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Starbase 1

NASA's First Native American Astronaut

The incredible NASA Observatorium

Marshall Space Flight Center LIFTOFF J-Track program.

See where various flight vehicles are,
and check out the weather at the same time!

MSFC's entry point to both J_Track & J-Pass

Moon Missions, Old & New

NASA Television--schedule and where to find NASA in the sky
Russian Space Agency Information, via MSFC
Marshall Space Flight Center - a totally excellent site!

NASA Daily News Shuttle-MIR Program News & Overview
NASA Shuttle Web

Special space news & views
John Glenn Returns to Space--
The Right Stuff, Well-Seasoned

I had a heckuva good time covering Glenn's return to space with a live broadcast, streamed to the web and beyond, for 7amNews & NZNetNews! As an old "space hand" who began covering the space program in the 1970's, and wound up as part of NASA's launch team, that day was an incredible, heart-warming thrill.
And, if you think that Glenn's return to space was awesome....go check out the movie "Space Cowboys," just a reminder that in today's're never too old to fly your dreams!

More Tracking Resources

Am. Radio Relay League

Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation

SATPASSES: excellent site for predicted Shuttle, &satellite passes over US

NASA - Light the fires of your imagination!
Liftoff for adventure at Kennedy Space Center, FL

I'm proud to say that I am a former NASA Public Information Officer, KSC Launch Team. I hope this page will share the adventure and the everyday benefits from space exploration.

Here's the latest science news!

Attention launch crew & science team members:
weather briefings are posted on the Starbase 1 Meteorological Deck

International Space Station & Mir

With Mir finally de-orbiting in March, here's a look back at how I called it a year and a half ago.
As published by 7amNews Aug. 27, 1999

For the first time in almost a decade, no humans are keeping an eye on Earth from above, as the Mir space station ghosts overhead. Late tonight, Mir's final long-duration crew made it safely back to Earth after an emotional onboard farewell ceremony earlier today ,celebrating Mir for its 13 and one-half years of service.

Cosmonauts Viktor Afanasyev and Sergei Avdeyev and Frenchman Jean-Pierre Haignere landed safely near Arkalyk in Kazakhstan at 8:35 p.m. EDT. They are most likely the last crew that will live in Mir before its eventual de-orbit and fiery descent back to Earth next year.

The Soviet reluctance to give up Mir was clear today as the cosmonauts readied Mir for what may be a closeout crew early next year. They repeatedly stressed that Mir was being left in "excellent condition" for any one that might come after them to work and study in space.

Soviet financial woes and multiple onboard Mir accidents, some potentially fatal, have created an ongoing political and emotional struggle for the Russians. Although they've repeatedly said they are committed to the new International Space Station, due to be crewed next year, they've continued to try and find the money to keep Mir aloft. Even at this late date, with de-orbit and destruct plans in hand, the reluctance to give up their galactic outpost is obvious.

Seven American astronauts have served onboard Mir over the last few years, along with crew members from several other nations. However, the ailing Mir' s litany of failures, which have included an onboard fire, a collision with a supply vessel, computer failures, and problems with oxygen supply, at one point almost stopped astronaut David Wolf from being sent for his tour aboard the outpost.

Ironically, the abandonment of Mir as a manned space station could impact Russia's struggling economy as space workers are laid off. Already, some ground controllers sometimes go for up to half a year without pay, and wind up moonlighting in other jobs. Many of the launch, landing, and control crews now will no longer be needed.

copyright 1999 7amNews & P.Phillips

Read the full text of the Inspector General's letter
to NASA expressing safety concerns about Mir

Those of us long affiliated with humankind's reach into space have strong, and often nostalgic, feelings, about Mir and what it accomplished. One of my great treasures are 2 signed pictures, one taken while working in orbit, from my friend Valery Polyakov, Russian cosmonaut.
But, not matter what the sentiment, the fact is that Russia's political and economic woes signalled an end to this era; and it's lucky we are that the ending comes before tragedy. I'll salute Mir, and its gallant accomplishments, when she returns to Earth, but I'll always breathe a sigh of relief that perhaps now, without divided financial obligations and loyalties, Russia's power structure can fully sign on to the International Space Station for the betterment of all.

From the databanks: my own September, 1997 editorial about space-age trailer trash, beagles, and dangers of the Mir space station.

The International Space Station: A New Scientific City is Space is Born

MSNBC Space Stations Portal

The music for this page is an opening to Holst's "The Planets"

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Updated: Mar 19 2001

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