February 24th, 2010

Senators to NASA chief: Go somewhere specific Washington Post

NASA needs to go somewhere specific, not just talk about it, skeptical U.S. senators told the space agency chief Wednesday.
President Barack Obama’s proposed budget kills the previous administration’s return-to-the-moon mission, sometimes nicknamed “Apollo on steroids.” That leaves the space agency adrift without a goal or destination, senators and outside experts said at a Senate Commerce science and space subcommittee hearing, the first since Obama unveiled his new space plan this month.
On top of that the nation’s space shuttle fleet is only months away from long-planned retirement, an issue for senators from Florida, where NASA is a major employer. And while the new NASA plan includes extra money – $6 billion over five years – for private spaceships and developing new rocket technology, NASA shouldn’t be just about spending, the senators said. It should be about John F. Kennedy-like vision.

December 19th, 2005

NASA’s New Spaceship Builder Has Sights on the Moon, Mars Washington Post

The idea for what is known as the “Scotty Rocket,” came to Scott J. Horowitz and several fellow astronauts during brainstorming sessions after space shuttle Columbia disintegrated over Texas in 2003. “The idea was ‘safe, simple and soon,’ ” Horowitz said. Build the new rocket “in line,” with the spacecraft on top so debris won’t hit it during launch. Use shuttle technology whenever possible because it’s already certified to carry humans. And build it with shuttle engineers — to get it done quickly. “Quite frankly, people weren’t very interested,” Horowitz said. Things have changed.

December 6th, 2004

DeLay’s Push Helps Deliver NASA Funds Washington Post

Without a separate vote or even a debate, House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) has managed to deliver to a delighted NASA enough money to forge ahead on a plan that would reshape U.S. space policy for decades to come. President Bush’s “Vision for Space Exploration,” which would send humans to the moon and eventually to Mars, got a skeptical reception in January and was left for dead in midsummer, but it made a stunning last-minute comeback when DeLay delivered NASA’s full $16.2 billion budget request as part of the omnibus $388 billion spending bill passed Nov. 20, 2004

August 29th, 2004

Plan 1 for Outer Space Washington Post

Brian Cooper may be the slowest driver in the solar system. Floored, his vehicle reaches a sustained velocity of a tenth of a mile per hour. That’s fine with Cooper, who fears getting stuck in the bottom of a crater. On Mars you can’t call a tow truck.

March 18th, 2004

Satellite Discovers Ice Cap At the South Pole of Mars Washington Post

Instruments aboard a European satellite orbiting Mars have confirmed the presence of a vast expanse of water ice at the planet’s south pole, overlaid in a small area by a veneer of frozen carbon dioxide, scientists reported yesterday.

January 27th, 2004

On Mars, Getting Ready to Roll Washington Post

As the fit and healthy rover Opportunity sent home its first color snapshot from Mars, engineers reported Monday that its ailing twin, Spirit, seemed to be suffering from a problem familiar to many earthlings: It was trying to manage too many files. Spirit now has spent 23 Martian days, or “sols,” on the planet, the last five or so on sick call, while Opportunity has completed two and will spend a week or two moving cautiously through the steps required for it to stand up and roll off onto “pay dirt,” engineers said.

January 1st, 2004

On a Mission Up There, Down Here Washington Post

The members of Herndon High School’s robotics team have relied on coach Dave Lavery’s experience as an engineer and scientist for almost 10 years. But this year, he will not be available to students as much as he has been in the past. Beginning Saturday, Lavery, a Herndon graduate, will be busy exploring another planet.

August 25th, 2003

Training an Eye on Mars Washington Post

At 2 o’clock on a recent morning, Bob Bunge ambled into the inky darkness of his Bowie back yard and prepared to meet an old friend. He swung the end of a massive home-built telescope skyward, gazed over the branches of a silver maple tree, then zeroed in on Earth’s nearest neighbor. “Mars is as bright as I’ve seen it in my 23 years of amateur astronomy,” he said, marveling at the detail he could spot on the Red Planet: the shimmering southern polar ice cap, and the alternating bands of darkness and lightness that gave Mars the mottled look of an overripe orange.

December 7th, 1999

Scientists Make Last Effort To Contact the Mars Lander Washington Post


August 27th, 1999

A Meteoric Discovery: Extraterrestrial Water Washington Post

A meteorite that whistled into a West Texas yard last year contained the first extraterrestrial water ever captured on Earth, scientists reported yesterday.

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