Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Archbishop of Athens Serves Dormition Divine Liturgy

At the Megali Panagia church in Thebes,Greece,His Beatitude Archbishop Ieronymos II of Athens and All Greece presided at the Divine Liturgy of the Dormition of the Theotokos on 15 August 2017.Attending the service was President of Greece Prokopis Pavlopoulos.The church,now in its 150th anniversary year,is named for the Virgin Mary.*
In his sermon,Archbishop Ieronymos (Jerome) said that:
This people has existed as and will always be Orthodox.Not only today,but throughout time,they have been inspired to live in the Church,to venerate and seek the help of the Theotokos to overcome the difficulties in their lives.*
Archbishop Ieronymos is marking his fiftieth anniversary in the priesthood.*
Following the liturgy,His Eminence Metropolitan Georgios of Thebes honoured President Pavlopoulos with the highest award of the Metropolis,a cross medallion on a blue ribbon.*
Elsewhere in the Orthodox Christendom,Dormition liturgies and pilgrimages were also held,along with processions of beloved icons of Our Most Holy Lady the Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary.
Some of the autocephalous Orthodox Churches will observe the old calendar Dormition on 28 August.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Crew Recovery Drills,SLS Rocket Fabrication Move Orion Program Forward

Among the Orion Program's milestones this summer have been the crew recovery drills and Space Launch System fabrication efforts on the road to Exploration Mission-1.The deep space exploration program's roadmap is similar to that which the Apollo Program followed to the Moon landings,with EM-1 being an uncrewed test,or full dress rehearsal,if you will,for the first crewed Orion mission,EM-2.Based on its decades of space flight experience,NASA feels this stepwise approach is the surest way to succeed in our international quest to reach beyond the Earth and the Moon.*
From 10-14 July 2017,an interagency team of NASA,the US Navy,Coast Guard and Air Force staged a number of crew module  recovery scenarios in the Gulf of Mexico off the Galveston,Texas coast.This was to test egress from the Orion crew module,evaluating  plans and hardware for getting the crew out of Orion as safely and efficiently as possible under all conditions.That means taking into account crew health;weather;and condition of recovery personnel and equipment in the area in real-time.Can the crew get out safely under adverse conditions-say if the capsule lands off course and recovery personnel aren't able to reach them right away,or if water intrudes into the capsule before help arrives?*
The astronauts and engineering test subjects wore modified NASA Advanced Crew Escape suits to keep the drills as close to mission scenarios as possible.The ACE suits,which are worn on launch and re-entry,are still in development.*
Yasmin Ali,Launch and Recovery Systems manager for Orion,noted that:
We're making important headway this summer with all of our landing and recovery systems testing.*
At the same time,the new SLS rocket fabrication and testing has been going on apace at several different NASA and contractor facilities.For instance,the Interim Cryogenic Propulsion Stage is currently in the Space Station Processing Facility at Kennedy Space Center,Florida.It will be in the high bay of the facility for cleaning and maintenance until it is moved to the Vehicle Assembly Building for stacking beneath the Orion capsule and integration with other components.
Five-segment powerhouse motors for the Solid Rocket Boosters are in production by subcontractor Orbital-ATK at its Utah facility.The motors will be shipped to KSC,then integrated with forward and aft booster structures,and then the SLS core stage.Welding for the Boeing liquid oxygen tank is also underway at the NASA Michoud Assemby Facility,New Orleans.Indeed,four core stage tanks are being built simultaneously.
On 25 July,a test of the RS-25 rocket engine was successfully conducted at the NASA Stennis Space Center,Mississippi.Four of the modified Space Shuttle engines are used to power the SLS.*
EM-1,which will venture a record 40,000 miles beyond the Moon,is slated for a 2019 launch,with the crewed EM-2 to follow in the 2022-23 time frame.Besides testing the integrated Orion system,EM-1 will be a research mission,deploying 13 CubeSats,small satellites investigating such topics as lunar science and astrobiology.*
Boeing (BA),Orbital ATK Inc (OA)







His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America:Encyclical for the Feast of the Dormition of the Theotokos (08/15/2017) - Dormition of the Theotokos (August 15) - Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America

Encyclical for the Feast of the Dormition of the Theotokos (08/15/2017) - Dormition of the Theotokos (August 15) - Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Ὁ Μέγας Παρακλητικὸς Κανὼν τῆς Παναγίας - The Great Paraklitikos chanted by the nuns of Annunciation to the Theotokos Monastery,Ormylia,Chalkidiki,Greece


August - the Month of the Panagia,the All-Holy One

Orthodox Christians on the new calendar are in the second day of the Dormition Fast,which lasts for two weeks,until the feast of the Dormition of the Most Holy Theotokos on 15 August.Liturgically,the main feature is the special weekday evening services dedicated to the Virgin Mary,the Small and Great Paraklesis services chanted on an alternating basis.Last night was chanted the Small Paraklesis;tonight will be the Great Paraklesis,and so on.These help us to prepare for the upcoming observance of the Dormition,when at her passing the Theotokos,the Mother of God,was translated body and soul into heaven from the Garden of Gethsemane.*
This event is not in scripture,but is nonetheless the holy tradition of the Church,passed down liturgically through the centuries.Indeed,it is such a core event,it is often referred to as "the Pascha in Summer."Not only is there a two week fast and the feast day itself;there is also an after-feast of several days,so that actually the bulk of August is focused on the Theotokos,with a break on 6 August for the Transfiguration of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.*
Catholics celebrate the same Marian event,calling it the Assumption.