NASA’s new administrator/Solar Eclipse

July 22, 2009

An historic solar eclipse occurred today over parts of Asia, including India, Nepal, and China. has a great slideshow of images from the event. I’ve been patiently awaiting the next solar eclipse that will be seen in the U.S., and there’s a lot more waiting to be done. It won’t happen till 2017. But, when it finally does hit the U.S., Nashville is in for a real treat. Check out this map (be patient, it seems that website is a bit slow) of the Aug. 21st, 2017 total eclipse. You can easily see that the main shadow, or umbra, goes right smack over Nashville. I have no idea if I’ll still be in Nashville in 2017, but you can bet I’ll be traveling back for it if I’m not still living here. A total solar eclipse is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The May 20th, 2012 annular eclipse barely extends into northern California, but the 2017 one will be much better. For more info and a complete list of solar eclipses for the next several hundred years, check out the NASA eclipse website.

Charles Bolden was confirmed as NASA’s new administrator, along with Lori Garver as his Deputy Administrator. The two laid out some fresh policies at a videoconference with all the NASA centers. Of particular interest is their view toward feelings in the NASA workplace. Garver said “Feelings are not something that were popular in the last few years at NASA, but they’re back. Feelings are back!” I like it. If bringing feelings back to NASA equates to more passion for broadening mankind’s reach into space, then I’m all for it. Hopefully Garver can be successful in keeping Congress interested in what NASA’s up to, and keep them a top priority when it comes to funding. (Via Universe Today)

Speaking of NASA’s budget and direction, a new article on sheds some more light on details of what our first manned Mars mission would look like. The Ares V rocket under current development would do all the heavy lifting and get the cargo/equipment there, but they’d probably have to develop something a bit roomier than the Orion capsule to get the crew there, as Orion is only big enough to fit 3 people and at least 6 will be needed for a mission to Mars. Check it out here.

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