Many folks would like to see us back on the Moon and developing its resources.

Friday, April 09, 2010

April 15, 2010 - A day to remember or Not

Before we went to Washington, D.C. area, Minjae Ormes set me a note for the April National Geographic Channel return of Known Universe series in April. Time marches on and I missed some. The next one is on April 15. This is also the day we are to hear President Obama at KSC. May the competition for your attention begin.
- LRK -

Known Universe: Alien Contact
Thursday, April 15, at 10 PM ET/PT

Are we alone? It’s an age-old question that was relatively “taboo” in mainstream science until the mid-1990s, when astronomers found planets outside our solar system. Now, Known Universe joins the hunt for alien life as scientists search for planets with similar characteristics to Earth’s. We’ll take you on a journey to find planets that may support life and show you new space-based technologies that aid in the search for advanced alien civilizations.
Control Room at JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratory). The Jet Propulsion Laboratory is the lead US center for robotic exploration of the solar system, and conducts major programs in space-based Earth sciences.
(Photo Credit: © BASE Productions)


Whether we ever go to search for aliens by way of space ships or they come to see us will probably be a matter of the budget and political interest. [Maybe the aliens will have more interest than us.]

So far we have only gone to our Moon with the Apollo missions. Might be nice to visit Mars' moons but then maybe a few more years at LEO is all that will be seen. Stay tuned for the next episode to see where our spacesuits will tread next. Listening for hints come April 15, 2010.
- LRK -

Planning (or lack thereof) for the space conference
April 8, 2010 at 4:58 pm · Filed under NASA

Today’s short-notice NASA press conference primarily covered organizational issues within the agency: which centers would be responsible for what aspects of the new plan. For example, KSC will host the Commercial Crew Development Program Office, with JSC serving as deputy; the roles are reversed for the Flagship Technology Demonstrations, with JSC in the lead. With a few minor exceptions (like Marshall taking the Centennial Challenges program office, which had been run out of Headquarters) there wasn’t much surprising there, and more importantly, no sign of any significant deviations from the original plan as rolled out two months ago. He also noted that this assignment of projects to various centers was done within NASA, without input from the administration or Congress.

During the Q&A, NASA administrator Charles Bolden was asked about the presidential space conference scheduled for a week from today in Florida (presumably at KSC). “It is a work in progress,” he said. There are several goals for the event, Bolden added, starting with giving President Obama the opportunity “to continue to conversation he has been having with members of Congress”; this will include some “private moments” with members of Congress who will be at the event. Obama will then give a “major space policy speech” that, Bolden said, is designed to try and convince people “that he is dedicated to exploration and to human spaceflight.” That will be followed by several breakout panels (he later said four) on programs in the budget proposal.


What is announced from the White House for April 15, 2010.
- LRK -

The White House

Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
March 07, 2010
President Obama to Host Space Conference in Florida in April

WASHINGTON – On April 15, President Barack Obama will visit Florida to host a White House Conference on the Administration’s new vision for America’s future in space, the White House today announced.

The President, along with top officials and other space leaders, will discuss the new course the Administration is charting for NASA and the future of U.S. leadership in human space flight. Specifically, the conference will focus on the goals and strategies in this new vision, the next steps, and the new technologies, new jobs, and new industries it will create. Conference topics will include the implications of the new strategy for Florida, the nation, and our ultimate activities in space.

Further logistical details will be announced as they become available.

After an independent review panel found that the previous program to return astronauts to the Moon was fundamentally un-executable, the President included an additional $6 billion for NASA in his FY2011 budget over the next five years. This funding will help us achieve our boldest aspirations in space. The President’s ambitious new strategy pushes the frontiers of innovation to set NASA on a more dynamic, flexible, and sustainable trajectory that can propel us on a new journey of innovation and discovery.

The President and the NASA Administrator both believe that we have to be forward thinking and aggressive in our pursuit of new technologies to take us beyond low-Earth orbit. The President’s plan does this.

A foundational element of this new strategy is to invest in the development of a targeted set of inter-related technologies and capabilities that can help us travel from the Earth’s cradle to our
nearby Solar System neighborhood in a more effective and affordable way, thus laying the foundation to support journeys to the Moon, asteroids, and eventually to Mars.

After years of underinvestment in new technology and unrealistic budgeting, the President’s plan will unveil an ambitious plan for NASA that sets the agency on a reinvigorated path of space exploration.


Anything can be proposed or legislated, but if no money to fund, then not to see happen.
Whether we hear the jingle of coins will be what determines how far we can go.
Let me byte that coin, is it real gold?
- LRK -

NASA Budget Information

FY 2011 Budget
› FY 2011 Budget Overview (387 Kb PDF)

› Administrator Bolden's Statement (68 Kb)

› Deputy Administrator's Remarks at the OSTP Budget Announcement (68 Kb)

› Office of Management and Budget: FY 2011 NASA Fact Sheet→

› NASA Budget Details From OMB→

› Joint Statement From NASA Administrator Bolden and John P. Holdren,
Director, Office of Science and Technology Policy (112 Kb PDF)

› Joint NASA-OSTP Factsheet (70 Kb PDF)


Thanks for looking up with me. [Do you see anything? Who is looking up with you?]
- LRK -

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Update: President Obama To Hold Space Summit in Florida on April 15


The President's new plan for NASA, outlined in his FY2011 budget request, would cancel NASA's Constellation program, which is intended to replace the space shuttle as the U.S. human space transportation system. The President's plan instead would rely on foreign and as-yet-unproven domestic commercial crew launch services to take astronauts to and from the International Space Station. It also would fund technology development for future, undefined human space flight missions beyond low Earth orbit, as opposed to the Constellation program that is aiming to return humans to the Moon by 2020. The White House and NASA call the Constellation program unexecutable without significantly more funding ($5 billion a year more, according to NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver).

The President's plan has been met primarily with skepticism, antagonism and outright anger from Democrats and Republicans in Congress and much of the aerospace workforce, especially in Florida. With the space shuttle scheduled to be terminated at the end of this year, some shuttle workers were to transition to the Constellation program. If that program is cancelled, the workforce impact could be severe.

The President's plan does have some supporters. The White House included former astronaut Sally Ride in the roll out of the plan on February 1, along with letters from legendary Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin and Norm Augustine, who chaired a blue-ribbon panel last year that provided options for the future of the human space flight program. The Planetary Society has mounted a campaign to win support for it, and the President of the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA), Bill Smith, wrote a letter to the editor of the Washington Post supporting the FY2011 budget request because of its investment in space and earth science.




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