Why does NASA need a SWAT team? AR-15’s?

nasa_swat_by_xparament-d4tyxsg----final

A recent weapons purchase by NASA piqued the interest of some of my readers, prompting questions such as, “What is NASA doing with assault rifles?”  In post 9/11 America, no self-respecting federal agency — from the Environmental Protection Agency to the Department of Education — can exist without its own SWAT team.   A strong trend of militarizing law enforcement has been occurring for some time, and if this is a surprise to you, its time to catch up.  Yes, even NASA has a SWAT team, and you may be surprised with some of their assignments, which include militarized perimeter security and robbing grandmothers of heirloom decorative paperweights.

One of NASA's $250,000 Lenco Bearcat (Source: LuisSantanaPhoto.com)

NASA’s recent purchase of Armalite AR-15 rifles, documented on FedBizOpps.gov, is only the tip of the iceberg regarding NASA’s equipment and capabilities. The space agency also has its own police department and round-the-clock SWAT team.

The purpose of all this security is protection from “troublemakers,” as the agency states, as well as criminal investigations, which I will discuss shortly.

Some security is surely warranted to protect NASA’s equipment and personnel.  How much?  I will leave that for you to decide.

NASA.gov describes its SWAT team in a post they titled, SWATting Trouble:

Along with the formidable force of standard security at Kennedy, a highly trained and specialized group of guardians protect the Center from would-be troublemakers. They are the members of the Kennedy Space Center Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team and they mean business. 

“We’re here 24-7,” said SWAT commander David Fernandez. “There’s never a point when SWAT is not here, so we’re ready to respond to something if needed at a moment’s notice.”

The SWAT team is equipped with helicopter(s) and armored Lenco Bearcat vehicles — priced at $250,000 each — both of which the agency enjoys taking selfie pictures with.

(Source: tactical-life.com)

Is this the same bureaucratic agency that people claimed could not possibly have its budget trimmed?  Hmm.

NASA Emergency Response Team in a helicopter patrol (Source: Flickr)

So what does all this get used for?  Let’s have a look.

Its not entirely clear why it is necessary to patrol the property with a sharpshooter dangling a sniper rifle out the side of a helicopter.  But NASA isn’t going to give Al Qaeda any chances.

Besides the excitement of pretending the property is surrounded by hostile military forces, NASA’s police are used for crowd control.  When the astronauts come out for a photo-op, men with rifles separate them from their fans.

These exaggerated security measures may or may not impress you.  But what about when NASA cops leave the space station to perform undercover sting operations?

(Source: Facebook)

In May 2011, a 74-year-old grandmother from California was the subject of one such SWAT sting operation, performed to seize a piece of her personal property without compensation.

Joann Davis, needing to raise money to care for her sick son, decided to sell a gift that was given to her husband 42 years earlier by astronaut Niel Armstrong.  Davis’ husband, who passed away in 1986, was a space-engineer, NASA-contractor, and friend of Armstrong’s.  Davis received from him a speck of dust from the moon, embedded into a decorative paperweight.

The moon-dust paperweight is quite rare and valuable, and Davis attempted to sell for funds to treat her son’s illness and contribute to her children’s inheritance.  When she reached out for potential buyers, and after months of searching, she unwittingly linked up with a secret federal agent.

"I felt raped," said Joann Davis after meeting NASA's SWAT team (Source: CBS News)

Davis and the undercover agent agreed to meet up at a Denny’s restaurant in Lake Elsinore, CA.  As Davis sat across from the would-be buyer, an armed team of NASA cops waited outside.  When she placed the paperweight on the table, the strike team made their entrance.

Davis recalled to CBS, “Someone is grabbing me from the back. Now they’re pulling me out of the booth and they have a hold of me pretty darn good, and the force was like, unnecessary … because I’m like 110 (pounds). I’m four-foot-eleven.”

“They dragged me out of Denny’s,” she said. “I was scared. Really scared.”

The decorative paperweight holding moon dust that brought Joann Davis a visit from SWAT (Source: AP / DailyMail)

The agents manhandled her so forcefully that she suffered deep bruising, and the shock of the raid was so intense that she lost control of her bladder.  She was detained and interrogated in the parking lot.

“I peed in my pants and I stood there dripping wet for over two hours,” she told the Orange County Register. “I was so mad. Humiliated, but mad. I didn’t do anything wrong.”

She said it looked like a SWAT team.  She wants her property back.

“It’s a very upsetting thing,” Davis told The Associated Press. “It’s very detrimental, very humiliating, all of it a lie.”

Peter Schlueter, Davis’ attorney, told CBS News, “There’s no such law that moon rocks belong to the federal government. There are laws about stealing from the federal government and I understand that, and if anybody could show that these moon rocks were stolen from the federal government, that’s a horse of a different color, but they haven’t shown that.”

Davis was not charged with a crime.  The NASA cops simply roughed her up and stole her property.

“I felt humiliated,” Davis said. “I felt, this may not be proper to say, but I tell you, I felt raped. I really did.”

Source

Chunk of Sun Headed Toward Earth at 2 Million Miles an Hour!!!

Exploding_Sunxx

Scientists at NASA have released some incredible images revealing an enormous dark hole over our sun.

Corey Powell, Editor of Discover Magazine, joined Bill Hemmer on America’s Newsroom this morning to explain the giant black hole, and what it means for us here on Earth.

“The reason it’s dark is that whole chunk of the sun basically ripped off, blew out and is coming our way at about two million miles an hour,” said Powell.

Well, that doesn’t sound good. Powell explained that this phenomenon happens frequently, but we don’t often see something this large.

He said that when the chunk of the sun hits Earth, it would cause auroras, and would wiggle the magnetic field. The major concern would be potential disruptions to GPS signals and interference with communication satellites and power lines.

Source: foxnewsinsider.com

Did NASA’s Curiosity rover spot a rat on Mars?

Mars Rat Big

Is that a rat on Mars?

A photo from the mast camera on NASA’s Curiosity rover reveals the dusty orange, rock-strewn surface of the Red Planet — and what starry-eyed enthusiasts claim is a dusty orange rodent hiding among the stones.

The photo, taken Sept. 28, 2012, depicts the “Rocknest” site, where NASA’s rover took a scoopful of sand, tasted it, and determined it was full of weathered basaltic materials — not unlike Hawaii, the space agency’s scientists said last year.

‘Note its lighter color upper and lower eyelids, its nose and cheek areas, its ear, its front leg and stomach.’

– ScottCWaring on the blog UFO Sightings Daily

No word on how the rodent tasted, however.

The “creature” was identified on the UFO Sightings Daily website, where its finder, ScottCWaring, held tight to his opinion: That’s one darn cute rodent on Mars.

“Note its lighter color upper and lower eyelids, its nose and cheek areas, its ear, its front leg and stomach. Looks similar to a squirrel camouflaged in the stones and sand by its colors,” he wrote. “Hey, who doesn’t love squirrels, right?”

Others pointed out that the similarity in coloring and position mean it was most likely just a rock, fingering the psychology phenomenon known as pareidolia, a propensity to pick out faces from everyday objects and structures.

To take advantage of this psychological phenomenon closer to home, designers at Berlin’s Onformative studio developed an algorithm that scans the surface of the earth with Google Maps, picking out geographical structures that are likely to be construed as having face-like features, science blog iO9 recently pointed out.

Their algorithm found faces in fields, mustaches in mountains, hills with actual eyes.

Large asteroid heading to Earth? Pray, says NASA

Asteroidxxx

 

CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida (Reuters) – NASA chief Charles Bolden has advice on how to handle a large asteroid headed toward New York City: Pray.

That’s about all the United States – or anyone for that matter – could do at this point about unknown asteroids and meteors that may be on a collision course with Earth, Bolden told lawmakers at a U.S. House of Representatives Science Committee hearing on Tuesday.

An asteroid estimated to be have been about 55 feet in diameter exploded on February 15 over Chelyabinsk, Russia, generating shock waves that shattered windows and damaged buildings. More than 1,500 people were injured.

Later that day, a larger, unrelated asteroid discovered last year passed about 17,200 miles from Earth, closer than the network of television and weather satellites that ring the planet.

The events “serve as evidence that we live in an active solar system with potentially hazardous objects passing through our neighborhood with surprising frequency,” said Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson, a Texas Democrat.

“We were fortunate that the events of last month were simply an interesting coincidence rather than a catastrophe,” said Committee Chairman Lamar Smith, a Texas Republican, who called the hearing to learn what is being done and how much money is needed to better protect the planet.

NASA has found and is tracking about 95 percent of the largest objects flying near Earth, those that are .62 miles or larger in diameter.

“An asteroid of that size, a kilometer or bigger, could plausibly end civilization,” White House science advisor John Holdren told legislators at the same hearing.

But only about 10 percent of an estimated 10,000 potential “city-killer” asteroids, those with a diameter of about 165 feet have been found, Holdren added.

On average, objects of that size are estimated to hit Earth about once every 1,000 years.

“From the information we have, we don’t know of an asteroid that will threaten the population of the United States,” Bolden said. “But if it’s coming in three weeks, pray.”

In addition to stepping up its monitoring efforts and building international partnerships, NASA is looking at developing technologies to divert an object that may be on a collision course with Earth.

“The odds of a near-Earth object strike causing massive casualties and destruction of infrastructure are very small, but the potential consequences of such an event are so large it makes sense to takes the risk seriously,” Holdren said.

About 66 million years ago, an object 6 miles in diameter is believed to have smashed into what is now the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico, leading to the demise of the dinosaurs, as well as most plant and animal life on Earth.

The asteroid that exploded over Russia last month was the largest object to hit Earth’s atmosphere since the 1908 Tunguska event when an asteroid or comet exploded over Siberia, leveling 80 million trees over more than 830 square miles (2,150 sq km).

Source

6 Mile High Statue Found On The Moon (Video)

 

The pictures of the moon in full color were interesting, but they were not the images that blew me away during the video. what really got my adrenaline going was when the images of the 6 mile high statue were presented. It was clearly humanoid in apperance, and from what I could make out, It seemed to be dressed in some sort of robe. They also did a cool size comparison chart, and compared it to the largest statues in the world, to give you a better grasp of its size.

 

Source

Large Unidentified Object Approaching Earth – Visible NOW on Stereo Ahead HI1 Is it This Blue object NOW VISIBLE in our skies?

Large UNIDENTIFIED object approaching EARTH –
Visible NOW on Stereo Ahead HI1 image, this bright object on the left along with another smaller object moving ahead of it, both heading Earthwards!

The object flaring on the right hand side in this image is Mercury as identified on NASA’S Website here…
http://stereo-ssc.nascom.nasa.gov/beacon/planets/
… scroll down page to HI1 images.
So, what is this large, bright unidentified object? ~
IS it perhaps THIS BLUE OBJECT which has suddenly appeared in our skies?

– NOT sure who took this picture but all credit due to them!

It’s also visible in Costa Rica too…


http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-iIpSoCB27hg/USuYA8mAOoI/AAAAAAAADeg/Nmp86lCi72Y/s1600/acamara_zps614527da.jpg

Watch it here live between 15:00 – 14:00 Costa Rica time! (Sunset)

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-ry809yFr0hY/USuYYd8PzxI/AAAAAAAADeo/zXgvKGvbx1A/s1600/camara.jpg

…I’d be getting those tomatoe plants in soon if I were you!!!

Here is Marshall Masters presentation on this object…he has not been able to debunk this one yet.
Just the facts!
Source: Investmentwatchblog – See more at: http://newsdoors.blogspot.com/2013/02/large-unidentified-object-approaching.html#sthash.BJl64SfH.dpuf

The illusion of control: Meteorite explosion puts space on UN agenda

The UN released proposals for a response to the threat of objects from space impacting the Earth. DW looks at the implications of last week’s meteorite explosion and what the UN could do for the space industry.

The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) released its recommendations for an international response to the threat of objects from space this week – five days after a large asteroid narrowly missed the Earth and a meteorite explosion caused significant damage in Chelyabinsk, Russia. The explosion of the 17-meter-long asteroid was 30 times more powerful than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, according to calculations by Peter Brown from Canada’s University of Western Ontario.

Apart from identifying existing gaps in the work of identifying near-Earth objects (NEOs) that may pose a threat to the planet, the UNOOSA wants to form an International Asteroid Warning Network as well as a space missions planning advisory group.

The meteorite that hit Chelyabinsk was unexpected – scientists did not have it on their radar

More UN involvement?

It is still too early to say whether the event in Chelyabinsk will increase international collaboration and lead to the formation of an organization to coordinate national space agencies. A meeting of the space agencies at Planetary Defense Conference in April will discuss the UN’s proposals and make its own recommendations, according to Nicolas Bobrinsky, head of the European Space Agency’s Space Situation Awareness (SSA) program.

“It would be extremely useful to have a forum where space agencies can meet under the forum and protection of the UN,” he told DW.

Alan Harris from the German Space Agency’s (DLR) also said the UN could help. “An international agreement, which recognizes the problem and supports the establishment of an organization […] which could coordinate government efforts is needed,” he said.

Asteroid mitigation

Both the ESA and the German Space Agency are doing extensive research on near-Earth objects, but they have different focuses. The ESA concentrates on asteroid detection and discovery, while the DLR works to find ways of deflecting asteroids that are on a collision course with Earth.

faces-of-doom-doomsday-destruction-31242505-1440-900a

An asteroid ended the dinosaur era 65 million years ago

The DLR, along with its counterparts in the United States and Russia, believes the course of an asteroid can be changed by launching a space probe with a substantial mass into the space body. The probe could alter the asteroid’s velocity and thereby change its course, Harris said.

“The only uncertainty is that degree of deflection depends on the shape of the asteroid,” he added.

Expensive undertaking

It will cost more than 100 million euros ($131 million) to pay for a spacecraft that can change the course of an asteroid. Harris, as well as other space experts, said he hopes increased awareness of the danger meteorites could pose to the Earth after last week’s explosion in Russia will improve the chances of raising the funds needed for the mission.

Should the program get off the ground, asteroids least 50 meters across will likely be deflected using a space probe. Anything smaller, like the asteroid in Chelyabinsk, will lead to evacuation of the projected point of impact. More than 1,000 people were injured when the meteorite exploded last Friday (15.02.2013).

In 1908, an asteroid in Siberia, knocked down some 80 million trees

Harris said scientists will carry out cost-benefit analyses to determine whether sending a probe makes sense. The meteorite in Chelyabinsk caused 25 million euros worth of damage, which would not have justified a mission worth more than 100 million euros, Harris said.

Many unanswered questions

There’s a good chance programs to detect and deal with asteroids will receive additional funding.

“The meteorite explosion has raised the awareness of the [dangerousness] of the phenomena among the population and the politicians,” the ESA’s Bobrinsky said, noting that they would get a sense of any changes when European ministers meet next year to discuss the agency’s 2014 budget.

Ministers will also have to confront a number of other questions, including a legal framework for how and when objects like asteroids and meteorites are addressed, who would pay for the evacuation efforts if a faulty projection is made, what would happens if an impact occurs despite having its course changed, and if a NEO is headed for a particular country, should other countries participate in that mission.

Harris from the German Space Agency said “any awareness by the public will bring pressure on politicians.”

Comment: Don’t get us wrong, we are all for “raising the awareness of the [dangerousness] of the phenomena among the population and the politicians.” The danger is real, and what ever happened in Chelyabinsk was just a small reminder of what may yet transpire. But, there are several factors that have to be considered. Factors that make us highly suspicious of the UN’s and other politicians’ intentions regarding the threat from space. As George Orwell’s quote goes: “He who controls the present, controls the past. He who controls the past, controls the future.” And there is enough evidence to indicate, that for quite a while PTB’s agenda was to keep the reality of cosmic threat under a tight lid in order to maintain the illusion of control.

Consider the following information:

Military Hush-Up: Incoming Space Rocks Now Classified

Objects apparently pass us by all the time and we don’t notice them until they’re here:

Bus-sized asteroid shaves Earth with one day’s notice

Have you heard about Dark Comets? Imagine trying to track one of those!

We think what it comes down to is the fact there is no comprehensive, global, civilian Near Earth Object monitoring or tracking system. Lots of programs have been floated over the decades; some take off, but most flop, usually because of a lack of funding. The space threat just wasn’t taken seriously enough. The renowned astrophysicist Victor Clube and others tried to warn them but our Dear Leaders didn’t see any profit in it. Instead, the scientific funding, research and technology was all funneled into sustaining the Cold War, and when that ended, the War on Terror. Perhaps it will change, but we are not holding our breath.

Source: DW.de

Military Hush-Up: Incoming Space Rocks Now Classified

asteroid-impact-megatsunami_12585_600x450

For 15 years, scientists have benefited from data gleaned by U.S. classified satellites of natural fireball events in Earth’s atmosphere – but no longer.

A recent U.S. military policy decision now explicitly states that observations by hush-hush government spacecraft of incoming bolides and fireballs are classified secret and are not to be released, SPACE.com has learned.

The satellites’ main objectives include detecting nuclear bomb tests, and their characterizations of asteroids and lesser meteoroids as they crash through the atmosphere has been a byproduct data bonanza for scientists.

The upshot: Space rocks that explode in the atmosphere are now classified.

“It’s baffling to us why this would suddenly change,” said one scientist familiar with the work. “It’s unfortunate because there was this great synergy…a very good cooperative arrangement. Systems were put into dual-use mode where a lot of science was getting done that couldn’t be done any other way. It’s a regrettable change in policy.”

Scientists say not only will research into the threat from space be hampered, but public understanding of sometimes dramatic sky explosions will be diminished, perhaps leading to hype and fear of the unknown.

Incoming!

Most “shooting stars” are caused by natural space debris no larger than peas. But routinely, rocks as big as basketballs and even small cars crash into the atmosphere. Most vaporize or explode on the way in, but some reach the surface or explode above the surface. Understandably, scientists want to know about these events so they can better predict the risk here on Earth.

Yet because the world is two-thirds ocean, most incoming objects aren’t visible to observers on the ground. Many other incoming space rocks go unnoticed because daylight drowns them out.

Over the last decade or so, hundreds of these events have been spotted by the classified satellites. Priceless observational information derived from the spacecraft were made quickly available, giving researchers such insights as time, a location, height above the surface, as well as light-curves to help pin down the amount of energy churned out from the fireballs.

And in the shaky world we now live, it’s nice to know that a sky-high detonation is natural versus a nuclear weapon blast.

Where the space-based surveillance truly shines is over remote stretches of ocean – far away from the prospect of ground-based data collection.

But all that ended within the last few months, leaving scientists blind-sided and miffed by the shift in policy. The hope is that the policy decision will be revisited and overturned.

Critical importance

“The fireball data from military or surveillance assets have been of critical importance for assessing the impact hazard,” said David Morrison, a Near Earth Object (NEO) scientist at NASA’s Ames Research Center. He noted that his views are his own, not as a NASA spokesperson.

The size of the average largest atmospheric impact from small asteroids is a key piece of experimental data to anchor the low-energy end of the power-law distribution of impactors, from asteroids greater than 6 miles (10 kilometers) in diameter down to the meter scale, Morrison told SPACE.com.

“These fireball data together with astronomical observations of larger near-Earth asteroids define the nature of the impact hazard and allow rational planning to deal with this issue,” Morrison said.

Morrison said that fireball data are today playing additional important roles.

As example, the fireball data together with infrasound allowed scientists to verify the approximate size and energy of the unique Carancas impact in the Altiplano — on the Peru-Bolivia border — on Sept. 15, 2007.

Fireball information also played an important part in the story of the small asteroid 2008 TC3, Morrison said. That was the first-ever case of the astronomical detection of a small asteroid before it hit last year. The fireball data were key for locating the impact point and the subsequent recovery of fragments from this impact.

Link in public understanding

Astronomers are closing in on a years-long effort to find most of the potentially devastating large asteroids in our neck of the cosmic woods, those that could cause widespread regional or global devastation. Now they plan to look for the smaller stuff.

So it is ironic that the availability of these fireball data should be curtailed just at the time the NEO program is moving toward surveying the small impactors that are most likely to be picked up in the fireball monitoring program, Morrision said.

“These data have been available to the scientific community for the past decade,” he said. “It is unfortunate this information is shut off just when it is becoming more valuable to the community interested in characterizing near Earth asteroids and protecting our planet from asteroid impacts.”

The newly issued policy edict by the U.S. military of reporting fireball observations from satellites also caught the attention of Clark Chapman, a planetary scientist and asteroid impact expert at Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado.

“I think that this information is very important to make public,” Chapman told SPACE.com.

“More important than the scientific value, I think, is that these rare, bright fireballs provide a link in public understanding to the asteroid impact hazard posed by still larger and less frequent asteroids,” Chapman explained.

Those objects are witnessed by unsuspecting people in far-flung places, Chapman said, often generating incorrect and exaggerated reports.

“The grounding achieved by associating these reports by untrained observers with the satellite measurements is very useful for calibrating the observer reports and closing the loop with folks who think they have seen something mysterious and extraordinary,” Chapman said.

Source

NASA mulls plan to drag asteroid into moon’s orbit

Moon_PIA00130_with_PIA00135_L_GOOD_LPODWho says NASA has lost interest in the moon? Along with rumours of a hovering lunar base, there are reports that the agency is considering a proposal to capture an asteroid and drag it into the moon’s orbit.

Researchers with the Keck Institute for Space Studies in California have confirmed that NASA is mulling over their plan to build a robotic spacecraft to grab a small asteroid and place it in high lunar orbit. The mission would cost about $2.6 billion – slightly more than NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover – and could be completed by the 2020s.

For now, NASA’s only official plans for human spaceflight involve sending a crewed capsule, called Orion, around the moon. The Obama administration has said it also wants to send astronauts to a near-Earth asteroid. One proposed target, chosen because of its scientific value and favourable launch windows for a rendezvous, is a space rock called 1999 AO10. The mission would take about half a year, exposing astronauts to long-term radiation beyond Earth’s protective magnetic field and taking them beyond the reach of any possible rescue.

Robotically bringing an asteroid to the moon instead would be a more attractive first step, the Keck researchers conclude, because an object orbiting the moon would be in easier reach of robotic probes and maybe even humans.

Catch and release

The Keck team envisions launching a slow-moving spacecraft, propelled by solar-heated ions, on an Atlas V rocket. The craft would then propel itself out to a target asteroid, probably a small space rock about 7 metres wide. After studying it briefly, the robot would catch the asteroid in a bag measuring about 10 metres by 15 metres and head back towards the moon. Altogether it would take about six to 10 years to deliver the asteroid to lunar orbit.

The project still needs some technical and scientific fine-tuning, says co-leader Louis Friedman of the Planetary Society, but he sees it as an important boost to exploration.

For instance, NASA has also expressed interest in putting astronauts on an outpost parked in orbit at the Earth-moon Lagrange point 2. From there they could study a captured asteroid using telepresence technology, or even practise human landings on its surface.

Such work could help develop ways to use asteroid material for construction or spaceship fuels, making the captured asteroid a stepping stone for human missions to larger asteroids and eventually to Mars.

A moon-orbiting asteroid would probably also be of interest to private companies proposing human missions to the lunar surface for scientific exploration and mining studies.

Source: New Scientist

Total Solar Eclipse 2012 A Massive Object Appears Between The Moon And The Sun

UFO sighting? the planet Nibiru? A strange phenomenon?

During the last total solar eclipse in 2012 a massive object appears between the moon and the sun

the object is four times the size of Earth.

As seen from the Earth, a solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes between the Sun and Earth, and the Moon fully or partially blocks the Sun. This can happen only at new moon, when the Sun and the Moon are in conjunction as seen from Earth.

On 2012 November 13/14, a total eclipse of the Sun is visible from within a narrow corridor that traverses Earth’s southern Hemisphere. Over the course of 3.1 hours, the Moon’s umbra travels along a path approximately 14,500 kilometers long covering 0.46% of Earth’s surface area.

NASA reject the idea of Nibiru, and have made efforts to inform the public that there is no threat to Earth in 2012, Now The Planet-X is closer than ever. The latest Nibiru Sightings in Tasmania, Patagonia and FalkLands Islands. NASA have known about this planet X since 1983, Today Nibiru is visible ! The Truth Is Out There.

Source