Space policy: Disposing of underutilized NASA facilities + NASA education activities suspension

A nudge on NASA to dump unneeded facilities: Senate Passes Rubio Amendment Urging NASA To Dispose Of Underutilized Facilities To Save Taxpayer Dollars – Space Industry News.

Ed Wright comments on the suspension of some education and outreach programs at NASA in response to sequestration cuts: NASA Suspends All Education Activities –

Imagining earth from space before spacecraft

Artist Ron Miller writes about the ways pre-Space Age artists depicted how the earth would look from space: How Artists Once Imagined the Earth Would Look from Space – Ron Miller/io9 – Mar.25.13.

Miller also had this previous article about the early space artist Lucien Rudaux : The first science artist to draw accurate pictures of Mars and the Moon – Ron Miller/io9 – Jan.16.12


British Interplanetary Society history – part 2

Here is the second installment of Kelvin Long’s historical review of the British Interplanetary Society, one of the oldest space advocacy organizations (see Part 1 here) : The British Interplanetary Society at 80 Years: Part II – Centauri Dreams.

He focused on Project Daedalus, a study sponsored by the BIS in the 1970s that attempted to design a realistic interstellar transport.

Comet 2013 A1 has a slight chance of impacting Mars

Here’s a ScienceCast report on the possibility that Comet 2013 A1 will hit Mars: ScienceCasts: Collision Course? A Comet Heads for Mars – YouTube

A comet is heading for Mars, and there is a chance that it might hit the Red Planet in October 2014. An impact wouldn’t necessarily mean the end of NASA’s Mars program. But it would transform the program along with Mars itself.

Uwingu contest for naming closest known exoplanet

Uwingu is sponsoring a contest to suggest a name for the nearest exoplanet found so far:  A public name for ‘Bb’: Opening the naming of the closest planet to our solar system to the people of Earth! – Uwingu

Astronomers have discovered evidence for thousands of planets orbiting distant stars. But all of these planets have only technical names, such as ’Alpha Centauri Bb,’ not memorable ones like the planets in our own solar system.

Uwingu is announcing a contest for the people of Earth to name the closest known exoplanet (planet around another star)!

Anyone can nominate a name—or as many names as you like. The name with the highest number of votes for it on April 15th will be announced as the winner! And what’s more, we’ll be giving out a series of prizes to the namers (that’s you!) of any name that gets at least 100 votes, names that get 1,000 votes, names that get 10,000 votes, and the top vote getter of all.

During the competition you’ll need to work your magic to encourage votes from your social networks, blog followers, friends, family, employers…everyone! And its for a great cause—Uwingu is creating The Uwingu Fund to accelerate space research and education, and we’re already making grants.

Get Started!


More about the program and the plan to send some of the money raised to support NASA outreach projects: