April 21, 2010 |
Last week, President Obama outlined a new plan for the future of American space exploration. It calls for increases in NASA's annual budget, a new heavy-lift launch vehicle, and more collaboration with the developing commercial space sector. And it also sets the goal of sending people to an asteroid, to the moons of Mars, and to Mars itself. That lofty goal of putting people on Mars is the primary difference between Obama's space exploration plan and that of former President George W. Bush, who set the goal of returning us to the moon.
February 12, 2010
NASA has the nerve to be mad because President Obama said, with our economy, why should we spend millions to go back to the moon or explore Mars? Right-wing America is using every excuse to hate our president, though we finally have someone in office who doesn't lie to all the other races. Carlton R. Manley, Philadelphia
December 4, 2009 |
Why would NASA spend millions of taxpayer dollars to intentionally crash a rocket into the moon? By NASA's standards, the mission's price tag was cheap ($79 million), its timeline brief (three years), and its execution elegantly simple. But for what? Why are we spending so much money on experiments in space when we still have so many problems on Earth that could be alleviated by even a minuscule amount of strategically directed funding? As it turns out, the money we spend on astronautic exploits does benefit us here on Earth.
September 25, 2009 |
Bolstering hopes for a permanent moon base, NASA announced yesterday that three separate spacecraft had detected signs of water over the lunar surface. The moon is still far drier than the most parched desert, but some experts say there's enough water in the soil and rocks to extract and supply a lunar base. In theory, they could squeeze a quart out of every cubic yard of moon dirt. Paul Spudis, a scientist at the Lunar and Planetary Institute in Houston, said finding so much water there was surprising.
June 11, 2009 |
Venus was the goddess of love, but Mars is the big cosmic tease. No, the Red Planet will not appear as big as the full moon on Aug. 27. Not even close. Unless your flying saucer is parked a sun's diameter or two from its fourth planet. Sillier still, Mars will not even be visible at night on that date. So do not, NASA advises, believe "The Confusing-Email-About-Mars-You-Should-Delete-and-Not-Forward-to-Anyone-Except-Your-In-Laws. " Really, that was NASA's term.
February 16, 2009 |
Fifty years after the Soviets catapulted the first lonely satellite into pristine space, the final frontier is now so full of junk that crashes like last week's could become commonplace. Scientists attribute Tuesday's collision between Russian and American satellites to packing of the prime orbital real estate. They warn that the resulting debris has only added to a dangerous accumulation of clutter that could eventually trigger a chain reaction of space collisions. "Space is pretty big, but after a while it can get crowded, especially in the region where these things are," said physicist David Wright, codirector of the Union of Concerned Scientists' Global Security Program.
January 3, 2009
NASA's new report detailing exactly how the space shuttle Columbia astronauts died in that 2003 tragedy may be the final word in that story, but it also opens a new chapter that ponders the agency's future in the Obama administration. The 400-page report released this week said no equipment could have saved the seven astronauts killed when their shuttle disintegrated upon reentering Earth's atmosphere on Feb. 1, 2003. Their fates were sealed when Columbia blasted off. Foam insulation broke off an external fuel tank and punched a hole in the left wing, which blew apart during reentry.
December 19, 2007 |
Fresh Apple idea NEW YORK - Mayor Michael Bloomberg and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn said yesterday they would support lifting a cap on the number of food pushcarts on city streets - but only for vendors who exclusively sell fresh fruits and vegetables. Officials hope to get 1,500 new carts into neighborhoods where vegetable consumption is low. Highlights from Washington: Military $, nukes, the media The Senate voted yesterday to provide $70 billion for U.S. military efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan, handing a victory to President Bush and his GOP allies on Capitol Hill.
November 17, 2007 |
If NASA makes good on its promise, when astronauts land on the moon again around 2020, they won't just walk around, they'll camp out for days or even weeks, eventually constructing a permanent moon base. To do that they will need a shelter that protects them from radiation, 600-degree temperature swings, and the occasional pebble flying by at 17,000 miles an hour. This week, a small Delaware company unveiled an early prototype - a garage-size inflatable building. Over the next few days, engineers at ILC Dover will deflate it and ship it to Antarctica, where it will be tested under 100-m.
September 5, 2007
ASTRONAUT Lisa Nowak's trial is about to begin, and her lawyers are going to try a insanity defense. They could be right, because who else would drive hundreds of miles wearing a diaper to avoid having to make pit stops while going after her rival in this sordid NASA love triangle? The troubled lady could use a "Huggie" in her time of need. Herb Stark Massapequa, N.Y.