Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Short Takes – 2-28-24

How a Right-Wing Controversy Could Sabotage US Election Security. article. Pull quote: “CISA’s relationships with Republican secretaries are “not as strong as they’ve been before,” says John Merrill, who served as Alabama’s secretary of state from 2015 to 2023. In part, Merrill says, that’s because of pressure from the GOP base. “Too many conservative Republican secretaries are not just concerned about how the interaction with those federal agencies is going, but also about how it’s perceived … by their constituents.””

Varda’s drug-cooking Winnebago will be remembered as a space pioneer. article. Pretty comprehensive article about the issues Varda faced. This might be a good mission for an X-37b spaceplane type vehicle. Pull quote: “The FAA's commercial space office is responsible for licensing commercial launch and reentry operations, with a primary interest in ensuring that these activities don't endanger the public. But FAA air traffic controllers had to find a time to clear a broad swath of airspace around the trajectory of Varda's descending space capsule. The FAA's temporary flight restriction for Varda's reentry was unusually large, particularly for such a small spacecraft, stretching more than 400 miles (700 kilometers) long and 60 miles (100 kilometers) wide from southern Montana to western Utah.”

Odysseus Sends Moon Landing Photos Home With Time Running Out. article (free). Pull quote: “Intuitive Machines said that Odysseus was also able to detect nine safe landing sites within the south pole region, information that could prove useful for future missions as NASA and other space agencies look to explore that region. Frozen water in the shadows of craters there could one day provide crucial resources for astronauts.”

Formaldehyde; Draft Risk Evaluation Peer Review by the Science Advisory Committee on Chemicals (SACC); Request for Comments on Experts Being Considered for Participation as Ad Hoc Peer Reviewers. Federal Register EPA request for comments. Summary: “The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is announcing the availability of and soliciting public comments on the list of candidates under consideration for selection as ad hoc peer reviewers assisting the Science Advisory Committee on Chemicals (SACC) with their peer review of the Agency's evaluation of the risks from formaldehyde being conducted to inform risk management decisions under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). The list of candidates provides the names and biographical sketches of all interested and available candidates identified from the responses to the call for nominations and other sources. Public comments on these candidates will be used to assist the Agency in selecting approximately 10–15 ad hoc peer reviewers to assist the SACC with the identified peer review.”

Congressional leaders strike deal to avert shutdown this week. article. Short term CR. Pull quote: ““I understand that we’re not going to get all the riders, but I’m hoping that there are maybe a couple that we can get some wins out,” Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-Ala.), the spending cardinal for the subcommittee that crafts funding for the departments of Labor and Health and Human Services, said on Wednesday.”

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