This area will cover relevant news of the threat to the planet from Near Earth Objects (NEOs) including concepts and designs for mitigation. All opinions are those of the author.

15 April 2010

President Obama's Space Exploration Speech (15 April 2010) and Human Asteroid Mission Mention

President Obama's speech on space exploration in Florida talked about human asteroid missions, if briefly. Also I believe former NASA Astronaut and current Google employee (and gravity tractor proponent) Ed Lu was in the audience as well as Louis Friedman from The Planetary Society. Excerpts from the speech below.

Selections from the President's speech on 15 April 2010:

"Early in the next decade, a set of crewed flights will test and prove the systems required for exploration beyond low Earth orbit. (Applause.) And by 2025, we expect new spacecraft designed for long journeys to allow us to begin the first-ever crewed missions beyond the Moon into deep space. (Applause.) So we’ll start -- we’ll start by sending astronauts to an asteroid for the first time in history. (Applause.) By the mid-2030s, I believe we can send humans to orbit Mars and return them safely to Earth. And a landing on Mars will follow. And I expect to be around to see it. (Applause.)"

Earlier in the speech the President mentioned an image he has in his private office, an image I believe of the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) image depicting the 2009 Jupiter Impact Event (as mentioned in the NASA Advisory Council meeting minutes from 18-19 February 2010).

Selections from the President's speech on 15 April 2010:

"Here at the Kennedy Space Center we are surrounded by monuments and milestones of those contributions. It was from here that NASA launched the missions of Mercury and Gemini and Apollo. It was from here that Space Shuttle Discovery, piloted by Charlie Bolden, carried the Hubble Telescope into orbit, allowing us to plumb the deepest recesses of our galaxy. And I should point out, by the way, that in my private office just off the Oval, I’ve got the picture of Jupiter from the Hubble. So thank you, Charlie, for helping to decorate my office."

From the NASA Advisory Council meeting minutes from 18-19 February 2010 referring to the image in the President's office:

"Mr. Bolden turned his attention to HSF (Human Space Flight). He emphasized the importance of a destination and noted that the President had spoken yesterday with astronauts and students at the White House. The President was enthusiastic about HSF and talked about going to Mars and returning to the Moon. The President understands that we must have a destination. For Mr. Bolden, the ultimate destination is Mars. Over the coming years we will try to figure out how to best get there, what the limiting capabilities are, what capabilities we don't have today, and then build a plan. There are intermediate destinations, e.g., the Moon and Near Earth objects (NEOs). Mr. Bolden explained that one of the jobs that he shares with Secretary of Defense Gates is defense of the planet against things, not people. At a recent Cabinet meeting, Dr. John Holdren, the President's Science Advisor, showed the President an HST image depicting a large asteroid impact on Jupiter that no one had predicted. This got his attention, which generally happens when the talk is about NASA."

Link: Remarks by the President on Space Exploration in the 21st Century, John F. Kennedy Space Center, Merritt Island, Florida, 15 April 2010

Link: NASA Advisory Council Public Meeting (18-19 February 2010): Meeting Minutes

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Any opinions expressed on the blog are solely those of the author. The site is not sponsored by, nor does it represent the opinions of, any organization, corporation, or other entity.