Top 10 questions to NASA’s Chief Technologist Mason Peck

Mason Peck Official Portrait Mason Peck, NASA’s Chief Technologist, was on Reddit a few days ago gamely fielding questions from all sides. The story trended near the top spot and was dominated by questions about Mars, including a fascinating discussion about radiation shielding. Here are the top 10 question and answers from that chat (with thanks to Reddit).

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Our strange and beautiful world as photographed by Chris Hadfield

You’ve seen the “Major Tom” video, followed the tweets and like me probably lament that it all had to end. So here I’ve put together more than 100 of my favorite photos taken by Commander Hadfield while aboard the ISS. After looking through the images let me know how you first discovered Chris Hadfield. Was it from Twitter, TV, YouTube, blogs, word of mouth? For me it was the famous “Captain Kirk” tweet from William Shatner on January 3rd, for me the world’s best ever Twitter conversation. What about you? It’d be fascinating to discover the moments of inspiration. read more…

Is it time for NASA’s nice guy Charles Bolden to quit?

Charles F. Bolden, Jr. This month marks four years since Charles Bolden was nominated to head up NASA; in the past 25 years only Daniel Goldin has served longer as administrator. But has time run out for Charles Bolden? He seems a nice enough guy, personable, friendly, a Marine general, an impressive career as an astronaut, a respected open-door manager, yet it seems there have never been so many questions asked about where NASA is headed, what are its real goals, and arguments over what it should or could be doing. It’s all happened on Bolden’s watch and he’s done little to end the uncertainty, satisfy the critics or inspire the public. read more…

NASA administrator Charles Bolden’s full speech to the Humans to Mars Summit

Here’s the full text of Bolden’s address to the Human to Mars Summit at George Washington University. Two minor points of interest: his embarrassingly stupid basketball metaphor in the introduction and his repeated, clumsy attempts to somehow make the plan to land on a rock in 2025 the vital precursor to a Mars mission. Sorry, we’re not buying it Charles. But here’s the real puzzler: While flattering all the Mars enthusiasts at the summit by claiming that: “Our entire exploration program is aligned to support this goal” (ie: the crewed exploration of Mars) you’ll nowhere find this stated on the NASA website or other documentation. What planet is Bolden living on? (Oh, Earth, that’s right because NASA can’t put anyone in orbit anymore). But judge for yourself: Is Bolden talking nonsense here? read more…

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