The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is an independent agency of the United States Federal Government responsible for the civilian space program, as well as aeronautics and aerospace research. NASA was established in 1958; the new agency was to have a distinctly civilian orientation, encouraging peaceful applications in space science. Since its establishment, most US space exploration efforts have been led by NASA, including the Apollo Moon landing missions, the Skylab space station, the Space Shuttle. NASA is supporting the International Space Station and is overseeing the development of the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle, the Space Launch System and Commercial Crew vehicles; the agency is responsible for the Launch Services Program which provides oversight of launch operations and countdown management for unmanned NASA launches. NASA science is focused on better understanding Earth through the Earth Observing System. From 1946, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics had been experimenting with rocket planes such as the supersonic Bell X-1.
In the early 1950s, there was challenge to launch an artificial satellite for the International Geophysical Year. An effort for this was the American Project Vanguard. After the Soviet launch of the world's first artificial satellite on October 4, 1957, the attention of the United States turned toward its own fledgling space efforts; the US Congress, alarmed by the perceived threat to national security and technological leadership, urged immediate and swift action. On January 12, 1958, NACA organized a "Special Committee on Space Technology", headed by Guyford Stever. On January 14, 1958, NACA Director Hugh Dryden published "A National Research Program for Space Technology" stating: It is of great urgency and importance to our country both from consideration of our prestige as a nation as well as military necessity that this challenge be met by an energetic program of research and development for the conquest of space... It is accordingly proposed that the scientific research be the responsibility of a national civilian agency...
NACA is capable, by rapid extension and expansion of its effort, of providing leadership in space technology. While this new federal agency would conduct all non-military space activity, the Advanced Research Projects Agency was created in February 1958 to develop space technology for military application. On July 29, 1958, Eisenhower signed the National Aeronautics and Space Act, establishing NASA; when it began operations on October 1, 1958, NASA absorbed the 43-year-old NACA intact. A NASA seal was approved by President Eisenhower in 1959. Elements of the Army Ballistic Missile Agency and the United States Naval Research Laboratory were incorporated into NASA. A significant contributor to NASA's entry into the Space Race with the Soviet Union was the technology from the German rocket program led by Wernher von Braun, now working for the Army Ballistic Missile Agency, which in turn incorporated the technology of American scientist Robert Goddard's earlier works. Earlier research efforts within the US Air Force and many of ARPA's early space programs were transferred to NASA.
In December 1958, NASA gained control of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a contractor facility operated by the California Institute of Technology. The agency's leader, NASA's administrator, is nominated by the President of the United States subject to approval of the US Senate, reports to him or her and serves as senior space science advisor. Though space exploration is ostensibly non-partisan, the appointee is associated with the President's political party, a new administrator is chosen when the Presidency changes parties; the only exceptions to this have been: Democrat Thomas O. Paine, acting administrator under Democrat Lyndon B. Johnson, stayed on while Republican Richard Nixon tried but failed to get one of his own choices to accept the job. Paine was confirmed by the Senate in March 1969 and served through September 1970. Republican James C. Fletcher, appointed by Nixon and confirmed in April 1971, stayed through May 1977 into the term of Democrat Jimmy Carter. Daniel Goldin was appointed by Republican George H. W. Bush and stayed through the entire administration of Democrat Bill Clinton.
Robert M. Lightfoot, Jr. associate administrator under Democrat Barack Obama, was kept on as acting administrator by Republican Donald Trump until Trump's own choice Jim Bridenstine, was confirmed in April 2018. Though the agency is independent, the survival or discontinuation of projects can depend directly on the will of the President; the first administrator was Dr. T. Keith Glennan appointed by Republican President Dwight D. Eisenhower. During his term he brought together the disparate projects in American space development research; the second administrator, James E. Webb, appointed by President John F. Kennedy, was a Democrat who first publicly served under President Harry S. Truman. In order to implement the Apollo program to achieve Kennedy's Moon la
Greiz is a town in Thuringia, it is the capital of the district of Greiz. Greiz is situated in eastern Thuringia on the river White Elster; as with other nearby settlements, the place name means Gradec. It was first mentioned in 1209; the prime location of Greiz at the river White Elster and the stream Göltzsch made it a fast-growing town. It kept expanding during the last 1000 years, it has been recognized as town in the 13th century for the first time. The House of Reuss, a ruling German dynasty, built 2 castles in Greiz: the "Oberes Schloss" and the "Unteres Schloss". Both are still considered unique. Greiz became the capital of the Principality of Reuss-Greiz. Greiz has a large park in its center, classified as an English garden. Thomasstraße, Burgstraße, Marktstraße, Waldstraße, Leonhardtstraße with their Jugendstil houses are well known examples of that architectural style. In Prof.-Dr.-Friedrich-Schneider-Straße 4 there is one of the earliest examples of Art Deco architecture. During World War II, Greiz did not suffer much damage, although 3 of the 5 bridges in town were destroyed.
In 1941, Ulf Merbold was born there, who became in 1983 the first astronaut from the Federal Republic of Germany. Greiz has a population of about 21,284 people. In addition to a chemical works and a paper factory there are mechanical engineering operations, plastics manufacturing businesses, wood machining enterprises, medical technology, suppliers to the automobile industry, printing houses and breweries. In recent years various high tech businesses and environmental technology companies developed. Adjacent cities include: Elsterberg Reichenbach Hohenleuben WerdauGreiz station is on the Gera Süd–Weischlitz railway. Media related to Greiz at Wikimedia Commons Town of Greiz
STS-55, or D-2 was the 55th overall flight of the US Space Shuttle and the 14th flight of Shuttle Columbia. This flight was a multinational Spacelab flight involving 88 experiments from eleven different nations; the experiments ranged from biology sciences to simple earth observations. Columbia carried to orbit the second reusable German Spacelab on the STS-55 mission and demonstrated the shuttle's ability for international cooperation and scientific research in space; the Spacelab Module and an exterior experiment support structure contained in Columbia’s payload bay comprised the Spacelab D-2 payload. The U. S. and Germany gained valuable experience for future space station operations. The D-2 mission, as it was called, augmented the German microgravity research program started by the D-1 mission; the German Aerospace Research Establishment had been tasked by the German Space Agency to conduct the second mission. DLR, NASA, the European Space Agency, agencies in France and Japan contributed to D-2's scientific program.
Eleven nations participated in the experiments. Of the 88 experiments conducted on the D-2 mission, four were sponsored by NASA; the crew worked in two shifts around-the-clock to complete investigations into the areas of fluid physics, materials sciences, life sciences, biological sciences, Earth observations, atmospheric physics, astronomy. Many of the experiments advanced the research of the D-1 mission by conducting similar tests, using upgraded processing hardware, or implementing methods that took full advantage of the technical advancements since 1985; the D-2 mission contained several new experiments which were not flown on the D-1 mission. The mission surpassed the 365th day in space for the Space Shuttle fleet and the 100th day of flight time in space for Columbia, the fleet's oldest Orbiter, on its fourteenth flight. D-2 marked the first tele-robotic capture of a free floating object by flight controllers in Germany; the crew conducted the first intravenous saline solution injection in space as part of an experiment to study the human body's response to direct fluid replacement as a countermeasure for amounts lost during space flight.
They successfully completed an in-flight maintenance procedure for collection of orbiter waste water, which allowed the mission to continue. STS-55 crewmembers participated in two amateur radio experiments, SAREX II from the United States and the German SAFEX; these experiments allowed students and amateur radio operators from around the world to talk directly with the Space Shuttle in orbit and participated in a SpaceMedicine conference with the Mayo Clinic. Columbia was scheduled to launch in late February. However, this date slipped to early March due to concerns with the tip-seal retainers in the main engines' oxidizer turbopumps. All three turbopumps were replaced at the pad but inspection revealed the retainers to be in good condition. Further delays were caused by the burst of a hydraulic flex hose in the aft compartment during the Flight Readiness Test; the lines were removed and inspected and three replacements were installed. The launch attempt on 22 March was aborted automatically at T-3 seconds when computers detected an incomplete ignition of the number three Space Shuttle Main Engine.
The problem was traced to a leak in the liquid oxygen preburner check valve. All three SSMEs were replaced as a precaution. Another launch attempt on 24 April was scrubbed due to a possible faulty reading with one of the inertial measurement units; the final launch attempt was successful with liftoff at 10:50 am EDT on 26 April 1993. List of human spaceflights List of Space Shuttle missions Outline of space science Space Shuttle Space Shuttle abort modes This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. NASA mission summary STS-55 Video Highlights
Space Shuttle Columbia
Space Shuttle Columbia was the first space-rated orbiter in NASA's Space Shuttle fleet. It launched for the first time on mission STS-1 on April 12, 1981, the first flight of the Space Shuttle program. Serving for over 22 years, it completed 27 missions before disintegrating during re-entry near the end of its 28th mission, STS-107 on February 1, 2003, resulting in the deaths of all seven crew members. Construction began on Columbia in 1975 at Rockwell International's principal assembly facility in Palmdale, California, a suburb of Los Angeles. Columbia was named after the American sloop Columbia Rediviva which, from 1787 to 1793, under the command of Captain Robert Gray, explored the US Pacific Northwest and became the first American vessel to circumnavigate the globe, it is named after the Command Module of Apollo 11, the first manned landing on another celestial body. Columbia was the female symbol of the United States. After construction, the orbiter arrived at Kennedy Space Center on March 25, 1979, to prepare for its first launch.
Columbia was scheduled to lift off in late 1979, however the launch date was delayed by problems with both the Space Shuttle main engine, as well as the thermal protection system. On March 19, 1981, during preparations for a ground test, workers were asphyxiated while working in Columbia's nitrogen-purged aft engine compartment, resulting in two or three fatalities; the first flight of Columbia was commanded by John Young, a veteran from the Gemini and Apollo programs, the ninth person to walk on the Moon in 1972, piloted by Robert Crippen, a rookie astronaut selected to fly on the military's Manned Orbital Laboratory spacecraft, but transferred to NASA after its cancellation, served as a support crew member for the Skylab and Apollo-Soyuz missions. Columbia spent 610 days in the Orbiter Processing Facility, another 35 days in the Vehicle Assembly Building, 105 days on Pad 39A before lifting off. Columbia was launched on April 12, 1981, the 20th anniversary of the first human spaceflight, returned on April 14, 1981, after orbiting the Earth 36 times, landing on the dry lakebed runway at Edwards Air Force Base in California.
Columbia undertook three further research missions to test its technical characteristics and performance. Its first operational mission, with a four-man crew, was STS-5, which launched on November 11, 1982. At this point Columbia was joined by Challenger, which flew the next three shuttle missions, while Columbia underwent modifications for the first Spacelab mission. In 1983, under the command of John Young on what was his sixth spaceflight, undertook its second operational mission, in which the Spacelab science laboratory and a six-person crew was carried, including the first non-American astronaut on a space shuttle, Ulf Merbold. After the flight, Columbia spent 18 months at the Rockwell Palmdale facility beginning in January 1984, undergoing modifications that removed the Orbiter Flight Test hardware and bringing it up to similar specifications as those of its sister orbiters. At that time the shuttle fleet was expanded to include Atlantis. Columbia returned to space on January 12, 1986, with the launch of STS-61-C.
The mission's crew included Dr. Franklin Chang-Diaz, as well as the first sitting member of the House of Representatives to venture into space, Bill Nelson; the next shuttle mission, STS-51-L, was undertaken by Challenger. It was launched on January 28, 1986, ten days after STS-61-C had landed, ended in disaster 73 seconds after launch. In the aftermath NASA's shuttle timetable was disrupted, Columbia was not flown again until 1989, after which it resumed normal service as part of the shuttle fleet. STS-93, launched on July 23, 1999, was the first U. S. space mission with a female commander, Lt. Col. Eileen Collins; this mission deployed the Chandra X-ray Observatory. Columbia's final successful mission was STS-109, the fourth servicing mission for the Hubble Space Telescope, its next mission, STS-107, culminated in the orbiter's loss when it disintegrated during reentry, killing all seven of its crew. President George W. Bush decided to retire the Shuttle orbiter fleet by 2010 in favor of the Constellation program and its manned Orion spacecraft.
The Constellation program was cancelled with the NASA Authorization Act of 2010 signed by President Barack Obama on October 11. As the second orbiter to be constructed, the first able to fly into space, Columbia was 8,000 lb heavier than subsequent orbiters such as Endeavour, which were of a different design, had benefited from advances in materials technology. In part, this was due to heavier wing and fuselage spars, the weight of early test instrumentation that remained fitted to the avionics suite, an internal airlock that fitted into the other orbiters, was removed in favor of an external airlock to facilitate Shuttle/Mir and Shuttle/International Space Station dockings. Due to its weight, Columbia could not have used the planned Centaur-G booster; the retention of the internal airlock allowed NASA to use Columbia for the STS-109 Hubble Space Telescope servicing mission, along with the Spacehab double module used on STS-107. Due to Columbia's heavier weight, it was less ideal for NASA to use it for missions to the International Space Station, though modifications were made to the Shuttle during its last refit in case the spacecraft was needed for such tasks.
Externally, Columbia was the first orbiter in the fleet whose surface was covered with High
Wubbo Johannes Ockels was a Dutch physicist and an astronaut of the European Space Agency. In 1985 he participated in a flight on the Space Shuttle Challenger, STS-61-A, making him the first Dutch citizen in space. After his astronaut career, Ockels was professor of Aerospace for Sustainable Engineering and Technology at the Delft University of Technology. Ockels was born in Almelo, but considered Groningen to be his hometown, he obtained his MSc degree in physics and mathematics in 1973 and subsequently a PhD degree in the same subjects in 1978 from the University of Groningen. His thesis was based on experimental work at the Nuclear-physics Accelerator Institute in Groningen. From 1973 to 1978, Ockels performed experimental investigations at the Nuclear Physics Accelerator Institute in Groningen, his work concerned the gamma-ray decay of nuclear systems directly after formation and the development of a data-handling system involving design of electronics and programming of real-time software.
He contributed to the design and construction of position-sensitive charged particle detectors. While at the K. V. I. Institute, Ockels supervised the practical work of first-year physics students at the University of Groningen. In 1978, he was selected by the European Space Agency as one of three European payload specialists to train for the Spacelab 1 mission. In May 1980, under the terms of an agreement between ESA and NASA, Ockels and Swiss astronaut Claude Nicollier were selected to begin basic astronaut training for mission specialist together with the NASA astronaut candidates at NASA's Johnson Space Center, Texas. Ockels completed this training in August 1981, he rejoined the Spacelab 1 crew for training as a back-up payload specialist to operate experiments aboard Spacelab 1. This mission of a reusable, scientific research facility built by the European Space Agency took place aboard the Space Shuttle in November 1983. Spacelab 1 was a joint NASA/ESA mission, he was the first Dutch citizen astronaut, not the first Dutch-born astronaut, as he is preceded by the naturalized American Lodewijk van den Berg, who flew on STS-51-B.
Having served his role as back-up payload specialist for German astronaut Ulf Merbold, he took his place in Mission Control in Houston as the primary communicator between the astronauts working in Spacelab and the Mission Management Team in Houston. Ockels flew as a payload specialist on the crew of STS-61A Challenger. STS-61A was the West German D-1 Spacelab mission, it was the first to carry eight crew members,. More than 75 scientific experiments were completed in the areas of physiological sciences, materials science and navigation. At mission conclusion Ockels had traveled 2.5 million miles in 110 Earth orbits, logged over 168 hours in space. A small planetoid was named after Wubbo Ockels by the International Astronomical Union; the planetoid orbits the Sun between Jupiter. The object's full name is 9496 Ockels. Ockels was a member of the European Physical Society. From 1999 to 2003, he was head of ESA's Office for Educational Projects Outreach Activities. In 1992, Ockels was appointed part-time professor of aerospace engineering at Delft University of Technology, promoted to full-time professor in September 2003.
In this function, he oversaw the Nuna projects. He proposed the development of a Superbus, a new method of high speed public transportation by road; the public transportation company Connexxion was the first company to invest in the development of this Superbus. Thanks to his work on the "Laddermill" sustainable energy program, he is considered one of the founders of the promising Airborne Wind Energy; as quoted from his Web site: The LadderMill is the response to the challenge for exploiting the gigantic energy source contained in the airspace up to high altitudes of 10 km. The concept has been developed with the aim to convert wind energy at altitude in electricity on the ground in an environmental and cost effective manner. While working at the university he assisted and advised the Nuon Solar Team, a solar racer team consisting of students, which won the biannual World Solar Challenge four consecutive times from 2001 to 2007. Ockels was the initiator of the Superbus project. In 2009, Ockels presented a talk arguing that the notion of time is human-constructed as a result of our interpretation of the effects of gravity.
Ockels was had two children and two grandchildren. His sister Marjet Ockels was a politician. Indiepop band John Wayne Shot Me recorded a song called "Wubbo Ockels" for their album The Purple Hearted Youth Club. In August 2005, Ockels suffered a severe heart attack, he was able to resume his work at the Delft University of Technology. On 29 May 2013 it was announced that Ockels had an aggressive form of kidney cancer with a metastasis in his pleural cavity, a life expectancy of one to two years, he died from complications of cancer on 18 May 2014. Officer of the Order of Orange-Nassau Merit Cross 1st Class of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany NASA Public Service Award NASA Space Flight Medal Generaal Snijdersfonds Gold Medal Portions of this article are based on public domain text from NASA. Spacefacts biography of Wubbo Ockels ESA profile page Wubbo Ockel