Quick Takes (04-25-16)

-Zulfikar-Abbany-copyVERBATIM | Counter-Revolutionary Counterpoint
“The last thing we need now is for the tech industries, wherever they are, to start controlling and filtering new knowledge about space before we mere mortals have had a chance to clamp our eyes on it. So I say: Silicon Valley, hands off our space!”
—Zulfikar Abbany, a science editor and presenter for German broadcaster Deutsche Welle, in an April 13 commentary.


#TrainLikeAMartian

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When 18-year-old Abigail Harrison (@AstronautAbby), the founder of nonprofit The Mars Generation, challenged all of Twitterdom to #TrainLikeAMartian April 18-24 to raise awareness for STEM, space exploration and physical fitness, United Launch Alliance CEO Tory Bruno picked up the dropped gauntlet with his usual brio. Whether on the road or back home in Colorado, he documented his exploits via Twitter.


A PDSA PSA

Credit: Tom Kimmell

Credit: Tom Kimmell

“Deputy Secretary of Defense, Bob Work … announced back in October of 2015 that we were going to…give new powers and empowerment to what we used to call the old DoD Executive Agent for Space. Specifically, he named the DoD Principal Space Advisor.… I was told, “Congratulations, you’re the new ‘Put-zah.’ And I said ‘the new whatsah?’ And the answer was the new ‘Put-zah’ … [which] sounds like something you would call your grandmother. I mean it doesn’t sound like cool and hip … we need kind of an epic name for the 21st century, something cool … something for the hip-hop generation … So I finally put my foot down and said forget this whole ‘Put-zah’ thing. And ladies and gentlemen, you’re now looking at the P-Dizza, alright? And I’m going to be down with that, you know what I’m saying now?
— U.S. Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James, in an April 12 speech at the 32nd Space Symposium, explaining her role as the DoD Principal Space Advisor, or P-Dizza as she now wants to be known

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Fit to be tied

Jillianne Pierce, a government affairs associate witht the Space Foundation’s Washington office at the 32nd Space Symposium, where she documented the space-themed ties shown upon. “I noticed the abundance of space ties immediately upon moving to D.C. to enter the world of space policy,” she said. “The way they rebuked the stereotype of D.C. men in cookie-cutter attire made me giggle, and I started to document the ties on Twitter.” Credit; Tom Kimmell

Jillianne Pierce, a government affairs associate witht the Space Foundation’s Washington office at the 32nd Space Symposium, where she documented the space-themed ties shown upon. “I noticed the abundance of space ties immediately upon moving to D.C. to enter the world of space policy,” she said. “The way they rebuked the stereotype of D.C. men in cookie-cutter attire made me giggle, and I started to document the ties on Twitter.” Credit: Tom Kimmell


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Expansion Plans

Astronauts used the International Space Station’s robotic arm April 16 to pick up the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM) from the trunk of the Dragon cargo spacecraft and attach it to the station’s Tranquility module.

BEAM won’t be expanded to its full size until late May. BEAM is designed to demonstrate expandable module technologies that NASA is interested in using for future exploration missions, and Bigelow Aerospace for future commercial space stations.

Pro tip: don’t call it an inflatable module. Bigelow hates that.