CSExtra – Tuesday, February 14, 2012
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Tuesday’s CSExtraoffers the latest reporting and commentary on space related activities from around the world. In Washington, the President proposes a $17.7 billion NASA budget for 2013, a small decrease. Within the top line however, are lots of changes, as some programs are revived, others trimmed. In two essays, experts assess a lingering proposal from the GOP presidential campaign trail for a human lunar base and an inauspicious anniversary. A former astronaut reminisces on his flight career — not spaceflight, but rather the many ours he logged on the world’s airliners.
1. From spaceflightnow.com: President Obama’s 2013 budget proposal supports spending at NASA that is down just slightly from the previous year. At $17.7 billion, the annual blue print backs the development of commercial human orbital space transportation systems, new life for an over budget space telescope and continued operations of the International Space Station. Spending on the agency’s Mars science program retreats, while NASA re-tools. http://www.spaceflightnow.com/news/n1202/13nasabudget/
A. From the Washington Post: NASA’s Mars program takes a hit as part of the administration’s 2013 budget proposal. The budget request for the space agency is the lowest in four years. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/44/post/mars-program-takes-a-hit-in-nasas-flat-budget/2012/02/13/gIQAikZ7AR_blog.html
B. From Space News: In the few recent instances when a president wants to trim NASA’s budget, Congress usually responds with a slight increase. http://www.spacenews.com/policy/120113-nasa-defers-large-scale-missions.html
C. From Spacepolicyonline.com: Just a year ago, the White House projected it would be spending $1 billion more on NASA over the 2013 fiscal year. http://www.spacepolicyonline.com/news/nasa-officials-cheer-17-7-billion-request-for-FY2013
D. From Discovery.com and Space.com: NASA’s 2013 budget request boosts spending on human exploration and commercial spaceflight. Spending on planetary space exploration falls. http://news.discovery.com/space/nasa-budget-2013-mars-missions-cut-120213.html#mkcpgn=rssnws1
E. From the Houston Chronicle: NASA “flat line” budget for 2013 includes some “tough, but sustainable” choices, according to agency officials. http://blog.chron.com/txpotomac/2012/02/president-obama-outlines-flat-line-spending-for-nasa/
F. From the Orlando Sentinel: NASA’s 2013 budget revives the over budget James Webb Space Telescope. But NASA’s successful Mars programs pay the price. NASA holds the line on a new rocket and capsule for human exploration. http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/space/os-nasa-budget-released-20120213,0,898064.story
G. From the Pasadena Star News of California: In an editorial the newspapers urges readers to protest proposed cuts to the Mars science program under the leadership of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. http://www.pasadenastarnews.com/opinions/ci_19959324
H. From Florida Today: NASA’s 2013 spending plan brings new programs to the Kennedy Space Center, but little in the way of new employment. Central Florida lost thousands of jobs as NASA’s shuttle program retired in 2011. http://www.floridatoday.com/article/20120214/NEWS02/302140010/Budget-good-news-KSC
2. In a pair of essays from Monday’s The Space Review, experts examine the legacy of Newt Gingrich’s lunar colony proposal and a stunning satellite collision:
A. In “Campaign lunacy revisited,” TSR editor Jeff Foust looks back to the sudden rise of space policy as an issue in the GOP presidential primaries and its unexpected staying power. Did the issue, first raised by Newt Gingrich in the Florida primary, strike a previously untapped chord? Or was it a means for rivals Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum to question Gingrich’s conservatism and financial restraint. Foust concludes it was the latter. http://www.thespacereview.com/article/2024/1
B. In “Iridium 33 and Cosmos 2251 three years later, where are they now?”, Michael Listner, an attorney with experience in space law, revisits the devastating Feb. 10, 2009 collision between a U. S. commercial communications satellite and a derelict Russian spacecraft over Siberia. This first time occurrence stunned the aerospace community, triggered a round of international finger pointing and filled the orbital realm with 100s of pieces of hazardous junk. But most of all, the incident sounded an alert: the problem of space debris cannot be washed away. http://www.thespacereview.com/article/2023/1
3. From the New York Times: A former NASA astronaut recalls the odd moments that accompanied his travels around the Earth. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/14/business/among-the-highfliers-a-true-sky-walker-frequent-flier.html?_r=1
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