Daily Archives: January 24, 2014

NASA technology (86)

Tracking and Data Relay Satellite Launch Lights Up the Night Sky

NASA – A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket lights up the night sky over Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida as it carries NASA’s Tracking and Data Relay Satellite, or TDRS-L, to Earth orbit. Launch was at 9:33 p.m. EST on Thursday, Jan. 23 during a 40-minute launch window.

The TDRS-L spacecraft is the second of three new satellites designed to ensure vital operational continuity for NASA by expanding the lifespan of the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System (TDRSS) fleet, which consists of eight satellites in geosynchronous orbit. The spacecraft provide tracking, telemetry, command and high-bandwidth data return services for numerous science and human exploration missions orbiting Earth. These include NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope and the International Space Station. TDRS-L has a high-performance solar panel designed for more spacecraft power to meet the growing S-band communications requirements. TDRSS is one of three NASA Space Communications and Navigation (SCaN) networks providing space communications to NASA’s missions.

> More about TDRS-L

Image Credit: NASA/Dan Casper

Tracking and Data Relay Satellite Ready For Launch From Cape Canaveral

A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket with NASA’s Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS-L) spacecraft on board arrives at the launch pad at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s Launch Complex 41. Liftoff is scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 23 at 9:05 p.m. EST, the opening of a 40-minute launch window. Live coverage on NASA TV begins at 6:30 p.m.

The TDRS-L spacecraft is the second of three new satellites designed to ensure vital operational continuity for NASA by expanding the lifespan of the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System (TDRSS) fleet, which consists of eight satellites in geosynchronous orbit. The spacecraft provide tracking, telemetry, command and high bandwidth data return services for numerous science and human exploration missions orbiting Earth. These include NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope and the International Space Station. TDRS-L has a high-performance solar panel designed for more spacecraft power to meet the growing S-band communications requirements. TDRSS is one of NASA’s three Space Communications and Navigation (SCaN) networks providing space communications to NASA missions.

> More about TDRS-L
> Launch Blog

Image Credit: NASA/Daniel Casper

How to Take on Health Inequality in America

By Alice M. Rivlin and Mark B. McClellan – This is health inequality in America, and it won’t be fixed just by spending more on health care.

Current health policy debates are mostly about health care and how to pay for it. We want to change that debate. We are co-chairs of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Commission to Build a Healthier America, which releases its report to the nation Monday. Working with the commission, we have come to see that medical care is only part of health. Indeed, if we do not pay attention to the nonmedical factors affecting health, individually and as a nation, we will become sicker — not healthier. And we will spend an exorbitant amount of money in the process.

We’re doing poorly enough as it is. On more than 100 measures, Americans are less healthy than people in other developed countries. more> http://tinyurl.com/qgjfsbp

Related>

It’s time to reject crony capitalism and embrace the real thing

By By Allister Heath – It is a real tragedy that so many of the great and the good who are meeting in Davos this week don’t really understand the difference between genuine free-markets and crony capitalism. If they did, they wouldn’t be talking so much muddled nonsense about inequality, one of the key themes at this year’s World Economic Forum.

The blunt reality is that all societies are highly unequal, even supposedly communist ones.

What really matters is the source of the inequality: are the wealthy rich because they looted everybody else, as was inevitably the case in feudal, pre-commercial societies, or are they prosperous because they profited from serving the needs of others in a competitive market?

Is a society open to new talent and ideas, and encouraging of social mobility, or is it controlled by a small economic and political aristocracy that doesn’t let anybody else climb to the top? more> http://tinyurl.com/l5sqz82

Related>

Considerations for Measuring Very Low Pressures

By Jae Son – Imagine a person using a hose to clean a car; the individual water droplets hit some parts of the car while leaving the spaces between them dry. Any attempt to measure the pressure distribution would have to measure much more than one, simple value; it would have to account for several dynamic values and factors, such as spatial variance and temporal changes. That’s tough to do, especially when the pressures are very low to begin with.

PPS has successfully measured very low levels of pressure in an application involving a custom nozzle-type device. Again, though, in some situations, there sometimes simply isn’t enough pressure to measure, even when using a highly sensitive membrane-type sensor. In certain cases, utilizing capacitive-based sensor array technology to capture the spray pattern and quantify the amount of material deposited would be a more appropriate alternative. more> http://tinyurl.com/ntzct7m

Volkswagen and Labor Might Start a Revolution in Dixie

By Thomas Geoghegan – Volkswagen and the UAW have discussed introducing a European-type works council: a group elected by all the workers (union or not) to participate in and help guide the management of the Tennessee plant. Such a council is in every VW plant around the world except in China — and the U.S.

At VW headquarters in Wolfsburg, the works council wields enormous power. It can negotiate the start times, shift schedules, staffing, the use of temporary workers, and even determine whether people were properly discharged and promoted. It cannot act unilaterally. But managers can’t either, unless the council agrees. more> http://tinyurl.com/kqzdxxv

Aside

CONGRESS WATCH A Do-Nothing Congress? Steve Chabot

Aside

CONGRESS WATCH Begich Uses Appropriations Post to Secure Critical Funding for Alaska, US Senate Alaska makes salmon agreement with Walmart, Dave Detling, ktva.com Project Requests, US Senate