It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

NASA extends 9 space observatory missions

page: 1
4

log in

join
share:

posted on Apr, 10 2012 @ 01:17 PM
link   
Here is an interesting story, published today:




WASHINGTON — Nine NASA-funded astrophysics missions, including the planet-hunting Kepler space telescope and Chandra X-ray Observatory, will continue scanning the heavens for at least another two to four years, the U.S. space agency announced last week.

NASA’s decision to extend the science operations for nine of its 14 in-orbit missions largely follows the recommendations of an outside panel of senior scientists that convened in late February to weigh the scientific merits of keeping these missions in service.




www.msnbc.msn.com...

What do you think? I wonder what the panel of scientists said in their discussion. Why did they feel the extension was justified?




posted on Apr, 10 2012 @ 01:27 PM
link   



NASA keep in service through 2016 — the other astrophysics missions that have been cleared for continued operations are:

•the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope, launched in 2008.
•the Hubble Space Telescope (HST), launched in 1990 but last refurbished in 2009.
•Planck, a European satellite launched in 2009.
•Suzaku, a Japanese X-ray astronomy satellite launched in 2005.
•Swift Gamma-ray Burst Mission, launched in 2004.
•the Warm Spitzer Space Telescope Mission, which has been operating since 2009 without the coolant that kept its infrared instruments chilled for its first five-and-a-half years in orbit.
•XMM-Newton, a European X-ray observatory launched in 1999




www.msnbc.msn.com...

I'm sorry, am I missing something? Maybe I am not as clued up about this subject as I should be. Since when did NASA or an American committee have the authority to determine whether or not Japanese and European spacecraft remain in service?



posted on Apr, 10 2012 @ 02:09 PM
link   
Yeah that does seem kind of weird. Of course they would all end up sharing data between their respective agencies but NASA having control over other countries space assets....that does not seem correct.



posted on Apr, 10 2012 @ 02:13 PM
link   
The answer as to why the extension is in the article you linked .

The committee noted that because no major astrophysics missions have been green-lighted after the massively overbudget flagship James Webb Space Telescope, which is expected to launch in 2018, much of NASA’s astrophysics research depends on existing missions.

"This reality, along with the challenging fiscal situation facing Federal science agencies, places greater emphasis on utilizing existing missions wisely, as well as finding strategies for reducing costs while not sacrificing the most important capabilities," the committee wrote.





Since when did NASA or an American committee have the authority to determine whether or not Japanese and European spacecraft remain in service?

NASA has co-operation agreements with Japan and Europe .
NASA-Japan Agreement
NASA-ESA Agreement


edit on 10-4-2012 by gortex because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 10 2012 @ 02:38 PM
link   

Originally posted by chemistry

Here is an interesting story, published today:




WASHINGTON — Nine NASA-funded astrophysics missions, including the planet-hunting Kepler space telescope and Chandra X-ray Observatory, will continue scanning the heavens for at least another two to four years, the U.S. space agency announced last week.

NASA’s decision to extend the science operations for nine of its 14 in-orbit missions largely follows the recommendations of an outside panel of senior scientists that convened in late February to weigh the scientific merits of keeping these missions in service.




www.msnbc.msn.com...

What do you think? I wonder what the panel of scientists said in their discussion. Why did they feel the extension was justified?


I feel the extension was jsutifeid because of what Keplar has been able to find in the little time its has been up there. and Chandra and opened us to some of the most wonderful mysteries of the Universe since its time in space.


In ten years of operation, the Chandra X-ray Observatory has transformed our view of the high-energy universe with its ability to make exquisite X-ray images of star clusters, supernova remnants, galactic eruptions, and collisions between clusters of galaxies. Chandra has probed the geometry of space-time around black holes, traced the dispersal of calcium and other elements by supernovas, and revealed that whirling neutron stars only twelve miles in diameter can generate streams of high-energy particles that extend for light years. Chandra has found cosmic generators millions of times more powerful than neutron stars – rapidly spinning, supergiant black holes in the centers of galaxies. There, energy from the rotation of the black hole and surrounding gas is converted into powerful jets and winds that can influence the destiny of an entire galaxy.



On an even greater scale, Chandra has helped to confirm that galaxies and the universe are dominated by other forms of darkness, called dark matter and dark energy. In the distant past, dark matter pulled material together to form galaxies and galaxy clusters, but now, it appears that dark energy – which may be a much different phenomenon –has stopped the process and is causing the universe to expand at an ever-increasing rate. The nature of dark matter and dark energy is still a deep mystery.


chandra.harvard.edu...



posted on Apr, 10 2012 @ 08:43 PM
link   
reply to post by chemistry
 


This is wonderful news, thanks for the thread. A banner day for space exploration. Why is this thread not gaining eyes on the site?



posted on Apr, 11 2012 @ 06:24 AM
link   
reply to post by chemistry
 


Kepler is bringing NASA some good publicity the last couple of years. I'm surprised that these missions only had plans to serve so long, and that they had to be extended by decision. If something is working, keep using it.



posted on Apr, 25 2012 @ 07:24 PM
link   
reply to post by chemistry
 

Does anyone have a list of upcoming missions, telescopic or otherwise? I know about the James Webb telescope, of course, and wonder why what seems like a small amount these days to complete and launch it (8 billion, give or take a billion) is being spaced out for many years (the launch date is now sometime in 2018).



posted on Apr, 26 2012 @ 08:08 AM
link   

Originally posted by chemistry
I'm sorry, am I missing something? Maybe I am not as clued up about this subject as I should be. Since when did NASA or an American committee have the authority to determine whether or not Japanese and European spacecraft remain in service?


First of all, this committee (which is outside of NASA's purview) does not have "authority" to pull funding. The biennial panel only makes non-binding recommendations. NASA does not need to follow these recommendations, although they did in this case.

Secondly, NASA has at least some say-so over other countries' telescopes, such as Japan's Suzaka telescope ansd Europes XMM-Newton, because NASA provides some of the funding that keeps these telescopes going:

NASA, in response, approved continued support of Suzaku operations until March 2015 to provide a one-year overlap with Japan’s follow-on Astro-H mission. Funding for U.S. support of XMM-Newton was also extended through March 2015 and Swift was approved to continue through 2016 with additional funding for data analysis.
If NASA decides to discontinue its funding, then the other countries would need to come up with money someplace else, which may be very difficult. These projects are partnerships, and when one major partner decides not to extend funding past the current funding agreement, the project usually ends.



posted on Apr, 26 2012 @ 08:43 AM
link   

Originally posted by Aleister
reply to post by chemistry
 

Does anyone have a list of upcoming missions, telescopic or otherwise? I know about the James Webb telescope, of course, and wonder why what seems like a small amount these days to complete and launch it (8 billion, give or take a billion) is being spaced out for many years (the launch date is now sometime in 2018).


$8 Billion is a lot of money when you compare it to NASA's total budget.

NASA's entire 2013 proposed budget is $17.7 Billion. $8 Billion of that would be 45% of the entire budget. Therefore NASA needs to spread the cost out over many years. NASA has too many other projects that need funding every year, and can't afford to pay for the whole Webb Telescope too quickly.

To put $8 Billion into perspective, the entire 10-year missions of the two Mars rovers has cost only $1 Billion to date (the two rovers' original cost was $800 Million, but the mission extensions have cost some additional money). For $8 Billion, NASA could have sent at least 16 rovers like Opportunity and Spirit to Mars for 10-year missions.

The most expensive mars mission to date -- the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) named "Curiosity" which will land on mars in August -- cost $2 Billion. That $2 Billion (even spread out over a few years) is a strain on NASA's budget. NASA's proposed budget has them allotting only $360 Million for Mars exploration in 2013, so obviously they need to spread costs.

Here is NASA's proposed budget (with details) for 2013 (WARNING: This links directly to a 15MB PDF file that may take a long time to download/open):
www.nasa.gov...

Here is a web page that includes the link to this 15MB file, plus links to smaller files and excerpts from that budget (maybe more user-friendly for people with limited bandwidth):
www.nasa.gov...


edit on 4/26/2012 by Soylent Green Is People because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 26 2012 @ 09:22 AM
link   
reply to post by Soylent Green Is People
 


I agree that it's a lot of money compared with the overall budget. I was inarticulate in my point, which is based on the absurd figures that are thrown around sometimes concerning military budgets and equipment, auto bailouts, banking industry bailouts, and other earth-based economic concerns. Putting 50 billion into the space program would be reasonable when compared to those numbers and, in either case, the money goes somewhere into the economy anyway (such as the innane arguments against food stamps - people "in need" have the food stamp money for hours or days before it flows directly into corporate coffers. The whole food stamp program is a massive corporate welfare program, and if the U.S. Congress would play it right, so would the space budget, but in a very good way).



new topics

top topics



 
4

log in

join