Thursday, May 28, 2009

Air Traffic Control and the Augustine Panel

Actually, the two items in the title have nothing to do with each other. However the failure of ATC to handle bad weather in Charlotte (CLT) this evening led me to stay home an extra day until I could get a flight to Orlando (MCO). One thumb down for USAirways, who didn't update the screen at the gate to reflect the delay. Also, when another passenger called the reservations line, the agent told him he wasn't authorized to call Huntsville and tell them to get an agent down to the gate. Rather than sit and continue listening to the increasingly restive passengers, I picked up my briefcase and walked back down to the ticket counter. I let them know the other passengers were upset and asked if they'd mind getting me on a plane to Orlando. They couldn't--not today, anyway--so I'll be flying out at 0-Dark-30 tomorrow to get there via Atlanta and Delta.

Since I had the time, I thought I'd post this item from Hu:

Here's [sic] the names of most of the Augustine Commission
posted by Orlando Sentinel on May 28, 2009 1:26:53 PM

It's been nearly three weeks since the Obama White House announced it would name a 10-member commission to examine NASA's human spaceflight programs and goals, with a particular eye on its troubled Constellation rocket program. Since then, retired Lockheed Martin CEO Norm Augustine has been named the chair, but there's been no announcement of who the members will be.

In the interests of hastening the process -- some folks are saying that the announcement could come as early as this afternoon -- here's the names of eight members we've been able to nail down:

Besides Augustine, they are:

Christopher Chyba - Professor of Astrophysical Sciences and International Affairs at the Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University. He once held the Carl Sagan Chair for the Study of Life in the Universe at the SETI Institute in Mountain View, Calif.
Sally Ride - Physicist and a former NASA astronaut who, in 1983, became the first American woman and youngest American (at the time) to enter space.
Lester Lyles - Retired Air Force General and NASA administrator candidate. He is an expert in military space issues and is a member of the NASA Advisory Committee.
Edward Crawley - Ford Professor of Engineering at MIT, and a Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics and of Engineering Systems. He is engaged with NASA on the design of its lunar and earth observing systems, and with BP on oil exploration system designs.
Bohdan "Bo" Bejmuk - Respected engineer and executive at Boeing Co. and one-time executive at Sea Launch, where he helped put together and run the company’s unique offshore rocket launch system. He also assembled and led an elite Boeing engineering team to assist leading the integration of Russian elements into the Station. He was also involved in the space shuttle program from its earliest days.
Jeff Greason - President, CEO and founder of XCOR Aerospace and the Personal Spaceflight Federation. He was the team leader for engine development at the now-defunct Rotary Rocket, and previously worked at the computer chip manufacturer Intel. He has been active in lobbying to encourage support for private spaceflight activities.
Wanda Austin -- President and CEO of The Aerospace Corp., an independent non-profit dedicated to assisting the nation's space program. NASA recently commissioned her company to study whether military rockets could lift people and cargo to the international space station and the moon, and the study concluded they could, contrary to NASA's previous assertions.

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