MarsNews.com
December 6th, 2003

Rumors of space vision spur interest, caution Florida Today

From the sound of the rumors, the White House may be formulating a major new vision for NASA. The word on the street is this: A task force assigned to examine NASA’s future in the wake of the shuttle Columbia disaster is taking a hard look at sending Americans back to the moon in about 15 years, establishing a lunar base and eventually going to Mars.

December 4th, 2003

U.S. space vision stays secret Florida Today

President Bush and a team of top advisers are plotting a new vision for NASA, one that could include sending astronauts beyond Earth orbit to the moon with an eventual eye on Mars. The president’s secretive review of U.S. space policy, prompted by the Feb. 1 Columbia tragedy that killed seven astronauts, also has looked at scaling back human spaceflight. However, the White House said Thursday not to expect any major announcement soon, dimming speculation that Bush might unveil a bold new vision for NASA on Dec. 17 during the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Wright brothers first flight at Kitty Hawk, N.C.

October 14th, 2003

China outlines space exploration goals as Shenzhou nears liftoff Florida Today

top Chinese space official sees major venues for cooperation in human space exploration, as that nation prepares to send its first piloted spaceship into Earth orbit as early as tonight. Three Chinese “taikonaut” finalists went to the launch site Monday as other nations were starting to watch closely — and wonder what it means for them. Beijing, which has promoted space travel as a nationalistic endeavor, has kept its exact activities secret. Zhang Qingwei, deputy chief commander of China’s manned spaceflight program, identified five areas where China hopes for international space cooperation:

September 18th, 2003

Mars remains a big event Florida Today

Just because the media hoopla peaked three weeks ago doesn’t mean the Mars show is over. And it doesn’t mean Brian Craven is through getting people excited about it. “Mars is still up there and the show is still good,” said Craven, amateur astronomer and membership coordinator for the Brevard Astronomical Society.

June 6th, 2003

Odyssey’s wet/dry findings confusing, Mars experts say Florida Today

Mars was once wet. Or was it dry? Different minerals tell different stories of the planet’s aquatic history. And those contradictions are among the results published in the journal Science today based on the observations of the Odyssey spacecraft. NASA’s Mars orbiter was launched in 2001 from Cape Canaveral. During its studies, Odyssey spotted the minerals hematite and olivine at different spots on Mars. One forms in the presence of water. The other quickly weathers away in water. There’s the dilemma.

March 11th, 2003

For twin robots, next stop: Mars Florida Today

A pair of Mars robots have arrived at Kennedy Space Center for their summer launches. A second rover bound for Mars this summer pulled up in a truck late Tuesday afternoon after making the cross-country haul from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. The first arrived here in February.

January 26th, 2003

Twin rover launches will carry plutonium Florida Today

NASA says risk minimal, but opponents say the government downplays threat. Eight penny-sized pellets of plutonium will ride inside each of the twin rovers blasting off from here for Mars this summer. NASA says that poses a 1-in-1,030 possibility of a radioactive accident near the launch site and, even in the worst-case scenario, the most exposed individuals would be subjected to less radiation than a single medical X-ray.

January 26th, 2003

NASA accelerates nuclear technology Florida Today

Budget boost will speed plans for new power systems. NASA is accelerating its chase of advanced nuclear power systems that could allow spacecraft to travel deeper into space faster and cheaper. NASA Administrator Sean O’Keefe and other agency officials say the White House has approved a substantial budget increase for the $1 billion Nuclear Systems Initiative introduced last year. In about a week, when President Bush unveils his 2004 budget, the dollars invested in the renamed Project Prometheus will be more, though NASA won’t say how much.

January 25th, 2003

NASA: Nuclear launches safer Florida Today

Eight penny-sized pellets of plutonium will ride inside each of the twin rovers blasting off from here for Mars this summer. NASA says that poses a 1-in-1,030 possibility of a radioactive accident near the launch site and, even in the worst-case scenario, the most exposed individuals would be subjected to less radiation than a single medical X-ray. Opponents say the government is downplaying the odds of an accident and its consequences. They say any amount of plutonium is too much and even the slimmest chance of a radioactive accident is not worth the risk.

January 25th, 2003

NASA accelerates nuclear technology Florida Today

NASA is accelerating its chase of advanced nuclear power systems that could allow spacecraft to travel deeper into space faster and cheaper. NASA Administrator Sean O’Keefe and other agency officials say the White House has approved a substantial budget increase for the $1 billion Nuclear Systems Initiative introduced last year. In about a week, when President Bush unveils his 2004 budget, the dollars invested in the renamed Project Prometheus will be more, though NASA won’t say how much. “We are looking to significantly enhance that effort, so stay tuned,” O’Keefe said. “We are looking to very specific mission objectives.”