Lori Garver, Ed Weiler, Bobby Braun, and Laurie Leshin (all from NASA) presented at a meeting of various organizations interested in space (in Washington, D.C. on 05 May 2010). Presentations focused on aspects of the new NASA plan, specifically those elements involved with the new NASA budget. I have posted these docs to the Google Docs library (General) for this site.
Note: I post these presentations as a service to the community to provide better clarity as to the exact nature of NASA's plans. There has been a lot of speculation as to what may or may not be involved in the new NASA approach. I believe more information regarding the new plan (and its budget) will add clarity to the dialogue and present the plan more appropriately to all sides of the debate. These presentations are deemed to be helpful as NASA rolls out the new plan and solicits feedback from the community, as it states and plans on doing at upcoming events such as the NASA Exploration Enterprise Workshop on May 25-26, 2010 in Galveston, Texas.
An overview was given of the NASA plan and the respective representatives from the Science Mission Directorate, Office of Chief Technologist, and Exploration Systems Mission Directorate were there to provide more detail. The overview presentations dealt with the entire portfolio of those NASA areas. More specifics on NEO related information is given below.
There was some specific talk regarding NEOs. Ed Weiler (NASA Assoc. Admin, SMD) talked about the $4M to $16M increase for the Near Earth Object Observations program. This is one of the newer upgrades to NEO detection. He mentioned this increase will be dependent upon approval of the FY2011 NASA Budget (something that is not certain). He also mentioned the WISE spacecraft and its potential to find hundreds of Near Earth Objects. Ed Weiler also mentioned that next year there will be a down-select for the next set of New Frontiers missions (there are currently three proposals and one of them is a NEO sample return mission, OSIRIS REX).
Bobby Braun, NASA's Chief Technologist, mentioned the philosophy his office will use in determining and portfolio of new technologies to invest in. Advanced technology maturation and development was something that was given less attention in the previous NASA administrations. He mentioned a potential suite of notional Grand Challenges (19 or so on one slide). One of the potential NASA Grand Challenges was "secure the planet from space threats".
Lauri Leshin (Deputy Assoc. Administrator, NASA ESMD) talked about how the NASA Human Exploration Framework Team (HEFT) is working on several notional architecture concepts (including human NEO missions). She also mentioned potential future NEO missions under the Exploration Robotic Precursor Mission, specifically under the Small Scout Class Exploration Missions (rapid, $100-$200M life cycle cost missions to demonstrate new ways of robotic exploration, goal if one launch per 1-2 years starting in 2013).
Some more detail is available in the presentations below.
Link: NASA Science Mission Directorate (Ed Weiler, 05 May 2010)
Link: Investment in the Future: Overview of NASA's Space Technology (Bobby Braun, 05 May 2010)
Link: A New Space Exploration Enterprise (Laurie Leshin, 05 May 2010)
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.
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.