the Curiosity rover safely landing on Mars. Needless to say, the event was memorable—not just because a new U.S.-built spacecraft is now on the surface of the Red Planet, but also because the flight engineering model of SpaceX's crewed version of the Dragon capsule was on display outside of the convention center. The symbolism of the replica's presence at Planetfest should not be lost on anyone... Although NASA is making strides developing the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle and the Space Launch System that will hurl Orion into deep space, it is not far-fetched to think that the DragonRider could also be responsible for sending Mars-bound astronauts to low-Earth orbit first (to rendezvous with the vehicle that will take the crew to Earth's rust-colored planetary neighbor). Of course, if SpaceX's plan for the so-called Red Dragon robotic Mars mission is any indication, it's not so inconceivable to ponder that the DragonRider will find itself orbiting hundreds of miles above the Red Planet as well. That would be awesome.

SpaceX's DragonRider replica on display outside of the Pasadena Convention Center in California, on August 5, 2012.

SpaceX's DragonRider replica on display outside of the Pasadena Convention Center in California, on August 5, 2012.

SpaceX's DragonRider replica on display outside of the Pasadena Convention Center in California, on August 5, 2012.