Space News
space history and artifacts articles

Messages
space history discussion forums

Sightings
worldwide astronaut appearances

Resources
selected space history documents

Websites
related space history websites

  collectSPACE: Messages
  Free Space
  Vote: NASA's biggest 2009 accomplishment

Post New Topic  Post A Reply
profile | register | preferences | faq | search

next newest topic | next oldest topic
Author Topic:   Vote: NASA's biggest 2009 accomplishment
Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27327
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 12-21-2009 09:53 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA has posted a poll on its website asking...
What is the biggest NASA accomplishment of 2009?

The choices are:

  • New Leadership Team Takes the Reins at NASA
  • Venerable Hubble Keeps Opening New Doors on the Universe
  • Experimental Rocket Offers Options for Future Space Vehicles
  • Water on The Moon? NASA Finds the Answer
  • NASA Sends Recon Team to Map Moon's Terrain, Search for Ice
  • Methane, Carbon Monoxide Heat Up the Home Planet
  • NASA's Airborne Armada Studies Shrinking Polar Ice
  • Methane On Mars Suggests 'It's Alive!'
  • NASA Discovers Your Place in the Universe
  • NASA - We're in Your House
  • Lithe Lunar Landers Launch, X Prize Winners Take Home Cash
  • NASA Programs Help Students Soar to New Altitudes of Learning
  • Global Community Agrees, Space Cooperation Is the Future
  • Stalwart Shuttle Fleet Ferries Food, Cargo to Orbiting Outpost
  • NASA Aeronautics Wins Prestigious Award for Second Straight Year
  • Other

More information about each choice is presented in the NASA Year in Review 2009.

How did you vote?

KSCartist
Member

Posts: 2488
From: Titusville, FL USA
Registered: Feb 2005

posted 12-21-2009 10:37 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for KSCartist   Click Here to Email KSCartist     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A lot of great choices but this one was mine: STS-125 Hubble Servicing Mission.

Tim

Delta7
Member

Posts: 1153
From: Ossian IN USA
Registered: Oct 2007

posted 12-21-2009 11:08 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Delta7   Click Here to Email Delta7     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I wrestled with choosing between the Hubble mission and finding water on the Moon. Ultimately I voted for the latter; it has implications that we'll only begin to appreciate as time goes on in my opinion.

MCroft04
Member

Posts: 1219
From: Smithfield, Me, USA
Registered: Mar 2005

posted 12-21-2009 12:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MCroft04   Click Here to Email MCroft04     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Water on the moon, hands down.

GoesTo11
Member

Posts: 1025
From: Denver, CO USA
Registered: Jun 2004

posted 12-21-2009 12:45 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for GoesTo11   Click Here to Email GoesTo11     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Delta7:
I wrestled with choosing between the Hubble mission and finding water on the Moon. Ultimately I voted for the latter; it has implications that we'll only begin to appreciate as time goes on in my opinion.

That may be, eventually, but right now at the close of this decade HST is humankind's most consequential single scientific instrument since Galileo's first telescope. Its mission, including the Shuttle operations dedicated to its maintenance and upgrading, has literally transformed our understanding of the known universe. I believe that when their cost is measured against their contribution to human knowledge, the Hubble Space Telescope and Voyager 2 represent the two biggest bargains in the history of exploration. In retrospect, it's simply insane to me that STS-125/SM-4 almost never flew.

moorouge
Member

Posts: 1490
From: U.K.
Registered: Jul 2009

posted 12-21-2009 01:05 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for moorouge   Click Here to Email moorouge     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA's greatest achievement of 2009 - it has to be the same one as it has been since the agency's formation. The huge benefits filtering down into everyday life here on Earth that come from research at the leading edge of technology have saved lives, saved money and improved the quality of life for countless thousands who have little or no knowledge of where these benefits originate.

My vote - NASA - we're in your house

GACspaceguy
Member

Posts: 1394
From: Guyton, GA
Registered: Jan 2006

posted 12-21-2009 01:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for GACspaceguy   Click Here to Email GACspaceguy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
As I am a creature from a water based planet I choose Water on the Moon.

Ken Havekotte
Member

Posts: 1823
From: Merritt Island, Florida, Brevard
Registered: Mar 2001

posted 12-21-2009 02:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ken Havekotte   Click Here to Email Ken Havekotte     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'll agree with all the choices (especially water on the moon and other milestone astronomical findings), but feel NASA's developmental flight test launch of Ares I-X in Oct. should had been included as well.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27327
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 12-21-2009 02:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Ken, Ares I-X was sort of hidden among the choices: "Experimental Rocket Offers Options for Future Space Vehicles"

James Brown
Member

Posts: 1213
From: Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Registered: Jun 2000

posted 12-21-2009 02:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for James Brown   Click Here to Email James Brown     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The STS-125 Mission, followed closely by the Ares I-X test flight.

tegwilym
Member

Posts: 2284
From: Renton, WA USA
Registered: Jan 2000

posted 12-21-2009 03:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for tegwilym   Click Here to Email tegwilym     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hubble repair.

Why? I think this has the biggest influence on the public - and we know that 90% of the public is clueless about space exploration. Since the Hubble images are published so widely when they come out, it would have bigger influence on more people who see the "pretty pictures".

Sure, water on the moon was a big deal, but then again, the public was angered over the lack of a huge "Bruce Willis explosion" when LCROSS hit. We did get the data we wanted, but the public wasn't amused at all. (I was pleased though!)

Tom

GoesTo11
Member

Posts: 1025
From: Denver, CO USA
Registered: Jun 2004

posted 12-21-2009 03:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for GoesTo11   Click Here to Email GoesTo11     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Tom, good point; I should have added that to my post. Since NASA is a publicly-funded agency, public perception cannot be discounted. Tell Joe Sixpack there's water on the moon, and he'll likely say, "So what?" But many citizens with no direct interest in the space program understood at a very basic level that Hubble is a truly important enterprise. NASA's decision to fly SM-4 was in no small part the product of a grass-roots campaign spurred by people everywhere who understand that the agency's mission is to explore, and Hubble's "pretty pictures" fire the imaginations of the public at large the way dry reports of ice deposits at the lunar poles never could.

gliderpilotuk
Member

Posts: 3043
From: London, UK
Registered: Feb 2002

posted 12-21-2009 04:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for gliderpilotuk   Click Here to Email gliderpilotuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Cassini? Messenger? Spirit and Opportunity? MRO?

Surely the astounding accomplishments of these missions and their impact on the public's imagination deserve mention?

I would have thought that the impact on the public at large was a major criteria for NASA judging its accomplishments.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27327
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 12-21-2009 04:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by gliderpilotuk:
Cassini? Messenger? Spirit and Opportunity? MRO?
While they all continue to operate, I think these missions would look out of a place on a list of accomplishments for (specifically) 2009...

mjanovec
Member

Posts: 3593
From: Midwest, USA
Registered: Jul 2005

posted 12-21-2009 04:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mjanovec   Click Here to Email mjanovec     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
For me, the Hubble repair mission is the greatest accomplishment of the year. Water on the moon is a significant discovery, no doubt. But every year that Hubble operates, the number of discoveries that telescope makes will dwarf the single discovery of water on the moon. Hubble quite literally re-writes our astronomy textbooks every few years. STS-125 not only lengthened the life of Hubble, but it significantly "beefed" up it's capability to make all new discoveries...perhaps even re-writing earlier discoveries it made early in it's lifetime.

If significant quantities of water are eventually discovered on the moon...and can be put to good use for future expeditions to the lunar surface (or future colonies)...then that discovery will have more meaning than it currently does.

moorouge
Member

Posts: 1490
From: U.K.
Registered: Jul 2009

posted 12-21-2009 04:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for moorouge   Click Here to Email moorouge     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by gliderpilotuk:
I would have thought that the impact on the public at large was a major criteria for NASA judging its accomplishments.
Well said. That's why it has to be 'We're in your house'. The public at large may 'Oh' and 'Ah' at pictures from Hubble but this a fleeting moment. The impact of 'spin-offs' affects them in a much more permanent manner even though they may not realise it.

Joel Katzowitz
Member

Posts: 325
From: Marietta GA USA
Registered: Dec 1999

posted 12-21-2009 06:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Joel Katzowitz   Click Here to Email Joel Katzowitz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I gotta go with the Ares I-X launch. I got chills watching it leave the pad and head into the future.

ilbasso
Member

Posts: 1493
From: Greensboro, NC USA
Registered: Feb 2006

posted 12-21-2009 06:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ilbasso   Click Here to Email ilbasso     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Seeing Neil Armstrong's footprints from lunar orbit!

chet
Member

Posts: 1246
From: Beverly Hills, Calif.
Registered: Nov 2000

posted 12-21-2009 09:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for chet   Click Here to Email chet     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I vote for the discovery/confirmation of (significant amounts of) water on the moon. The implications of this are huge for future lunar exploration/settlement, and what can be discovered about the universe from a lunar base has the potential of dwarfing what Hubble has been able to shed light on so far.

Water on the moon, IMHO, should be considered for biggest story of the year in ANY category, let alone space.

cspg
Member

Posts: 4046
From: Geneva, Switzerland
Registered: May 2006

posted 12-22-2009 12:03 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'll go with Hubble.

I still don't understand the big deal about the minimal amount of water on the Moon, dixit NASA.

Philip
Member

Posts: 4803
From: Brussels, Belgium
Registered: Jan 2001

posted 12-22-2009 06:36 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Philip   Click Here to Email Philip     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Keeping Hubble operational has been the main purpose of spaceflight during the last two decades!

issman1
Member

Posts: 888
From: UK
Registered: Apr 2005

posted 12-22-2009 11:15 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for issman1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It really ought to be the shuttle mission which restored Hubble. Had it failed, the public and political fallout would have been catastrophic. Water on the Moon seems newsworthy enough. But until they actually, physically find it (and unambiguously) I feel STS-125 was NASA's biggest accomplishment of '09.

chet
Member

Posts: 1246
From: Beverly Hills, Calif.
Registered: Nov 2000

posted 12-22-2009 12:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for chet   Click Here to Email chet     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This news article at Science.com from November, 2009 doesn't sound very ambiguous (Excerpts):
It's official: There's water ice on the moon, and lots of it. When melted, the water could potentially be used to drink or to extract hydrogen for rocket fuel.

The findings confirm suspicions announced previously, and in a big way.

"Indeed, yes, we found water. And we didn't find just a little bit, we found a significant amount," Anthony Colaprete, LCROSS project scientist and principal investigator from NASA's Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, Calif.

Bottom line, the discovery completely changes scientists' view of the moon, Wargo said.

The discovery gives "a much bigger, potentially complicated picture for water on the moon" than what was thought even just a few months ago, he said. "This is not your father's moon; this is not a dead planetary body."

Lunar rock nut
Member

Posts: 680
From: Oklahoma city, Oklahoma U.S.A.
Registered: Feb 2007

posted 12-22-2009 02:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Lunar rock nut   Click Here to Email Lunar rock nut     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Ares I-X flight!

Jay Chladek
Member

Posts: 2211
From: Bellevue, NE, USA
Registered: Aug 2007

posted 12-23-2009 03:31 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'll have to say Ares I-X as well. Hubble's repair was all well and good, but I think that is the accomplishment of the decade rather then just the year. As for the water, evidence suggested it, we just finally had a chance to test it. But to get to the moon and exploit the finding means we have to get off the planet first and Ares I is a step in that direction. Hence I think Ares I-X was more important given that NASA's near term future was riding pretty heavily on it.

cspg
Member

Posts: 4046
From: Geneva, Switzerland
Registered: May 2006

posted 12-23-2009 03:42 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Jay Chladek:
Hence I think Ares I-X was more important given that NASA's near term future was riding pretty heavily on it.
Was? Past tense? So what kind of accomplishment is Ares I-X if there's no Ares I at all? I would understand the Arex I-X pick if we were sure that Ares I program will continue...

Blackarrow
Member

Posts: 2024
From: Belfast, United Kingdom
Registered: Feb 2002

posted 12-23-2009 06:36 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Blackarrow     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
At the risk of belittling a very substantial achievement (the LCROSS findings) I should point out that samples of water were returned from the Moon by the crews of Apollo 15 and Apollo 17. Admittedly the quantities were minute (locked inside green and orange volcanic glass spheres) and the finding was only made in 2008, but water is water.

issman1
Member

Posts: 888
From: UK
Registered: Apr 2005

posted 12-23-2009 11:00 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for issman1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I don't think I was "belittling" LCROSS at all. But didn't Clementine and Lunar Prospector already infer there is apparent water on the Moon in the 1990s. Had Obama or any world leader with clout announced a plan to extract that frozen H2O for a human base, it would mean something. Until then (and we are talking decades here), STS-125 was NASA's number#1 success story this year.

NavySpaceFan
Member

Posts: 630
From: Norfolk, VA
Registered: May 2007

posted 12-23-2009 11:04 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for NavySpaceFan   Click Here to Email NavySpaceFan     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I also voted for STS-125/SM-4. I feel that the big story re: LCROSS will be what we do with the information.

chet
Member

Posts: 1246
From: Beverly Hills, Calif.
Registered: Nov 2000

posted 12-23-2009 02:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for chet   Click Here to Email chet     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Everyone's entitled to their own opinion of course, and OPINION means there are no right or wrong answers, but it should be noted that before the LCROSS findings the only knowledge of moon water involved trace amounts only. There's a huge difference between trace amounts and the finding that there are vast amounts of H2O on the moon, enough potentially to support habitability without having to transport all supplies from Earth.

Lunar rock nut
Member

Posts: 680
From: Oklahoma city, Oklahoma U.S.A.
Registered: Feb 2007

posted 12-24-2009 05:45 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Lunar rock nut   Click Here to Email Lunar rock nut     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hubble never ceases to fascinate and will continue to do so until the James Webb telescope launches. Water on the moon is neat but recently water seems to be everywhere in space especially in ice form. The moon is also loaded with many minerals some of you may remember when Galileo turned its instruments toward the moon during it's gravitational assist flyby large amounts of titanium and other minerals surprised everyone. After watching the development of how to get back there to exploit those resources and following Robert's reporting and all of the pictures of the stacking and how that test flight came together, I voted for the successful flight of Ares. Very impressive.

All times are CT (US)

next newest topic | next oldest topic

Administrative Options: Close Topic | Archive/Move | Delete Topic
Post New Topic  Post A Reply
Hop to:

Contact Us | The Source for Space History & Artifacts

Copyright 1999-2012 collectSPACE.com All rights reserved.


Ultimate Bulletin Board 5.47a





advertisement