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Sunday, October 27, 2013

Shocking Space Center Working Conditions Revealed. Space and Science News. The Imaginarium.

Hello Troops,

We start today's post with a exclusive Troubadour investigative report.  What you are about to see are pictures taken at the CMSEC yesterday afternoon showing the terrible working conditions those not privileged to be flight directors and supervisors must endure on a daily basis.  This post may not be suitable for teenagers looking for work; Parental discretion is advised.

This is Connor L., a Christa McAuliffe Space Education Center flight director seen at the start of Magellan's Saturday afternoon private mission.  Connor is happy.  He and his supervisors had just eaten their lunch (notice the boxes at his feet) and were taking a quick lounge in their overly stuffed and generously proportioned office chairs while their subordinate Farpoint volunteers were on the Magellan's bridge training the crew.

"Why aren't you all on the bridge training?" I asked.  In unison, the three of them gave me that "As If" look.  You know the one that teenagers and early twenty-somethings have mastered so well.
"The volunteers are up there.  They're training to become supervisors so we let them have at it while we work in here getting things ready for the mission," came the well rehearsed response.
"In my day I always had at least one Voyager supervisors on the bridge WITH ME during training. I never sat around in the Voyager's control room catching up on the latest Space Center gossip," I reminisced.
"Well Bossman, that was 'in your day' and on the Voyager.  This is the Magellan and we do things differently," came their agreed upon response.  "You gotta get with the times old man," Connor piped in from his corner.  Shortly there after the volunteers appeared and took their places.
"Here, we left a little something for you all to fight over," Connor said as he threw a paper bag of droppings at Nolan.  "And be grateful for what you get.  Now get to work and no more of those looks."
"He's starving," I said.
"Are there no workhouses," Connor mumbled under his breath. "I'm flight directing and everybody better do as I say or its the highway.  Wait a minute - that didn't come out right.  It's my way or the highway!  Cue the video and music and hang on to your seats.  It's going to be a bumpy ride..."              

Farpoint Cadet Nolan holding the bag of scraps with fellow cadets Jake H. and Marissa B
looking on.  Supervisor Jackie is in blue.
I snapped my two pictures and was escorted out by a deceptively cheerful supervisor.

The Troubadour will not rest until these wrongs are made right and truth, justice, peace, land, bread and equal rights for all find their way to the Magellan Control Room.  

Mr. W.

P.S. I had a bit of fun interacting with the Magellan staff yesterday afternoon and told them I'd be writing about it (accurate or not).  They really are a hard working, dedicated group of staff and volunteers.  

Space and Science News

Spring on Saturn's Moon Titan Reveals Amazing Views 

of Otherworldly Lakes of Methane.

This false-color mosaic, made from infrared data collected by NASA's Cassini spacecraft, reveals the differences in the composition of surface materials around hydrocarbon lakes at Titan, Saturn's largest moon. Image released Oct. 23, 2013.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona/University of Idaho

NASA's Cassini space probe is getting an exceptional look at the vast liquid lakes of Titan's north pole, where dense winter clouds are finally retreating thanks to a change in seasons on Saturn's largest moon.

From Science Gymnasium
'The Ghost In Your Genes'

     Biology stands on the brink of a shift in the understanding of inheritance. The discovery of epigenetics -- hidden influences upon the genes -- could affect every aspect of our lives.
     At the heart of this new field is a simple but contentious idea -- that genes have a 'memory'. That the lives of your grandparents -- the air they breathed, the food they ate, even the things they saw -- can directly affect you, decades later, despite your never experiencing these things yourself. And that what you do in your lifetime could in turn affect your grandchildren. 

Cygnus Cargo Spacecraft Departs ISS

Astronauts on ISS release the Cygnus spacecraft from the robotic arm, before ground engineers check out systems to move it away from the station. 

The first Orbital Sciences Cygnus mission nears its end as the Cygnus cargo spacecraft was removed from its docking port on the International Space Station. According to schedule, Cygnus will activate its engine Wednesday afternoon for a de-orbital burn that will direct the craft to burn up in the atmosphere somewhere far above the Pacific Ocean. Astronauts Parmitano and Nyberg were at the controls of the CanadArm2 robotic manipulator for the undocking.

Cygnus had been docked at the Harmony module since September 29, bringing 1,300 pounds of cargo and supplies to the ISS. After unloading the supplies, astronauts from Expedition 37 filled the empty space with trash and expendables which are no longer needed aboard the station. The Cygnus is not designed for re-entry, unlike the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft which remains the only way to bring cargo safely back to Earth.

This first demonstration mission has been a success, with engineers able to correct a computer glitch prior to docking in September. The next, operational, mission for a Cygnus cargo spacecraft is expected to take place in December as Orbital Sciences begins regular delivery service to the ISS. This mission has definitely helped propel the commercial side of space operations closer to NASA's goal of letting non-government operators handle the delivery of supplies, and eventually astronauts, to the outposts in space.
By Mark Daymont,
Farpoint Educator

▶ HIV Cure:
▶ Miniature Pancreas:

▶ New Species:
▶ Most Distant Galaxy:
▶ New Solar System:
▶ Gold Traces:
▶ Bacterium Genome:
▶ Obesity Gene:
▶ Balloon Space Flights:
▶ Bird Flu Vaccine:

The Imaginarium
A cure for ordinary using extensive extraordinary therapy.

Push for a dose of drama
Thanks Farpoint volunteer Lissa

A Lego Wave

Found at a senior citizens center

Now, which wire was bad?
Welcome to teaching in Utah
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