Space & Planetary Science: October 2011 Archives

Obama readies to blast NASA, Bob Zubrin, Washington Times

"Word has leaked out that in its new budget, the Obama administration intends to terminate NASA's planetary exploration program."

NASA Planetary Science Not Being Killed, Says NASA Official, Universe Today

"This would all be horrible if true, but the director of NASA's Planetary Science division, Jim Green assured members of the NASA Advisory Council's Planetary Science subcommittee that it is not."

Planetary Science Lives, NASA Official Says, Space News

"Speaking at an Oct. 27 meeting of the NASA Advisory Council's Planetary Science subcommittee, Jim Green, director of NASA's Planetary Science division, took issue with an opinion piece claiming the agency was gutting its robotic exploration program following a pair of upcoming missions."

Keith's note: OK Bob. Please show show us the budget documents wherein OMB intends to "terminate NASA's planetary exploration program." No one else seems to know about this. Maybe you can reveal hard proof to support your claim next week at your event with the Planetary Society.

Ron Greeley

In Memory: Planetary Geologist Ronald Greeley

"Ronald Greeley, a Regents' Professor of planetary geology at Arizona State University who has been involved in lunar and planetary studies since 1967 and has contributed significantly to our understanding of planetary bodies within our solar system, died Oct. 27, in Tempe. He was 72. Greeley, a pioneer in the planetary geology field, served as the director of the NASA-ASU Regional Planetary Image Facility and principal investigator of the Planetary Aeolian Laboratory at NASA-Ames Research Center."

Special Facebook Page

Webb Budget Problems Linger

Budget fight rages over James Webb Space Telescope, Washington Post

"But if Congress provides less than the $530 million that NASA says the project needs next year, the schedule will slip further and costs will continue to rise. In 2006, NASA estimated that Webb would cost $2.4 billion and could launch in 2014. In 2008, the price tag rose to $5.1 billion. A congressionally mandated report released last year found that NASA had underestimated costs and mismanaged the project. This summer, NASA said it had already spent $3.5 billion on the project and needed a total of $8.7 billion to launch in 2018."

Bolden's Plan for Webb

NASA head visits Baltimore to show off Webb telescope

"Bolden said Friday he does not intend to cut any single program to make sure that Webb proceeds as planned. Instead, NASA is working with the White House to provide Wolf and his subcommittee with a list of cuts across the agency, he said. "We didn't want to reward Webb by killing a program that was doing well," said Bolden, who became the head the agency about two years ago. The cuts would be proposed from both the institutional and science sectors of NASA, he said."

ROSAT re-entry, DLR

"Currently, the re-entry date can only be calculated to within plus/minus three days. This time slot of uncertainty will be reduced as the date of re-entry approaches. However, even one day before re-entry, the estimate will only be accurate to within plus/minus five hours. All areas under the orbit of ROSAT, which extends to 53 degrees northern and southern latitude could be affected by its re-entry. The bulk of the debris will impact near the ground track of the satellite. However, isolated fragments could fall to Earth in a 80 kilometre wide path along the track."

@DLR_en Tweet earlier today: Current prediction of #ROSAT re-entry: 20 to 25 October 2011

NASA Money Sponge Update

Editorial: Identify JWST's Bill Payers, editorial, Space News

"... the Space Launch System, which per the House and Senate spending bills is slated to receive nearly $2 billion next year, is an appropriate bill payer for JWST. Given that NASA has no established exploration destination requiring the heavy-lift rocket on the schedule mandated by Congress, stretching out its development to help fund an observatory of undeniable scientific merit -- its substantial problems notwithstanding -- is a fair trade."

JWST and SLS: Dueling Giant Money Sponges, earlier post

"So, we have one giant money sponge (JWST) already sucking up dollars with yet another money sponge (SLS) on the drawing board. Since the money simply is not there to do either project to begin with, trying to do both of them together will devour funds from smaller NASA programs. It will also pit these money sponges' ever-growing chronic need for dollars against the other's similar insatiable appetite. And all of this will happen while the Federal budget is almost certainly going to be constrained - regardless of who wins the 2012 election. So, will someone explain to me how NASA is going to build and launch both JWST and SLS and have money left over to do all of the other things that it is both chartered to do - and directed to do - by Congress?"

Keith's note: This time lapse film by Dustin Farrell is best viewed in HiDef. First noticed on Gizmodo. The music on this video is from the soundtrack of the film "Sunshine". Crank up the audio. Wake up the person in the cubicle next to you. Savor the moment. Relish the planetary and celestial goodness. NASA creates similar stuff on a daily basis - yet they stumble when it comes to doing so a coordinated way to leverage their websites and brand visibility so as to get things out to the widest audience possible.

Have a look at this photo and this photo taken by this photographer at NASA Desert RATS. I am certain the video will be amazing.

NASA employee advice: Walk down the hallway and tell the bureaucrat jerk who stands in your way of telling taxpayers what it is you do - and tell them to go pound sand. If NASA does not start to promote things like this - then others will. NASA does not have an exclusive license on promoting what is cool ... NASA runs the risk of becoming irrelevant - despite its accomplishments.

NASA, ESA: No Agreement on Mars Mission, Aviation Week

"NASA Administrator Charles Bolden and his European Space Agency counterpart, Director General Jean-Jacques Dordain, failed to settle their differences on restructuring the two agencies' joint robotic Mars exploration program at a meeting Oct. 3, and now hint that it may be time to bring Russia or another partner into the mix. At issue is how much of the joint program that was worked out when the two agencies had a brighter fiscal outlook can be salvaged in today's tougher economic environment."

3 U.S.-born scientists win physics Nobel for revealing universe's expansion is getting faster, Washington Post

"Three U.S.-born scientists won the Nobel Prize in physics on Tuesday for overturning a fundamental assumption in their field by showing that the expansion of the universe is constantly accelerating. ... Riess, 41, is an astronomy professor at Johns Hopkins University and Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Maryland."

Keith's note: Nothing from NASA PAO. NASA funds the Space Telescope Science Institute. All three have used Hubble and other NASA resources.


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

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