Feeds

Planetary exploration under threat, says space pioneer

Space Launch System attention misdirected, Friedman says

Security for virtualized datacentres

Immediate past president of the Planetary Society, Lou Friedman, is worried that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is putting NASA’s planetary exploration at risk.

Writing at The Space Review, Friedman – who founded the Planetary Society in 1980 with Carl Sagan and Caltech professor and Mars exploration luminary Bruce Murray – says the threat that the OMB may block plans for joint NASA-European Mars exploration could mean NASA “ceases to explore the solar system and stops looking deep into the universe” for as long as ten years.

At immediate risk, he says, is the planned joint launch of a European Trace Gas Orbiter mission in 2016, along with an astrobiology and rover mission planned for 2018.

Instead, Friedman writes, the OMB is favouring the Space Launch System, the design of which was unveiled in September. While he agrees that heavy lift capability is vital, if platform development is funded at the expense of missions, NASA will have “new launchers that will have nothing much to launch and no results to show the American people”.

With “special interests” – unnamed by Friedman, but presumably the heavy industries that would benefit from a steady flow of SLS contracts – driving the OBM process, Friedman warns that the launcher “will become another federal jobs program”.

By delaying the SLS, he says, both the Mars exploration and the James Webb Space Telescope – “punted” by the administration – could be kept on the books. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Boffins say they've got Lithium batteries the wrong way around
Surprises at the nano-scale mean our ideas about how they charge could be all wrong
Thought that last dinosaur was BIG? This one's bloody ENORMOUS
Weighed several adult elephants, contend boffins
Europe prepares to INVADE comet: Rosetta landing site chosen
No word yet on whether backup site is labelled 'K'
City hidden beneath England's Stonehenge had HUMAN ABATTOIR. And a pub
Boozed-up ancients drank beer before tearing corpses apart
'Duck face' selfie in SPAAAACE: Rosetta's snap with bird comet
Probe prepares to make first landing on fast-moving rock
Archaeologists and robots on hunt for more Antikythera pieces
How much of the world's oldest computer can they find?
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.