KEARNEY — Photographer Ryan McGinnis admits he made a serious mistake May 29, 2008, by underestimating the risk while chasing a storm that spawned several Kearney tornadoes.He wanted to get in front of the supercell he’d followed from Lexington to Kearney, so he decided to drive under it on Interstate 80.“I could see the actual rain curtains circling around. You don’t want to be in that circle, but I was,” he said.Once in front of the tightly twisted bruise-colored cloud, McGinnis stopped at the Gibbon exit, took photos and watched the storm for several minutes. “I was very concerned because it had the appearance (like) … the whole thing was turning and was about ready to drop,” he said.McGinnis has been fascinated by storms since he watched a public TV program about storm chasers as a child. His plan to be a meteorologist faded in college, but not his dream to be a storm photographer, which he did full time for a few years.McGinnis … [Read more...] about As a child, this Kearney photographer watched storm chasers on TV. Now he hunts for storms, too.
“JOE BIDEN IN WINTER,” by Glenn Thrush – cover story of March/April issue of Politico Magazine, the second print edition: “Vice President Joe Biden and I were riding the Amtrak to Philly on a frigid February day. I had asked about 2016 and whether America was ready, at long last, to elect a guy with such a mouth. … At 71, he is in the second year of a second White House term, restless in his role as second fiddle to Barack Obama, especially now that he is once again being upstaged by Hillary Clinton … The tickled-alligator grin is still famously affixed to Biden’s face, but there’s a lot more going on behind those Ray-Bans these days. Joe Biden in winter is still basically a happy warrior, but the past couple years have been a struggle for both relevance and leverage—a fight largely hidden from public view, between the presidential dreams he can’t quite relinquish and the shrinking parameters of a job he described to me as … [Read more...] about STILL A HAPPY WARRIOR: Biden not giving up dream; thinks he’s ‘the most qualified’ for ’16 — LIVESTREAM, 8:30: Ted Cruz Playbook Breakfast — RALPH NADER is 80 — B’DAY: Eric Lesser, Chelsea Clinton
Last Updated Jan 26, 2015 9:30 PM EST NASA expects to spend some $5 billion underwriting development of commercial spacecraft built by Boeing and SpaceX to carry astronauts to and from the International Space Station, officials said Monday, ending sole reliance on the Russians for crew ferry flights and eventually lowering the average cost per seat to around $58 million.Gwynne Shotwell, president and chief operating officer of Space Exploration Technologies, or SpaceX, said her company's upgraded Dragon V2 ferry craft should be ready for an initial unpiloted flight to the space station in late 2016 with the first crewed flight, likely carrying a SpaceX test pilot and a NASA astronaut, in early 2017.John Elbon, vice president and general manager of Boeing Space Exploration, said his company's CST-100 spacecraft is expected to be ready for an uncrewed test flight in April 2017, followed by a crewed flight, with a Boeing pilot and a NASA astronaut, in the July 2017 timeframe.Both … [Read more...] about CBS News Logo Manned commercial flights to space station on track for 2017
SpaceX and Orbital ATK will continue to provide unpiloted cargo delivery missions to the International Space Station under a new round of commercial contracts extending through 2024, NASA managers announced Thursday. But Sierra Nevada's winged "Dream Chaser" spacecraft will join the fleet, launching atop Atlas 5 rockets and robotically gliding to a runway landing like NASA's now-retired space shuttle. The Dream Chaser will allow researchers to gain access to biological samples and other materials returning from space within a few hours of touchdown, a high priority for station researchers. SpaceX's Dragon capsule, which currently splashes down in the Pacific Ocean southwest of Los Angles, will be upgraded to touch down on land as required under the new contract, officials said, offering equally speedy offloads of high-priority science cargo. Orbital ATK's Cygnus capsules are not designed to return through Earth's atmosphere and instead burn up during re-entry, carrying away unwanted … [Read more...] about CBS News Logo Winged “Dream Chaser” joins space station cargo fleet
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket thundered to life and shot away from the Kennedy Space Center Monday, sending a Dragon cargo ship loaded with more than three tons of equipment and supplies on its way toward the International Space Station. The booster's first stage, meanwhile, flipped around moments after separation, restarted three of its nine engines and flew itself back to Florida, descending on a jet of fiery exhaust to a pinpoint touchdown at the nearby Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Getting spent booster stages back is a key element in SpaceX founder Elon Musk's drive to lower launch costs by recovering, refurbishing and relaunching Falcon 9 components. With Monday's landing, the company's record now stands at 14 successful first-stage recoveries in 19 attempts -- the last 10 in a row -- with six ending at the Air Force station and eight on offshore droneships. But the landings, as important as they are to SpaceX's business model, are a strictly secondary objective. The primary goal … [Read more...] about CBS News Logo SpaceX launches cargo ship to space station
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - NASA is a giant step closer to launching Americans again from U.S. soil. On Tuesday, the space agency picked Boeing and SpaceX to transport astronauts to the International Space Station. NASA Administrator Charles Bolden named the winners of the competition at Kennedy Space Center, next door to where the launches should occur in a few years. The wall behind him was emblazoned with the words "Launch America" and "Commercial crew transportation / The mission is in sight." "I want you to look behind me," Bolden said, pointing both thumbs to the big, bright logos. "I'm giddy today, I will admit." The deal will end NASA's expensive reliance on Russia to ferry astronauts to and from the space station. NASA has set a goal of 2017 for the first launch from Cape Canaveral, but stressed it will not sacrifice safety to meet that date. NASA ended up going with a blend of old and new space: big traditional Boeing, which helped build the space station and prepped the space … [Read more...] about SpaceX, Boeing score NASA space contract
Bryony Frost could be forgiven if she dreamed of Aintree’s Grand National, a race her father won on Little Polveir in 1989, last night after Milansbar, her first ride for Neil King, made nearly all to win the 3½-mile Betfred Classic here. A week ago, King’s massive chaser went 2½ miles in the Welsh National before unseating his rider but, fitted with blinkers and Frost in the saddle for the first time, he jumped for fun and the 12-1 shot had the race sewn up some way out before coming home 11 lengths clear of Cogry. Frost, who rode her first Grade One winner on Boxing Day when Black Corton won the Kauto Star Novices Chase and is riding full of confidence, said: “Neil rang me and said the Welsh National hadn’t gone to plan, he got swallowed up round the first bend and that he has an opinion and he didn’t like it. He jumped and travelled brilliantly today.” King, who was not at the meeting, said he had earmarked the 11-year-old for the … [Read more...] about Bryony Frost can dream of Grand National after winning Classic Chase with Milansbar
While SpaceX was launching a car into space, NASA gave approval for another company to start missions to the International Space Station. Sierra Nevada Corp. received authority from NASA to send its Dream Chaser spacecraft on a resupply mission as part of the Commercial Resupply Services Contract 2. Both SpaceX with its Dragon spacecraft launched on board its Falcon 9 rockets and Orbital’s Cygnus spacecraft launched on Antares rockets currently perform this function. Now, Sierra Nevada Corp. has a window of late 2020 to join the fray. “SNC has been successfully completing critical design milestones as approved by NASA, and having a timetable for the first launch is another important step achieved for us,” said company owner and CEO Fatih Ozmen. “The team has worked so hard to get to this point and we can’t wait to fulfill this mission for NASA.” The news comes on the heels of competitor SpaceX’s successful launch of it Falcon Heavy, sending … [Read more...] about NASA books Dream Chaser spacecraft for 2020
LEXINGTON, Ky. — Until recently, players on the Kentucky basketball team didn't know assistant Kenny Payne went to college at Louisville. "And when they did find out they thought I was a football player," Payne said Monday. Payne, in his eighth season on John Calipari's Wildcats staff and a player on Louisville's 1986 championship team, continues to be mentioned as a possible candidate to take over the Cardinals' program after this season."Louisville changed my life," Payne said. "As a young kid coming from Mississippi to be able to be on the national championship team and learn basketball from a Hall of Fame coach (Denny Crum), I have love for Louisville. But I have an obligation and love for the University of Kentucky and the guys sitting in this locker room." Read this: John Calipari 'disappointed' in criticism of Louisville's David Padgett Any speculation about the future, Payne says, is unfair to Louisville interim … [Read more...] about Could Kentucky basketball assistant Kenny Payne return to coach the Louisville Cardinals?
While new technologies and a wave of private spaceflight ventures have created a so-called “New Space” industry, one Tucson company is going strong more than two decades after starting out in the space business. Tucson-based Paragon Space Development, a maker of life-support and thermal control systems for spacecraft, is not only thriving as a resurgent NASA looks to resume human space exploration, but it’s looking to ride the swelling wave of private space development as well. “I joke that we’re the grandfather of New Space in Tucson,” said Grant Anderson, Paragon’s co-founder, president and CEO. Private contractors have helped NASA launch space vehicles since the agency’s inception, but the new commercial space industry really began to blossom about a decade ago, when NASA began encouraging private launch providers. Since then, space-launch firms like Elon Musk’s SpaceX have launched numerous payloads to supply the … [Read more...] about Tucson Tech: Paragon grows NASA business while eyeing New Space work