NASA Watch

This is not a NASA Website. You might learn something. It's YOUR space agency. Get involved. Take it back. Make it work - for YOU.
nasawatch@spaceref.com | Voice +1.703.787.6567 | RSS Feed | Twitter | Advertising | Important Disclaimer

NASA Life Science and Artemis: It Is Time To Get Serious

By Keith Cowing on May 17, 2019 8:19 PM.

Keith's note: Speaking as someone who did graduate research in gravitational biology and who worked at NASA Headquarters and elsewhere as a space life scientist, I am quite interested in the adaptations of life to prolonged exposure to conditions on the Moon. I am certain that there are changes in living systems in fractional gravity wherein changes in genomic expression can be measured. We've seen it in humans and other organisms exposed to microgravity in spaceflight and centrifugation (simulated hypergravity) on Earth. Alas, to date, the vast bulk of research where changes in gene expression are studied have to do with microgravity - not lunar or martian gravity.

Its nice to know that someone at NASA Gene Lab is paying attention to the news regarding Artemis and Moon2024. But the suggestion in this tweet that they might have anything relevant to 0.16G biology at this time is probably tenuous, at best. Indeed, a simple key word search of their website for "lunar" and "moon" shows this to be the case. But at least they are stepping up to the plate - which is good. A look at the NASA Space Station and CASIS websites shows no mention of Artemis or Moon2024.

One would hope that NASA would have an integrated strategy for such research that spans Earth- and space-based facilities. Right now its more like competing fiefdoms within NASA's sphere of funding influence rather than an overall, integrated program with clear goals directly related to operational as well as fundamental science. If preparatory work is needed to enable safe human operations and other life forms in lunar gravity to support the Artemis program (which is going to start up on the lunar surface in 2024) NASA should have already have enabling research under way. Instead it has a scattered collection of things. Someone needs to bring order to this disarray and create an integrated program of space biology and medicine at NASA so as to flight certify humans and other forms of life for prolonged exposure to other worlds. And this integrated program needs to be able to provide useful information in time to actually inform NASA mission planners - not after the fact.

Categories: ,

Watching My Friend Climb Above The Sky

By Keith Cowing on May 17, 2019 11:30 AM.

Categories: ,

Gateway Does Not Need Canadarm3 For #Moon2024

By Keith Cowing on May 16, 2019 10:26 PM.

Accelerated NASA Moon Landing Plan Doesn't Need Canadian Robotic System, SpaceQ

"So with NASA deferring elements of the Gateway not needed for the new plan, comes the question of whether Canada's robotic system is needed to as part of the revised 2024 plan. In a follow-up email with Gerstenmaier, SpaceQ asked, with the updated moon plan and the revised architecture, is the expected Canadian contributed robotic arm (Canadarm 3) one of the capabilities needed to support a lunar landing in 2024? Gerstenmaier replied that "at this point in our planning the robotic arm is not required for the 2024 landing." He also said "we would like the arm as soon as available. The CSA arm concept is very creative and be used inside as well."

U.S. Moon Plans Are Causing Concern for the International Partners Including Canada, SpaceQ

"In a follow-up email with Bill Gerstenmaier, NASA's Associate Administrator for Human Exploration and Operations, Gerstenmaier wanted to provide a further comment on the matter. He said "the arm is not absolutely required for the lunar landing. We are making accommodations for the arm in early Gateway and will be ready to use the arm as soon as it is available."

NASA Secures First International Partnership for Moon to Mars Lunar Gateway, NASA (28 February 2019)

"Today, Canada leads the world in space-based robotic capabilities, enabling critical repairs to the Hubble Space Telescope and construction of the International Space Station. Our new collaboration on Gateway will enable our broader international partnership to get to the Moon and eventually to Mars."

Categories:

House Appropriators On NASA FY 2020 Budget

By Keith Cowing on May 16, 2019 10:10 AM.

Appropriations Committee Releases Fiscal Year 2020 Commerce-Justice-Science Funding Bill

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) - NASA is funded at $22.32 billion, $815 million above the 2019 enacted level. This funding includes:

- $7.16 billion for NASA Science programs - $255.6 million above the fiscal year 2019 enacted level.
- $123 million for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Engagement, $13 million above fiscal year 2019 and rejecting the Administration's request to eliminate funding for these programs, which help inspire and train the country's future STEM workforce.
- $5.1 billion for Exploration - $79.1 million above the fiscal year 2019 enacted level. This includes funding to continue the development of the Orion crew vehicle, Space Launch System, and related ground systems.

Categories: ,

Congressional Push Back On Artemis / #Moon2024

By Keith Cowing on May 15, 2019 1:34 PM.

Chairwomen Johnson and Horn Question Funding Plan for NASA's Accelerated Moon Landing Program

"While I am a supporter of challenging human space exploration endeavors that can take us to the Moon and eventually to Mars, based on the limited information provided to Congress it is impossible to judge the merits of the President's budget amendment," saidChairwoman Eddie Bernice Johnson. "We don't know how much money will be required in total to meet the arbitrary 2024 Moon landing deadline or how that money will be spent. We don't know how much additional money will subsequently be required to turn the crash program to get astronauts to the Moon by 2024 into a sustainable exploration program that will lead to Mars. And we don't know what NASA's technical plan for its lunar program is. What we do know is that the President is proposing to further cut a beneficial needs-based grants program that provides a lifeline to low-income students, namely the Pell Grants program, in order to pay for the first year of this initiative--something that I cannot support."

Categories: , ,

SpaceX Now Has Two Starship Factories

By Keith Cowing on May 15, 2019 12:09 AM.

Categories:

Selling Artemis To A Skeptical America

By Keith Cowing on May 14, 2019 5:53 PM.

Categories: , ,

Senate Hearing On The Emerging Space Environment

By Keith Cowing on May 14, 2019 3:01 PM.

The Emerging Space Environment: Operational, Technical, and Policy Challenges (Watch live)

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, chairman of the Subcommittee on Aviation and Space, will convene a hearing titled, "The Emerging Space Environment: Operational, Technical, and Policy Challenges," at 3:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 14, 2019. The hearing will examine civil-military coordination, cooperation, and related issues within the space domain.

Witnesses:

The Honorable Jim Bridenstine, Administrator, National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Mr. Kevin O'Connell, Director, Office of Space Commerce, Department of Commerce
Mr. Robert Cardillo, Former Director, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency
Lt. Gen. David D. Thompson, Vice Commander, Space Command, United States Air Force
Col. Pamela A. Melroy, United States Air Force (ret.)

Categories:

And Where Does NASA's Extra $1.6 Billion Come From?

By Keith Cowing on May 14, 2019 2:15 PM.

Trump targets Pell Grant money for NASA's budget boost, AP/Washington Post

"The Trump administration wants to shift money for Pell Grants for college education to fund new spending, including a $1.6 billion bump for NASA to return American astronauts to the moon by 2024. Under a budget amendment sent to Congress Monday evening, the administration would use an additional $1.9 billion in surplus Pell Grant money to fund other budget priorities, including an infusion of new cash for NASA "so that we can return to Space in a BIG WAY!" President Donald Trump tweeted. ,,, Officials insisted the re-allocation of the Pell Grant money would have no impact on those currently receiving grants, which help low-income students pay for college. "This does not cut any spending for Pell Grant programs as the budget continues to ensure all students will get their full Pell Grant and keeps the program on sound fiscal footing," Office of Management and Budget spokesman Wesley Denton said in a statement."

Categories: , ,

NASA Town Hall Update On Project Artemis / #Moon2024

By Keith Cowing on May 14, 2019 11:36 AM.

Today 12:30 p.m. EDT: NASA Town Hall on Moon 2024 Budget Amendment with Administrator Jim Bridenstine. Watch at http://nasa.gov/nasalive

Categories: , ,

Project Artemis Will Send Humans Back To The Moon

By Keith Cowing on May 13, 2019 7:52 PM.

Categories: , , ,

Surprise NASA #Moon2024 Budget Briefing Tonight

By Keith Cowing on May 13, 2019 6:09 PM.

"NASA leaders, including Administrator Jim Bridenstine, will host a media teleconference today, Monday, May 13 to discuss how a new budget amendment for the fiscal year 2020 proposal will help NASA's plan to land astronauts on the Moon by 2024.
The media teleconference at 7 p.m. EDT will discuss details of the budget amendment. Audio and visuals from the teleconference will stream live at: https://www.nasa.gov/live. The agency budget amendment and supporting information are available online at: https://www.nasa.gov/budget. Administrator Bridenstine also will host an employee town hall at 12:30 p.m., Tuesday, May 14 live from NASA Headquarters in Washington. The meeting will be carried on NASA Television and the agency's website."






Keith's note: If you subtract $321 million from Gateway the numbers balance. No word yet as to where the money actually comes from (outside of NASA) or what the final cost of the Moon2024 thing will be. Stay tuned.

Categories: , ,

Announcing a Pregnancy From The Edge Of Space

By Keith Cowing on May 13, 2019 3:01 PM.

Categories:

On This Date in 2009 Breaking Social Media Barriers In Space

By Keith Cowing on May 13, 2019 11:42 AM.

Categories: ,

Muckrock Takes A Deep Dive Into NASA's National Exploration Campaign

By Keith Cowing on May 13, 2019 10:55 AM.

Trump's NASA sees Space Force as a means to bring free market capitalism to the final frontier, Muckrock

"In an internal draft of NASA's "National Exploration Campaign Report" from August 2018, the authors of the report identify the very first of five strategic goals for the new campaign as "Transition U.S. human spaceflight in LEO to commercial operations, which support NASA and the needs of an emerging private sector market." It is only once you get to number three on the list of strategic goals that NASA plans to "Foster scientific discovery."

Keith's note: There is a nice long, deep dive FOIA response from NASA a a result of a Muckrock request at the end that makes fascinating reading.

Categories:

More stories for May.

MILITARY SPACE USA, 11TH JUNE TO 12TH JUNE 2019, LOS ANGELES, USA
49th International Conference on Environmental Systems - ICES 2019
Loading


Monthly Archives



NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 9 May 2019 - Ongoing Medical Research

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 9 May 2019 - Ongoing Medical Research

The Expedition 59 crew has a light duty day today with some science work on the schedule. Meanwhile, robotics controllers are preparing to swap external payloads in the unpressurized trunk of the SpaceX Dragon cargo craft.

More updates...

PRSpacewire