August 27th, 2013

NASA’s Mars mission gets rolling from Cape Canaveral Florida Today

With a honk of its horn Monday morning, a flatbed truck rolled off a ship onto a Cape Canaveral Air Force Station wharf carrying the booster that will blast NASA’s next Mars-bound orbiter into space.
The United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket’s Centaur upper stage, wrapped in a protective cover, followed close behind.
“It’s precious cargo,” observed Capt. Bob Martus of Foss Maritime Co., who safely piloted the two stages aboard ULA’s “Delta Mariner” on a more than 2,000-mile, week-long trip from Decatur, Ala.
The rocket will now be prepared for a planned Nov. 18 launch of NASA’s $671 million MAVEN mission.

April 29th, 2013

John Kelly: NASA still aiming for manned Mars mission Florida Today

NASA’s not giving up on flying people to Mars.
Some critics of the space agency’s recent proposal to fly astronauts to an asteroid say we’re “settling” for something less than the big prize: humans walking on the red planet.
Not true. The mission to an asteroid is part of a stepping-stone approach to sending human beings exploring deeper into the solar system. A sensible look at NASA’s current flight capabilities, human limitations and the space exploration budget means Mars isn’t possible yet.
NASA’s top human spaceflight chief, Bill Gerstenmaier, recently went over the payoffs with a committee of the NASA Advisory Council.

October 26th, 2012

Mars visits remain a top NASA priority Florida Today

NASA will continue its plans to explore Mars despite uncertainty about where the country’s space program is headed , experts said Thursday.
Recent missions have been successful and future missions are on track, said Jim Green, director of the Planetary Science Division at NASA headquarters.
“We now know enough about Mars to know where to go,” he said .
Green made his comments at a two-day NASA-sponsored event at Lockheed Martin’s Global Visions Center in Arlington, Va., marking the 50th anniversary of planetary exploration.
A major goal of NASA’s Mars program is to bring pieces of the planet back to Earth for analysis, Green said.

December 17th, 2009

House speaker questions more NASA funding, Mars trip Florida Today

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi raised questions Wednesday about boosting NASA funding, in competition with other budget priorities, and pursuing a Mars trip. The California Democrat also said any boost in funding, as recommended by a recent commission, would have to be measured against other priorities to create jobs.
“I, myself, if you are asking me personally, I have not been a big fan of manned expeditions to outer space, in terms of safety and cost,” Pelosi told reporters a roundtable on legislative accomplishments this year. “But people could make the case; technology is always changing.”
President Barack Obama, who met Wednesday with NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, is weighing how to support the agency. A recent report from the U.S. Human Spaceflight Plans Commission recommended phasing in a $3 billion boost in funding in order to pursue spaceflight safely, but Obama hasn’t signaled what suggestions he will adopt.

August 18th, 2008

Brevard banking on space promises Florida Today

When Sen. John McCain comes to the Space Coast on Monday, he might not realize that his visit resulted from a year-long effort by members of the aerospace industry in Brevard County. Facing a loss of thousands of jobs when the space shuttle stops flying in 2010, county leaders last year mounted a far-reaching lobbying effort and used all their political contacts to elevate the future of America’s human space flight program to a national issue.
The diligence has begun to pay off, as both presidential candidates have made promises that Floridians plan to make sure they keep.

February 17th, 2006

Griffin defends science budget Florida Today

The choice to reduce science spending by $2 billion over the next five years is a last resort, NASA Administrator Mike Griffin told concerned members of Congress on Thursday.
But it’s a necessary sacrifice to make sure the shuttles can safely fly enough missions to finish building the International Space Station before retirement in 2010, he said. The space agency delayed or canceled science projects only after making equally painful cuts — about $1.5 billion worth — to early work on new rockets, spaceships and other technology necessary to send astronauts back to the moon. One result of those cuts: the proposed shuttle replacement, called the Crew Exploration Vehicle, may not be ready to fly astronauts until 2013 or 2014 rather than two years earlier as Griffin once hoped.

September 9th, 2005

Coming soon: Moon, Mars mission specifics Florida Today

NASA soon will unveil detailed plans for sending astronauts back to the moon before the end of the next decade. And while an official announcement won’t come until mid-September, here’s a sneak preview based on an internal NASA-Department of Defense memo and a speech given last week by NASA Administrator Michael Griffin.

November 17th, 2004

Op/Ed: Moon-Mars money Florida Today

The moon-Mars mission proposed by President Bush in January — one we have strongly supported as the key to unimaginable technological progress — is in danger of starvation in Congress. That should be ringing alarm bells for the entire Florida delegation, including Democratic Sens. Bill Nelson and Bob Graham, and local GOP Representatives Dave Weldon and Tom Feeney. With the short lame-duck session under way this week, they and their state colleagues must get to work to make sure NASA is assured all the money needed to get the potentially historic venture under way.

September 21st, 2004

Mars rovers’ mission extends with new goals, new funding Florida Today

The Mars rovers emerged from a communications blackout period and the low point of winter today with new funding and big plans for the journey ahead. Engineers hope to put Spirit atop Husband Hill so it can get a view all the way to the edge of vast Gusev Crater, in which it landed. On the other side of the planet, Opportunity will soon leave Endurance Crater, visiting its discarded heat shield along the way, and make a 3-mile journey to Victoria Crater.

July 27th, 2004

Kerry is mum on moon and Mars Florida Today

John Kerry brought two astronauts with him to campaign at the Kennedy Space Center. He strolled among the rocket relics. And he recalled a day when those rockets were the tools a dedicated army of Americans used to do what then seemed impossible. But in the heart of a community where more than 20,000 people work on space programs, the Democrats’ candidate for president met with a roomful of voters without commenting on President Bush’s proposal to send astronauts to the moon and Mars or offering a specific vision of his own for exploring space.

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