Monthly Archives: January 2012

Space Launch System (3)


J-2X Powerpack on A-2 Test Stand
NASAStennis Space Center engineers and technicians watch as the J-2X powerpack is hoisted into place in the A-1 test stand Dec. 5. Image credit: NASA/SSC


J-2X Powerpack on the A-1 Test Stand
The J-2X powerpack is installed and ready for testing in the A-1 test stand at the Stennis Space Center. Image credit: NASA/SSC



J-2X Powerpack on the A-1 Test Stand
Stennis Space Center engineers and technicians install the J-2X powerpack into the A-1 test stand in preparation for testing Dec. 5. Image credit: NASA/SSC


Final J-2X Engine Test for 2011
On Dec. 14, NASA engineers conducted their final J-2X engine test for 2011 — the 10th in a series — at the A-2 test stand at the Stennis Space Center. The upper stage engine is a key component of the Space Launch System, a new heavy-lift launch vehicle capable of missions beyond low-Earth orbit. Image credit: NASA/SSC

Time for Obama to End Timidity on US Tech Manufacturing Jobs

By George Leopold – The titans of Silicon Valley have made it perfectly clear that all those manufacturing jobs shipped to Asia aren’t coming back. That’s precisely what Apple’s Steve Jobs told President Obama during a dinner in California last year before his death, according to a sobering account published by The New York Times, “How the U.S. Lost Out on iPhone Work.”

The reason those jobs manufacturing consumer devices are gone for good, the NYT reports, is that the US manufacturing base has failed to evolve; the Asian supply chain for electronics is superior to ours; and American workers are unwilling to pull 12-hour shifts and live in company dorms. more>

The Future of Retail

By Greg Satell – At the beginning of the dot com boom, many assumed that e-commerce would become an instant success. Eager VC’s threw money at just about any business plan that promised to end the drudgery of shopping with a few clicks of a mouse.

It didn’t work out all that well.

With all the huffing and puffing, e-commerce has a very small impact on total revenues. So how do you inject digital technology into the shopping experience?

The answer lies in what Daniel Rigby calls the “Omnichannel Organization.” more>

Ocean acidification study reveals effects of carbon dioxide

R&D Mag – A University of California Santa Barbara marine scientist and a team of 18 other researchers have reported results of the broadest worldwide study of ocean acidification to date. Acidification is known to be a direct result of the increasing amount of greenhouse gas emissions. The scientists used sensors developed at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at University of California San Diego to measure the acidity of 15 ocean locations, including seawater in the Antarctic, and in temperate and tropical waters.

“We were able to illustrate how parts of the world’s oceans currently have different pH, and thus how they might respond to climate changes in the future,” said Gretchen E. Hofmann, an eco-physiologist and professor at UCSB. “The sensors allowed us to capture that.” more>

When Will Housing Hit Bottom?

By Megan McArdle – Let’s ask the question: what if housing doesn’t recover? Can the economy recover without it?

There are a lot of reasons to think that it can’t. Underwater houses constrain consumer spending; they make people feel poorer; they depress labor mobility, because people who can’t sell can’t move elsewhere to look for a job. Since new businesses are often funded with personal credit–or even loans against the house–it probably depresses firm formation, and the resulting innovation. And of course, construction is normally a substantial component of GDP. more>


CONGRESS WATCH Schilling Testifies in Support of the Congressional Retirement Age Act, YouTube [VIDEO 3:18]


CONGRESS WATCH Comparing the Compensation of Federal and Private-Sector Employees Related articles Updates from Congressional Budget Office (

Space Launch System (2)


NASA Tests Deep Space J-2X Rocket Engine                  
NASA – NASA conducted a 40-second test of the J-2X rocket engine Sept. 28, the most recent in a series of tests of the next-generation engine selected as part of the Space Launch System architecture that will once again carry humans into deep space. It was a test at the 99 percent power level to gain a better understanding of start and shutdown systems as well as modifications that had been made from previous test firing results.

The test at NASA’s John C. Stennis Space Center in south Mississippi came just two weeks after the agency announced plans for the new SLS to be powered by core-stage RS-25 D/E and upper-stage J-2X engines. The liquid hydrogen/liquid oxygen J-2X is being developed for NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., by Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne. Image credit: NASA/SSC

Successful J-2X Rocket Engine 500-Second Test
NASA conducted a successful 500-second test firing on the A-2 test stand at NASA’s Stennis Space Center. Image credit: NASA/SSC

Successful J-2X Rocket Engine 500-Second Test
NASA conducted a successful 500-second test firing of the J-2X rocket engine on Wednesday, Nov. 9, marking another important step in development of an upper stage for the heavy-lift Space Launch System (SLS). Image credit: NASA/SSC

First J-2X Stability Test
During the Dec. 1 80-second duration J-2X test firing, NASA began characterizing the rocket engine’s combustion stability to understand more about the engine’s performance and robustness. Image credit: NASA/Stennis

First ‘Super Wi-Fi’ network goes live in North Carolina

By Brad Reed – Officials from New Hanover County, N.C., announced today that they had become the first in the United States to deploy a mobile data network on so-called “white spaces” spectrum that the Federal Communications Commission first authorized for unlicensed use in 2008. The county was able to make a quick transition in using the spectrum for a mobile data network because it was the first to successfully transition from analog to digital television.

Television “white spaces” are pieces of unlicensed spectrum that are currently unused by television stations on the VHF and UHF frequency bands and that have long been seen as prime spectrum for unlicensed wireless Internet services. In 2008, the FCC, then headed by former Chairman Kevin Martin, voted to let carriers and other vendors deploy devices in white space spectrum that operates unlicensed at powers of 100 milliwatts, as well as on white space channels adjacent to existing television stations at powers of up to 40 milliwatts. more>

Hitachi and Mitsubishi Corporation to Begin Smart Community System Demonstration Project in Spain

English: PS20 and PS10 in Andalusia, Spain

Image @Wikipedia

PressWIRE – The demonstration project plans call for MHI, which has a robust track record in intelligent transport systems (ITS), to supply the EV management center, EVs (200 vehicles), in-vehicle units and high-speed EV chargers. The company will also carry out studies and verifications of the EV center, the EV infrastructure, and the power management system that will accommodate fluctuations in power supply dependent on renewable energy. Hitachi, which has abundant experience in information and communication systems and energy management, will provide the demand-side management system, which is coupled with ICT systems, high-speed EV chargers and the demand-side management related to power management system. MC will create a package integrating business elements and services and study options for global expansion, and also verify the commercial viability of solutions business. more>