NASA will probably not build an outpost on the moon as originally planned, the agency’s acting administrator, Chris Scolese, told lawmakers on Wednesday. His comments also hinted that the agency is open to putting more emphasis on human missions to destinations like Mars or a near-Earth asteroid.
NASA has been working towards returning astronauts to the moon by 2020 and building a permanent base there. But some space analysts and advocacy groups like the Planetary Society have urged the agency to cancel plans for a permanent moon base, carry out shorter moon missions instead, and focus on getting astronauts to Mars.
Under Scolese’s predecessor, Mike Griffin, the agency held firm to its moon base plans. But the comments by Scolese, who will lead NASA until President Barack Obama nominates the next administrator, suggest a shift in the agency’s direction. He spoke to the Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies of the House Committee on Appropriations.
Archive for April, 2009
Explore the frontiers of space exploration this summer with a four-day conference on the Space Elevator in Redmond, Washington at the Microsoft Conference Center.
Thursday, August 13 through Sunday, August 16, 2009
The Space Elevator is a radical new way to access space less expensively than possible with chemical rocket technology. The technology offers solutions to many of the problems facing communities today, including but not limited to the need for clean, renewable energy.
The Space Elevator uses a carbon nanotube ribbon that stretches from the surface of the earth to a counterweight in space. Climbers ascend the ribbon, lifting cargo and passengers to earth orbits and launching space ships to distant planets.
The 2009 Space Elevator Conference focuses on all aspects of Space Elevator development, engaging an international audience of scientists, engineers, educators, managers, entrepreneurs, enthusiasts and students. This conference will feature topical discussions in all of the four pillars of Space Elevator development: science/technical, political/social, legal, and economic. Other topics include the space missions and the style of life on Earth that Space Elevator technology will enable.
The conference is sponsored by Microsoft Corporation.
This video on solar energy from space, directed and narrated by CBC science adviser Bob McDonald, was presented for the first time to students from the Ontario Science Centre Science School and special guests including representatives of SPACE Canadas corporate and academic sponsoring organizations.
Citing schedule concerns and technical challenges, Constellation manager Jeff Hanley has outlined a series of proposed solutions to avoid further slips in the Ares/Orion schedule. Mr Hanley proposes deleting the Ares I-Y test flight, making Ares I’s first stage disposable, switching from Orion 4 to Orion 3 as the Full Operational Capability (FOC) date, along with a host of additional changes in order to achieve the 2015 target for manned Orion debut. The proposals come at a time where plans are being drawn up for a series of major reviews on the future of the Constellation Program.
Lori Garver, former NASA Associate Administrator of Policy and Plans, and space policy adviser to Democratic politicians - who was expected to be named the new NASA Administrator earlier in the week according to sources - will lead a major content review of the Constellation Program, in an attempt to find a way forward to get the schedule “back” into the March, 2015 timeframe for the debut manned flight of Orion.- Refining Constellation’s plans to make 2015 - Hanley proposes major changes
Has congressional wrangling knocked out the leading contenders? I had heard Lori was being considered for the number 2 slot but this is the first time I have heard possibility of her as Administrator. Congradulations, Lori.
At about 1 p.m. April 25, 2009, Steve Eves went into the record books with the successful launch of his 1:10 scale Saturn V rocket.
Steve Eves’ Saturn V Launch
There is a new Space Solar Power Fan Page on Facebook. Joining this page will allow fans of SSP to be kept informed of the latest news and information at a time when things are moving fast and heating up rapidly.
On April 25, 2009, history will be made. At Higgs Farm in Price, Maryland, Steve Eves will enter the history books as the person who flew the largest model rocket in history. The rocket will weigh over 1,600 pounds, it will stand over 36 feet tall and it will be powered by a massive array of nine motors: eight 13,000ns N-Class motors and a 77,000ns P-Class motor. The estimated altitude of this single stage effort will be between 3,000 and 4,000 feet
Steve Eves Builds Saturn V Rocket Replica
An Extended interview with Rocket Man Steve Eves
29 Apr 2009
Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill
A half-day event exploring the impact of America’s export control regime on the job growth, competitiveness, and capabilities of domestic entrepreneurial space entities. Taking place 29 April at the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill, The Thornton Room.
This unique event is free and open to the public, however space is limited. If you plan to attend, please RSVP to ITARPanel@aiaa.org as soon as possible.