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Blog entries by Van Kane

Selecting the Next New Frontiers Mission

Posted by Van Kane on 2016/08/29 08:09 CDT | 12 comments

NASA’s managers have begun the process for a competition to select a new planetary mission to launch in the mid-2020s that will address one of the most important questions in planetary science.

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Red Dragon and Planetary Exploration

Posted by Van Kane on 2016/06/10 12:07 CDT | 5 comments

If SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft becomes a standard catalog item that could ordered, the way a launch vehicle is, what might the impact be on planetary exploration?

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Defining the Missions for the Ocean Worlds

Posted by Van Kane on 2016/04/12 10:03 CDT | 2 comments

At a recent meeting of an advisory group for NASA, the Committee on Astrobiology and Planetary Science (CAPS), Jim Green, the head of NASA’s Planetary Science Division, and Barry Goldstein from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, provided updates on plans to explore our solar system's ocean worlds.

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Challenges to Enabling a Richer Planetary Exploration Program

Posted by Van Kane on 2016/03/21 08:01 CDT | 5 comments

This past week brought to the fore two challenges for NASA’s managers as they try to enable the richest possible mix of coming planetary missions. At stake are whether the agency will be able to select two Discovery missions from the current competition, and whether there will be the possibility of a mission selected for Enceladus and/or Titan in the next decade.

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NASA's New Budget Would Gut Europa But Otherwise Support Planetary Exploration

Posted by Van Kane on 2016/02/18 08:02 CST | 8 comments

It’s clear that the President’s budget officers really don’t want to fund a mission to Europa. Other than that, the proposed Fiscal Year 2017 budget submitted by the President last week to Congress would be great for planetary exploration.

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Europa Budget Bulge

Posted by Van Kane on 2016/01/25 07:04 CST

Van Kane explains how the key development for NASA’s mission to Europa will be an agreement on how the agency plans to accommodate the monetary bulge that will come from funding the mission.

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A Lander for NASA’s Europa Mission

Posted by Van Kane on 2016/01/05 07:03 CST | 9 comments

While there’s at least eight years until it launches, this has been a pivotal year for developing NASA’s Europa mission.

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InSight's Problems: Possible Impacts

Posted by Van Kane on 2015/12/23 08:57 CST | 4 comments

Van Kane details the potential repercussions of the launch delay of InSight Mars lander on the rest of NASA's Discovery mission program.

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New Concepts to Explore the Jovian System

Posted by Van Kane on 2015/10/28 08:04 CDT | 2 comments

Last year, NASA’s managers invited the European Space Agency to propose a small spacecraft to explore the Jovian system. Van Kane describes the recently-posted results of ESA's concept studies for two possible missions.

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Discovery Finalists

Posted by Van Kane on 2015/10/09 07:04 CDT | 6 comments

Van Kane rounds up the missions selected to move onto the next round in NASA's Discovery proposal process.

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