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8 March 2011

Planetary Decadal Survey

Last night Steve Squyres unveiled the results of the Planetary Science Decadal Survey. The decadal is a massive document used to chart the course of planetary science for the next ten years, and it drew a huge crowd here at the conference. This decadal was different from previous ones because it specifically was tasked with coming up with a list of missions that would be achievable with the funding available …

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17 October 2010

Outpost Tavern and the End of an Era

The Outpost Tavern burned down Friday night. The Outpost was a rickety little tavern in Houston a couple miles from Johnson Space Center, famous as a hang-out for astronauts and other NASA folks. It went out of business earlier this year and it has apparently now met its fiery demise. I first visited the Outpost when I was in the 2006 Goddard NASA Academy. 20 of us showed up without …

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2 August 2010

Why NASA Can't Get Stuff Done Anymore

A friend of mine from NASA Academy shared this excellent article about the ongoing NASA budget mess in congress. I haven’t been following it as closely as I used to because it’s just depressing to watch. Here are some key excerpts from the article, but you should go take a look at the rest of the article for some more details about the senate and house versions of the NASA …

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12 June 2010

Ares 1-X vs Falcon 9: A Comparison

Well, I’ve been a bad space blogger, and didn’t write anything about the spectacular successful launch of  SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on June 4th. Considering the ongoing wailing and gnashing of teeth over the cancellation of Constellation in favor of using commercial rockets to send astronauts to the ISS, I thought it would be worth taking a look at how Falcon 9 compares with the Ares 1-X, which launched back …

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3 June 2010

The Case for Mars: Autotuned

For me, none of the newer symphony of science videos can match the sheer catchy-ness of the original, but this one is about exploring Mars, so I can’t complain too much. Check the Symphony of Science page for other autotuned science-themed music videos.

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15 April 2010

Thoughts on Obama's Space Speech

In case you missed it, you can click here to watch Obama’s speech at NASA today and read the transcript here. Overall there were not a lot of surprises in this speech. NASA still gets a budget increase. The shuttle is still on-track for cancellation, the Constellation program is also going to be canceled, with transportation to and from the ISS to be provided by private companies. The ISS will …

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How and when to view today's Space Conference

Today’s space conference, including Obama’s speech, will be shown on NASA TV. Here’s the information (copied and pasted from this site): NASA will hold a conference following President Obama’s remarks about the bold new course the administration is charting for NASA and the future of U.S. leadership in human spaceflight on Thursday, April 15, at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. A diverse group of senior officials, space leaders, academic …

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14 April 2010

Obama to speak at NASA tomorrow

Well, it looks like president Obama will be making a short visit to Kennedy Space Center tomorrow, where he will give a speech clarifying the space agency’s future. There has been a lot of speculation about what exactly he will say. Will he just promote his original plan, or has all the wailing and gnashing of teeth had some effect? I don’t know, but there are rumors flying around that …

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18 March 2010

Book Review: The Next 100 Years

You would think that since I’m working at Johnson Space Center right now, I would have exciting tales from inside NASA to share with you, but I’m afraid it has been pretty uneventful. I have however managed to read a couple of books, one of which was The Next 100 Years: A Forecast for the 21st Century, by George Friedman. This was a really fascinating book about using history and …

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NASA Administrator Addresses Budget Misconceptions

The Planetary Society blog posted this excerpt of some remarks made by Charlie Bolden on the 16th regarding NASA’s new plan. I was going to just select some key points, but really, it’s all pretty key, so I’m just going to copy shamelessly with some added emphasis: “So let me just tell you a little more about this budget. Bear with me if you’re already knowledgeable here. At the highest …

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