Exploration: October 2016 Archives

Barack Obama: America will take the giant leap to Mars, Barack Obama

"This week, we'll convene some of America's leading scientists, engineers, innovators and students in Pittsburgh to dream up ways to build on our progress and find the next frontiers. Just five years ago, US companies were shut out of the global commercial launch market. Today, thanks to groundwork laid by the men and women of NASA, they own more than a third of it. More than 1,000 companies across nearly all 50 states are working on private space initiatives. We have set a clear goal vital to the next chapter of America's story in space: sending humans to Mars by the 2030s and returning them safely to Earth, with the ultimate ambition to one day remain there for an extended time. Getting to Mars will require continued cooperation between government and private innovators, and we're already well on our way. Within the next two years, private companies will for the first time send astronauts to the International Space Station."

Obama, Gov. Wolf to highlight Pittsburgh science and technology conference, Times Online

"President Barack Obama will be in Pittsburgh on Thursday for a daylong conference that will highlight scientific and technological advances locally and nationally. The Frontiers Conference will take place simultaneously at the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University. The conference will feature some of the biggest names in business, research and governmental agencies. ... The event is not open to the public but can live-streamed at www.frontiersconference.org".

Keith's note: Another meeting that neither regular citizens or news media can attend. The speakers have the benefit of getting to talk to each other while everyone else looks over their shoulders. More closed openness.

Accelerating Innovation with Leadership, Bill Gates

"One of the most indelible examples of a world leader unleashing innovation from both public and private sectors came in 1961 when President John F. Kennedy spoke to the U.S. Congress and challenged the country to put a man on the moon within the decade. That speech came at a time of cultural and political turmoil, when national and economic security dominated the headlines. President Kennedy believed looking to the skies would inspire the country to dream big and accomplish huge things. That speech didn't just launch humankind on a successful journey to the moon. It also inspired America to build a satellite network that changed the way we communicate across the globe and produced new forms of weather mapping which made farmers far more productive. In the face of fear, President Kennedy successfully summoned our country to harness American ingenuity and advance human progress. It's important to remember what made the moonshot the moonshot - that is, what transforms political rhetoric into game-changing breakthroughs. A moonshot challenge requires a clear, measurable objective that captures the imagination of the nation and fundamentally changes how we view what's possible. And it requires marshaling the resources and intellect of both the public and private sectors. When we do that, we chart a course for a future that is safer, healthier, and stronger."

Taking In The View From Wharton Ridge, SpaceRef

"Today I learned that a feature on the surface of Mars has been named after a friend of mine. This was not unexpected since I knew that his name was in the queue waiting for just the right feature to be discovered by the Opportunity rover. "Wharton Ridge" is named after Robert A. Wharton (Bob). Bob was born a few years before me in 1951 and died unexpectedly in 2012. I worked with Bob at the old Life Sciences Division at NASA Headquarters in the late 1980s."

Boeing says it will beat SpaceX to Mars, Business Insider

"Dennis Muilenburg, the CEO of Boeing (one of SpaceX's biggest competitors) casually loosed the remark during a session of The Atlantic's "What's Next?" conference. "I'm convinced that the first person to step foot on Mars will arrive there riding on a Boeing rocket," Muilenburg said during the recorded event."

Here's How Boeing Plans to Send Astronauts to Mars, Inverse

"Boeing doesn't offer a timeline for its missions. "Mars is at least 100 times further away than the moon," Duggan says. "The opportunity to travel from Earth to Mars comes around about every two years. The Earth has to be catching up with Mars in its orbit to give you that shortest distance, and that's the ideal launch window." That window, and the time it takes to develop the tech needed to send astronauts between the two planets, will determine when Boeing reaches the red planet."

Boeing Mars website

Keith's note: First Boeing says they don't have a timeline and then they say that a "Boeing rocket" will beat SpaceX Mars. And of course Boeing is not going to pay for any of this - that's NASA job.

Here's why a Clinton administration might pivot NASA back to the Moon, Ars Technica

"Obama killed Constellation after convening a committee in 2009 that was led by Norm Augustine, which reviewed Constellation and other options for US human spaceflight programs. One of that committee's members, former astronaut Leroy Chiao, said Monday night, "The Constellation program, frankly, had a lot of funding problems and some pretty serious technical problems. You know it probably was the right thing to do to cancel it. But it didn't mean we should not go to the Moon." Moreover, Chiao suggested the decision to remove the Moon as a possible destination was driven by politics, rather than what might be best for the US space enterprise. "Frankly, it came down to us on the committee to not talk too much about the Moon, because there was no way this administration was going to go there, because it was W's program," he said. "Ok, that's a pretty stupid reason not to go to the Moon. I'm hopeful with this election cycle that maybe the moon will be a possibility again."


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