The Orlando Sentinel is reporting that the Constellation program will be replaced with “a new $6 billion project to develop commercial rockets capable of taking astronauts into orbit.”
The Orlando Sentinel reports: “NASA’s plans to return astronauts to the Moon are dead. So are the rockets being designed to take them there — that is, if President Barack Obama gets his way…. There will be no lunar landers, no Moon bases, no Constellation program at all.”
The Wall Street Journal reports:
“The White House has decided to begin funding private companies to carry NASA astronauts into space, but the proposal faces major political and budget hurdles, according to people familiar with the matter. The controversial proposal, expected to be included in the Obama administration’s next budget, would open a new chapter in the U.S. space program. The goal is to set up a multiyear, multi-billion-dollar initiative allowing private firms, including some start-ups, to compete to build and operate spacecraft capable of ferrying U.S. astronauts into orbit—and eventually deeper into the solar system.”
See full article: White House Decides to Outsource NASA Work.
EADS Astrium, Europe’s largest space company, is joining the growing list of companies interested in the potential of space solar power. The company is seeking partners to build a demonstration laser power transmission system in the 10-20 kilowatt range and says the technology could be operative by the year 2020.
The Online Journal of Space Communication, a project of the Society for Satellite Professionals International (SSPI) which is hosted online by Ohio University, has partnered with the National Space Society in the publishing of a special issue on Space Solar Power.
In the 21st century, the need for alternatives to the burning of fossil fuels to generate electricity has become so great that space is now a real option. The Journal has asked prominent scientists, engineers, business people and others to answer the following question: What has changed in the last 30 years that now makes it possible (perhaps a mandate) to seriously entertain the idea of a major new satellite business: the gathering/concentrating of sunlight in space and beaming it to earth to be used as an alternative source of electrical energy?
The table of contents of this special issue includes links to video and audio material as well as the following articles: