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Views from the Solar System (230)


Astronaut Reid Wiseman on the First Spacewalk of Expedition 41

NASA – On Oct. 7, NASA astronaut Reid Wiseman (pictured here) and European Space Agency astronaut Alexander Gerst completed the first of three spacewalks for the Expedition 41 crew aboard the International Space Station. The spacewalkers worked outside the space station’s Quest airlock for 6 hours and 13 minutes, relocating a failed cooling pump to external stowage and installing gear that provides back up power to external robotics equipment. Flight Engineer Barry Wilmore of NASA operated the Canadian robotic arm, maneuvered Gerst during the course of the spacewalk and served as the spacewalk coordinator.

A second U.S. spacewalk is set for Oct. 15. Wilmore will don a U.S. spacesuit and follow Wiseman outside the Quest airlock for a 6-1/2 hour excursion. Gerst will serve as the spacewalk choreographer. The goal of the excursion is to replace a failed voltage regulator component on the starboard truss of the station. They will also move external camera equipment in advance of a major reconfiguration of station modules next year for the arrival of new docking adapters for commercial crew vehicles.

Image Credit: NASA/ESA/Alexander Gerst

One reason Congress is broken? Negative ads cripple even the winners.


By David B. McLennan – These ads matter — but not in the ways that the candidates and their campaign consultants hope they do. When the negative barrage of ads is over, the winner will likely emerge with an approval rating well under 50 percent.

Majority of winning candidates take office without the majority support of the citizens they represent. They can no longer legitimately cite the “will of the people” in proposing legislation — because they are not in a position of strength when it comes to public support. Elected officials now often have little or no honeymoon period – even with the voters who supported them. more> http://tinyurl.com/l6vox44

Debunking Myths About Worker Passion


[ SMARTER WORKPLACE ]


By Steve Denning – “The key message from our work is that workers of all types and in all locations have the potential to be passionate – it’s not limited to a privileged few,” concludes John Hagel, c0-chairman Deloitte Center For The Edge.

“Rather than just focusing on recruiting more passionate workers, the big opportunity is to look at the existing workforce and create environments that can tap into, nurture and amplify the passion of every worker already on the job.

“Without the right work environments, efforts to recruit additional passionate workers will likely be undermined as those new workers become frustrated in environments that do not support passion.” more> http://tinyurl.com/kucd5km

Updates from GE


A Short Flight for a Jet, A Giant Leap for a Jet Engine

GE – Over the last several weeks, crews at GE Aviation’s flight test base in Victorville, CA, at the edge of the Mojave Desert, installed a next-generation jet engine with ceramic components and 3-D printed parts to the wing of a modified Boeing 747, and readied it for its maiden flight.

The engine, called LEAP, successfully took to the skies on Monday (Oct 6).
(GE)
There are three versions of the jet engine: the LEAP-1A for the new Airbus 320neo passenger jets, the LEAP-1B for Boeing’s 737MAX aircraft, and the LEAP-1C for China’s COMAC C919 planes.

The LEAP is the bestselling family of jet engines in GE history. CFM has received more than $100 billion in orders (U.S. list price) from airlines like United, Air Asia, American Airlines and easyJet. They will use them on single-aisle aircraft, the fastest growing market in commercial aviation. more> http://tinyurl.com/qzqsbqj

Is China’s Bubble the Next Financial Crisis?


By Mark Whitehouse – The Chinese credit boom has rapidly turned the country into one of the developing world’s most indebted, according to a new report (pdf) from London’s Centre for Economic Policy Research.

Such credit-fueled growth can’t be sustained for long without causing major distortions and setting the country up for a fall.

The stimulus is already running into diminishing returns. Over the five years through 2013, government and private debt grew by about 3 yuan for each added yuan of economic activity, a level of credit intensity that the U.S. exceeded only in the years leading up to the 2008 crisis. more> http://tinyurl.com/k5985du

Space Launch System (25)


Launch Abort System Installed for Orion Flight Test

NASA – The launch abort system for the Orion Flight Test is lowered by crane for installation on the Orion spacecraft inside the Launch Abort System Facility, or LASF, at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The completed crew and service modules will be tested and verified together with the launch abort system. Orion will remain inside the LASF until mid-November, when the United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket is ready for integration with the spacecraft.

Orion is the exploration spacecraft designed to carry astronauts to destinations not yet explored by humans, including an asteroid and Mars.

It will have emergency abort capability, sustain the crew during space travel and provide safe re-entry from deep space return velocities.

The first unpiloted test flight of the Orion is scheduled to launch in December atop the Delta IV Heavy rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida to an altitude of 3,600 miles above the Earth’s surface. The two-orbit, four-hour flight test will help engineers evaluate the systems critical to crew safety including the heat shield, parachute system and launch abort system.

Image Credit: NASA/Cory Huston