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Space Exploration

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February 10, 1993 | By Julia M. Klein, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Even before space travel was possible, astronomers and science-fiction writers were obsessed with the mysteries it might reveal. What lies beyond our planet and our solar system? they wondered. Could there be other worlds like ours? Other life forms? The National Air and Space Museum's Star Trek show, which closed Jan. 31, presented one version of these imaginings. Its new permanent exhibition, "Where Next, Columbus?" offers a more sobering view. It reminds us that warp speed, which allowed the USS Enterprise to dart from galaxy to galaxy, is just a convenient fiction.
NEWS
October 25, 2004
This Week U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter (R., Pa.) and his opponent, U.S. Rep. Joseph Hoeffel (D., Pa.), will answer questions from members of The Inquirer's Citizens Voices panel on the Pennsylvania and Metro commentary pages. Subjects will include No Child Left Behind, military spending, and national energy policies. Kate Johnson of Jenkintown asks: Will you work to ensure that NASA's programs for space exploration, including the plans to send a manned mission to Mars, remain funded and supported?
NEWS
March 22, 2004
Re: "Changing vision for NASA may blind Hubble forever," March 14: The commentary lacks some needed background information. Because we are committed to complying with the safety recommendations of the Columbia Accident Investigation Board, I decided two months ago to cancel the final mission to maintain and repair the Hubble space telescope. In making my decision, I had to balance the world-class science that the Hubble has produced, and will continue to produce, against the risks to the shuttle and its crew.
NEWS
August 29, 2003
THIS WEEK'S report on the second space shuttle disaster, involving Columbia, is remarkably like the report that followed the Challenger disaster 17 years ago. Both said that the people in charge at NASA didn't let themselves see obvious clues and did not do the investigations that might have led them to inconvenient information. The 248-page report even has a name for this tragic myopia: They call it the "broken safety culture," the drive to keep the program going even when its value is questionable, by cutting corners and pushing past warnings.
NEWS
April 21, 2010 | By Derrick Pitts
Last week, President Obama outlined a new plan for the future of American space exploration. It calls for increases in NASA's annual budget, a new heavy-lift launch vehicle, and more collaboration with the developing commercial space sector. And it also sets the goal of sending people to an asteroid, to the moons of Mars, and to Mars itself. That lofty goal of putting people on Mars is the primary difference between Obama's space exploration plan and that of former President George W. Bush, who set the goal of returning us to the moon.
NEWS
September 29, 2004 | By ELMER SMITH
WHEN YOU first hear about SpaceShipOne, it sounds like billionaire Paul Allen has run out of things to buy on Earth. Allen, who founded Microsoft with Bill Gates, surpassed the stage where millionaires finance yacht races about three zeroes ago. He owns half of DreamWorks studios, Oxygen Media, the Seattle Supersonics, the Portland Trailblazers and he's buying up every acre of available real estate in the Northwest corner of the United States that...
NEWS
February 6, 2003
America officially grieved this week at a memorial service led by President Bush for the seven heroes who died in the space shuttle Columbia tragedy. The nation will take much longer to ease the sadness it feels for the fallen astronauts and their families. But Americans shouldn't just feel sad. Americans should feel ashamed. Granted, space exploration is an inherently dangerous pursuit. But it is a shame that 17 years after the liftoff explosion of the Challenger, America hasn't developed a safer replacement for the space shuttle.
NEWS
February 10, 1986
One of the many sad aspects of the space shuttle explosion was the manner in which the press handled reporting on the seven casualties. The death of the "civilian" schoolteacher completely overshadowed the deaths of the six "professional" crew members who dedicated their lives to space exploration for our country. Would the grief-stricken faces of the mission commander's family have generated as much sympathy? I am reminded at this time of the freeing of the Iranian hostages and our unbounded enthusiasm and gratitude which we could not spare for the Vietnam veterans.
NEWS
February 27, 2003
With a gentle dying-out in outer space, an era has ended. Pioneer 10, a satellite launched in 1972, has evidently ceased to send signals or return calls. The Deep Space Network of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena received its last known beep on Jan. 22. JPL called again on Feb. 7. Nothing - and lab officials have decided to let it rest. Pioneer is a needed reminder, as the country still grieves for the shuttle Columbia astronauts, that sometimes these things go right.
NEWS
December 11, 1995 | By Tom Harris
We need space exploration; without it, we heirs of Western civilization risk becoming a frontierless folk culture engaged in endless self-reflection. The Galileo spacecraft encounter with Jupiter provides exactly the kind of cultural infusion our society needs. Our history since the Renaissance shows a strong correlation between geographic exploration and general cultural vitality, says Stephen Pyne, a history professor at Arizona State University. Pyne sees important similarities between what space exploration offers our civilization and what the exploration of the world contributed to Europe after the Middle Ages.
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NEWS
November 8, 2014 | Inquirer Editorial Board
Gone are the inspiring images of heroic astronauts marching toward the gantry, helmets cradled in their arms and smiles on their faces. The latest portrayals of American space travel suggest it has devolved into an odd combination of futuristic trucking firms and pricey amusement park rides. Two commercial spacecraft accidents last month raised serious concerns about private-sector space travel as well as the federal government's broader space policy. Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo disintegrated above California's Mojave Desert on Oct. 31, killing one pilot and injuring another, just days after the liftoff explosion of Orbital Sciences Corp.'s Antares rocket on Wallops Island, Va. Officials from the Federal Aviation Administration, National Transportation Safety Board, and NASA are investigating the accidents.
NEWS
March 24, 2013 | By Tom Avril, Inquirer Staff Writer
A giant blinking eye appears on the screen, followed by a close-up of how optic nerves are connected to the brain. Before long, viewers are whizzing through space. The computer-rendered graphics are worthy of any science-fiction film, but this is a movie about science facts. Called To Space & Back , coproduced by the Franklin Institute and a New Hampshire company called Sky-Scan Inc., the film explores the benefits of space exploration. It started showing daily at the science museum this week.
NEWS
August 18, 2012
Rumors of NASA's death have been exaggerated. After the Obama administration proceeded with the scuttling of the ancient space-shuttle fleet, a host of doom-and-gloomers, including some of the most storied names in U.S. astronaut history, raised sand. They suggested that without manned flight, there really was no U.S. space program. But that was B.C. - before Curiosity, the probe sent to Mars, which for more than a week now has been beaming photographs of the Red Planet's landscape back to Earth.
NEWS
April 23, 2012 | By CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER
As the space shuttle Discovery flew three times around Washington, in a final salute before it landed at Dulles airport for retirement in a museum, thousands on the ground gazed upward with marvel and pride. Yet what they were witnessing, for all its elegance, was a funeral march. The shuttle was being carried — its pallbearer a 747 — because it cannot fly, nor will it ever again. It was being sent for interment. Above ground, to be sure. But just as surely embalmed as Lenin in Red Square.
NEWS
October 6, 2011
PHILADELPHIA Fire truck, car crash A firefighter and a civilian were injured yesterday when a firetruck and a car collided at 29th and Clearfield streets, North Philadelphia. The injured were not identified, but police described the civilian as a 38-year-old man. They were taken to hospitals. Police said the firetruck from Engine 59 rammed a utility pole after the collision. Capt. Jeffrey Thompson, Fire Department spokesman, said the truck was responding to a fire when the crash occurred at 11:15 a.m. Disaster centers' hours Hours of operation for Disaster Recovery Centers for victims of Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee have been changed.
NEWS
August 5, 2011
WITH THE Atlantis landing, the U.S. space program came to a grinding halt. NASA and Congress need to get their act together as space exploration is needed to develop offshore planetary resources to continue to modernize society and relieve shortages that would affect humankind. It can be done if government gets its act together by stopping partisan politics and giving the store away via lopsided "free trade" agreements and outsourcing that does nothing but destroy American ingenuity and capability to produce uniquely as a nation.
NEWS
July 8, 2011
By Chris Gibbons On April 12, 1981, as the space shuttle Columbia soared into a strikingly blue Florida sky, the hopes of NASA's manned space exploration program soared along with it on a wave of public enthusiasm and support. NASA seemed to have a clearly defined, 25-year plan for the exploration of the solar system: using the new space shuttle for multiple earth-orbital flights to construct a space station, which would then serve as a "jumping-off" point for flights to the moon, culminating in an ambitious manned expedition to Mars.
NEWS
April 21, 2010 | By Derrick Pitts
Last week, President Obama outlined a new plan for the future of American space exploration. It calls for increases in NASA's annual budget, a new heavy-lift launch vehicle, and more collaboration with the developing commercial space sector. And it also sets the goal of sending people to an asteroid, to the moons of Mars, and to Mars itself. That lofty goal of putting people on Mars is the primary difference between Obama's space exploration plan and that of former President George W. Bush, who set the goal of returning us to the moon.
NEWS
February 9, 2010
Space, the final frontier . . . to boldly go where no man has gone before . . . - Capt. James T. Kirk, starship Enterprise President Obama's decision not to spend any more money on a rocket program to return Americans to the moon isn't a stab to the heart of all those who crave the day when space travel as depicted in Star Trek reruns becomes reality. The course Obama is plotting could still take us there. It's just that Obama, ever the pragmatist, has decided there is a better, less expensive way. In this economy, that would be wise.
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