CSExtra – Top Space News for Wednesday, March 5, 2014
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Today’s CSExtra offers the latest reporting and commentary on space related activities from across the globe. President Obama proposes $17.5 billion “stay the course” budget for NASA in 2015, with increases to cover inflation over five years. White House spending plan keeps Asteroid Redirect Mission planning as well as Space Launch System heavy lift rocket, Orion/Multi-Purpose Crew Exploration Vehicle and Commercial Crew Program initiative on track, says NASA Administrator Charles Bolden. Spending plan supports extension of International Space Station operations from 2020 to 2024, provides early planning for Europa mission. Congress reacts to budget proposal. British teen finds exploration essential for humanity. Inspiration Mars’ founder Dennis Tito write on proposed Venus/Mars Flyby. Russia to emphasize lunar and Mars robotic missions. International Space Station operations normal despite U.S. / Russian tensions over the Ukraine. NASA Skylab astronaut William Pogue dies. Space station plant experiment promotes healthy vision. Orbital Sciences Corp. looks for Russian alternatives to Antares rocket engines.
FY2015 Budget Request
The Coalition welcomes the Administration’s efforts to maintain overall funding for NASA in FY15, but remains concerned and opposed to the annual effort to drain funds from our nation’s exploration programs and challenge the bi-partisan consensus in Congress that has consistently overturned those efforts to ensure needed budget resources for Space Launch System and the Orion spacecraft.
NASA (3/4): NASA Administrator Charles Bolden’s comments on the agency’s 2015 budget proposal. “The president’s funding plan for America’s space program reaffirms the path we are on, and will keep us moving forward — pushing farther in the solar system and leading the world in a new era of exploration,” said Bolden of NASA’s $17.5 billion bottom line.
Spacepolicyonline.com (3/4): Combination of base 2015 budget proposal and a share of President Obama’s proposed Opportunity Growth and Security Initiative could bring NASA spending to nearly $18.4 billion during the year.
Space.com (3/4): Reactions from Congress and beyond to President Obama’s proposed NASA budget for 2015.
Spaceflightnow.com (3/4): White House proposes a $17.5 billion baseline budget for NASA on Tuesday, plus inflationary increases for the next five years. The spending plan keeps NASA’s human spaceflight initiatives, the James Webb Space Telescope and Mars exploration on track.
Human Deep Space Exploration
Orlando Sentinel (3/4): On the U.S. human space exploration front, NASA’s budget is focused on standing up U.S. commercial orbital human transportation services and establishing a deep space launch capability.
Florida Today (3/4): NASA’s proposed 2015 budget includes $133 million to develop the Asteroid Redirect Mission, whose goal is to equip the U.S. to divert a small asteroid into lunar orbit. U.S. astronauts would rendezvous with the asteroid by 2025. NASA will also seek $2.8 billion to keep work on the Space Launch System heavy lift rocket and Orion/Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle and ground systems improvement on track for the asteroid mission.
Huntsville Times (3/4): NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center is pleased with prospects for NASA stability in White House 2015 budget proposal. “This is a good budget for Marshall Space Flight Center, and it provides stability for our workforce, programs and projects,” said Marshall’s director.” Marshall leads the development of NASA’s Space Launch System heavy lift rocket.
Space News (3/4): Manned space travel is essential to both inspire and safeguard humanity, writes a British 15-year-old in an op-ed.
Space News (3/3): In an op-ed, Dennis Tito, executive director of the Inspiration Mars Foundation, explains the evolution of the nonprofit organization’s Mars Flyby concept. As outlined before the House Science, Space and Technology panel, the proposed mission would launch in 2021 rather than 2018 and fly by Venus with two astronauts as well as Mars. Tito’s notion of the venture would merge IMF work on life support systems with NASA components, including the Space Launch System heavy lift rocket and Orion/Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle. “The window of opportunity in 2021 is challenging but achievable and waiting to be claimed,” he writes.
Space News (3/4): In an op-ed, Chris Carberry and Rick Zucker, of Explore Mars Inc., struggle to explain why humans are not at least part way to Mars.
Unmanned Deep Space Exploration
Space News (3/4): White House presents Congress with a ”flat” budget proposal for 2015, or $17.5 billion. The top line falls $100 million below 2014 and would drop the joint astrophysics observatory SOFIA, unless NASA’s German Space Agency partner can provide more money. The 2015 proposal represents a $600 billion increase over NASA sequester restricted 2013 budget.
Aviation Week & Space Technology (3/4): In addition to $17.5 billion, NASA is also eligible for $886 million for its programs if Congress passes the White House’s proposed $56 billion Opportunity Growth and Security Initiative. “This budget keeps us on the same, steady path we have been following a stepping-stone approach to send humans to Mars in the 2030s,” said NASA Administrator Charles Bolden. The agency’s Commercial Crew Program initiative remains targeted for a 2017 start up and would benefit from additional spending if Congress passes the OGSI measure.
Spacepolitics.com (3/5): The Washington website offers an account by account look at NASA’s proposed 2015 budget.
Associated Press via San Francisco Chronicle (3/4): NASA budget includes $15 million to continue studies of a robotic mission to Europa, the watery moon of Jupiter. Mission could launch in the mid-2020s.
Ria Novosti, of Russia (3/4): Technologies for the robotic exploration of the moon and Mars a priority, according to Oleg Ostapenko, the chief of Roscosmos, the Russian federal space agency.
Low Earth Orbit
Houston Chronicle (3/4): An escalation of tensions between the U.S. and Russia makes the success of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program all the more vital to preserving access to the International Space Station, according to the newspaper. A look at how past Congressional reluctance to fund the program has slowed efforts to develop a U.S. human launch capability following the 2011 retirement of NASA’s space shuttle.
Wall Street Journal (3/4): Tensions over Crimea so far not a factor in U.S. / Russian relations with regard to the International Space Station, says NASA administrator Charles Bolden.
Collectspace.com (3/4): William Pogue, a NASA Skylab space station veteran, dies. Pogue, who lived with two others for 84 days aboard Skylab in 1973-74, was 84. A U.S. Air Force veteran, Pogue flew with the USAF Thunderbirds.
University of Colorado (3/4): Leafy vegetables exposed to light pulses in space make nutrients for healthy eyes.
Commercial to Low Earth Orbit
Space News (3/4): U.S. aerospace company Orbital Sciences Corp. looks for alternatives to the Russian rocket engines that power its Antares medium lift rocket.
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