More reviews of Tuesday’s House hearing on NASA’s plans for beyond earth orbit exploration:
- U.S. House Skeptical Of NASA Asteroid-Capture Plan – Aviation Week
- Little Love for Asteroid Retrieval Mission; Squyres Deeply Worried about SLS Launch Rate – SpacePolicyOnline.com
Steve Squires points out an obvious problem with SLS safety that NASA’s Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel (ASAP) refuses to address:
Another concern Squyres stressed is the low flight rate for the Space Launch System (SLS). “I’m deeply worried,” he told Edwards, because no other human spaceflight system has had such a low anticipated launch rate. The first SLS launch is expected in 2017, the second in 2021, and then once every two years thereafter. SLS and the Orion spacecraft need to be adequately funded “to be proven out on a pace that really supports … a safe pathway” to cis-lunar space, Squyres insisted. Cooke agreed. The flight rate is driven “totally” by funding, he said, and “they definitely need more funding … starting with inflation.” NASA’s budget is currently projected to be flat, with no adjustment for inflation, which erodes buying power as the years pass.
ASAP members have repeatedly questioned the safety of commercial rockets despite the fact that the Atlas V and Falcon 9 will have flown dozens of times before crews are launched by them. The Falcon Dragon capsule will also have flown multiple times. Yet ASAP was willing to let NASA astronauts fly on the Ares I after a single test flight and is now willing to let them fly on the SLS after its one test flight.
The latest Planetary Society Hangout dealt with the topic, What’s going on with Planetary Science cuts?
Planetary Society Advocacy Coordinator Casey Dreier discusses the background and latest funding problems facing Planetary Science at NASA. Emily Lakdawalla joins him to talk about her visit to Washington, D.C. to talk about planetary missions.
Learn what the Planetary Society is doing to Save Our Science at NASA and promote planetary exploration. We talk about the background of planetary exploration and why funding for this great program is being taken away.