We haven't heard much about if from NASA yet, but the Telegraph is reporting that the space agency will soon begin training up an international crew of astronauts for a potential manned mission to an asteroid slated for later in the next decade.
As Congress adjourns there’s still plenty left for them to argue about, but NASA’s mission going forward isn’t one of them. The House of Representatives passed a NASA authorization bill late last night, outlining the budget – $19 billion in 2011 and $58 billion through 2013 – and goals for the space agency going forward. On deck: increased commercial space investment, a new heavy-lift rocket, and a focus on future deep space missions to an asteroid or even Mars.
With President Obama taking the budget axe to some of NASA's most darling projects lately, it makes sense that the agency might look at ways to cut down on waste by getting a little more mileageout of its current hardware. A proposal by NASA's "Blue Sky" group would do exactly that, repurposing a room on the ISS as a crew capsule for a manned mission to an asteroid.
By Gregory MonePosted 07.10.2007 at 12:08 pm 0 Comments
NASA bounced back from the disappointing delay of the Dawn asteroid mission this weekend, reminding space fans that another exciting project is about to launch soon. At some point within a three-week window starting August 3, the Phoenix Mars Lander is slated to begin its journey to the Red Planet, ideally touching down in the northern plains sometime next spring. Once on the surface, Phoenix's two large solar panels will open up, and the lander will start to explore nearby ground with its nearly eight-foot-long robotic arm. A miniature weather station onboard will monitor the climate conditions, including the amount of water and dust in the atmosphere, while the arm will dig down beneath the soil, where scientists expect it will find ice. This isn't just wishful thinking: In 2002, the Mars Odyssey Orbiter uncovered evidence that big sections of Mars have water ice buried inches below the soil. The mission is only set to last for three months, but would be the first time that scientists actually use an instrument to come in direct contact with ice on Mars.—Gregory Mone