Blogging from space
April 7, 2001 9:25 PM   Subscribe

Blogging from space On board with the Expedition One crew. Does Blogger have a "[REDACTED MATERIAL]" command?
posted by owillis (6 comments total)
Here's the main page for the mission.
posted by owillis at 9:28 PM on April 7, 2001

So what is it exactly that they're "redacting"? Anyone know? Is it stuff like:

"Ran into Mars life again. They're pretty cool, but they're getting kinda boring. I mean, we see them every time we go up."

Or is it more like:

"Adjusted thruster alpha-bravo by point-eight degrees today. Should keep us in orbit for a while."

Again, anyone know?
posted by crawl at 1:26 AM on April 8, 2001

Not enough links.
posted by gleemax at 1:51 AM on April 8, 2001

W/r/t the redaction, I recall hearing that it was initiated when tensions between the crew & ground controllers started to flare. Initially they were going to suspend posting the logs, but they worked out this system.

There's a older, informative thread on Slashdot which discussed the issue back in January, when they first pulled the logs.

The explanation offered by NASA jibes well with the FOIA issues and just sounds reasonable, given the unique psychological environment of a space station:-
Certain operational, debriefing material has been edited from the Expedition One ship's log. This material has been identified as "Redacted." This material is considered an integral and critically important element of the on-going, deliberative decisional process NASA is undertaking related to long-duration International Space Station missions. This process must include necessary give-and-take communications about all aspects of crew and station performance. To be effective, these communications require absolute candor in discussion that would not be available if parties to the exchange, including intended recipients on the ground and future crewmembers, thought the material might be released to the public.
posted by brantstrand at 10:01 AM on April 8, 2001

The coolest thing ever...the NASA astronaut selection process.
posted by ecvgi at 10:06 AM on April 8, 2001

Being an astronaut is a lot like being a consultant. You get to work with cool stuff and go interesting places, but you're often cooped up in small windowless spaces for very long periods of time, you see nobody but your immediate coworkers, you're never around for the accolades, and you wait in limbo for a long time until the next assignment.

Anybody who still harbors gung-ho hero-worship ideas about life as an astronaut ought to read Dragonfly, the book detailing the Shuttle-Mir program. The main feature of astronaut life has always been crew assignment politics. When do you get to fly? What will you be doing? Who else is on your crew? Are you flying earlier, or later, than the rest of your astronaut class (each one has a nickname and is generally close)? Are you getting desirable or undesirable interim assignments? Are they sending you to Cheyenne Mountain to be the Air Force liaison in order to groom you for management, or are they really hoping that you'll get fed up with waiting for a shuttle flight and get hired back into the USAF? This was all especially so with the legendary George Abbey in charge of the process (though for a long time other astronauts actually had the job of "flight assignment, in truth they had little power). Get on his good side, and you'd pilot the Shuttle to the first docking with Mir. Get on his bad side, and you'll be monitoring SRB construction logistics. Until recently, they also kept an astronaut corps that all outside observers agree is much too large for their needs. This helped play astronauts against each other, allegedly in a competitive spirit, but with no transparency or obvious meritocracy. There's flying, and there's limbo.

This spring, with budget overruns endemic and some major space-station equipment in danger of cancellation, Abbey was transferred from Houston to Washington. The guess is that this means he's being quietly fired -- but the same thing happened a decade ago, he got assigned to be Dan Quayle's right hand on the Space Council, and returned to his dictatorial ways. Also, last week they announced they would not make any selections for a 2002 Astronaut Candidate Class, for the first time since shuttle reflight.

Few of the 1996 class have flown yet, and I think none of the 1998 class.
posted by dhartung at 2:49 PM on April 9, 2001

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