Posted by Casey Dreier on 2014/01/23 02:04 CST
Lockheed, the prime contract on the now-defunct Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator program, is closing out the project and transferring its hardware to NASA's Glenn Research Center. NASA expects to save about $55 million per year.
[Updated] Let's Blitz Congress!
Space Exploration Legislative Blitz, Feb 23rd - 25th
The Space Exploration Alliance is descending on the halls of Congress to advocate for space exploration. Join me and others on Feb 23rd - 25th in Washington, D.C. and speak up for space.
Continued Victories for Planetary Exploration
For the second year in a row Congress rejects cuts requested by the White House
Pat yourself on the back. Planetary exploration will be more vibrant in 2014 thanks to you. More than fifty thousand messages were sent to Congress this year, and they listened, adding back a significant amount of money in the 2014 Omnibus spending bill.
Posted by Donna Stevens on 2014/01/16 11:29 CST
The Winter 2013 issue of The Planetary Report is finally on press and will be mailing soon. However, the electronic version is available online for members to start reading now!
Congress to NASA: Don't You Dare Steal Money Away from Planetary Science Again
A little congressional scolding to NASA and the White House
Congress scolded NASA for abusing its operating plan to remove money from Planetary Science last year, giving them a warning to not try that again.
Today there was a lengthy press briefing by several members of the Chang'e 3 science team. A complete transcript was posted in Chinese. I have run it through two machine translators and found it to be quite informative, not just about the mission but also about attitudes about Chinese space exploration and foreign cooperation. I also have a cool fan-produced video to share.
Top NASA Scientists Grapple with Budget Cuts
A struggle to keep new missions coming
Ellen Stofan, NASA's Chief Scientist, and John Grunsfeld, the head of the Science Mission Directorate and a Hubble repair astronaut, highlighted recent NASA science discoveries at the American Geophysical Union conference in San Francisco.
If you want to know why Cassini might be terminated early, or why NASA pulled out of its joint Mars mission with Europe, or why the new ASRG power source was put on indefinite hold, this chart has your answer.
ASRGs could have stretched NASA's limited supply of plutonium to potentially enable missions to the perpetually-shadowed polar craters on our moon, to flyby Uranus, or to float for months on a Titan lake.
What's Going on With Planetary Science Research?
Budget cuts mixed with a new way to fund science could disproportionately impact the next generation of planetary scientists
Budget cuts mixed with a new way to fund science could disproportionately impact the next generation of planetary scientists.
NASA Just Cancelled its Advanced Spacecraft Power Program
The Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator was to use less Plutonium for cheaper missions.
The Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Program (ASRG) was just cancelled by NASA. This was to be the saving grace for Plutonium-238 availability, as it was a much more efficient way to generate electricity than classic RTG systems.
We Need You to Stand Up for Planetary Exploration
Right now is a crucial time for future funding
Congress and the White House are making decisions that impact funding for NASA's Planetary Exploration missions. We need to tell them that YES we are paying attention and care about the future of exploration.
Power From the Isotopes
The United States is trying to generate plutonium fuel for the first time in 25 years. Will it succeed?
We report on the current state of Plutonium-238 production in the United States, a crucial fuel source for planetary exploration spacecraft.