Space news #9 2015: ISS and NASA's budget
The most interesting story this week was about the sorry state of NASA’s finances and the US space program in general. While a lot of amazing research will be done over the next couple of years (Mars, Ceres, Pluto and more), there’s not a lot happening after that due to budget cuts in previous years. President Obama recently allocated NASA a small budget increase, but Congress will probably claw that back before approving the budget.
Some complain that money spent on the space program should be spent on Earth. The total of all the money NASA received in its first 50 years (up to and including 2008) was less than the US$750 billion worth of welfare given to rich bankers during the 2008 bank bailouts. NASA isn’t efficient, but it does create real jobs for real people and it produces research that benefits everyone.
OK, enough with the soap box.
The space station is breaking up! Russia had recently announced that they were going to pack up their ISS modules and use them as the basis for their own space station. Initially it appeared to be a symptom of poor relations between the US and Russia, but both parties have long talked of abandoning the ISS around 2020. I suppose the real news is that Russia is planning to stay in orbit even if the US no longer has the will.
A movie adaptation of the novel The Martian was revealed this week. I have to say that I am looking forward to this as I greatly enjoyed the book. Then I found out that Ridley Scott is involved. While I love some of his older movies, such as the original Alien, the recent prequel Prometheus was, in my humble opinion, a B-grade stinker. Hopefully Mr. Scott will be back on his game for The Martian. Looking at his IMDB page I can see that he’s also hard at work on yet another Alien sequel, a Blade Runner sequel and a Prometheus sequel… I have a bad feeling about this…
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- A dark future for USA space exploration
- How Much Would You Pay for the Universe?
- Roscosmos approves separation of Russia’s segment from ISS
- Russia to use the ISS till 2024
- How we could build a space colony
- Let’s fix the Asteroid Redirect Mission
- Europe’s space plane to launch next in 2019
- Two astronauts went out on a spacewalk Saturday…
- Soft Robotics for Europa Rover
- Two teams partner in private moon race
- Colonisation of Mars?
- Earth time lapse 2015 [Video]
- Amazing space station photos
- LOSAT-X and QuickStar: anti-missile satellites
- The world’s largest airplane – an oribtal launch platform
- Fighters may launch small satellites
- CubeSats offered deep-space ride on ESA asteroid probe
The Solar System
- Water ingredient on slopes facing Lunar south pole
- Opportunity gets a small energy boost
- ESA’s biomass satellite goes ahead
- NASA’s MAVEN spacecraft completes its first deep dip campaign
- Curiosity self-portrait at ‘Mojave’ site
- Legal debate around private Lunar ventures
- New life for New Frontiers missions
- Earth’s other ‘moon’ could reveal mysteries
- Will NASA missions restore Pluto and Ceres as Planets?
- Can we protect Mars from Earth while searching for life?
- Life might thrive deep below the Earth’s surface
- Buzz Aldrin says the US needs a Mars colony
- Worldwide rain time-lapsed from satellite data [Video]
- How we know so much about distant planets
- How do scorching-hot ‘Vulcan Planets’ form?
- Planets can alter each other’s climates over eons
- ‘Fast radio burst’ spotted live for first time
- Cluster filled with dark matter may house ‘failed galaxies’
- The cosmic chemistry that gave rise to water
- The fate of galaxies linked to their black hole
- ’Red and Dead’ galaxies
- How to see quasars with backyard telescopes
- Using the Sun’s gravity lens
- Surprisingly mild environment around a supermassive black hole
- New space telescope could be 1,000x sharper than Hubble
- A century of sci-fi film in 4 minutes
- Ridley Scott’s “The Martian” movie is coming this November”…
- Five things the new Alien film should avoid
- How can space travel faster than light?
- Tools, tips and equipment to start stargazing
- LEGO Large Hadron Collider models with instructions
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February 22, 2015
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February 22, 2015