Three items of note

Happy holidays, everyone. I have three short topics to report:

Item 1:
There is a very interesting article at the New York Times titled "The Fight Over NASA’s Future." It's all about the new direction NASA is taking with the Constellation program and Ares launchers and how things might get shaken up with the new Presidential administration. For example, should NASA continue with the Ares I/V model or opt for something that may be more cost effective like DIRECT 2.0?

Item 2:
The blogosphere is all abuzz today about NASA's 400-page Columbia Crew Survival Investigation Report (NASA/SP-2008-565). This followup to the 2003 Columbia Accident Investigation Board Report was written by the Spacecraft Crew Survival Integrated Investigation Team (SCSIIT), and it focuses more on "a comprehensive analysis of the accident, focusing on factors and events affecting crew survival." The report gives a detailed timeline of the events that transpired during the Columbia accident and includes 30 recommendations to improve spacecraft design and crew safety. You can read NASA's official press release announcing the report or learn more from the links below:
Item 3:
Speaking of blogs, you may take interest in this categorized list of the top 100 space and astronomy blogs according to Christina Laun. The compilation is fairly comprehensive, although it's missing a section for astronaut wannabes like yours truly. :)

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