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Tag Archives: united-states
Posted: September 22, 2016 at 7:51 pm
by Ben Best
Robert Ettinger is widely regarded as the “father of cryonics” (although he often said that he would rather be the grandson). Mr.Ettinger earned a Purple Heart in World WarII as a result of injury to his leg by an artillery shell. He subsequently became a college physics teacher after earning two Master’s Degrees from Wayne State University. (He has often been erroneously called “Doctor” and “Professor”.) Robert Ettinger was cryopreserved at the Cryonics Institute in July2011 at the age of92. See The Cryonics Institute’s 106th Patient Robert Ettinger for details.
A lifelong science fiction buff, Ettinger conceived the idea of cryonics upon reading a story called The Jameson Satellite in the July 1931 issue of Amazing Stories magazine. In 1948 Ettinger published a short story having a cryonics theme titled The Pentultimate Trump. In 1962 he self-published THE PROSPECT OF IMMORTALITY, a non-fictional book explaining in detail the methods and rationale for cryonics. He mailed the book to 200 people listed in WHO’S WHO IN AMERICA. Also in 1962, Evan Cooper independently self-published IMMORTALITY:PHYSICALLY, SCIENTIFICALLY, NOW, which is also a book advocating cryonics. In 1964 Isaac Asimov assured Doubleday that (although socially undesirable, in his opinion) cryonics is based on reasonable scientific assumptions. This allowed THE PROSPECT OF IMMORTALITY to be printed and distributed by a major publisher. The word “cryonics” had not been invented yet, but the concept was clearly established.
In December, 1963 Evan Cooper founded the world’s first cryonics organization, the Life Extension Society, intended to create a network of cryonics groups throughout the world. Cooper eventually became discouraged, however, and he dropped his cryonics-promoting activities to pursue his interest in sailing. His life was ended by being lost at sea. Cooper’s networking had not been in vain, however, because people who had become acquainted through his efforts formed cryonics organizations in northern and southern California as well as in New York.
In 1965 a New York industrial designer named Karl Werner coined the word “cryonics”. That same year Saul Kent, Curtis Henderson and Werner founded the Cryonics Society of New York. Werner soon drifted away from cryonics and became involved in Scientology, but Kent and Henderson remained devoted to cryonics. In 1966 the Cryonics Society of Michigan and the Cryonics Society of California were founded. Unlike the other two organizations, the Cryonics Society of Michigan was an educational and social group which had no intention to actually cryopreserve people and it exists today under the name Immortalist Society.
A TV repairman named Robert Nelson was the driving force behind the Cryonics Society of California. On January12, 1967 Nelson froze a psychology professor named James Bedford. Bedford was injected with multiple shots of DMSO, and a thumper was applied in an attempt to circulate the DMSO with chest compressions. Nelson recounted the story in his book WE FROZE THE FIRST MAN. Bedford’s wife and son took Bedford’s body from Nelson after six days and the family kept Dr.Bedford in cryogenic care until 1982 when he was transferred to Alcor. Of 17cryonics patients cryopreserved in the period between 1967 and 1973, only Bedford remains in liquid nitrogen.
In 1974 Curtis Henderson, who had been maintaining three cryonics patients for the Cryonics Society of New York, was told by the New York Department of Public Health that he must close down his cryonics facility immediately or be fined $1,000per day. The three cryonics patients were returned to their families.
In 1979 an attorney for relatives of one of the Cryonics Society of California patients led journalists to the Chatsworth, California cemetery where they entered the vault where the patients were being stored. None of the nine “cryonics patients” were being maintained in liquid nitrogen, and all were badly decomposed. Nelson and the funeral director in charge were both sued. The funeral director could pay (through his liability insurance), but Nelson had no money. Nelson had taken most of the patients as charity cases or on a “pay-as-you-go” basis where payments had not been continued. The Chatsworth Disaster is the greatest catastrophe in the history of cryonics.
In 1969 the Bay Area Cryonics Society(BACS) was founded by two physicians, with the assistance of others, notably Edgar Swank. BACS (which later changed its name to the American Cryonics Society) is now the cryonics organization with the longest continuous history in offering cryonics services. In 1972 Trans Time was founded as a for-profit perfusion service-provider for BACS. Both BACS and Alcor intended to store patients in New York, but in 1974 Trans Time was forced to create its own cryostorage facility due to the closure of the storage facility in New York. Until the 1980s all BACS and Alcor patients were stored in liquid nitrogen at Trans Time.
In 1977 Trans Time was contacted by a UCLA cardiothoracic surgeon and medical researcher named Jerry Leaf, who responded to an advertisement Trans Time had placed in REASON magazine. In 1978 Leaf created a company called Cryovita devoted to doing cryonics research and to providing perfusion services for both Alcor and Trans Time.
By the 1980s acrimony between Trans Time and BACS caused the organizations to disassociate. BACS was renamed the American Cryonics Society (ACS) in 1985. Jim Yount (who joined BACS in 1972 and became a Governor two years later) and Edgar Swank have been the principal activists in ACS into the 21st century.
For 26 years from the time of its inception until 1998 the President of Trans Time was Art Quaife. The name “Trans Time” was inspired by Trans World Airlines, which was then a very prominent airline. Also active in Trans Time was Paul Segall, a man who had been an active member of the Cryonics Society of New York. Segall obtained a PhD from the University of California at Berkeley, studying the life-extending effects of tryptophan deprivation. He wrote a book on life extension (which included a section on cryonics) entitled LIVING LONGER, GROWING YOUNGER. He founded a BioTech company called BioTime, which sells blood replacement products. In 2003 Segall deanimated due to an aortic hemorrhage. He was straight-frozen because his Trans Time associates didn’t think he could be perfused. The only other cryonics patients at Trans Time are two brains, which includes the brain of Luna Wilson, the murdered teenage daughter of Robert Anton Wilson. When Michael West (who is on the Alcor Scientific Advisory Board) became BioTime CEO, the company shifted its emphasis to stem cells.
Aside from Trans Time, the other four cryonics organizations in the world which are storing human patients in liquid nitrogen are the Alcor Life Extension Foundation (founded in 1972 by Fred and Linda Chamberlain), the Cryonics Institute (founded in 1976 by Robert Ettinger), KrioRus (located near Moscow in Russia, founded in 2006), and Oregon Cryonics (incorporated by former CI Director Jordan Sparks, and beginning service in May 2014).
Fred and Linda Chamberlain had been extremely active in the Cryonics Society of California until 1971 when they became distrustful of Robert Nelson because of (among other reasons) Nelson’s refusal to allow them to see where the organization’s patients were being stored. In 1972 the Chamberlains founded Alcor, named after a star in the Big Dipper used in ancient times as a test of visual acuity. Alcor’s first cryonics patient was Fred Chamberlain’s father who, in 1976, became the world’s first “neuro” (head-only) cryonics patient. (Two-thirds of Alcor patients are currently “neuros”). Trans Time provided cryostorage for Alcor until Alcor acquired its own storage capability in 1982.
After 1976 the Chamberlains encouraged others to run Alcor, beginning with a Los Angeles physician, who became Alcor President. The Chamberlains moved to Lake Tahoe, Nevada where they engaged in rental as well as property management and held annual Life Extension Festivals until 1986. They had to pay hefty legal fees to avoid being dragged into the Chatsworth lawsuits, a fact that increased their dislike of Robert Nelson. In 1997 they returned to Alcor when Fred became President and Linda was placed in charge of delivering cryonics service. Fred and Linda started two companies (Cells4Life and BioTransport) associated with Alcor, assuming responsibility for all unsecured debt of those companies. Financial disaster and an acrimonious dispute with Alcor management led to Fred and Linda leaving Alcor in 2001, filing for bankruptcy and temporarily joining the Cryonics Institute. They returned to Alcor in 2011, and Fred became an Alcor patient in 2012.
Saul Kent, one of the founders of the Cryonics Society of New York, became one of Alcor’s strongest supporters. He was a close associate of Pearson & Shaw, authors of the 1982 best-selling book LIFE EXTENSION. Pearson & Shaw were flooded with mail as a result of their many media appearances, and they gave the mail to Saul Kent. Kent used that mail to create a mailing list for a new mail-order business he created for selling supplements: the Life Extension Foundation(LEF). Millions of dollars earned from LEF have not only helped build Alcor, but have created and supported a company doing cryobiological research (21st Century Medicine), a company doing anti-ischemia research (Critical Care Research), and a company developing the means to apply the research to standby and transport cryonics procedures (Suspended Animation, Inc).
In December1987 Kent brought his terminally ill mother (Dora Kent) into the Alcor facility where she deanimated. The body (without the head) was given to the local coroner (Dora Kent was a “neuro”). The coroner issued a death certificate which gave death as due to natural causes. Barbiturate had been given to Dora Kent after legal death to slow brain metabolism. The coroner’s office did not understand that circulation was artificially restarted after legal death, which distributed the barbiturate throughout the body.
After the autopsy, the coroner’s office changed the cause of death on the death certificate to homicide. In January1988 Alcor was raided by coroner’s deputies, a SWAT team, and UCLA police. The Alcor staff was taken to the police station in handcuffs and the Alcor facility was ransacked, with computers and records being seized. The coroner’s office wanted to seize Dora Kent’s head for autopsy, but the head had been removed from the Alcor facility and taken to a location that was never disclosed. Alcor later sued for false arrest and for illegal seizures, winning both court cases. (See Dora Kent: Questions and Answers)
Growth in Alcor membership was fairly slow and linear until the mid-1980s, following which there was a sharp increase in growth. Ironically, publicity surrounding the Dora Kent case is often cited as one of the reasons for the growth acceleration. Another reason often cited is the 1986 publication of ENGINES OF CREATION, a seminal book about nanotechnology which contained an entire chapter devoted to cryonics (the possibility that nanomachines could repair freezing damage). Hypothermic dog experiments associated with cryonics were also publicized in the mid-1980s. In the late 1980s Alcor Member Dick Clair who was dying of AIDS fought in court for the legal right to practice cryonics in California (a battle that was ultimately won). But the Cryonics Institute did not experience a growth spurt until the advent of the internet in the 1990s. The American Cryonics Society does not publish membership statistics.
Robert Ettinger, Saul Kent and Mike Darwin are arguably the three individuals who had the most powerful impact on the early history of cryonics. Having experimented with the effects of cold on organisms from the time he was a child, Darwin learned of cryonics at the Indiana State Science Fair in 1968. He was able to spend summers at the Cryonics Society of New York (living with Curtis Henderson). Darwin was given the responsibility of perfusing cryonics patients at the age of 17 in recognition of his technical skills.
Born “Michael Federowicz”, Mike chose to use his high school nickname “Darwin” as a cryonics surname when he began his career as a kidney dialysis technician. He had been given his nickname as a result of being known at school for arguing for evolution, against creationism. He is widely known in cryonics as “Mike Darwin”, although his legal surname remains Federowicz.
Not long after Alcor was founded, Darwin moved to California at the invitation of Fred and Linda Chamberlain. He spent a year as the world’s first full-time dedicated cryonics researcher until funding ran out. Returning to Indiana, Darwin (along with Steve Bridge) created a new cryonics organization that accumulated considerable equipment and technical capability.
In 1981 Darwin moved back to California, largely because of his desire to work with Jerry Leaf. In 1982 the Indiana organization merged with Alcor, and in 1983 Darwin was made President of Alcor. In California Darwin, Leaf and biochemist Hugh Hixon (who has considerable engineering skill) developed a blood substitute capable of sustaining life in dogs for at least 4hours at or below 9C . Leaf and Darwin had some nasty confrontations with members of the Society for Cryobiology over that organization’s 1985 refusal to publish their research. The Society for Cryobiology adopted a bylaw that prohibited cryonicists from belonging to the organization. Mike Darwin later wrote a summary of the conflicts between cryonicists and cryobiologists under the title Cold War. Similar experiments were done by Paul Segall and his associates, which generated a great deal of favorable media exposure for cryonics.
In 1988 Carlos Mondragon replaced Mike Darwin as Alcor President because Mondragon proved to be more capable of handling the stresses of the Dora Kent case. Darwin had vast medical knowledge (especially as it applies to cryonics), and possessed exceptional technical skills. He was a prolific and lucid writer much of the material in the Alcor website library was written by Mike Darwin. Darwin worked as Alcor’s Research Director from 1988 to 1992, during which time he developed a Transport Technician course in which he trained Alcor Members in the technical skills required to deliver the initial phases of cryonics service.
For undisclosed reasons, Darwin left Alcor in 1992, much to the distress of many Alcor Members who regarded Mike Darwin as by far the person in the world most capable of delivering competent cryonics technical service. In 1993 a new cryonics organization called CryoCare Foundation was created, largely so that people could benefit from Darwin’s technical skills. Another strongly disputed matter was the proposed move of Alcor from California to Arizona (implemented in February 1994).
About50 Alcor Members left Alcor to join and form CryoCare. Darwin delivered standby, transport and perfusion services as a subcontractor to CryoCare and the American Cryonics Society (ACS). Cryostorage services were contracted to CryoCare and ACS by Paul Wakfer. Darwin’s company was called BioPreservation and Wakfer’s company was called CryoSpan. Eventually, serious personality conflicts developed between Darwin and Wakfer. In 1999 Darwin stopped providing service to CryoCare and Wakfer turned CryoSpan over to Saul Kent. Kent then refused to accept additional cryonics patients at CryoSpan, and was determined to end CryoSpan in a way that would not harm the cryonics patients being stored there.
I (Ben Best) had been CryoCare Secretary, and became President of CryoCare in 1999 in an attempt to arrange alternate service providers for CryoCare. The Cryonics Institute agreed to provide cryostorage. Various contractors were found to provide the other services, but eventually CryoCare could not be sustained. In 2003 I became President of the Cryonics Institute. I assisted with the moving of CryoSpan’s two CryoCare patients to Alcor and CryoSpan’s ten ACS patients to the Cryonics Institute. In 2012 I resigned as President of the Cryonics Institute, and began working for the Life Extension Foundation. Dennis Kowalski became the new CI President.
Mike Darwin continued to work as a researcher at Saul Kent’s company Critical Care Research (CCR) until 2001. Darwin’s most notable accomplishment at CCR was his role in developing methods to sustain dogs without neurological damage following 17minutes of warm ischemia. Undisclosed conflicts with CCR management caused Darwin to leave CCR in 2001. He worked briefly with Alcor and Suspended Animation, and later did consulting work for the Cryonics Institute. But for the most part Darwin has been distanced from cryonics organizations.
The history of the Cryonics Institute (CI) has been less tumultuous than that of Alcor. CI has had primarily two Presidents: Robert Ettinger from April1976 to September2003, and Ben Best to June2012. (Andrea Foote was briefly President in 1994, but soon became ill with ovarian cancer.) Robert Ettinger decided to build fiberglass cryostats rather than buy dewars because CI’s Detroit facility was too small for dewars. Robert Ettinger’s mother became the first patient of the Cryonics Institute when she deanimated in 1977. She was placed in dry ice for about ten years until CI began using liquid nitrogen in 1987 (the same year that Robert Ettinger’s first wife became CI’s second patient). In 1994 CI acquired the Erfurt-Runkel Building in Clinton Township (a suburb northeast of Detroit) for about $300,000. This is roughly the same amount of money as had been bequeathed to CI by CI Member Jack Erfurt (who had deanimated in 1992). Erfurt’s wife (Andrea Foote who deanimated in 1995) also bequeathed $300,000 to CI. Andy Zawacki, nephew of Connie Ettinger (wife of Robert Ettinger’s son David), built a ten-person cryostat in the new facility. Fourteen patients were moved from the old Detroit facility to the new Cryonics Institute facility. Andy Zawacki is a man of many talents. He has been a CI employee since January1985 (when he was 19years old), handling office work (mostly Member sign-ups and contracts), building maintenance and equipment fabrication, but also patient perfusion and cool-down.
Throughout most of the history of cryonics glycerol has been the cryoprotectant used to perfuse cryonics patients. Glycerol reduces, but does not eliminate, ice formation. In the late 1990s research conducted at 21st Century Medicine and at UCLA under the direction of 21st Century Medicine confirmed that ice formation in brain tissue could be completely eliminated by a judiciously chosen vitrification mixture of cryoprotectants. In 2001 Alcor began vitrification perfusion of cryonics patients with a cryoprotectant mixture called B2C, and not long thereafter adopted a better mixture called M22. At the Cryonics Institute a vitrification mixture called CI-VM-1 was developed by CI staff cryobiologist Dr.Yuri Pichugin (who was employed at CI from 2001 to 2007). The first CI cryonics patient was vitrified in 2005.
In 2002 Alcor cryopreserved baseball legend Ted Williams. Two of the Williams children attested that their father wanted to be cryopreserved, but a third child protested bitterly. Journalists at Sports Illustrated wrote a sensationalistic expose of Alcor based on information supplied to them by Alcor employee Larry Johnson, who had surreptitiously tape-recorded many conversations in the facility. The ensuing media circus led to some nasty moves by politicians to incapacitate cryonics organizations. In Arizona, state representative Bob Stump attempted to put Alcor under the control of the Funeral Board. The Arizona Funeral Board Director told the New York Times “These companies need to be regulated or deregulated out of business”. Alcor fought hard, and in 2004 the legislation was withdrawn. Alcor hired a full-time lobbyist to watch after their interests in the Arizona legislature. Although the Cryonics Institute had not been involved in the Ted Williams case, the State of Michigan placed the organization under a “Cease and Desist” order for six months, ultimately classifying and regulating the Cryonics Institute as a cemetery in 2004. In the spirit of de-regulation, the new Republican Michigan government removed the cemetary designation for CI in 2012.
In 2002 Suspended Animation, Inc(SA) was created to do research on improved delivery of cryonics services, and to provide those services to other cryonics organizations. In 2003 SA perfused a cryonics patient for the American Cryonics Society, and the patient was stored at the Cryonics Institute. Alcor has long offered standby and transport services to its Members as an integral part of Membership, but the Cryonics Institute (CI) had not done so. In 2005 the CI Board of Directors approved contracts with SA which would allow CI Members the option of receiving SA standby and transport if they so chose. Several years later, all Alcor standby cases in the continental United States outside of Arizona were handled by SA, and SA COO Catherine Baldwin became an Alcor Director. Alcor has continued to do standby and stabilization in Arizona. Any Alcor Member who is diagnosed as being terminally ill with a prognosis of less than 90 days of life will be reimbursed $10,000 for moving to a hospice in the Phoenix, Arizona area. By 2014, over160 of the roughly 550CI Members who had arrangements for cryopreservation services from CI had opted to also have Standby, Stabilization and Transport(SST) from SA.
A Norwegian ACS Member named Trygve Bauge brought his deceased grandfather to the United States and stored the body at Trans Time from 1990 to 1993. Bauge then transported his grandfather to Nederland, Colorado in dry ice with the intention of starting his own cryonics company. But Bauge was deported back to Norway and the story of his grandfather created a media circus. The town outlawed cryonics, but had to “grandfather the grandfather” who has remained there on dry ice. After a “cooling-off period” locals turned the publicity to their advantage by creating an annual Frozen Dead Guy Days festival which features coffin races, snow sculptures, etc. Many cryonicists insist that dry ice is not cold enough for long-term cryopreservation and that the Nederland festival is negative publicity for cryonics.
After several years of management turnover at Alcor, money was donated to find a lasting President. In January 2011, Max More was selected as the new President and CEO of Alcor. In July 2011 Robert Ettinger was cryopreseved at CI after a standby organized by his son and daughter-in-law. In July 2012 Ben Best ended his 9-year service as CI President and CEO by going to work for the Life Extension Foundation as Director of Research Oversight. The Life Extension Foundation is the major source of cryonics-related research, including funding for 21st Century Medicine, Suspended Animation, Inc., and Advanced Neural Biosciences, and funds many anti-aging research projects as well. Dennis Kowalski became the new CI President. Ben Best retired as CI Director in September 2014.
In January 2011 CI shipped its vitrification solution (CI-VM-1) to the United Kingdom so that European cryonics patients could be vitrified before shipping in dry ice to the United States. This procedure was applied to the wife of UK cryonicist Alan Sinclair in May 2013. In the summer of 2014 Alcor began offering this “field vitrication” service to its members in Canada and overseas.
In 2006 the first cryonics organization to offer cryonics services outside of the United States was created in Russia. KrioRus has a facility in a Moscow suburb where many cryonics patients are being stored in liquid nitrogen. In 2014 Oregon Cryonics (created by former CI Director Jordan Sparks) began providing neuro(head or brain)-only services at low cost for cryopreservation and chemical preservation.
(For details on the current status of the different cryonics organizations, see Comparing Procedures and Policies.)
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Posted: at 7:46 pm
Madison’s original proposal for a bill of rights provision concerning religion read: ”The civil rights of none shall be abridged on account of religious belief or worship, nor shall any national religion be established, nor shall the full and equal rights of conscience be in any manner, or on any pretence, infringed.” 1 The language was altered in the House to read: ”Congress shall make no law establishing religion, or to prevent the free exercise thereof, or to infringe the rights of conscience.” 2 In the Senate, the section adopted read: ”Congress shall make no law establishing articles of faith, or a mode of worship, or prohibiting the free exercise of religion, . . .” 3 It was in the conference committee of the two bodies, chaired by Madison, that the present language was written with its some what more indefinite ”respecting” phraseology. 4 Debate in Congress lends little assistance in interpreting the religion clauses; Madison’s position, as well as that of Jefferson who influenced him, is fairly clear, 5 but the intent, insofar as there was one, of the others in Congress who voted for the language and those in the States who voted to ratify is subject to speculation.
Scholarly Commentary .–The explication of the religion clauses by the scholars has followed a restrained sense of their meaning. Story, who thought that ”the right of a society or government to interfere in matters of religion will hardly be contested by any persons, who believe that piety, religion, and morality are intimately connected with the well being of the state, and indispensable to the administration of civil justice,” 6 looked upon the prohibition simply as an exclusion from the Federal Government of all power to act upon the subject. ”The situation . . . of the different states equally proclaimed the policy, as well as the necessity of such an exclusion. In some of the states, episcopalians constituted the predominant sect; in others presbyterians; in others, congregationalists; in others, quakers; and in others again, there was a close numerical rivalry among contending sects. It was impossible, that there should not arise perpetual strife and perpetual jealousy on the subject of ecclesiastical ascendancy, if the national government were left free to create a religious establishment. The only security was in extirpating the power. But this alone would have been an imperfect security, if it had not been followed up by a declaration of the right of the free exercise of religion, and a prohibition (as we have seen) of all religious tests. Thus, the whole power over the subject of religion is left exclusively to the state governments, to be acted upon according to their own sense of justice, and the state constitutions; and the Catholic and the Protestant, the Calvinist and the Arminian, the Jew and the Infidel, may sit down at the common table of the national councils, without any inquisition into their faith, or mode of worship.” 7
”Probably,” Story also wrote, ”at the time of the adoption of the constitution and of the amendment to it, now under consideration, the general, if not the universal, sentiment in America was, that Christianity ought to receive encouragement from the state, so far as was not incompatible with the private rights of conscience, and the freedom of religious worship. An attempt to level all religions, and to make it a matter of state policy to hold all in utter indifference, would have created universal disapprobation, if not universal indignation.” 8 The object, then, of the religion clauses in this view was not to prevent general governmental encouragement of religion, of Christianity, but to prevent religious persecution and to prevent a national establishment. 9
This interpretation has long since been abandoned by the Court, beginning, at least, with Everson v. Board of Education, 10 in which the Court, without dissent on this point, declared that the Establishment Clause forbids not only practices that ”aid one religion” or ”prefer one religion over another,” but as well those that ”aid all religions.” Recently, in reliance on published scholarly research and original sources, Court dissenters have recurred to the argument that what the religion clauses, principally the Establishment Clause, prevent is ”preferential” governmental promotion of some religions, allowing general governmental promotion of all religion in general. 11 The Court has not responded, though Justice Souter in a major concurring opinion did undertake to rebut the argument and to restate the Everson position. 12
Court Tests Applied to Legislation Affecting Religion .–Before considering the development of the two religion clauses by the Supreme Court, one should notice briefly the tests developed by which religion cases are adjudicated by the Court. While later cases rely on a series of rather well-defined, if difficult-to-apply, tests, the language of earlier cases ”may have [contained] too sweeping utterances on aspects of these clauses that seemed clear in relation to the particular cases but have limited meaning as general principles.” 13 It is well to recall that ”the purpose [of the religion clauses] was to state an objective, not to write a statute.” 14
In 1802, President Jefferson wrote a letter to a group of Baptists in Danbury, Connecticut, in which he declared that it was the purpose of the First Amendment to build ”a wall of separation between Church and State.” 15 In Reynolds v. United States, 16 Chief Justice Waite for the Court characterized the phrase as ”almost an authoritative declaration of the scope and effect of the amendment.” In its first encounters with religion-based challenges to state programs, the Court looked to Jefferson’s metaphor for substantial guidance. 17 But a metaphor may obscure as well as illuminate, and the Court soon began to emphasize neutrality and voluntarism as the standard of restraint on governmental action. 18 The concept of neutrality itself is ”a coat of many colors,” 19 and three standards that could be stated in objective fashion emerged as tests of Establishment Clause validity. The first two standards were part of the same formulation. ”The test may be stated as follows: what are the purpose and the primary effect of the enactment? If either is the advancement or inhibition of religion then the enactment exceeds the scope of legislative power as circumscribed by the Constitution. That is to say that to withstand the strictures of the Establishment Clause there must be a secular legislative purpose and a primary effect that neither advances nor inhibits religion.” 20 The third test is whether the governmental program results in ”an excessive government entanglement with religion. The test is inescapably one of degree . . . [T]he questions are whether the involvement is excessive, and whether it is a continuing one calling for official and continuing surveillance leading to an impermissible degree of entanglement.” 21 In 1971 these three tests were combined and restated in Chief Justice Burger’s opinion for the Court in Lemon v. Kurtzman, 22 and are frequently referred to by reference to that case name.
Although at one time accepted in principle by all of the Justices, 23 the tests have sometimes been difficult to apply, 24 have recently come under direct attack by some Justices, 25 and with increasing frequency have not been applied at all by the Court. 26 While continued application is uncertain, the Lemon tests nonetheless have served for twenty years as the standard measure of Establishment Clause validity and explain most of the Court’s decisions in the area. 27 As of the end of the Court’s 1991-92 Term, there was not yet a consensus among Lemon critics as to what substitute test should be favored. 28 Reliance on ”coercion” for that purpose would eliminate a principal distinction between establishment cases and free exercise cases and render the Establishment Clause largely duplicative of the Free Exercise Clause. 29
Justice O’Connor has suggested that it is inappropriate to try to shoehorn all Establishment cases into one test, and has called instead for recognition that different contexts may call for different approaches. Supp.1 For example, the Justice proposes that cases involving government ”speech” on religious topics be judged by an endorsement test that would invalidate government actions only if a reasonable observer would perceive the action as an endorsement or disapproval of religious belief. Supp.2
Government Neutrality in Religious Disputes .–One value that both clauses of the religion section serve is to enforce governmental neutrality in deciding controversies arising out of religious disputes. Schism sometimes develops within churches or between a local church and the general church, resulting in secession or expulsion of one faction or of the local church. A dispute over which body is to have control of the property of the church will then often be taken into the courts. It is now established that both religion clauses prevent governmental inquiry into religious doctrine in settling such disputes, and instead require courts simply to look to the decision-making body or process in the church and to give effect to whatever decision is officially and properly made.
The first such case was Watson v. Jones, 30 which was decided on common-law grounds in a diversity action without explicit reliance on the First Amendment. A constitutionalization of the rule was made in Kedroff v. St. Nicholas Cathedral, 31 in which the Court held unconstitutional a state statute that recognized the autonomy and authority of those North American branches of the Russian Orthodox Church which had declared their independence from the general church. Recognizing that Watson v. Jones had been decided on nonconstitutional grounds, the Court thought nonetheless that the opinion ”radiates . . . a spirit of freedom for religious organizations, and independence from secular control or manipulation–in short, power to decide for themselves, free from state interference, matters of church government as well as those of faith and doctrine.” 32 The power of civil courts to resolve church property disputes was severely circumscribed, the Court held, because to permit resolution of doctrinal disputes in court was to jeopardize First Amendment values. What a court must do, it was held, is to look at the church rules: if the church is a hierarchical one which reposes determination of ecclesiastical issues in a certain body, the resolution by that body is determinative, while if the church is a congregational one prescribing action by a majority vote, that determination will prevail. 33 On the other hand, a court confronted with a church property dispute could apply ”neutral principles of law, developed for use in all property disputes,” when to do so would not require resolution of doctrinal issues. 34 In a later case the Court elaborated on the limits of proper inquiry, holding that an argument over a matter of internal church government, the power to reorganize the dioceses of a hierarchical church in this country, was ”at the core of ecclesiastical affairs” and a court could not interpret the church constitution to make an inde pendent determination of the power but must defer to the interpretation of the body authorized to decide. 35
In Jones v. Wolf, 36 however, a divided Court, while formally adhering to these principles, appeared to depart in substance from their application. A schism had developed in a local church which was a member of a hierarchical church, and the majority voted to withdraw from the general church. The proper authority of the general church determined that the minority constituted the ”true congregation” of the local church and awarded them authority over it. The Court approved the approach of the state court in applying neutral principles by examining the deeds to the church property, state statutes, and provisions of the general church’s constitution concerning ownership and control of church property in order to determine that no language of trust in favor of the general church was contained in any of them and that the property thus belonged to the local congregation. 37 Further, the Court held, the First Amendment did not prevent the state court from applying a presumption of majority rule to award control to the majority of the local congregation, provided that it permitted defeasance of the presumption upon a showing that the identity of the local church is to be determined by some other means as expressed perhaps in the general church charter. 38 The dissent argued that to permit a court narrowly to view only the church documents relating to property ownership permitted the ignoring of the fact that the dispute was over ecclesiastical matters and that the general church had decided which faction of the congregation was the local church. 39
Thus, it is unclear where the Court is on this issue. Jones v. Wolf restated the rule that it is improper to review an ecclesiastical dispute and that deference is required in those cases, but by approving a neutral principles inquiry which in effect can filter out the doctrinal issues underlying a church dispute, the Court seems to have approved at least an indirect limitation of the authority of hierarchical churches. 40
[Footnote 1] 1 Annals of Congress 434 (June 8, 1789).
[Footnote 2] The committee appointed to consider Madison’s proposals, and on which Madison served, with Vining as chairman, had rewritten the religion section to read: ”No religion shall be established by law, nor shall the equal rights of conscience be infringed.” After some debate during which Madison suggested that the word ”national” might be inserted before the word ”religion” as ”point[ing] the amendment directly to the object it was intended to prevent,” the House adopted a substitute reading: ”Congress shall make no laws touching religion, or infringing the rights of conscience.” 1 Annals of Congress 729-31 (August 15, 1789). On August 20, on motion of Fisher Ames, the language of the clause as quoted in the text was adopted. Id. at 766. According to Madison’s biographer, ”[t]here can be little doubt that this was written by Madison.” I. Brant, James Madison–Father of the Constitution 1787-1800 at 271 (1950).
[Footnote 3] This text, taken from the Senate Journal of September 9, 1789, appears in 2 B. Schwartz (ed.), The Bill of Rights: A Documentary History 1153 (1971). It was at this point that the religion clauses were joined with the freedom of expression clauses.
[Footnote 4] 1 Annals of Congress 913 (September 24, 1789). The Senate concurred the same day. See I. Brant, James Madison–Father of the Constitution 1787-1800, 271-72 (1950).
[Footnote 5] During House debate, Madison told his fellow Members that ”he apprehended the meaning of the words to be, that Congress should not establish a religion, and enforce the legal observation of it by law, nor compel men to worship God in any Manner contrary to their conscience.” 1 Annals of Congress 730 (August 15, 1789). That his conception of ”establishment” was quite broad is revealed in his veto as President in 1811 of a bill which in granting land reserved a parcel for a Baptist Church in Salem, Mississippi; the action, explained President Madison, ”comprises a principle and precedent for the appropriation of funds of the United States for the use and support of religious societies, contrary to the article of the Constitution which declares that ‘Congress shall make no law respecting a religious establishment.”’ 8 The Writings of James Madison (G. Hunt. ed.) 132-33 (1904). Madison’s views were no doubt influenced by the fight in the Virginia legislature in 1784-1785 in which he successfully led the opposition to a tax to support teachers of religion in Virginia and in the course of which he drafted his ”Memorial and Remonstrance against Religious Assessments” setting forth his thoughts. Id. at 183-91; I. Brant, James Madison–The Nationalist 1780-1787, 343-55 (1948). Acting on the momentum of this effort, Madison secured passage of Jefferson’s ”Bill for Religious Liberty”. Id. at 354; D. Malone, Jefferson the Virginian 274-280 (1948). The theme of the writings of both was that it was wrong to offer public support of any religion in particular or of religion in general.
[Footnote 6] 3 J. Story, Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States 1865 (1833).
[Footnote 7] Id. at 1873.
[Footnote 8] Id. at 1868.
[Footnote 9] For a late expounding of this view, see T. Cooley, General Principles of Constitutional Law in the United States 224-25 (3d ed. 1898).
[Footnote 10] 330 U.S. 1, 15 (1947). Establishment Clause jurisprudence since, whatever its twists and turns, maintains this view.
[Footnote 11] Wallace v. Jaffree, 472 U.S. 38, 91 (1985) (then-Justice Rehnquist dissenting). More recently, dissenters, including now-Chief Justice Rehnquist, have appeared reconciled to a ”constitutional tradition” in which governmental endorsement of religion is out of bounds, even if it is not correct as a matter of history. See Lee v. Weisman, 112 S. Ct. 2649, 2678, 2683-84 (1992) (Justice Scalia, joined by the Chief Justice and Justices White and Thomas, dissenting).
[Footnote 12] Lee v. Weisman, 112 S. Ct. 2649, 2667 (1992) (Justice Souter, joined by Justices Stevens and O’Connor, concurring).
[Footnote 13] Walz v. Tax Comm’n, 397 U.S. 664, 668 (1970).
[Footnote 14] Id.
[Footnote 15] 16 The Writings of Thomas Jefferson 281 (A. Libscomb ed., 1904).
[Footnote 16] 98 U.S. 145, 164 (1879).
[Footnote 17] Everson v. Board of Education, 330 U.S. 1, 16 (1947); Illinois ex rel. McCollum v. Board of Education, 333 U.S. 203, 211 , 212 (1948); cf. Zorach v. Clauson, 343 U.S. 306, 317 (1952) (Justice Black dissenting). In Lemon v. Kurtzman, 403 U.S. 602, 614 (1971), Chief Justice Burger remarked that ”the line of separation, far from being a ‘wall,’ is a blurred, indistinct and variable barrier depending on all the circumstances of a particular relationship.” Similar observations were repeated by the Chief Justice in his opinion for the Court in Lynch v. Donnelly, 465 U.S. 668, 673 (1984) (the metaphor is not ”wholly accurate”; the Constitution does not ”require complete separation of church and state [but] affirmatively mandates accommodation, not merely tolerance, of all religions, and forbids hostility toward any”).
[Footnote 18] Zorach v. Clauson, 343 U.S. 306, 314 (1952); Engel v. Vitale, 370 U.S. 421 (1962); Sherbert v. Verner, 374 U.S. 398 (1963); Abington School District v. Schempp, 374 U.S. 203, 305 (1963) (Justice Goldberg concurring); Walz v. Tax Comm’n, 397 U.S. 664, 694 -97 (1970) (Justice Harlan concurring). In the opinion of the Court in the latter case, Chief Justice Burger wrote: ”The course of constitutional neutrality in this area cannot be an absolutely straight line; rigidity could well defeat the basic purpose of these provisions, which is to insure that no religion be sponsored or favored, none commanded, and none inhibited. The general principle deducible from the First Amendment and all that has been said by the Court is this: that we will not tolerate either governmentally established religion or governmental interference with religion. Short of those expressly proscribed governmental acts there is room for play in the joints productive of a benevolent neutrality which will permit religious exercise to exist without sponsorship and without interference.” Id. at 669.
[Footnote 19] Board of Education v. Allen, 392 U.S. 236, 249 (1968) (Justice Harlan concurring).
[Footnote 20] Abington School District v. Schempp, 374 U.S. 203, 222 (1963).
[Footnote 21] Walz v. Tax Comm’n, 397 U.S. 664, 674 -75 (1970).
[Footnote 22] 403 U.S. 602, 612 -13 (1971).
[Footnote 23] E.g., Committee for Public Educ. & Religious Liberty v. Regan, 444 U.S. 646, 653 (1980), and id. at 665 (dissenting opinion); Stone v. Graham, 449 U.S. 39, 40 (1980), and id. at 43 (dissenting opinion).
[Footnote 24] The tests provide ”helpful signposts,” Hunt v. McNair, 413 U.S. 734, 741 (1973), and are at best ”guidelines” rather than a ”constitutional caliper;” they must be used to consider ”the cumulative criteria developed over many years and applying to a wide range of governmental action.” Inevitably, ”no ‘bright line’ guidance is afforded.” Tilton v. Richardson, 403 U.S. 672, 677 -78 (1971). See also Committee for Public Educ. & Religious Liberty v. Nyquist, 413 U.S. 756, 761 & n.5, 773 n.31 (1973); Committee for Public Educ. & Religious Liberty v. Regan, 444 U.S. 646, 662 (1980), and id. at 663 (Justice Blackmun dissenting).
[Footnote 25] See, e.g., Edwards v. Aguillard, 482 U.S. 578, 636 -40 (1987) (Justice Scalia, joined by Chief Justice Rehnquist, dissenting) (advocating abandonment of the ”purpose” test); Wallace v. Jaffree, 472 U.S. 38, 108 -12 (1985) (Justice Rehnquist dissenting); Aguilar v. Felton, 473 U.S. 402, 426 -30 (1985) (Justice O’Connor, dissenting) (addressing difficulties in applying the entanglement prong); Roemer v. Maryland Bd. of Public Works, 426 U.S. 736, 768 -69 (Justice White concurring in judgment) (objecting to entanglement test). Justice Kennedy has also acknowledged criticisms of the Lemon tests, while at the samed time finding no need to reexamine them. See, e.g., Allegheny County v. Greater Pittsburgh ACLU, 492 U.S. 573, 655 -56 (1989). At least with respect to public aid to religious schools, Justice Stevens would abandon the tests and simply adopt a ”no-aid” position. Committee for Public Educ. & Religious Liberty v. Regan, 444 U.S. 646, 671 (1980).
[Footnote 26] See Marsh v. Chambers, 463 U.S. 783 (1983) (upholding legislative prayers on the basis of historical practice); Lee v. Weisman, 112 S. Ct. 2649, 2655 (1992) (rejecting a request to reconsider Lemon because the practice of invocations at public high school graduations was invalid under established school prayer precedents); Zobrest v. Catalina Foothills School Dist., 509 U.S. 1 (1993) (upholding provision of sign-language interpreter to deaf student attending parochial school); Board of Educ. of Kiryas Joel Village v. Grumet, 114 S. Ct. 2481 (1994) (invalidating law creating special school district for village composed exclusively of members of one religious sect). The Court has also held that the tripartite test is not applicable when law grants a denominational preference, distinguishing between religions; rather, the distinction is to be subjected to the strict scrutiny of a suspect classification. Larson v. Valente, 456 U.S. 228, 244 -46 (1982).
[Footnote 27] Justice Blackmun, concurring in Lee, contended that Marsh was the only one of 31 Establishment cases between 1971 and 1992 not to be decided on the basis on the Lemon tests. 112 S. Ct. at 2663, n.4.
[Footnote 28] In 1990 Justice Kennedy, joined by Justice Scalia, proposed that ”neutral” accommodations of religion should be permissible so long as they do not establish a state religion, and so long as there is no ”coercion” to participate in religious exercises. Westside Community Bd. of Educ. v. Mergens, 496 U.S. 226, 260 -61. The two Justices parted company, however, over the permissiblity of invocations at public high school graduation ceremonies, Justice Scalia in dissent strongly criticizing Justice Kennedy’s approach in the opinion of the Court for its reliance on psychological coercion. Justice Scalia would not ”expand[ ] the concept of coercion beyond acts backed by threat of penalty.” Lee v. Weisman, 112 S. Ct. 2649, 2684 (1992). Chief Justice Rehnquist has advocated limiting application to a prohibition on establishing a national (or state) church or favoring one religious group over another. Wallace v. Jaffree, 472 U.S. 38, 98 , 106 (1985) (dissenting).
[Footnote 29] Abington School District v. Schempp, 374 U.S. 203, 222 -23 (1963). See also Board of Education v. Allen, 392 U.S. 236, 248 -49 (1968); and Tilton v. Richardson, 403 U.S. 672, 689 (1971); Lee v. Weisman, 112 S. Ct. 2649, 2673 (Justice Souter concurring) (”a literal application of the coercion test would render the Establishment Clause a virtual nullity”).
[Footnote 1 (1996 Supplement)] Board of Educ. of Kiryas Joel Village v. Grumet,114 S. Ct. 2481, 2498-99 (1994).
[Footnote 2 (1996 Supplement)] Lynch v. Donnelly, 465 U.S. 668, 688 (1984) (concurring); Allegheny County v. Greater Pittsburgh ACLU, 492 U.S. 573, 625 (1989) (concurring); Board of Educ. of Kiryas Joel Village v. Grumet, 114 S. Ct. 2481, 2500 (1994) (concurring).
[Footnote 30] 80 U.S. (13 Wall.) 679 (1872).
[Footnote 31] 344 U.S. 94 (1952). Kedroff was grounded on the Free Exercise Clause. Id. at 116. But the subsequent cases used a collective ”First Amendment” designation.
[Footnote 32] Id. at 116. On remand, the state court adopted the same ruling on the merits but relied on a common-law rule rather than the statute. This too was struck down. Kreshik v. St. Nicholas Cathedral, 363 U.S. 190 (1960).
[Footnote 33] Presbyterian Church v. Hull Memorial Presbyterian Church, 393 U.S. 440, 447 , 450-51 (1969); Maryland and Virginia Eldership of the Churches of God v. Church of God at Sharpsburg, 396 U.S. 367 (1970). For a similar rule of neutrality in another context, see United States v. Ballard, 322 U.S. 78 (1944) (denying defendant charged with mail fraud through dissemination of purported religious literature the right to present to the jury evidence of the truthfulness of the religious views he urged).
[Footnote 34] Presbyterian Church v. Hull Memorial Presbyterian Church, 393 U.S. 440, 449 (1969); Maryland and Virginia Eldership of the Churches of God v. Church of God of Sharpsburg, 396 U.S. 367, 368 (1970). See also id. at 368-70 (Justice Brennan concurring).
[Footnote 35] The Serbian Eastern Orthodox Diocese v. Dionisije Milivojevich, 426 U.S. 697, 720 -25 (1976). In Gonzalez v. Archbishop, 280 U.S. 1 (1929), the Court had permitted limited inquiry into the legality of the actions taken under church rules. The Serbian Eastern Court disapproved of this inquiry with respect to concepts of ”arbitrariness,” although it reserved decision on the ”fraud” and ”collusion” exceptions. 426 U.S. at 708 -20.
[Footnote 36] 443 U.S. 595 (1979). In the majority were Justices Blackmun, Brennan, Marshall, Rehnquist, and Stevens. Dissenting were Justices Powell, Stewart, White, and Chief Justice Burger.
[Footnote 37] Id. at 602-06.
[Footnote 38] Id. at 606-10. Because it was unclear whether the state court had applied such a rule and applied it properly, the Court remanded.
[Footnote 39] Id. at 610.
[Footnote 40] The Court indicated that the general church could always expressly provide in its charter or in deeds to property the proper disposition of disputed property. But here the general church had decided which faction was the ”true congregation,” and this would appear to constitute as definitive a ruling as the Court’s suggested alternatives. Id. at 606.
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Enterprise In Space: A Tutor for Every Child, video presentation for the MacArthur Foundation 100&Change Grant.
The President of the National Space Society describes how many children around the world lack access to a basic education and how ValueSpring Technology is developing an artificial intelligence that will be a tutor for each person, thus helping to bring about the world that Gene Roddenberry imagined, where everyone is able to contribute to his or her full potential. This project is being submitted in competition for a $100 million MacArthur Foundation grant to fund a single proposal that promises real and measurable progress in solving a critical problem of our time.
Elon Musk talk Making Humans a Multiplanetary Species to be webcast September 27
On Tuesday September 27, on the second day of the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) in Guadalajara, Mexico, Elon Musk will deliver a special keynote presentationonMaking Humans a Multiplanetary Species.
Musk will discuss the long-term technical challenges that need to be solved to support the creation of a permanent, self-sustaining human presence on Mars. The technical presentation will focus on potential architectures for colonizing the Red Planet that industry, government and the scientific community can collaborate on in the years ahead.
The presentation is scheduled for one hour beginning at 2:30 PM Eastern Daylight Time, 1:30 PM Central Daylight Time (Guadalajara), 12:30 PM Mountain Daylight Time, and 11:30 AM Pacific Daylight Time.
This and other IAC plenary sessions will be webcast on thisdirect link to IAC webcasts on livestream.com. For a schedule of other sessionssee theIAC website plenaries and highlight lectures page.
National Space Society Congratulates NASA, ULA, and Lockheed Martin on the Successful Launch of OSIRIS-REx
(Washington, DC — September 9, 2016) With the successful launch of a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 411 on September 8 at 7:05 PM EST, 2016 from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, NASAs mission to travel to a near Earth asteroid and return a sample got underway. NSS congratulates the team who made this happen. OSIRIS-REx stands for Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, and Security-Regolith Explorer.
OSIRIS-REx has NSS members really excited, said Bruce Pittman, NSS Senior Vice President. The craft will provide a complete map of the chemistry and mineralogy of a carbon based asteroid. Such asteroids will be critical for both the economic development and settlement of space. The TAGSAM sample collection device may provide a foundation for the development of future asteroid mining robots. Dante Lauretta, the OSIRIS-REx principal investigator, and his team at the University of Arizona have put together a really impressive mission.
See full press release.
National Space Society Urges Renewed Commitment to Competition and Reusability Following Falcon 9/Amos 6 Incident
(Washington, DC — September 6, 2016) At about 9:07 AM September 1, 2016, during preparation for a routine static fire test of the SpaceX Falcon 9 on Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral, an explosion resulted in the loss of both the F9 and the satellite payload. At this time there are no reports of injuries in the incident. Although Elon Musk has reported that the explosion Originated around [the] upper stage oxygen tank the cause remains unknown.
Clearly this incident is a setback for SpaceX, said Dale Skran, NSS Executive Vice President. However, it emphasizes the wisdom of NASA in supporting multiple cargo and crew carriers to the International Space Station. NASA deserves the highest praise for holding fast to supporting multiple providers with dissimilar vehicles to provide both competition and redundancy. NSS looks forward to the return to flight of the Orbital ATK Antares rocket hauling cargo to the ISS later this year, and welcomes the addition of Sierra Nevadas Dreamchaser to the list of ISS cargo haulers.
See full press release.
National Space Society Book Project: Space 2.0
(Washington, DC — July 25, 2016) The National Space Society has contracted with space historian and author Rod Pyle to write a new book entitledSpace 2.0. This new book will embark on a compelling narrative about the future development, exploration and settlement of the final frontier. NSS plans to use the finished volume as a primary tool for outreach and STEM/STEAM educational efforts, as well as supporting the organization in the broader marketplace. See full announcement.
The National Space Society Applauds Alan Stern Winning the NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal
(Washington, DC — July 19, 2016) The National Space Society congratulates Dr. Alan Stern on winning the NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal. This award is the highest honor that NASA can bestow. NSS has also awarded one of our highest honors to Dr. Stern, the NSS Wernher von Braun Award, which he received at our International Space Development Conference last May in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Dr. Stern was Principal Investigator of NASAs New Horizons mission to Pluto. See full press release.
National Space Society Applauds SpaceX Launch of IDA to the ISS and successful RTLS of the Falcon 9 First Stage
(Washington, DC — July 18, 2016) With a successful launch on July 18 at 12:45 AM EST, 2016 from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, SpaceX achieved several dramatic milestones on the Commercial Resupply Services 9 mission (CRS-9). In addition to supplies and experiments in the pressurized part of the Dragon, an unpressurized trunk houses the 1,028 lb (467 kilogram) International Docking Adaptor (IDA), manufactured by Boeing. The IDA, once attached to the International Space Station (ISS) will be the connecting point for Boeings CST-100 Starliner and SpaceXs Crewed Dragon 2 spacecraft as they bring American astronauts to the ISS on American-built and operated vehicles for the first time since the end of the Space Shuttle program. See full press release.
The National Space Society Congratulates Boeing on 100 Years of Aerospace Excellence
(Washington, DC — July 16, 2016) NSS congratulates the Boeing Company on reaching its 100th anniversary, and doing so while continuing to be the world leader in the aerospace business. NSS was very happy to view the recent Boeing You Just Wait commercial (below), and to hear the words of Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg, who said Friday, In another 100 years, we might make daily trips to space, fly across the globe in less than an hour, or receive unlimited clean power from solar satellites. See full press release.
The National Space Society Pays Tribute to the Space Policy Leadership of Former FAA Leader Patricia Grace Smith
(Washington, DC — June 14, 2016) The National Space Society celebrates the life and contributions of a visionary champion of the commercial space industry and human space settlement, the Honorable Patricia Grace Smith. Ms. Smith unexpectedly passed away on June 5th, after quietly fighting pancreatic cancer over the last year.
The commercial space industry owes a huge debt to Patti Grace Smith whose years of determined and well-reasoned advocacy combined with her natural charm and grace won over many converts in government and fostered the birth of a new industry. There might not be a commercial space flight industry were it not for Pattis leadership, said Bruce Pittman, Senior Operating Officer of the National Space Society.
See full press release.
Smithsonian Science Education Center and NSS Team Up for Next-Generation Space Education Program Enterprise In Space
(Washington, DC — May 11, 2016) Enterprise In Space (EIS), an international program of the National Space Society, is excited to announce the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with the Smithsonian Science Education Center (SSEC). EIS and SSEC plan to collaborate on two projects dedicated to space education. The first is a mission patch design challenge in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Education to present at Space Day at the National Air and Space Museum, tentatively set to occur this summer. The second is the development of a space science summer course for the Smithsonian Science Education Academies for Teachers (SSEATs) that will enrich and enhance space education in the participating educators classrooms. See full press release.
NSS Applauds SpaceX for Successful Drone Ship Landing and Launch of CRS-8/BEAM
(Washington, DC — April 8, 2016) With a successful launch on April 8, SpaceX achieved several dramatic milestones. In this mission it is hard to know what to be the most excited about, said Dale Skran, NSS Executive Vice President. SpaceX continues to break new ground in lowering the cost of going into space, and the drone ship landing is key to maximizing the amount that can be lifted into space by a first stage that is flying back to Earth. BEAM will pave the way for more affordable future commercial and deep space stations. See full press release.
The Space Exploration, Development, and Settlement Act of 2016
(Washington, DC — March 25, 2016) The Space Exploration, Development, and Settlement Act of 2016 (H.R. 4752) has been introduced by Congressman DanaRohrabacher to require the National Aeronautics and Space Administration to investigateand promote the exploration and development of space leading to humansettlements beyond Earth, and for other purposes.
The National Space Societyurges you to call or write your Congressional Representative today and request that he or sheco-sponsor H.R. 4752 (the Space Exploration, Development, and Settlement Act of 2016). Youshould specifically ask that the space staffer for yourRepresentative should contact Tony DeTora in Congressman Rohrabachers office to become a co-sponsor.
The full text of the bill can be found here:nss.org/sedsact. More information on the NSS Blog.
Space Solar Power Team Breaks Through at D3 Innovation Summit
(Washington, DC — March 7, 2016) The National Space Society congratulates the Space Solar Power D3 (SSPD3) team on sweeping the awards in a March 2 multi-departmental competition to find promising new technology ideas that could simultaneously advance diplomacy, defense and development (D3). The SSPD3 team proposal was titled Carbon-Free Energy for Global Resilience and International Goodwill. See full press release and video of the 11-minute presentation below.
The Gravity of the National Space Societys Vision
(Washington, DC — February 15, 2016) We are very proud and honored to congratulate the amazing achievement of our NSS member Dr. Kip Thorne for his leading involvement in the creation of the LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory) project. LIGOs recent world-changing detection of the existence of gravitational waves predicted by Einstein a century ago in his General Relativity Theory.
Regarding the grand NSS vision, Dr. Thorne remarked, I think that its clear that it is attainable to colonize the solar system. Getting beyond the solar system is going to be exceedingly difficult. We are going to either require a lot of brute force over a period of several centuries or else a brilliant idea that none of us has grasped yet. The first thing is the solar system, but we have not been moving at anything like the pace that we could or we should. See full press release.
NSS Pays Tribute to Late NSS Governor Dr. Marvin Minsky, A Pioneer in Artificial Intelligence
(Washington, DC — February 11, 2016) The National Space Society pays tribute toDr. Marvin Minsky, who was very involved in early NSS activities and was part of many NSS space policy projects such as the 1981 Citizens Advisory Council on National Space Policy. He died on January 14 in Boston from a cerebral hemorrhage at the age of 88. Hugh Downs, Chair of the NSS Board of Governors, said, Marvin Minskywas a bright light in the arena of accelerating knowledge in modern physics. Where many of us plodded along to keep up with these changes, he seemed to always manage tobe evenwith them. He will be sorely missed by those who worked with him and knew him well. See full press release.
Settling Space Is the Only Sustainable Reason for Humans to Be in Space
(Washington, DC — February 1, 2016) Dale Skran, NSS Executive Vice President, has published the following article in The Space Review:
As robotic and artificial intelligence technologies improve and enable increasingly robust exploration without a human presence, eventually there will be only one sustainable reason for humans to be in space: settlement. Research into the recycling technology required for long-term off-Earth settlements will directly benefit terrestrial sustainability. Actively working toward developing and settling space will make available mineral and energy resources for use on Earth on a vast scale. Finally, space settlement offers the hope of long-term species survival that remaining on Earth does not. SEE FULL ARTICLE.
National Space Society Congratulates Blue Origin on First Reflight of New Shepard Rocket
(Washington, DC — January 23, 2016) On January 22, 2016, two months after Blue Origins New Shepard rocket first successfully flew to the edge of space and returned to its launch site intact, Blue Origin again made history by re-flying the same vehicle. Jeff Bezos stated Though wings and parachutes have their adherents and their advantages, Im a huge fan of rocket-powered vertical landing. Why? Becauseto achieve our vision of millions of people living and working in spacewe will need to build very large rocket boosters. And the vertical landing architecture scales extraordinarily well.
Blue Origins successful re-use of the New Shepard booster after reaching the edge of space represents a major step toward a fully re-usable sub-orbital vehicle, said Bruce Pittman, NSS Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. SEE FULL PRESS RELEASE AND VIDEO on the NSS Blog.
National Space Society Applauds Selection of Dream Chaser, Dragon 2, and Cygnus for ISS Cargo Services
(Washington, DC — January 16, 2016) NSS congratulates Orbital ATK (Cygnus), Sierra Nevada (Dream Chaser), and SpaceX (Dragon 2) for being selected to provide cargo services to the International Space Station as part of the Commercial Resupply Service 2 (CRS-2) contract. The CRS contract covers the delivery of supplies to the ISS, disposal of ISS waste, and the return of scientific samples from the ISS. The new contract provides a minimum of six missions to each of the three winners during the period 2019-2024. A NASA spokesperson said, NASAs service contracts to resupply the space station have changed the way the agency does business in low-Earth orbit. With these contracts, NASA continues to advance commercial spaceflight and the American jobs it creates.
This announcement represents a major forward advance for NASA and the CRS program, said Dale Skran, NSS Executive Vice President. Both Orbital ATK and SpaceX added significant new capabilities over the first contract. In the new contract, the up-sized Cygnus with new solar panels will be used, and the Dragon 2 offers options for both berthing and docking, along with a rapid return to Earth capacity via propulsive landing. However, the selection of Sierra Nevada and the Dream Chaser means that for the first time since the retirement of the Space Shuttle reusable winged vehicles will be returning from space and landing at Kennedy Space Center.
NSS congratulates NASA on adding a third CRS provider, said Mark Hopkins, Chair of the NSS Executive Committee. The CRS-2 program now has triple redundancy in both orbital components and launch vehicles. NSS members look forward to the Dream Chasers first return from space. See full press release.
Interviews of NSS Chairman Mark Hopkins
Mark Hopkins, Chairman of the NSS Executive Committee, was interviewed on The Space Show on January 4 on the subject of space settlement in general and interstellar space settlement in particular. You can downloadthe 90-minute program here: thespaceshow.com/show/04-jan-2016/broadcast-2617.
You can hear other interviews of Mark conducted byDr. Karl Hricko on the show Contours on member-supported public radio station WNTIoperated by Centenary College in Hackettstown, NJ: Mark Hopkins interview August 23, 2015 (14 minutes) and Mark Hopkins interview May 28, 2015 (21 minutes).
Mark was also on a special edition of The Space Show in March 2007: thespaceshow.com/show/10-mar-2007/broadcast-683-special-edition.
National Space Society Partners with Voices From L5: A Space Settlement Podcast
(Washington, DC — January 6, 2016) The National Space Society is proud to announce its partnership withVoices From L5. This exciting new podcast will open new discussions on space settlement, focusing on the humanities and social sciences, and educate the public on the science of space settlement. Space settlement is the concept of humankind moving our economy into space, with people living and working in space.
NSS vice president for Public Affairs Lynne Zielinski said, We are thrilled to strengthen our online community and outreach by branching into the vibrant world of podcasts, and we are very excited to be working withVoices From L5. This podcast project will explore topics such as law, art, politics and sociology to generate excitement among a whole new generation of space settlement enthusiasts.
To learn more aboutVoices From L5visit: https://www.patreon.com/VoicesFromL5
For previous podcasts visit: http://www.podcastchart.com/podcasts/voices-from-l5
Made In Space Teams with Enterprise In Space to 3D Print First Space-Bound Airframe
(Washington, DC — December 18, 2015) Enterprise In Space (EIS), an international project of the non-profit National Space Society, is excited to announce a partnership with Made In Space, Inc. to extensively use 3D printed components in a spacecraft to be launched into Earth orbit. This educational spacecraft will be the first real spacecraft bearing the Enterprise name. Once in orbit, the NSS Enterprise will not only be the first 3D printed airframe in space, but it will also carry more than 100 passive and active student experiments into space and back to Earth.
See full press release.
The National Space Society Pays Tribute to Dr. Kalam One of Our Leading Lights Has Joined the Stars
(Washington, DC — July 31, 2015) On 27 July 2015, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, eleventh President of India and a friend and inspiration to the National Space Society (NSS), passed away. NSS would like to convey our condolences to the family and friends of Dr. Kalam, and to all of India. His death is a great loss not only to India, but to the whole of humanity, said Mark Hopkins, chair of the NSS Executive Committee. In his honor, a permanent part of the online NSS library will be dedicated to his visionary space legacy. He was a true friend to NSS giving his name to our shared Kalam-NSS Space-based Solar Power Initiative.
One of the true statesmen of our generation, Dr. Kalam was regarded as one of the greatest minds, visionaries, and peacemakers of the early 21stcentury. Dr. Kalam was a towering spacefaring advocate. His passing is a deep loss to NSS. Loved and admired by the masses of India, he was loved and admired by us as well. We were honored to work with him and to present him with our 2013 Wernher von Braun Memorial Award (photo) for leading India into space and for being a global leader in space development. He will be missed terribly by all around the world who share a common vision of humanitys future in space.
See full press release.
NASA-Funded Study Reduces Cost of Human Missions to Moon and Mars by Factor of Ten
(Washington, DC — July 20, 2015) The National Space Society (NSS) and Space Frontier Foundation (SFF) today announced their support for NASAs funding of the newly released NexGen Space study, illustrating how to cut the cost of human space exploration by a factor of 10. The study, Economic Assessment and Systems Analysis of an Evolvable Lunar Architecture that Leverages Commercial Space Capabilities and Public Private Partnerships, finds public-private partnerships are able to return humans to the Moon for approximately 90% less than the previously estimated $100 billion, allowing the United States to ensure national security in a new space age.
NSS congratulates NASA for funding the team at NexGen that discovered how such cost reductions are possible, said NSS Executive Committee Chair, Mark Hopkins. A factor of ten reduction in cost changes everything.
See full press release and video of press conference.
Read more here:
National Space Society
Posted: at 7:18 pm
The following is a script from The Libertarian Ticket which aired on Sept. 18, 2016. Steve Kroft is the correspondent. L. Franklin Devine and Maria Gavrilovic, producers.
When you look at your presidential ballot in November, somewhere below the Democratic and Republican lines you will find the Libertarian Party and the Green Party, but for many voters this year they might as well read none of the above.
In a race that features the most unpopular Democratic and Republican party choices in memory, they are the two alternatives to Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump and for the first time in 16 years third parties could well determine the outcome of the election. Right now, of the two alternatives, the Libertarian Party has the most support and is the only one on the ballot in all 50 states. The ticket of Gary Johnson and Bill Weld is currently favored by about eight or nine percent of the electorate even though 70 percent of the voters dont know who Johnson and Weld are. We thought it was time to give you a primer.
Libertarian presidential candidateGary Johnson and his running mate, Bill Weld
If you dont recognize them, the tall guy on the left is vice presidential candidate Bill Weld. The shorter one is former New Mexico governor and presidential nominee Gary Johnson. Right now they can stroll through a park unmolested by the press and the public. Their rallies usually attract only a few hundred people but they can still make some noise and are not without enthusiastic support.
[Rally: Gary Gary Gary. Bill Weld: The next president of the United States, Gary Johnson. Gary Johnson: You rock. You rock.]
Steve Kroft: Why are you doing this?
Gary Johnson: I think that we would do a really good job.
Mitt Romney wished for it, so Steve Kroft asked-why isn’t Bill Weld at the top of the Libertarian ticket?
Bill Weld: I feel its something of a patriotic duty given how the election season is unfolding. We feel a responsibility to offer the country sort of a sober, sensible alternative.
[Gary Johnson: Has life in this country ever been better?]
They are no political neophytes. Each one won two terms as Republican governors in heavily Democratic states.
On 60 Minutes in 2000, Gary Johnson explained his unconventional thoughts on drug policy –and why he thought using marijuana was “cool”
Steve Kroft: Do you really think you have a chance to win?
Gary Johnson: Neither of us would be doing this if we didnt think that that was a possibility.
Steve Kroft: Let me be a little skeptical here. I mean, right now the people–
Bill Weld: We expected no less.
Steve Kroft: Right. Right. Yeah. The people that do this for a living, to try and do polling, and public opinion surveys and make odds– some of the most prominent experts put your chances at about less than one percent, less than one percent.
The Libertarian candidates have a plan that embraces immigration-so what do they think of Donald Trump’s plan?
Gary Johnson: I think that Donald Trump started out that way. And I wouldve given him that– I wouldve given him that percentage at the very start. But as crazy as this election season is, I think it could be the ultimate crazy and that is is that the two of us actually do get elected.
Steve Kroft: Right. And how does that happen?
Gary Johnson: Well presidential debates– a third alternative, 70 percent of America doesnt even know who we are. And yet we exist. I think theres a lot of opportunity here. And theres still a lot of time left.
[Bill Weld: –we are in a way breaking a glass ceiling–]
Theyre hoping to get a place in at least one of the presidential debates but right now they dont meet the threshold of 15 percent in the national polls.
Steve Kroft: Are you running against a two-party system?
Gary Johnson: Absolutely.
Bill Weld: Absolutely.
Gary Johnson: And Iand I do believe this is going to be the demise of the Republican Party.
Steve Kroft: So you see yourself as a protest vote?
Gary Johnson: No way. I think, a conciliatory vote. Look this is how we wanna come together.
Bill Weld: It happens, Steve, if people do think for themselves and focus on the choices available because the polling shows that nationally people do tend to agree with our approach. As Gary sometimes says, youre a libertarian. You just dont know it yet.
[Libertarian Party Convention: Lets bring back liberty.]
Gary Johnson tells Steve Kroft why he believes marijuana use shouldn’t be a crime-and why changing policy is a matter of when, not if
The Libertarians were founded 45 years ago as an off-shoot of the Republicans. They tend to be fiscally conservative and social liberals who want the federal government out of their pockets, out of their schools, out of their computers, and out of their bedrooms.
[Supporter: So the hats are 25.]
They support the right to bear arms, even assault weapons. But they also believe women have the right to an abortion, gays have the right to marry, and adults the right to smoke pot.
[Supporter: Anybody looking for a bumper sticker?]
They oppose almost every federal program not mentioned specifically in the Constitution, including Social Security and Medicare and the regulatory agencies.
The Libertarian candidate tells Steve Kroft how he plans to combat the terrorist organization, though he thinks there’s a bigger threat
Steve Kroft: Youre making yourself seem like mainstream candidates. But in fact, you know, your positions and the positions of the party arent mainstream, you know. Phasing out Medicare, youre for doing away with private health insurance– as a way to bring down medical costs. Youre talking about abolishing the IRS and imposing a 29 percent or 28 percent sales tax, essentially a sales tax. You call it a consumption tax. Talk about eliminating the Department of Homeland Security. I mean, these arent exactly mainstream opinion.
Gary Johnson: Well what you can count on the two of us to provide is consistency. Were going to always be consistent in looking for lower taxes. And much of what you cite is the Libertarian platform which, you know, we are the Libertarian nominees for president and vice president. But were not looking to eliminate Medicare. We do believe in a safety net. But there has to be reforms for Medicaid and Medicare and Social Security. And if were going to put our heads in the sand, if we say were going to do nothing in any of these areas, its a fiscal cliff.
Bill Weld: And nobody can tell me that no changes are necessary in Washington. Those bozos think that unless the appropriation of every single account goes up five percent, they call that a cut. Well, thats not how we approached our state budgets. And thats not what we would do in Washington either.
Steve Kroft: Do you think most people want to do away with the Department of Homeland Security?
Gary Johnson: Yeah, I do. I do. I think theres a real skepticism. I mean, really, we have the FBI. Wha– why another agency? I mean– and all these Homeland Security cars driving around these days, what are they doing?
Bill Weld: There are functions that youd have to retain and make sure they were attended to. But therere some who remind me of the, you know, muddled bureaucracy in Washington that nobody can quite tell you why theyre essential. And thats where I would go hunting.
They also want to abolish the Departments of Education, Commerce and Housing and Urban Development. They want to cut the Defense Budget by around 20 percent and get American troops out of Korea.
As theyve said, they dont agree with their party on everything — sometimes they dont even agree with each other.
Gary Johnson earned a fortune in construction before making his political name as the first governor ever to advocate the legalization of marijuana, and until earlier this year was CEO of a marijuana branding company.
Steve Kroft: Until recently, you were a consumer
Gary Johnson: Thats correct
Steve Kroft: –of marijuana.
Gary Johnson: One of 100 million Americans who have consumed marijuana. I am guilty. The unforgivable in life, hypocrisy, saying one thing and doing anothertelling the truth– I hope more than anything, Im credited here with telling the truth.
Steve Kroft: But youre not using marijuana now?
Gary Johnson: Im not.
[Bill Weld: running on the Libertarian ticket. Live free or die, baby, you know what they say.]
Former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld is a card-carrying member of the Eastern Establishment, whose libertarian bonafides are still questioned by the true believers. Until his nomination in May he was a member of the nearly-extinct political species known as moderate Republicans.
Steve Kroft: You werent a Libertarian until a couple of months ago.
Bill Weld: Well, I considered myself a small L Libertarian since the 1970s. And people called me the Libertarian Republican.
They run a frugal low-key campaign in jeans and sneakers and keep a very loose schedule that can change by the hourly. When we were with them, their version of a presidential limousine was a rented red Toyota.
Steve Kroft: Do you have a motorcade?
Bill Weld: No. We dont have a motorcade.
Steve Kroft: You stop for red lights?
Gary Johnson: We do stop for red lights.
Steve Kroft: Do you have a campaign plane?
Bill Weld: We dont have a campaign plane.
Gary Johnson: No. No. We dont.
Bill Weld: We do fly commercial.
Steve Kroft: Do you have a campaign headquarters?
Bill Weld: Yes.
Gary Johnson: Yes. We do. But its– but if you went to the campaign headquarters, you wouldnt find anybody there because this is– you know, this is social media.
[Gary Johnson: Come on, get selfie, get selfie ready!]
They have a big presence on the Internet and claim to have 50 million followers — most of them young people. Johnson and Weld are good friends and say they plan to run a co-presidency sharing the same staff. On the campaign they often stay at each others homes.
Theyve tried everything to get more attention in hopes their campaign would go viral. And 10 days ago it did.
MSNBC/MORNING JOE clip /Willie Geist: Governor good to have you with us.
But it was the wrong kind when Johnson was unable to identify Aleppo as the center of the humanitarian crisis in Syria.
MSNBC/MORNING JOE clip /Mike Barnicle: Aleppo.
MSNBC/MORNING JOE clip/Governor Gary Johnson: And what is Aleppo?
MSNBC/MORNING JOE clip /Mike Barnicle: Youre kidding.
MSNBC/MORNING JOE clip/Governor Gary Johnson: No.
Steve Kroft: Youve been on the front page a lot this month. You made a big splash. And it was a belly flop. Were talking about Aleppo here. Tell me about Aleppo. I mean, how did that happen?
Gary Johnson: Well, the– I– I blame no one but myself. I understand the underlying policy.
Steve Kroft: People have said,This guysnot qualified to be president. I mean, did– how do react to that?
Gary Johnson: Well– that– that I am human. I have a filter. And it starts with honesty. It starts with the truth. It starts with transparency– and would serve as president– in that capacity. When I was asked the question, the first thing that came into my mind was this is an acronym– ALEPPO– American– l–
Steve Kroft: Did it sound familiar to you?
Gary Johnson: Well, it didnt or I think I..but, but look I do not, in any way, want to make an excuse for myself. You know, so many people have said, Look, 90 percent of America doesnt know ALEPPO. Well, 90 percent of America is not running for president of the United States, no excuse. No excuse.
Bill Weld: But at the– at the end of the day, this is just my view, is Aleppo is a very important place name. But its a place name. Does that mean theyre disqualified from running for president? I mean, youd have very few people at the debates if that sort of thing was a disqualify– disqualification to run.
Gary Johnson: Thanks, Bill. But nonetheless, look, we are running for president and vice president.
Steve Kroft: Youre acknowledging that your candidacy has some flaws.
Gary Johnson: As do all candidacies. But I think–
Steve Kroft: But nobody– I– I– Im trying to remember a presidential candidate admitting that.
Gary Johnson: Well, that is the difference here. Thats what youre going to buy into is is that it will be transparent. And theres no quicker way to fix mistakes than actually acknowledging them in the first place.
Steve Kroft: Do you have foreign policy advisers?
Gary Johnson: Well, certainly.
Steve Kroft: Do you have military strategists?
See the rest here:
Posted: at 7:07 pm
https://blogs.nasa.gov/spacestation Off The Earth, For The Earth Tue, 20 Sep 2016 17:04:49 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://blogs.nasa.gov?v=4.5.3 https://blogs.nasa.gov/spacestation/2016/09/20/astronauts-study-pill-properties-and-laser-heating/ https://blogs.nasa.gov/spacestation/2016/09/20/astronauts-study-pill-properties-and-laser-heating/#respond Tue, 20 Sep 2016 17:04:15 +0000 http://blogs.nasa.gov/spacestation/?p=3424
Astronaut Kate Rubins wears a hand-painted spacesuit decorated by patients recovering at the MD Anderson Cancer Center to raise awareness about the benefits of pairing art with medicine.
The Expedition 49 crew is helping the pharmaceutical industry improve drug design while also helping researchers understand the properties of materials burning at high temperatures. The International Space Stations microgravity environment helps reveal new characteristics of physical and organic processes cloaked by Earths gravity. Scientists, doctors and engineers use these observations to design products and procedures to benefit humans living on Earth and in space.
The new Eli Lilly-Hard to Wet Surfaces experiment is researching how different materials dissolve in water. NASA astronaut Kate Rubins set up a camera to automatically photograph the process today using six samples. Results could benefit how pills are designed improving drug delivery inside the body.
Japanese astronaut Takuya Onishi swapped samples for the Group Combustion experiment inside the Electrostatic Levitation Furnace. The furnace is a device that observes and measures the thermophysical properties of materials heated to high temperatures using lasers. Onishi is also closing out the Mouse Epigenetics study and cleaning up the Cell Biology Experiment Facility. The life science facility contains an incubator with an artificial gravity generator.
Commander Anatoly Ivanishin continued checking out Russian laptop computers and life support systems today. The veteran cosmonaut also transferred gear from a cargo ship and wrapped up a 24-hour data recording session for the Cosmocard blood circulation study.
Portions of the International Space Stations solar arrays and Japans Kibo lab module are seen as it orbits Sept. 13, 2016, over the mid-Atlantic Ocean. Credit: Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth
The three Expedition 49 crew members orbiting Earth right now are moving ahead today with human research and the upkeep of the International Space Station. In the meantime, Roscosmos officials have decided to postpone the Sept. 23 launch of NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough and Roscosmos cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Andrey Borisenko aboard the Soyuz MS-02 spacecraft.
Expedition 49 Commander Anatoly Ivanishin worked throughout the stations Russian segment Monday working on life support systems, checking computers and testing video gear. He also set up an electrocardiogram to begin recording data for 24 hours for the Cosmocard blood circulation study.
Astronauts Kate Rubins and Takuya Onishi partnered up for the Body Measures experiment exploring how living in space changes body shape and size. The study involves video-taping, photographing and tape measuring the circumference of a crew members arms, legs and chest and comparing it with data recorded before, during and after a space mission.
The pair also performed a series of interactive tasks on a touchscreen tablet for the Fine Motor Skills study. That experiment explores how astronauts interact with new technologies which may help engineers design new spacesuits and spacecraft for future long-term space missions.
Get weekly video highlights at:http://jscfeatures.jsc.nasa.gov/videoupdate/
Expedition 49-50 crew members (from left) Shane Kimbrough, Sergey Ryzhikov and Andrey Borisenko.
Roscosmos decided to postpone the planned September 23, 2016 launch of the spacecraft Soyuz MS 02 for technical reasons after routine tests at the Baikonur Cosmodrome. The launch date of the spacecraft will be announced later.
Please visit the Roscosmos website for the latest information.
A crew member photographed this portion of the Indian Ocean about 650 miles south of Colombo, Sri Lanka. Credit: Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth
The Expedition 49 trio is looking at plant growth today after the successful deployment of eight nanosatellites Thursday. The crew also inspected a treadmill and trained to care for a sick or injured crew member.
NASA astronaut Kate Rubins swapped seeds in a cultivator for the Plant RNA Regulation experiment. Some seeds were stowed in a science freezer, the other seeds will be grown in the cultivator for a week to research how microgravity changes a plants gene expression. Observations may provide new insights on how to grow plants for food and oxygen on long-term spaceflights.
Japanese astronaut Takuya Onishi thoroughly inspected a treadmill inside the Tranquility module photographing its parts for analysis on the ground. Onishi also took a refresher course to stay up to date on medical procedures and gear in case of a crew illness or injury.
Commander Anatoly Ivanishin collected data from a radiation detection experiment and worked maintenance on a variety of Russian systems throughout Friday.
Get weekly video highlights at:http://jscfeatures.jsc.nasa.gov/videoupdate/
Expedition 49 crew members Takuya Onishi and Anatoly Ivanishin work inside the Zvezda service module.
The Expedition 49 trio orbiting Earth inside the International Space Station are less than two weeks away from welcoming three new crew members. As the station residents wait for the new arrivals, they continue conducting space science and maintaining station systems.
Commander Anatoly Ivanishin with Flight Engineers Kate Rubins and Takuya Onishi have been living in space for two months. They are awaiting reinforcements scheduled to join them two days after a Sept. 23 launch from Kazakhstan. Soyuz Commander Sergey Ryzhikov and Flight Engineers Shane Kimbrough and Andrey Borisenko are reviewing their flight plan and familiarizing themselves with the new Soyuz MS-02 spacecraft.
Back inside the space station, Commander Ivanishin started his day researching how crew activities affect the station structure and exploring how the circulatory system adapts to microgravity. Afterward, he setup a laptop computer and worked on more science and Russian maintenance tasks.
Onishi setup some simple experiments today to show how space affects the flight of a paper plane, a spinning ball and buoyancy among other phenomena. The results were videotaped for sharing to Asian audiences to promote the understanding of spaceflight.
Rubins installed a Phase Change Heat Exchanger into an experiment rack. The new Phase Change HX payload will test ways to regulate thermal conditions on future spacecraft.
Get weekly video highlights at:http://jscfeatures.jsc.nasa.gov/videoupdate/
Expedition 49-50 crew members (from left) Shane Kimbrough, Sergey Ryzhikov and Andrey Borisenko arrive at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Credit: RSC Energia
As one crew gets used to Earths gravity after 172 days in space, another crew is preparing to launch to the International Space Station in just over two weeks.
Expedition 48 Commander Jeff Williams arrived in the United States just 24 hours after landing Tuesday evening in Kazakhstan and completing his mission. His Expedition 48 crewmates Alexey Ovchinin and Oleg Skripochka, who were seated next to each other in the Soyuz TMA-20M spacecraft, have returned to their home space agency Roscosmos in Russia. Williams has completed one shuttle mission and his third station mission accumulating 534 days in space a NASA astronaut record.
They will soon be replaced by another trio of Expedition 49-50 crew members who have arrived at their launch site at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough and cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Andrey Borisenko will launch Sept. 23 on a two-day trip to the space station. They are in final preparations for a mission scheduled to last until Feb. 25, 2017.
Back in space, the Expedition 48-49 crew consisting of Commander Anatoly Ivanishin and Flight Engineers Kate Rubins and Takuya Onishi are continuing science operations and maintenance of the orbital laboratory. Rubins continued more DNA sequencing work today and inspected emergency equipment. Onishi cleaned ventilation fans and measured air flow. Ivanishin worked on the Pilot-T experiment exploring how a crew member adapts to the working conditions of a long-term space mission.
NASA astronaut Jeff Williams rests just minutes after landing in Kazakhstan with fellow crew members Alexey Ovchinin and Oleg Skripochka. Credit: NASA TV
NASA astronaut Jeff Williams and cosmonauts Alexey Ovchinin and Oleg Skripochka of Roscosmos landed their Soyuz TMA-20M spacecraft in Kazakhstan at 9:13 p.m. EDT. Russian recovery teams are helping the crew exit the Soyuz spacecraft and adjust to gravity after their stay in space. The trio will be transported by helicopter to Karaganda where they will split up, with Williams returning to Houston in a NASA jet, while Ovchinin and Skripochka are flown back to their training base at Star City, Russia.
Williams was instrumental in preparing the station for the future arrival of U.S. commercial crew spacecraft. The first International Docking Adapter was installed during a spacewalk by Williams and fellow NASA astronaut Kate Rubins Aug. 19. Outfitted with a host of sensors and systems, the adapters main purpose is to connect spacecraft bringing astronauts to the station in the future. Its first users are expected to be Boeings CST-100 Starliner and SpaceXs Crew Dragon spacecraft, now in development in partnership with NASA.
During his time on the orbital complex, Williams ventured outside the confines of the space station for a second spacewalk with Rubins to retract a spare thermal control radiator and install two new high-definition cameras.
Together, the Expedition 48 crew members contributed to hundreds of experiments in biology, biotechnology, physical science and Earth science aboard humanitys only orbiting laboratory.
The crew members also welcomed five cargo spacecraft during their stay. Williams was involved in the grapple of Orbital ATKs Cygnus spacecraft in March, the companys fourth commercial resupply mission, and SpaceXs eighth Dragon spacecraft cargo delivery in April, and welcomed a second Dragon delivery in July. Two Russian ISS Progress cargo craft also docked to the station in April and July delivering tons of supplies.
The Expedition 48 trio launched to the space station in March 2016. With the conclusion of his fourth trip to the International Space Station, Williams has accrued 534 days in space, the most by any U.S. astronaut in history.
Expedition 49 continues operating the station with Anatoly Ivanishin of Roscosmos in command. He, Rubins, and Takuya Onishi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, will operate the station for more than two weeks until the arrival of three new crew members.
Shane Kimbrough of NASA and cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Andrey Borisenko of Roscosmos are scheduled to launch Sept. 23, U.S. time, from Baikonur, Kazakhstan.
Keep up with the International Space Station, and its research and crew members, at:
Get breaking news, images, videos and features from the station on social media at:
The Soyuz TMA-20M spacecraft is seen slowly departing away from the International Space Station. NASA TV
NASA astronaut Jeff Williams and cosmonauts Alexey Ovchinin and Oleg Skripochka of Roscosmos undocked from the International Space Station at 5:51 p.m. EDT to begin their trip home. Ovchinin, the Soyuz commander, is at the controls of the Soyuz TMA-20M spacecraft.
The crew is scheduled to land at 9:13 p.m. southeast of Dzhezkazgan, Kazakhstan.
The Expedition 49 crew members, Commander Anatoly Ivanishin of Roscosmos, NASA astronaut Kate Rubins, and astronaut Takuya Onishi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency will operate the station for more than two weeks until the arrival of three new crew members.
NASA TV will air live coverage of the Soyuz TMA-20M deorbit burn and landing beginning at 8 p.m. Watch live at http://www.nasa.gov/ntv.
Keep up with the International Space Station, and its research and crews, at:
Get breaking news, images, videos and features from the station on social media at:
Astronaut Jeff Williams (front row left) handed command of the International Space Station to cosmonaut Anatoly Ivanishin (back row center) Monday Sept. 5. Credit: NASA TV
At 2:42 p.m. EDT, the Soyuz hatch closed between the International Space Station and the TMA-20M spacecraft. Expedition 48 crew members Jeff Williams of NASA and his Russian crewmates Alexey Ovchinin and Oleg Skripochka of Roscosmos are preparing to undock at 5:51 p.m. NASA Television will provide coverage beginning at 5:30 p.m.
The deorbit burn is targeted for 8:21 p.m. and will lead to a landing at 9:13 p.m. southeast of Dzezkazgan in Kazakhstan. NASA TV coverage of deorbit and landing begins at 8 p.m. Watch live at http://www.nasa.gov/ntv.
The return of Expedition 48 will wrap up 172 days in space for the crew since their launch in March 2016. Williams will return to Earth having accrued 534 days in space on his four missions dating back to 2000, the most days by any U.S. astronaut in history.
Keep up with the International Space Station, and its research and crew members, at:
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Today is homecoming day for NASA astronaut Jeff Williams (shown above) and cosmonauts Alexey Ovchinin and Oleg Skripochka. The Expedition 48 trio has been in space since March 18.
NASA astronaut and Expedition 48 Commander Jeff Williams and his Russian crewmates Alexey Ovchinin and Oleg Skripochka of Roscosmos are scheduled to return to Earth today at 9:13 p.m. EDT (7:13 a.m. Kazakhstan time, Sept. 7). The trio will land in their Soyuz TMA-20M spacecraft southeast of the remote town of Dzhezkazgan, Kazakhstan.
At this time, there are no concerns or issues being worked, and hatch closure is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. NASA Television will provide coverage beginning at 2:15 p.m.
Together, the Expedition 48 crew members contributed to hundreds of experiments in biology, biotechnology, physical science and Earth science aboard humanitys only orbiting laboratory.
During his time on station, Williams surpassed former NASA astronaut Scott Kellys U.S. record of time spent in space. He returns to Earth with 534 total days in space, passing Kellys record of 520 days by two weeks.
Williams handed over command of the space station to cosmonaut Anatoly Ivanishin of Roscosmos on Monday, Sept. 5. When the spacecraft undocks from the station, Expedition 49 formally will begin.
NASA Television coverage for Soyuz activities Sept. 6 are listed below. Watch live online at http://www.nasa.gov/ntv.
Scheduled Exp. 48 Timeline and NASA TV Coverage
Time EDT Event
2:15 p.m. NASA TV Coverage of Exp. 48 Farewell and Hatch Closure Begins
2:30 p.m. Soyuz TMA-20M/Space Station Hatch Closure
5:30 p.m. NASA TV Coverage of Soyuz Undocking Begins
5:50 p.m. Soyuz Undock Command Sent 5:51 p.m. Soyuz Undocking From ISS 5:54 p.m. Separation Burn 1 5:55 p.m. Separation Burn 2
8 p.m. NASA TV Coverage of Deorbit Burn and Landing
8:21 p.m. Soyuz Deorbit Burn (4 minutes, 41 seconds duration) 8:48 p.m. Soyuz Module Separation (altitude ~87 miles) 8:50 p.m. Sunrise at the Landing Site in Kazakhstan 8:51 p.m. Soyuz Atmospheric Entry (altitude ~62 miles) 8:59 p.m. Command to Open Chutes (altitude 6.6 miles) 9:13 p.m. Exp. 48 Soyuz TMA-20M Landing Southeast of Dzhezkazgan, Kazakhstan
Keep up with the International Space Station, and its research and crew members, at:
Get breaking news, images, videos and features from the station on social media at:
Read more from the original source:
Space Station – NASA
Posted: September 18, 2016 at 8:12 am
WASHINGTON A House intelligence committee report issued Thursday condemned Edward Snowden, saying the National Security Agency leaker is not a whistleblower and that the vast majority of the documents he stole were defense secrets that had nothing to do with privacy.
The Republican-led committee released a three-page unclassified summary of its two-year bipartisan examination of howSnowdenwas able to remove more than 1.5 million classified documents from secure NSA networks, what the documents contained and the damage their removal caused to U.S. national security.
Snowdenwas an NSA contract employee when he took the documents and leaked them to journalists who revealed massive domestic surveillance programs begun in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. The programs collected the telephone metadata records of millions of Americans and examined emails from overseas.Snowdenfled to Hong Kong, then Russia, to avoid prosecution and now wants a presidential pardon as a whistleblower.
Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., chairman of the committee, saidSnowdenbetrayed his colleagues and his country.
“He put our service members and the American people at risk after perceived slights by his superiors,” Nunes said in a statement. “In light of his long list of exaggerations and outright fabrications detailed in this report, no one should take him at his word. I look forward to his eventual return to the United States, where he will face justice for his damaging crimes.”
Snowdeninsists he has not shared the full cache of 1.5 million classified documents with anyone. However, the report notes that in June, the deputy chairman of the Russian parliament’s defense and security committee publicly conceded that “Snowdendid share intelligence” with his government.
Ben Wizner,Snowden’sattorney at the American Civil Liberties Union, blasted the report, saying it was an attempt to discredit a “genuine American hero.”
“After years of investigation, the committee still can’t point to any remotely credible evidence that Snowden’sdisclosures caused harm,” Wizner said. “In a more candid moment, the NSA’s former deputy director, who was directly involved in the government’s investigation, explicitly said he didn’t believe Snowdenhad cooperated with either China or Russia.”
Snowden’srevelations about the agency’s bulk collection of millions of Americans’ phone records set off a fierce debate that pit civil libertarians concerned about privacy against more hawkish lawmakers fearful about losing tools to combat terrorism. Democrats and libertarian-leaning Republicans pushed through a reauthorization of the USA Patriot Act last year that ended the program.
There was little evidence that the phone records or other surveillance programsSnowdenrevealed ever thwarted an attack.
Snowdenis seeking a presidential pardon because he says he helped his country by revealing secret domestic surveillance programs. Separately, all members of the committee sent a bipartisan letter to President Barack Obama urging him not to pardonSnowden.
“The vast majority of what he took has nothing to do with American privacy,” said Rep. Adam Schiff of California, the ranking Democrat on the House intelligence committee.
“The majority of what he took has to do with military secrets and defense secrets,” Schiff said in an interview Thursday for C-SPAN’s “Newsmakers.” ”I think that’s very much at odds with the narrative that he wants to tell that he is a whistleblower.”
The Obama administration has urgedSnowdento return to the U.S. and face trial. Justice Department spokesman Marc Raimondi has said “there is no question his actions have inflicted serious harms on our national security.”
The committee report says that he was a “disgruntled employee who had frequent conflicts with his managers.”
Publicly revealing classified information does not qualify someone as a whistleblower, the report said. The committee “found no evidence thatSnowdentook any official effort to express concerns about U.S. intelligence activities to any oversight officials within the U.S. government, despite numerous avenues for him to do so.”
According to the committee,Snowdenbegan mass downloads of classified material two weeks after he was reprimanded for engaging in a spat with NSA managers. The committee also describedSnowdenas a “serial exaggerator and fabricator.”
“A close review ofSnowden’sofficial employment records and submissions reveals a pattern of intentional lying,” the report said. “He claimed to have left Army basic training because of broken legs when in fact he washed out because of shin splints. He claimed to have obtained a high school degree equivalent when in fact he never did. ”
The report saidSnowdenclaimed to have worked for the CIA as a senior adviser, when he was a computer technician.
“He also doctored his performance evaluations and obtained new positions at NSA by exaggerating his resume and stealing the answers to an employment test,” the report said.
Speaking by video link from Moscow,Snowdensaid Wednesday that whistleblowing “is democracy’s safeguard of last resort, the one on which we rely when all other checks and balances have failed and the public has no idea what’s going on behind closed doors.”
The 33-year-old addressed a New York City news conference where advocates from the American Civil Liberties Union, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International announced an online petition drive to urge Obama to pardonSnowdenbefore he leaves office. The supporters calledSnowdena hero for exposing the extent of government surveillance by giving thousands of classified documents to journalists.
The report was released one day ahead of Friday’s opening of director Oliver Stone’s film “Snowden.”
Posted: at 8:09 am
Psoriasis is a chronic skin disorder. It causes skin cells to grow abnormally fast and to build up on top of the skin. These extra cells produce thick, shiny scales with dry, itchy red patches that are sometimes painful. The patches can be small or large and may vary in intensity over time.
About7.5 millionpeople in the United States have psoriasis. The exact cause of psoriasis isnt known. However, psoriasis is more common among those with a family history of the condition.
The symptoms of psoriasis may vary from person to person. Some of the more common symptoms include:
The symptoms of psoriasis may come and go, but theres no cure for the condition. The best way to prevent symptoms is to avoid known triggers. Psoriasis triggers vary from person to person. So its important to identify the specific factors that make your symptoms worse and that help relieve them. Here are some things you can do to prevent psoriasis flare-ups:
The daily stresses of life can have a negative impact on anyone, but they are particularly problematic for people with psoriasis. The body tends to have an inflammatory reaction to stress. This response can cause a psoriasis flare-up.
Its important to reduce the amount of stress in your life as much as possible. You can try:
Certain medications can interfere with the bodys autoimmune response and cause inflammation, which can trigger psoriasis. These medications include:
Make sure you speak with your doctor about any prescription or over-the-counter medications youre taking. Your doctor may switch you to another medication or change your dosage if they suspect your medication is causing psoriasis outbreaks. Dont stop taking your medication without talking to your doctor first, even if you believe your medication is triggering a flare-up.
Injuries to the skin can trigger psoriasis in some people. This is known as the Koebner phenomenon. Common skin injuries that trigger psoriasis include sunburns and scratches.
Taking good care of your skin can help prevent these types of injuries. When doing activities that may cause skin injury, you should always take extra precautions, including:
Call your doctor right away if you notice psoriasis symptoms after a skin injury. When its caught early, the Koebner phenomenon can be treated effectively.
Infections are known to trigger psoriasis because they put stress on the immune system, causing an inflammatory reaction. Strep throat in particular is associated with the onset of guttate psoriasis, especially in children. However, psoriasis flare-ups may occur after an earache, tonsillitis, or a respiratory or skin infection.
Its important to seek treatment right away if you suspect you have an infection. If you have a skin injury, such as a cut or wound, make sure to clean it properly and keep it covered to prevent infection. Other ways to prevent an infection include:
Being obese or overweight appears to make psoriasis symptoms worse. So its important to manage your weight by exercising and eating a healthful diet. If you have trouble with this, you may want to see a nutritionist for assistance. A nutritionist will help you figure out how much food and what particular foods you should eat every day to lose weight.
Certain foods appear to cause inflammation in the body, which can trigger psoriasis symptoms in some people. Other foods seem to help reduce inflammation and the occurrence of flare-ups.
Foods that may cause inflammation include:
Foods that may reduce inflammation include:
You may also benefit from taking vitamins or supplements if your diet is lacking certain nutrients. Make sure to consult your doctor or a nutritionist before adding vitamins or supplements to your diet. Some may interfere with the effectiveness of certain medications.
Identifying your triggers is critical for reducing or preventing symptoms of psoriasis. It may not always be possible to prevent psoriasis symptoms. But sticking to your treatment plan and avoiding triggers can help keep your symptoms to a minimum. Talk to your doctor if you need help identifying your triggers or want suggestions on how to reduce your outbreaks.
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Posted: September 16, 2016 at 5:23 am
The Twenty-fifth Amendment (Amendment XXV) to the United States Constitution deals with succession to the Presidency and establishes procedures both for filling a vacancy in the office of the Vice President, as well as responding to Presidential disabilities. It supersedes the ambiguous wording of Article II, Section 1, Clause 6 of the Constitution, which does not expressly state whether the Vice President becomes the President or Acting President if the President dies, resigns, is removed from office or is otherwise unable to discharge the powers of the presidency. The Twenty-fifth Amendment was adopted on February 10, 1967.
Section 1. In case of the removal of the President from office or of his death or resignation, the Vice President shall become President.
Section 2. Whenever there is a vacancy in the office of the Vice President, the President shall nominate a Vice President who shall take office upon confirmation by a majority vote of both Houses of Congress.
Section 3. Whenever the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that he is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, and until he transmits to them a written declaration to the contrary, such powers and duties shall be discharged by the Vice President as Acting President.
Section 4. Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.
Thereafter, when the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that no inability exists, he shall resume the powers and duties of his office unless the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive department or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit within four days to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office. Thereupon Congress shall decide the issue, assembling within forty-eight hours for that purpose if not in session. If the Congress, within twenty-one days after receipt of the latter written declaration, or, if Congress is not in session, within twenty-one days after Congress is required to assemble, determines by two-thirds vote of both Houses that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall continue to discharge the same as Acting President; otherwise, the President shall resume the powers and duties of his office.
Article II, Section 1, Clause 6 of the Constitution states:
In Case of the Removal of the President from Office, or of his Death, Resignation, or Inability to discharge the Powers and Duties of the said Office, the Same shall devolve on the Vice President, and the Congress may by Law provide for the Case of Removal, Death, Resignation or Inability, both of the President and Vice President, declaring what Officer shall then act as President, and such Officer shall act accordingly, until the Disability be removed, or a President shall be elected.
That clause was unclear regarding Presidential succession and inability; it did not state who had the power to declare a President incapacitated. Also, it did not provide a mechanism for filling a Vice Presidential vacancy prior to the next Presidential election. The vagueness of this clause caused difficulties many times before the Twenty-fifth Amendment’s adoption:
President Dwight D. Eisenhower attempted to clarify procedures through a signed agreement with Vice President Richard Nixon, drafted by Attorney General Herbert Brownell Jr.. However, this agreement did not have the authority of a constitutional amendment.
All of these incidents made it evident that clearer guidelines were needed. There were two proposals for providing those guidelines.
In 1963, Senator Kenneth Keating of New York proposed a Constitutional amendment which would have enabled Congress to enact legislation providing for how to determine when a President is disabled, rather than, as the Twenty-fifth Amendment does, having the Constitution so provide. This proposal was based upon a recommendation of the American Bar Association in 1960.
The text of the proposal read:
In case of the removal of the President from office or of his death or resignation, the said office shall devolve on the Vice President. In case of the inability of the President to discharge the powers and duties of the said office, the said powers and duties shall devolve on the Vice President, until the inability be removed. The Congress may by law provide for the case of removal, death, resignation or inability, both of the President and Vice President, declaring what officer shall then be President, or, in case of inability, act as President, and such officer shall be or act as President accordingly, until a President shall be elected or, in case of inability, until the inability shall be earlier removed. The commencement and termination of any inability shall be determined by such method as Congress shall by law provide.
Senators raised concerns that the Congress could either abuse such authority or neglect to enact any such legislation after the adoption of this proposal.Tennessee Senator Estes Kefauver (the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Constitutional Amendments), a long-time advocate for addressing the disability question, spearheaded the effort until he died of a heart attack on August 10, 1963. Senator Keating was defeated in the 1964 election, but Senator Roman Hruska, a Republican from Nebraska, took up Keating’s objections as a new member of the Subcommittee on Constitutional Amendments.
The assassination of President John F. Kennedy showed the need for a clear way to determine presidential succession in the context of the Cold War. The new President, Lyndon B. Johnson, had once suffered a heart attack, and the next two people in line for the presidency were the 71 year old Speaker of the House John McCormack, and the 86 year old Senate President pro tempore Carl Hayden. Senator Birch Bayh succeeded Kefauver as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Constitutional Amendments and set about advocating for a detailed amendment dealing with presidential succession.
On January 6, 1965, Senator Birch Bayh proposed S. J. Res. 1 in the Senate and Representative Emanuel Celler (Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee) proposed H. J. Res. 1 in the House of Representatives. Their proposal specified the process by which a President could be declared disabled, thereby making the Vice President an Acting President, and how the President could regain the powers of his office. Also, their proposal provided a way to fill a vacancy in the office of Vice President before the next presidential election. This was as opposed to the KeatingKefauver proposal, which neither provided for filling a vacancy in the office of Vice President prior to the next presidential election nor provided a process for determining presidential disability. In 1964, the American Bar Association endorsed the type of proposal which Bayh and Celler advocated. On January 28, 1965, President Johnson endorsed S. J. Res. 1 in a statement to Congress.
On February 19, the Senate passed the amendment, but the House passed a different version of the amendment on April 13. On April 22, it was returned to the Senate with revisions. There were four areas of disagreement between the House and Senate versions:
On July 6, after a conference committee ironed out differences between the versions, the final version of the amendment was passed by both Houses of the Congress and presented to the states for ratification.
The Congress proposed the Twenty-fifth Amendment on July 6, 1965, and the amendment was ratified by the following states:
The following states have not ratified the amendment:
Just six days after its submission, Nebraska and Wisconsin were the first states to ratify the amendment. On February 10, 1967, Minnesota and Nevada were the 37th and 38th states to ratify, respectively. On February 23, 1967, in a ceremony in the East Room of the White House, General Services Administrator Lawson Knott certified the amendment’s adoption.
Section 1 codified the “Tyler Precedent” regarding when a President is removed from office, dies, or resigns. In any of these situations, the Vice President immediately becomes President.
Prior to the Twenty-fifth Amendment’s adoption, a Vice Presidential vacancy remained until the start of the next presidential term. The Vice Presidency has been vacant several times due to death, resignation, or succession to the Presidency. Often these vacancies lasted for several years.
Under Section 2, whenever there is a vacancy in the office of Vice President, the President nominates a successor who becomes Vice President if confirmed by a majority vote of both Houses of the Congress.
Section 3 provides that when the President transmits a written declaration to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, stating that he is unable to discharge the powers and duties of the Presidency, and until the President sends another written declaration to the aforementioned officers declaring himself able to resume discharging those powers and duties, the Vice President serves as Acting President.
Section 4 is the only part of the amendment that has never been invoked. It allows the Vice President, together with a majority of either “the principal officers of the executive departments” (i.e., the Cabinet) or of “such other body as Congress may by law provide”, to declare the President disabled by submitting a written declaration to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives. As with Section 3, the Vice President would become Acting President.
Section 4 is meant to be invoked if the President’s incapacitation prevents him from discharging the duties of his office and he does not provide a written declaration to that effect. The President may resume exercising the Presidential duties by sending a written declaration to the President pro tempore and the Speaker of the House.
Should the Vice President and Cabinet believe the President is still disabled, they may within four days of the President’s declaration submit another declaration that the President is incapacitated. The Congress must then assemble within 48 hours if not in session. The Congress then has 21 days to decide the issue. If within the 21 days allotted two-thirds of each House of Congress vote that the President is incapacitated, Section 4 states that the Vice President would “continue” to be Acting President. Should the Congress resolve the issue in favor of the President, or if the Congress makes no decision within the 21 days allotted, then the President would “resume” discharging all of the powers and duties of his office. The use of the words “continue” and “resume” imply that the Vice President remains Acting President while Congress deliberates.
However, the President may again submit a written declaration of recovery to the President pro tempore and the Speaker of the House. That declaration could be responded to by the Acting President and the Cabinet in the same way as stated earlier. The allotted 21-day Congressional procedure would start again.
The Twenty-fifth Amendment has been invoked six times since its ratification. The first three times were applications of Sections 1 and 2 in the context of scandals surrounding the Nixon Administration. The latter three were applications of Section 3 in connection to the President’s undergoing a medical procedure requiring general anesthesia.
On October 12, 1973, following Vice President Spiro Agnew’s resignation two days earlier, President Richard Nixon nominated Representative Gerald Ford of Michigan to succeed Agnew as Vice President.
The United States Senate voted 923 to confirm Ford on November 27 and, on December 6, the House of Representatives did the same by a vote of 38735. Ford was sworn in later that day before a joint session of the United States Congress.
President Richard Nixon resigned on August 9, 1974, resulting in Vice President Gerald Ford succeeding to the office of President. Gerald Ford is the only person ever to be Vice President, and later President, without being elected to either office.
When Gerald Ford became President, the Vice Presidency became vacant. On August 20, 1974, after having previously considered Melvin Laird and George Bush, President Ford nominated former New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller to succeed him as Vice President.
On December 10, 1974, Rockefeller was confirmed 907 by the Senate. On December 19, 1974, Rockefeller was confirmed 287128 by the House and sworn into office later that day in the Senate chamber.
On July 12, 1985, President Ronald Reagan underwent a colonoscopy, during which a pre-cancerous lesion called a villous adenoma was discovered. Upon being told by his physician (Dr. Edward Cattow) that he could undergo surgery immediately or in two to three weeks, Reagan elected to have it removed immediately.
That afternoon, Reagan consulted with White House counsel Fred Fielding by telephone, debating whether to invoke the amendment and, if so, whether such a transfer would set an undesirable precedent. Fielding and White House Chief of Staff Donald Regan recommended that Reagan transfer power and two letters doing so were drafted: the first letter specifically invoked Section 3 of the Twenty-fifth Amendment; the second only mentioned that Reagan was mindful of this provision. At 10:32a.m. on July 13, Reagan signed the second letter and ordered its delivery to the appropriate officers as required under the amendment.
Books such as The President Has Been Shot: Confusion, Disability and the 25th Amendment, by Herbert Abrams, and Reagan’s autobiography, An American Life, argue President Reagan’s intent to transfer power to Vice President Bush was clear. Fielding himself adds:
I personally know he did intend to invoke the amendment, and he conveyed that to all of his staff and it was conveyed to the VP as well as the President of the Senate. He was also very firm in his wish not to create a precedent binding his successor.
On June 29, 2002, President George W. Bush underwent a colonoscopy and chose to invoke Section 3 of the amendment, temporarily transferring his powers to Vice President Dick Cheney. The medical procedure began at 7:09a.m. EDT and ended at 7:29a.m. EDT. Bush woke up twenty minutes later, but did not resume his presidential powers and duties until 9:24a.m. EDT after the president’s doctor, Richard Tubb, conducted an overall examination. Tubb said he recommended the additional time to make sure the sedative had no aftereffects. Unlike Reagan’s 1985 letter, Bush’s 2002 letter specifically cited Section 3 as the authority for the transfer of power.
On July 21, 2007, President Bush again invoked the amendment in response to having to undergo a colonoscopy, temporarily transferring his powers to Vice President Cheney. President Bush invoked Section 3 at 7:16a.m. EDT. He reclaimed his powers at 9:21a.m. EDT. As happened in 2002, Bush specifically cited Section 3 when he transferred the Presidential powers to the Vice President and when he reclaimed those powers.
There are two documented instances in which invocation of Section 4 of the Twenty-fifth Amendment was considered, both of which involved the 40th President of the United States, Ronald Reagan.
Following the attempted assassination of Ronald Reagan on March 30, 1981, Vice President George Bush did not assume the presidential powers and duties as Acting President. Reagan was unable to invoke Section 3, because he was in surgery. Bush did not invoke Section 4, because he was on a plane returning from Texas. Reagan was out of surgery by the time Bush arrived in Washington. In 1995, Birch Bayh, the primary sponsor of the amendment in the Senate, wrote that Section 4 should have been invoked.
Upon becoming the White House Chief of Staff in 1987, Howard Baker was advised by his predecessor’s staff to be prepared for a possible invocation of the Twenty-fifth Amendment due to Reagan’s perceived laziness and ineptitude.
According to the PBS program American Experience,
What Baker’s transition team was told by Donald Regan’s staff that weekend shocked them. Reagan was ‘inattentive, inept,’ and ‘lazy,’ and Baker should be prepared to invoke the 25th Amendment to relieve him of his duties.
Reagan biographer Edmund Morris stated in an interview aired on the program,
The incoming Baker people all decided to have a meeting with him on Monday, their first official meeting with the President, and to cluster around the table in the Cabinet room and watch him very, very closely to see how he behaved, to see if he was indeed losing his mental grip.
Morris went on to explain,
Reagan who was, of course, completely unaware that they were launching a death watch on him, came in stimulated by the press of all these new people and performed splendidly. At the end of the meeting, they figuratively threw up their hands realizing he was in perfect command of himself.
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Twenty-fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution …