Space & Planetary Science: January 2011 Archives

MSL Needs More Money

NASA's Overbudget Mars Rover in Need of Another Cash Infusion

"NASA's Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission needs an $82 million cash infusion to maintain its late November launch date after development of the $2.47 billion rover exhausted program funding reserves last year, according to agency officials. .... "Our problem right now is MSL," Green told members of the NASA Advisory Council's planetary sciences subcommittee during a public meeting here Jan. 26. "It has virtually no unencumbered reserves left.""

MSL Delay: Add 2 Years and $400 Million (and counting), earlier post from 2009

"In a nutshell: The only specific hardware issue with MSL seems to be the complex motor actuators that allow various systems to operate. The delay will cost $400 million. The money will come from other Mars missions and if that is not enough, from other space science missions. Total cost for MSL could be as much as $2.3 billion - up from an initial cost of $650 million (or $1.6 billion depending on what starting point you favor)."

Mars rover devours budgets, Nature, 2009

"The rover's latest price tag is US$2.286 billion - 40% more than the official $1.63-billion estimate made in 2006. But even that will not be enough. In a 'breach report' due to be handed to the US Congress by the end of July, NASA will report that the troublesome mission, now also called Curiosity, needs $15-115 million more on top of the $2.286-billion estimate."

Shooting The Messenger at NASA, earlier post from 2008

"NASA Watch has learned that the individual personally responsible for the disbanding of the MSL independent "Cost To Go" review team early this year was none other than NASA Associate Administrator Chris Scolese. He did not like the findings they were bringing forth. It seems that in his NASA, when you don't like bad cost news you either move the goal posts until you get the news you want - or you get rid of the messengers - or both."

Earlier posts

NASA To Announce New Planetary Discoveries by Kepler

"NASA will host a news briefing at 1 p.m. EST, Wednesday, Feb. 2, to announce the Kepler mission's latest findings about planets outside our solar system. The briefing will be held in the NASA Headquarters auditorium at 300 E St S.W. in Washington and carried live on NASA Television and the agency's website."

NASA SMD Memo: Status of Planetary's Research and Analysis (R&A) Program

"In order to maintain our fiscal responsibilities this situation demands that the Planetary Science Division Program Officers not over commit our R&A funds too early in the year. Therefore we will under-select in each of our R&A calls and put many more on notice that they are in the "selectable" range until it is clear what our final budget is and we can meet our obligations. As a reminder, a Principal Investigator who receives a letter that states his or her proposal is in the selectable range could be funded when NASA identifies the funds, which in this case, must wait until a final budget for NASA has been determined. We will also continue to use the technique of "active grants management" that we used last fiscal year for both new and existing awards which will enable PSD to keep the amount of unobligated funding as low as possible as we enter FY12."

Keith's note: Gee, why isn't Ed Weiler sending out this memo to everyone who is funded by SMD? Is he singling out Planetary Science Division for special treatment (punishment)?

Keith's note: Does any one at NASA Langley Research Center (or elsewhere in/around NASA) know where this large reproduction of the Lunar Orbiter 1 "Earthrise" image (or others like it) are currently located? Please drop an email to lunarorbiter-at-spaceref.com - thanks! More information.

NASA Mars Program Update From "Follow the Water" to "Seeking Signs of Life"

"The National Air and Space Museum (NASM) in Washington, DC and NASA's Planetary Science Division welcomes you to a Mars Program Update starting at 10:30AM Eastern this Thursday, January 13, 2011 at NASM. The event will conclude by 12:30PM. It's free and open to the public, and if you're in the area stop by, but if you're not, it will also be carried live on NASA TV and on the web at: http://www.nasa.gov/ntv and http://www.livestream.com/mars"

Keith's note: Both @egvick and @AlanMLadwig are Tweeting updates from/about the event.

Keith's note: The event has been archived and can be viewed here.

Hubble Zooms In on a Space Oddity

"One of the strangest space objects ever seen is being scrutinized by the penetrating vision of NASA's Hubble Space Telescope. A mysterious, glowing, green blob of gas is floating in space near a spiral galaxy. Hubble uncovered delicate filaments of gas and a pocket of young star clusters in the giant object, which is the size of our Milky Way galaxy."

Old Data: New Science

Student Project: New Lunar Crater Search Using LROC-NAC Vs LOIRP Lunar Orbiter Images

"Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project (LOIRP) is in possession of 1,478 2" original analog tapes from 3 Deep Space Network ground stations. We have taken hundreds of those analog tapes and converted them to digital form; with the majority of them being from Lunar Orbiter II which took images with .8 to 1 meter resolution. With them in digital form we are able to assemble the framelets in high quality and overlay them with Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Narrow Angle Camera (LROC_NAC), which has a similar resolution of .5 to 1 meter. The overlays enable us to compare the two images looking for change, specifically new craters."

Analysis of Lunar Orbiter Images Recovered From Analog Tape

"Further funding is being sought for this effort. The improvement in dynamic range and image reproduction fully justifies the effort and the resulting images are fully comparable with the LROC NAC image set coming from LRO. Our long range plan is that the LOIRP raw processed data would become the base layer for a future fully interactive Google Moon type scientific visualization system for layers of lunar remote sensing information."

Analyzing Old NASA Apollo Seismometer Data Reveals That The Moon Has An Earth-Like Core

"The researchers used extensive data gathered during the Apollo-era moon missions. The Apollo Passive Seismic Experiment consisted of four seismometers deployed between 1969 and 1972, which recorded continuous lunar seismic activity until late-1977."

Looking Inside of Vesta

A Look into Vesta's Interior

"Researchers from the University of North Dakota and from the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research in Germany have discovered a new kind of asteroid using NASA's Infrared Telescope Facility on Mauna Kea, Hawaii. The mineralogical composition of 1999 TA10 suggests that unlike many other asteroids it did not originate from the outer rocky crust of its parent asteroid Vesta, but from deeper layers. Until now, no asteroid with this composition was known. With the help of this new discovery it is now possible to determine the thickness of Vesta's crust and study its internal structure."

Photo: Opportunity Rover at Santa Maria Crater As Seen From Mars Orbit

"HiRISE acquired this image of the Opportunity rover on the Southwest rim of Santa Maria Crater on New Year's Eve 2010, or Sol 2466 of the rover's surface mission. Opportunity is imaging the crater interior to better understand the geometry of rock layers as a means of defining the stratigraphy and the impact process. Santa Maria is a relatively young, 90 meter-diameter impact crater (note blocks of ejecta around the crater), but old enough to collect sand dunes in its interior."


Loading

 



Monthly Archives

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries in the Space & Planetary Science category from January 2011.

Space & Planetary Science: December 2010 is the previous archive.

Space & Planetary Science: February 2011 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.