The Administration just released its proposed budget for 2014 and it contains some very bad news for NASA's planetary exploration program. Just three weeks ago the U.S. Congress rejected similar cuts proposed for planetary exploration last year. It was a clear statement of support by both Congress and the public: planetary exploration is an affordable national priority.
The EarthDial project was born in 2004, and we’re bring it back again for the Curiosity mission. It’s a sundial visually reminiscent of the MarsDials, but exactly ten times as big. We encourage you to set up your own EarthDial, rig up a webcam, and post the images. In the coming weeks, we’ll coordinate the EarthDials from around the world, just as we did for a few years after the Spirit & Opportunity landings. It’s a remarkable project that can engage individuals, classrooms, or entire schools. The price of webcams has come way down in recent years. So, we’re hopeful that several readers of this blog will give it a try.
Bill Nye and Neil deGrasse Tyson spoke to the House Science committee about the importance of space and scientific research. Bill Nye also visited with Congressman Culberson and Congressman Wolf's chief of staffabout supporting NASA's Planetary Science Program.
Again this year I represented The Planetary Society at the International Astronautical Congress. This year, we met in Naples, Italy. This meeting brings together space scientists, rocket people, and spacecraft engineers from all over the world.
Neil Armstrong changed the world. He was an excellent engineer and an outstanding pilot. He got the assignment to land a completely novel rocket machine on the Earth’s Moon, because he was the perfect man for the job: He could really fly; he had excellent judgment about the capabilities of his ship; and above all, he had a remarkable ability to keep his wits about him in extraordinarily dangerous situations.
Today, NASA announced the newest Discovery-class mission, a Mars lander called InSight. It's not a rover; it's a drill that will go down 5 meters and help us figure out what happens in the core of our neighboring terrestrial planet.