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Blog entries by Van Kane

Europe Will Select Its Next Major Science Mission in November

Van Kane • September 25, 2013 • 2

The European Space Agency will announce two major science missions this November, one of which is likely to be devoted to solar system exploration.

Finally, an FY13 NASA Planetary Budget, Just 11 Months Late

Van Kane • August 30, 2013 • 10

The final news for NASA's Planetary Science program is better than had been proposed, but still a substantial cut over the previous year. There may be serious future consequences as a result of the smaller program.

Small Could Be Beautiful - Planetary SmallSats

Van Kane • August 23, 2013 • 4

A new breed of small planetary spacecraft may allow for more frequent flights to the planets for highly focused missions.

The Mars 2020 Rover In-Depth

Van Kane • July 27, 2013 • 3

We now know the science goals for NASA’s next major Mars mission. The new rover will further the astrobiological search begun by the Curiosity rover and store samples for eventual return to the Earth, providing a stepping stone to the next stage of Martian exploration.

Uranus or Bust (and on a budget)

Van Kane • July 09, 2013 • 3

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

Implementing Missions Within Budget—Good News

Van Kane • May 30, 2013 • 1

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

ISIS: Blasting a Crater on Asteroid Bennu

Van Kane • May 16, 2013 • 2

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.

Further Analysis of NASA's 2014 Budget Proposal

Van Kane • April 29, 2013 • 7

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.

First Analysis: the NASA Planetary Science Budget for 2014

Van Kane • April 10, 2013 • 7

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.

Bringing an Asteroid Home

Van Kane • April 03, 2013 • 6

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.

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