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NASA Budget Pushes Science to the Brink

Posted by Bill Nye on 2012/02/13 01:16 CST | 3 comments

Today, NASA announced its budget for its fiscal year 2013. As you might imagine, there are large budget cuts. But, the planetary science program has been cut disproportionately. NASA's allocations are out of balance.

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Planetary Radio: A Modest Plea For Both Big and Not-So-Big Space Science Funding

Posted by Mat Kaplan on 2012/02/06 09:46 CST

This weeks Planetary Radio features updates on the James Webb Space Telescope, from Deputy Project Director Eric Smith. The discussion centers around the budget controversy, and why the JWST is worth the money.

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What is space exploration worth?

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/12/30 04:06 CST | 1 comment

Investing in NASA makes us smarter, improves our lives, and increases our capability to overcome technological challenges. Even more important, though, are the intangible benefits of pride, respect from other nations, respect for our place in the universe, and hope for a future in which we can accomplish even greater things.

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NASA, NOAA Spared Further Cuts for Now

Posted by Charlene Anderson on 2011/12/17 04:31 CST

On December 16, 2011, the U.S. Senate voted down the House of Representatives bill that would have sliced an additional 1.83 percent from discretionary spending accounts, including NASA and NOAA.

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NASA and NOAA Hit Again by Across-the-Board Budget Cuts

Posted by Charlene Anderson on 2011/12/16 05:18 CST

The U.S. House of Representatives has passed appropriations bills that will provide $8.1 billion disaster aid for this year's "extreme weather events." The aid will be funded by a proposed 1.83% across-the-board cut to all FY 2012 base discretionary spending, including NASA and NOAA.

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NASA Changes Approach to Send Astronauts Back to Orbit

Posted by Charlene Anderson on 2011/12/16 12:20 CST

NASA had planned to release next Monday an RFP (Request for Proposals) in its Commercial Crew Development (CCDev) program. However, due to a funding shortfall, the agency will instead continue to use Space Act Agreements to contract for the development.

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NASA's Budget for 2012 Is Set--Worry About 2013 Budget Begins

Posted by Charlene Anderson on 2011/11/18 05:04 CST

It's done. The U.S. President has signed the Appropriations bill for NASA's fiscal year 2012 budget. The fight on the FY12 budget is over.

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NASA On Verge of Getting a Budget -- Congress Will Vote This Week

Posted by Charlene Anderson on 2011/11/15 04:03 CST

Here's a quick wrap-up of the "minibus" bill containing budget for NASA for fiscal year 2012, which started 6 six weeks ago.

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Planetary Society statement entered into testimony for House hearing on future of planetary science

Posted by Charlene Anderson on 2011/11/15 11:58 CST

Today, The Planetary Society entered the following statement into testimony for the hearing "Exploring Mars and Beyond: What Next for U.S. Planetary Science?" held by the Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics of the U.S. House Committee on Science, Space and Technology.

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U.S. House of Representatives Hearing Next Week; Show Up to Show Your Support for Space Exploration

Posted by Charlene Anderson on 2011/11/11 04:08 CST

If want to demonstrate your support for planetary exploration -- and you're planning to be in the Washington, D.C. area next Tuesday, November 15, 2011 -- please consider adding your presence to the congressional hearing on "Exploring Mars and Beyond: What's Next for U.S. Planetary Science?"

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Checking in with NASA's Commercial Partners

Posted by Jason Davis on 2011/11/11 02:59 CST

Checking in with SpaceX's launch abort system progress, Boeing's CST-100 drop tests, and a recent Space, Science and Technology Committee meeting on Capitol Hill.

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While the U.S. Stalls, Europe Moves On to Mars

Posted by Charlene Anderson on 2011/10/14 03:21 CDT

The European Space Agency (ESA) seems to have gotten tired of waiting for NASA to commit to its share of the joint 2016/2018 Mars missions that were planned to lay the groundwork for an eventual delivery of samples of Mars to Earth.

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Mars Missions Supported, Planetary Voices Heard

Posted by Charlene Anderson on 2011/10/13 05:38 CDT

It looks like we rattled a few cages in Washington, D.C. this week. White House staffers in the Office of Science and Technology Policy returned from their holiday weekend to find more than 1500 messages from Planetary Society Members waiting for them.

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Mars Exploration Endangered by Bureaucratic (In)Action

Posted by Charlene Anderson on 2011/10/07 05:47 CDT

The road to Mars just seems to get longer and harder every day. The Planetary Society has just asked its Members to contact the White House and ask John Holdren, the President's Science Advisor, to make sure that NASA and ESA are allowed to work together on the 2016 and 2018 missions to Mars.

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Notes from EPSC/DPS NASA Night

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/10/07 03:53 CDT

It's already the last day of the DPS/EPSC meeting in Nantes, France, and I've fallen seriously behind on writing up my notes. I thought I'd get some less pleasant notes out of the way before I returned to science.

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A Skirmish Won, the Battle Will Continue

Posted by Charlene Anderson on 2011/09/17 09:23 CDT

In this latest skirmish over NASA's budget, the numbers are in -- and it looks like we won!

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Everybody says we need a NEO survey telescope

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/08/30 03:25 CDT

The next thing needed by both the small bodies science community and people interested in human exploration is a space-based telescope capable of surveying (and following up on) near-Earth space for asteroids that, for a variety of reasons, haven't been found yet.

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Meeting today: The infelicitously named "SBAG"

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/08/25 01:45 CDT

NASA funds regular meetings of scientists who work on different parts of the solar system to provide scientific input into NASA's future plans. These "analysis groups" are known by their acronyms, all of which sound kind of horrible, but none has quite as terrible-sounding an acronym as "SBAG," usually pronouced "ess-bag," the Small Bodies Assessment Group.

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August Means Summer Recess for Congress But Let's Keep Up the Pressure for Space

Posted by Charlene Anderson on 2011/08/02 04:53 CDT

Is this the time to forget about political action? No! It's time to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboards) and write to your local newspaper proclaiming your support for space exploration.

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House subcommittee votes to slash NASA

Posted by Bill Nye on 2011/07/07 04:54 CDT

Today the U.S. House of Representative subcommittee charged with appropriating funds to NASA mandated a draconian cut of almost $2 billion from the space agency's proposed budget.

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