The latest edition of “This Week In Space” is now available – give us a watch. Hello and Welcome. we begin this week with shuttle manifest destiny…and the movable feast that the last days of STS launching has become. It … Continue readingTagged Earth, Hubble Space Telescope, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, John Glenn, NASA, Space, Space exploration, Technology
The latest edition of “This Week In Space” is now available! Give us a watch… Hello and Welcome – I had a long interesting talk with the president of the Constellation Nation – ex officio – Mike Griffin. I asked … Continue readingTagged Baikonur Cosmodrome, Earth, Extrasolar planet, International Space Station, NASA, Space, Space exploration, University of Colorado-Boulder
David Waters is your host for the latest edition of “This Week In Space.” Check us out! It was a nail biter – sample return missions always are – but in the end JAXA pulled it out and the troubled … Continue readingTagged Earth, Hayabusa, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, Kennedy Space Center, Lockheed Martin, NASA, Space, Technology
[youtubevid id="8bjcl14OC6s"] (ed. note: these remarks are part of my testimony to the Senate Committee on Science and Transportation hearing “Challenges and Opportunities in the NASA FY 2011 Budget Proposal” on February 24, 2010) Washington – we have a problem … Continue readingTagged Cold War, Earth, Human spaceflight, International Space Station, John Glenn, NASA, Space, Space exploration, Space Shuttle, Technology, United States, Vision for Space Exploration
The WISE guy has hit some pay celestial pay dirt. NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, launched in December – took this shot of a near earth asteroid on January 12th. Designated 2010 AB78 – (comets have much more fun names…) … Continue readingTagged Asteroid, Astronomy, Earth, NASA, National Research Council, Near-Earth object, Solar System, Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer
This past week, the Spirit team threw in the towel on trying to get the rover out of that sand trap she has been mired in for 10 months now. With winter looming in March, the focus is on trying … Continue readingTagged Cornell University, Earth, Mars, NASA, Polar Bear, Skype, Spirit rover, Steve Squyres
Whether they carry a badge signed by Charlie Bolden or Elon Musk, rocket scientists are genetically hardwired to obsess about the future. In the course of turning their visions into reality, they sometimes forget the importance of history. Such was … Continue readingTagged Apollo 11, Astronomy, Earth, ElonMusk, Moon, Solar System, Space, Technology
If Hubble is Benjamin Button, the Kepler Space Telescope might be called Goldilocks - as it is designed to find the planets that are just right for harboring life as we know it. And the Kepler team has rolled out … Continue readingTagged Astronomy, Earth, Extrasolar planet, Gas giant, Hot Jupiter, Jupiter, Kepler Mission, Planet
On the theme of the “Little Spacecraft that Could,” we bring you the amazing seven year odyssey of Japan’s Hayabusa – which is Japanese for Peregrin Falcon. Three years, late, after a fuel leak and a cascade of failures that … Continue readingTagged Asteroid, Earth, Hayabusa, ITunes, Japan, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, Space, Space debris, Spacecraft, Technology, Twitter, YouTube
Next time on “This Week In Space” – we will take you to McMoons – believe it or not the old McDonald’s at NASA Ames Research Center has become the scene of a remarkable project to preserve and enhance some … Continue readingTagged Earth, NASA, NASA Ames Research Center, Space, Technology, United States ← Older posts
HINKLEY, Calif. – We all love a neat, tidy Hollywood ending to a David and Goliath story. Sadly, in the real world, they are hard to come by. More often than not, the little guy might win a battle, but Goliath prevails over the long haul — winning the war.
Before I went to Hinkley, I did, of course, watch the movie once again. As it turns out Erin Brockovich is accurate in many respects.
You might remember the woman who gets a big check at the end of the movie after the down-on-her-luck, crusading legal assistant has brought a giant utility to its knees for polluting the groundwater beneath the tiny desert town half way between L.A. and Las Vegas.
In the movie, she was known as Donna Jensen (and played by Marg Helgenberger). There is no real-life Donna Jensen — the details of her story are a composite of several real-life travails.
But Roberta Walker was the main inspiration. Naturally, it was not long after I met her that I asked her what she thought of the movie.
Miles O’Brien is a veteran freelance broadcast and web journalist who focuses on science, technology & aerospace.
He is the Science Correspondent for PBS NewsHour, and a regular correspondent for the PBS documentary series FRONTLINE and the National Science Foundation Science Nation series.
For nearly seventeen of his thirty years in the news business, he worked for CNN as the Science and Space Correspondent and the anchor of various programs, including American Morning.
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E-mail Miles: miles [at] milesobrien [dot] com