Exploration: September 2010 Archives

Moon Exploration Is Not Dead

Moon Exploration Is Not Dead, NASA Official Says, Space.com

"But Garver said the moon is a symbol of inspiration for many people on Earth, in part because of NASA's manned lunar landings of the late 1960s and early 1970s. The moon is also the most visible of off-world destinations to the public, she added. "I just won't agree that this ends the moon as a destination," Garver said. "We look up in the night sky and see the moon and it is an inspiration to us all. My first son's first word was 'moon.'" In the nearly 49 years of human spaceflight, only a handful of missions - the six successful Apollo moon landings - have sent humans to walk on the moon's surface. "Of course, we have been there with 12 humans. We will be going back with humans. We will be going back with robots," Garver said. "And the fact that we are charting the next destination as an asteroid is nothing against the moon."

Killing Constellation at Birth

KillingConstellation, Wayne Hale

"There are probably any number of factors which have wounded the Constellation program, perhaps mortally. But taking longer to return the shuttle to flight, costing more to return the shuttle to flight, and delaying the completion of the ISS and the retirement of the shuttle; those were major causes too. Coupled with the top-level decisions not to ask the Congress for more money, the squeeze was well-nigh intolerable. From my standpoint the consequences were unintentional. But unintentional or more precisely with the best of intentions, the result was severe. So yes, I had a role in the killing of Constellation; a long time before February 1, 2010."

A Pledge to America (Draft), full text, MSNBC

"- Cut Government Spending to Pre-Stimulus, Pre-Bailout Levels: With common-sense exceptions for seniors, veterans, and our troops, we will roll back government spending to pre-stimulus, pre-bailout levels, saving us at least $100 billion in the first year alone and putting us on a path to begin paying down the debt, balancing the budget, and ending the spending spree in Washington that threatens our children's future.

- Establish a Hard Cap on New Discretionary Spending: We must put common-sense limits on the growth of government and stop the endless increases. Only in Washington is there an expectation that whatever your budget was last year, it will be more this year and even more the next. We will set strict budget caps to limit federal spending on an annual basis. Budget caps were used in the 1990s, when a Republican Congress was able to bring the budget into balance and eventual surplus. By cutting discretionary spending from current levels and imposing a hard cap on future growth, we will save taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars."

Keith's note: So much for the Obama Administration's plans to increase NASA's budget ...

Thursday's Desert RATS Events

Keith's note: NASA Edge and Challenger Center will host one last live webcast from Desert RATS on Thursday from 9:00 am PDT (12:00 PM EDT) until 11:00 am PDT (2:00 pm EDT) at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/nelivedrats2010. You can follow us at http://onorbit.com/DesertRats. You can also follow on Twitter.

HEFT Report Update

NASA Team's Space Exploration Proposal Aligns with Senate Bill, Space.com

In outlining a human asteroid mission that would launch several years past Obama's 2025 deadline, the HEFT recommended NASA begin work immediately on a space shuttle-derived heavy-lift rocket, skipping the five years of exploratory research Obama proposed. A set of the HEFT's charts, dated Sept. 2, were posted on the NASA Watch website. "There is no benefit to delaying work" on the heavy-lifter, the charts say, adding that waiting until 2015 to select a basic design would limit NASA's options and hamper exploration planning. NASA spokesman Michael Braukus said Sept. 10 that Bolden, NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver and Doug Cooke, NASA associate administrator for exploration systems, have been briefed on the HEFT's findings. He said no decisions have been made.

Human Exploration Framework Team Presentation Online, earlier post

Desert RATS Update

Arid Arizona Home to NASA's RATS, OSTP

"For the past week, hoards of NASA human space exploration study teams have been gallivanting around the Arizona desert as part of NASA's Desert Research And Technology Studies, or Desert RATS. The Desert RATS demonstrations--held in the Arizona desert because it is a prime location here on earth for simulating future exploration destinations--offer engineers, astronauts, and scientists a unique opportunity to test new mission concepts and learn how to work with robotic helpers. ... But this year, not wanting to leave anyone's ideas out of the excitement of exploration, NASA has made great strides in bringing Desert RATS to the public."

Keith's note: Today's NASA Edge/Challenger Center live webcast from Desert RATS will be at 10:00 am PDT / 1:00 PM EDT at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/nelivedrats2010. Guests: Jim Rice and Keith Cowing. You can follow us at http://onorbit.com/DesertRats

NASA Edge/Challenger Center Webcast 8 September 2010

Human Exploration Framework Team (HEFT) DRM Review - Phase 1 Closeout - Steering Council September 2 2010 (download 6.6 mb PDF)

"Summary of Phase I

- Developed an investment portfolio that strikes a balance of new developments, technology, and operational programs with an eye towards a new way of exploring.
- Created a point of departure DRM that is flexible and can evolve over time to support multiple destinations with the identified systems.
- Identified a minimum subset of elements needed to conduct earlier beyond LEO missions.
- Infused key technology developments that should begin in earnest and identified gaps which should help inform additional technology prioritization over and above the NEO focused DRM.
- Costed the DRM using traditional costing methodologies.
- Determined alternative development options are required to address the cost and schedule shortfalls."

'Plymouth Rock' Human Asteroid Trek Proposed for 2019, Ken Kremer

"'Plymouth Rock' is the name of an ambitious new concept for an early human mission to explore a Near Earth Asteroid using dual Orion manned spacecraft. Two astronauts would embark on a six month round trip Asteroid Trek as soon as 2019 - before the end of this decade. The recent discovery of a new class of many small asteroids - 5 to 75 meters wide - has enabled the formulation of this potential new destination for deep space human exploration in the near term. Favorable orbital alignments occur only a few times per decade."

Keith's note: a white paper describing this Lockheed Martin mission concept is online here.

Buzz Aldrin calls for NZ to help in Mars exploration, Stuff.co.nz

"Moonwalk pioneer Buzz Aldrin says Australia and New Zealand should be part of an international coalition to explore and colonise Mars. International co-operation in space was very difficult and in many ways inefficient, the second man to walk on the moon said. "But I think if we can take the English-speaking people ... we can have American science, technology and bring together the UK, Australia, New Zealand, India and South Africa ... and have a togetherness organisation," he told AAP in Sydney on Thursday."

Keith's note: Well Buzz, if you want to be accurate, this is the so-called "anglosphere". It includes Canada, eh?


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This page is an archive of entries in the Exploration category from September 2010.

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