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Blogs

Blog entries by Van Kane

Uranus or Bust (and on a budget)

Posted by Van Kane on 2013/07/09 12:38 CDT | 3 comments

New plans may make a mission to Uranus affordable within NASA's new, constrained budget.

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Implementing Missions Within Budget -- Good News

Posted by Van Kane on 2013/05/30 12:33 CDT | 1 comment

Last decade, cost overruns on a number of planetary missions stretched NASA's budget. Recent missions, though, have stayed within budget. However, the cost of fiscal discipline may have meant staying close to home.

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ISIS: Blasting a Crater on Asteroid Bennu

Posted by Van Kane on 2013/05/16 08:00 CDT | 2 comments

An exciting new option to enhance NASA's OSIRIS-REx asteroid mission has been proposed by Steve Chesley at JPL. The ISIS spacecraft would impact asteroid Bennu to expose its interior structure to OSIRIS-REx.

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Further Analysis of NASA's 2014 Budget Proposal

Posted by Van Kane on 2013/04/29 11:19 CDT | 7 comments

Now that groups and individuals have had time to digest the proposed 2014 NASA Planetary Science budget, they are highlighting the impacts of the proposed cuts. We are also getting the first independent reactions to the proposal to bring an asteroid to lunar orbit as a target for human exploration.

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First Analysis: the NASA Planetary Science Budget for 2014

Posted by Van Kane on 2013/04/10 06:13 CDT | 7 comments

No mission to Europa, diminished funding for outer planets missions, a small bump to small spacecraft missions, and an increase for asteroid detection are part of the White House's proposal for NASA in 2014.

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Bringing an Asteroid Home

Posted by Van Kane on 2013/04/03 01:08 CDT | 6 comments

Aviation Week and Space Technology reports that the President’s next budget request for NASA will include funds to begin developing a mission to bring an asteroid to the Earth-moon system. The initial goal will be to provide a destination for a manned mission to an asteroid, but if the idea works, it could kick start asteroid mining.

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LPSC 2013: Future Planetary Exploration

Posted by Van Kane on 2013/03/26 12:20 CDT | 2 comments

Last week, planetary scientists gathered for the 44th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference. Only a tiny fraction of the presentations at LPSC dealt with future missions. Even so, this is still one of the best sources for insights into details of missions under development. In this post, I’ll cover some of the abstracts for the presentations that give a flavor of the breadth of the proposals.

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Instruments for the JUICE Jovian Mission

Posted by Van Kane on 2013/03/07 12:20 CST | 6 comments

The European Space Agency (ESA) announced the list of instruments selected for its JUICE mission to explore the Jovian system for three years starting in the 2030 following a 2022 launch.

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Brother, Can You Spare $1B for a Planetary Space Telescope?

Posted by Van Kane on 2013/02/20 12:29 CST | 2 comments

Imagine you had a Hubble-class telescope and could use in any way you wanted to explore planets. What would you do with it?

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Sequestration and Planetary Exploration (updated)

Posted by Van Kane on 2013/02/05 07:01 CST | 2 comments

The latest news in the United States is that a poison pill known as the Sequester is looking increasingly likely. If it happens, it will be a body blow to NASA’s planetary science program.

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