October 3 News Items

Cash-Strapped NASA Might Need Global Partners (Source: Orlando Sentinel)
If the White House decides to return astronauts to the moon or send them to explore the solar system, NASA may have to look to Moscow, Paris, Tokyo and possibly even Beijing for help. The reason: money. Without a massive increase in its budget, the agency won't be able to send humans past the International Space Station anytime soon, according to a presidential panel that recently reviewed NASA's manned space program. Teaming up with foreign space agencies -- as suggested by that 10-member panel -- would significantly shift the direction of NASA, from overseer of a purely American push for the stars to a part of a global science project funded by dollars, euros, rubles and yen. But the idea is gaining traction as the White House wrestles with the panel's conclusion that NASA's needs at least $3 billion a year on top of its current $18 billion budget to run a "viable" exploration program. (10/3)

White House Seeks to Restore Human Spaceflight Funding (Source: Space News)
The White House has asked congressional appropriators to restore $670 million cut from NASA’s nearly $4 billion budget request for human space exploration in a version of the 2010 Commerce, Justice, Science appropriations bill the House passed in June, according to congressional and administration sources. In a September letter to leaders of the House and Senate appropriations commerce, justice, science subcommittees, White House science adviser John Holdren asked that the funding be restored in anticipation of a forthcoming presidential decision on NASA’s manned spaceflight future, according to congressional sources. In addition, the White House asked Senate appropriators to stay flexible as the president awaits the Augustine Panel's findings. (10/3)

More Security Problems at Ames (Source: San Francisco Chronicle)
More security issues at the NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View: This time a man has been charged by the feds for allegedly keeping an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle on the premises. Nathan Michael Shrider is accused of possessing the firearm June 26 and violating NASA regulations. Both are misdemeanors. Court documents do not spell out if Shrider is an employee or a contract worker. It's the latest federal case involving alleged crimes at the research center. Recall that contract employee David Zanotti allegedly tried to sneak "three foreign nationals" into NASA Ames in May 2008. And three people connected to the facility at Moffett Field were charged, convicted and sentenced to federal prison terms for possessing child pornography on government computers. (10/3)

European Rivals Test Cooperation (Source: Space News)
Europe’s two principal satellite and space-component test centers, Intespace of France and IABG of Germany, appear to be moving toward a more complementary relationship driven by their different ownership structures and geographic locations, the two companies’ chief executives said. The two companies’ joint venture, European Test Services (ETS), tests European government orbital hardware that is too large for their existing facilities and too rare to justify the investment. These systems, such as Europe’s Automated Transfer Vehicle cargo carrier for the international space station, are tested by ETS at the European Space Agency’s Estec center in Noordwijk, Netherlands. (10/3)

No comments: