Exploration: November 2004 Archives

Here come the naysayers

22 November 2004: NASA's Moon-Mars Initiative Jeopardizes Important Science Opportunities, According to American Physical Society Report, American Physical Society

"The committee points out that the total cost of NASA's ill-defined Moon-Mars initiative is unknown as yet, but is likely to be a substantial drain on NASA resources. As currently envisioned, the initiative will rely on human astronauts who will establish a base on the moon and subsequently travel to Mars. The program is in contrast to recent, highly successful NASA missions, including the Hubble Space telescope, the Mars Rover, and Explorer missions, which have revolutionized our understanding of the universe while relying on comparatively cheap, unmanned and robotic instruments. It is likely that such programs will have to be scaled back or eliminated in the wake of much more expensive and dangerous manned space exploration, according to the committee."

Editor's note: 30 November 2004: To preface all the earlier comments on this report, I just received an email from APS' Director of Public Affairs, Michael Lubell regarding his earlier lawsuit threat in response to my comments on the APS' report:

From: "Michael Lubell" lubell@aps.org
Date: Tue, 30 Nov 2004 12:49:51 -0500
To: nasawatch@reston.com
Subject: NASA Watch Feedback

Apology about law suit. Although your rhetoric was highly inflammatory and misrepresnted the APS POPA report, I should have not have responded in kind. You caught me at a bad moment. I do hope, however,that you will take thetrouble to read the report in its entirety and recognize that it does not criticize the worth of human space flightin general, as you allege. I also hope that by now you are aware that some of the NASA plus up in the Omnibus bill came at the expense of the National Science Foundation, consistent with the APS POPA report forecast.

Mike Lubell

Editor's note: less than 24 hours after NASA Watch made note of this omission on the part of MSFC, a link to NASA's VSE suddenly appeared on this MSFC web page. However, they did not bother to add the link to this website's companion, ciencia@nasa.gov.

Editor's note: Why is it that the Science@nasa.gov website at MSFC still has no linkage whatsoever to NASA's Vision For Space Exploration (VSE)? This is especially odd given that this MSFC-hosted site claims that it's mission is "to help the public understand how exciting NASA research is and to help NASA scientists fulfill their outreach responsibilities." It is almost as of there are two public affairs organizations at MSFC.

James Cameron on Risk

The Drive to Discover, James Cameron, Wired

"If the next step is to send humans to Mars, then we must reexamine our culture of averting risk and assigning blame. We don't need any miracle breakthroughs in technology. The techniques are well understood. Sure, it takes money, but distributed over time it doesn't require any more than we're spending now. What is lacking is the will, the mandate, and the sense of purpose."

Director James Cameron Guest Edits WIRED Magazine, Unveils the New Age of Space & Deep Sea Exploration in December Issue

James Cameron: The Lessons of Titanic and other Reflections, Excerpt from: "Risk and Exploration: Earth, Sea and Sky", NASA Administrator's Symposium

"So my message is in whichever realm, be it going into space or going into the deep sea, you have to balance the yin and yang of caution and boldness, risk aversion and risk taking, fear and fearlessness. No great accomplishment takes place, whether it be a movie or a deep ocean expedition, or a space mission, without a kind of dynamic equipoise between the two. Luck is not a factor. Hope is not a strategy. Fear is not an option."

Editor's note: NASA won an impressive legislative victory this past weekend when Congress voted to give the agency virtually everything the President asked for so as to begin the implementation of the space policy he announced earlier this year. Curiously, the response from those who were pushing for such action has been rather tepid. In some cases there has been no reaction at all.

Blogging from Mars

22 November 2004: News From Antarctica: Personal web sites share Ice with world, The Antarctic Sun

"There are dozens of unofficial web sites spawned each season by Antarctic program participants. These sites typically include journals with daily entries and photo galleries. Some feature poetry and music inspired by experiences on the Ice."

Editor's note: The websites and weblogs ("Blogs") linked to by this article should serve as a preview of what people are going to do on missions to the Moon, Mars, and elsewhere. The journals I wrote during my two, one-month stays at the NASA Haughton Mars Project on Devon Island [2002][2003] are similarly inspired - as are Ed Lu's Expedition 7 Journal entries and Peggy Whitson's Expedition 5 Letters Home written during during their time aboard the ISS.

NASA International Workshop on Exploration Day 3 Report Outs, Summaries

"NASA held a three-day meeting in Washington, DC this week where representatives from space agencies around the world exchanged ideas regarding future exploration - and looked for possible modes of cooperation."

- Agenda

Wiring the Final Frontier

Director James Cameron Guest Edits WIRED Magazine, Unveils the New Age of Space & Deep Sea Exploration in December Issue

"This special issue of Wired is about honest-to-God, two-fisted,hairy-knuckled exploration. The kind where you go places no one'sgone before, then brag about it later... if you live... We stand onthe edge of a glorious new age of exploration. The future is readyand willing - if we are.'"

18 November 2004: Notice of Establishment of the NASA Robotic and Human Exploration of Mars Strategic Roadmapping Committee

"The Committee will advise NASA Administrator on Mars exploration, including robotic exploration of Mars to search for evidence of life, to understand the history of the solar system, and to prepare for future human exploration."

3 November 2004: NASA NAC Exploration Systems Advisory Committee: Notice of Establishment

16 November 2004: NASA Selects Exploration Systems Proposals

"NASA's Exploration Systems Mission Directorate (ESMD) selected 70 proposals to support the research and technology goals and objectives of the Vision for Space Exploration. The total value of the work is more than $1 billion through fiscal year 2009. More than 3700 Notices of Intent were submitted to NASA, evaluated, and subjected to an integrated review across project areas."

15 November 2004: NASA Lobbying For Authority To Grant Prizes Above $250K, Aerospace Daily & Defense Report

"NASA is lobbying Congress for the authority to award prizes of more than $250,000 in its Centennial Challenges program, and hopes to get a green light during the current lame-duck session of Congress or early next year. NASA needs authorization from Congress to award prizes of more than $250,000. Centennial Challenges Program Manager Brant Sponberg met with authorizers on Capitol Hill to discuss the issue Nov. 15."

- Centennial Challenges Day presentation (500 KB PDF)

- Watch the Archived Webcast

Crosstraining

12 November 2004: NASA Managers Available to Discuss Shuttle Return to Flight

"Managers from NASA JPL, who directed operations of the Mars rovers, will lend their experience to a practice session by Space Shuttle mission managers next week at NASA JSC in Houston. The session is part of a continuing exchange of best practices that began with multiple visits by Deputy Space Shuttle Program Manager Wayne Hale to JPL to observe critical periods of the Mars Exploration Rover Mission."

12 November 2004: NASA Names Space Veteran Michael Foale as Deputy Associate Administrator for Exploration Operations

"NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe today appointed astronaut C. Michael Foale as Deputy Associate Administrator for Exploration Operations reporting to both NASA's Associate Administrators for Exploration Systems and Space Operations."

New Poll: Moon Yes, Mars No

11 November 2004: Dittmar Associates Releases The Market Study for Space Exploration

"Endorsement of the space program in general is very strong, with 69% of Americans voicing their support. Interest and excitement about the Vision for Space Exploration is strong for near-term aspects of the plan (65% of Americans responded positively) and for returning to the Moon. This is not true for plans to send humans to Mars, which is seen as involving much more risk (only 18% of Americans responded positively)."

White House on Space

9 November 2004: Excerpt From White House Press Briefing on The President's Space Policy

"MR. McCLELLAN: It's reflected in our budget and I think it will be reflected in our upcoming budget, as well. Remember, this is a long-term vision that the President outlined for NASA, that made sure that they were focused on a very clearly-defined mission that is based on 10, 20, 30, 40 years down the road. So he remains committed to it."

Editor's note: Tomorrow morning (9 November) Northrop Grumman and Boeing will announce that they have entered into a teaming arrangement with regard to building hardware for NASA's new exploration programs - the most notable being the Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV). With regard to CEV work under the teaming agreement, Boeing will become a principal subcontractor to Northrop Grumman. As work progresses toward Spiral 2, Boeing will become the prime contractor. These two companies will be holding a telecon for reporters on 9 Nov at 1:00 pm EST.

9 November 2004: Northrop Grumman, Boeing Plan Space Exploration Team

Using the Moon to go to Mars

Findings of the Moon-Mars Science Linkage Science Steering Group, Mars Exploration Program Analysis Group (MEPAG)

"Owing to the proximity of the Moon to Earth, there are important technological and scientific concepts that could be developed on the Moon that will provide valuable insights into both the origin and evolution of the terrestrial planets and be feed-forward to the scientific exploration of Mars. This document identifies important lunar scientific and technology goals and evaluates them with regard to how they could provide valuable insights for Mars."

Exploration RFI for Roadmaps

NASA Advanced Planning and Integration Office (APIO) Request for Information (RFI)

"NASA is currently preparing a set of high-level national roadmaps that will form the foundation of the Agency's strategic plan. "Strategic Roadmaps" will explore options and establish pathways for achievement of NASA's strategic objectives. "Capability Roadmaps" will recommend approaches for providing certain technical capabilities judged to be critical to NASA's future programs."

NAC Exploration Systems Advisory Committee: Notice of Establishment Pursuant to the Federal Advisory Committee Act

"Purpose and Objective: The Committee will advise NASA Administrator on matters related to Exploration Systems. The Committee will draw on the expertise of its members and other sources to provide its advice and recommendations to the Agency. Balanced Membership Plans: The Committee will consist of non-NASA employees. In addition, there may be associated members selected for Committee, Subcommittees or Panels."

Why does Rice play Texas?

Letter from Wayne Hale - Why does Rice play Texas?

"When the historians replay the tape of JFK's speech, they generally clip out the phrase 'WHY DOES RICE PLAY TEXAS?' because the reference may be obscure to some or perhaps because it seems less important than climbing Mount Everest or Lindbergh flying solo across the Atlantic. But you miss an important point if there is gap in the recording."

31 October 2004: Spirit and Opportunity Pushing the Bounds of Exploration, Aviation Week

"When the rovers landed last January, they had a minimum design specification for 90 sols (Martian days) of life. But Spirit this week is closing in on 300 sols as Opportunity presses toward 275. Some engineers believe the rovers could now survive 600 or more sols, well into 2005."

2 November 2004: 'Money woes' foiled Beagle 2 shot, BBC

"A report into the loss of British Mars probe Beagle 2 says a failure by the UK government to commit funds early enough undermined the project's credibility."


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This page is an archive of entries in the Exploration category from November 2004.

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