Exploration: September 2012 Archives

More on L2 Gateways

Gateway L-2 Mission: Opening Cislunar Space or Dead End?, Paul Spudis

"A recent report by the NASA human architecture team has given us a glimpse of the agency's thinking about future missions beyond low Earth orbit (LEO). Interest is focused on sending human crews to a "Gateway" outpost stationed at the gravitationally stable Earth-Moon L-2 point. The facility, built with plans and parts derived from the construction of the International Space Station, would slowly circle the L-2 point in a halo orbit. From its "hovering" position over the lunar far side, it would be in direct communication with Earth."

NASA Ready To Announce Deep Space Human Mission (Update), earlier post

Navy Announces Research Vessel to be Named in Honor of Neil Armstrong

"Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus announced today that the first Armstrong-class Auxiliary General Oceanographic Research (AGOR) ship will be named Neil Armstrong. Mabus named the future R/V Neil Armstrong (AGOR 27) to honor the memory of Neil Armstrong, best known for being the first man to walk on the moon. Armstrong was an aeronautics pioneer and explorer for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) serving as an engineer, test pilot, astronaut and administrator. Armstrong also served as a naval aviator flying nearly 80 combat missions during the Korean War."

NASA Cooperative Agreement Notice Draft Announcement for a Joint SMD and HEOMD Science and Exploration Institute and Request for Comments

"NASA's Science Mission Directorate (SMD) and Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate (HEOMD) intend to release a Cooperative Agreement Notice (CAN) for the NEW NASA science and exploration institute (name to be determined) no earlier than October 2012. The new institute will retain the successful structure of the NASA Lunar Science Institute (NLSI), consisting of new peer-reviewed and competitively selected teams managed by the current small central office located at NASA Ames Research Center. The new institute will be a virtual research organization that leverages knowledge and expertise from the science and exploration communities and supports NASA's goals in lunar and planetary science and human exploration of the solar system. It is anticipated that approximately seven teams will be selected in response to the proposed CAN."

Hearing: The Path from LEO to Mars, Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation

"The U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation will hold a hearing on "The Path From LEO to Mars." This hearing will examine NASA's exploration portfolio -- both robotic and human -- beyond low-Earth orbit (LEO) to the surface of Mars. The hearing will begin with an update from project scientists working on the Mars Science Laboratory mission."

- John Grunsfeld
- Fuk Li
- John Grotzinger
- Steven W. Squyres prepared statement
- Charles F. Kennelprepared statement
- Jim Maserprepared statement

NASA holds G+ hangout today for Neil Armstrong and Kennedy's Moon Speech

"Today, Wednesday 9/12, NASA will pay tribute to Neil Armstrong and the 50th Anniversary of President Kennedy's "Moon Speech" at 12pm PT / 3pm ET, with NASA astronauts, scientists and engineers coming together in a one-hour Google+ hangout to remember historic NASA innovations and discuss the future goals for scientific discovery and human spaceflight."

Kennedy @Rice +50

NASA Highlights 50th Anniversary of Kennedy 'Moon Speech' and Looks Ahead

"NASA is offering a variety of special features to commemorate the 50th anniversary of President Kennedy's address at Rice University in Houston on Sept. 12, 1962. In that famous speech, Kennedy proclaimed, "We choose to go to the moon in this decade," which set the United States on a course of space exploration that we continue to build on today. On Wednesday, NASA Television will air in its entirety a high-quality version of the address at 11:15 a.m. EDT, the same time President Kennedy gave the speech 50 years ago."

Editorial: September 12, 1962

"While Kennedy laid out some broader motivations, once we reached the Moon the American human exploration program almost collapsed. It has suffered ever since from a lack of long term purpose beyond maintaining a level of national prestige and technological capability. A long term purpose is not beyond our reach. It is needed to provide necessary focus to our human space efforts. ... I envision President Obama at Rice University on the 50th anniversary of Kennedy's speech, laying out a renewed vision."

NASA To Honor Neil Armstrong at National Cathedral

"NASA Administrator Charles Bolden and other dignitaries will attend a public memorial service at the Washington National Cathedral to honor the life and career of astronaut Neil Armstrong on Thursday, Sept. 13. The memorial will be broadcast live on NASA Television and streamed online by the agency's and National Cathedral's websites."

Keith's 6 Sep 7:45 am EDT update: Sources are reporting that Neil Armstrong will be buried at sea - the date is still TBD. More to follow.

Name an Asteroid

NASA Announces Asteroid Naming Contest for Students

"Students worldwide have an opportunity to name an asteroid from which an upcoming NASA mission will return the first samples to Earth. Scheduled to launch in 2016, the mission is called the Origins-Spectral Interpretation-Resource Identification-Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx). Samples returned from the primitive surface of the near-Earth asteroid currently called (101955) 1999 RQ36 could hold clues to the origin of the solar system and organic molecules that may have seeded life on Earth. NASA also is planning a crewed mission to an asteroid by 2025. A closer scientific study of asteroids will provide context and help inform this mission."


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