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Thursday, February 26, 2009

Obama Will Stick with Bush Moon Plan... This is great news, especially if you’re as much a space geek as I am. Here’s hoping Obama doesn’t get any second thoughts about this...unless he decides that NASA should try sending astronauts back to the Moon by 2018 and not 2020, haha. Anyways, here’s the article as posted on aviationweek.com, by Frank Morring, Jr.:

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"The fiscal 2010 NASA budget outline to be released by the Obama Administration Feb. 26 adds almost $700 million to the out-year figure proposed in the fiscal 2009 budget request submitted by former President Bush, and sticks with the goal of returning humans to the moon by 2020.

The $18.7 billion that Obama will request for NASA - up from $18.026 billion for fiscal 2010 in the last Bush budget request - does not include the $1 billion NASA will receive in the $787 billion stimulus package that President Barack Obama signed Feb. 16.

Aviation Week has learned that in addition to the human-lunar return, Obama wants to continue robotic exploration with probes to Mars and other Solar System destinations, as well as a space telescope to probe deeper into the universe.

He will request increases in Earth Science, in keeping with his call Feb. 24 for action on global warming. And he will ask for additional funds for the NextGen satellite-based air traffic control modernization effort within NASA's aeronautics request.

In addition to those newly requested funds, under the stimulus package the space agency will receive $400 million for back-to-the-moon exploration work; $400 million for science directed at climate-change space missions and the supercomputing capability needed for climate modeling; $150 million for aeronautics, including NextGen, and $50 million for repairs to hurricane damage suffered in 2008."


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An artist's concept of the Orion spacecraft orbiting the Moon.
NASA / Lockheed Martin

Before you start thinking to yourselves about how the money going to our space program (if you're American) is better spent on more social matters, like helping out "Octomom" and her 14 kids, keep in mind that NASA's budget only accounts for less than 2% of the overall federal budget (which exceeds 1 trillion dollars...despite the current economic crisis).

According to a recent survey, nearly 9 out of 10 Americans see value in America's space program. Click here for more details.

An artist's concept of the Ares I and Ares V launch vehicles.
NASA / Marshall Space Flight Center

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Space shuttle Discovery at Launch Complex 39A.

PARMAN’S PAGE Update... Yesterday, I finished creating a new section on my website devoted to my visit at Kennedy Space Center 2 weeks ago. I took more than 600 photos during my 4-day trip, but 80 are uploaded to my site (despite the fact I’m planning to print out 102 pics for my actual photo album, haha).

You can view the images by clicking here.

TOP PIC: An actual Saturn V rocket.  BOTTOM PIC: Launch Complex 39B.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Posing in front of space shuttle Discovery on its pad at Launch Complex 39A.

I’M BACK! I was gonna post a Blog after I got home from Florida last night, but was too tired to after spending more than 5 hours on the plane after it had to constantly veer away from bad weather that plagued the southern U.S. There were thunderstorms over Houston, Texas, and overlooking the fact it was cool to watch lightning flash every other second inside the clouds from the safety of my passenger cabin, it was also pretty freaky when the plane flew right next to these storm cells (which lingered off to the starboard side of the aircraft, where my seat was located). Add to this the fact there was considerable turbulence when the airliner flew through clear skies above New Mexico and Arizona. My flight landed at LAX around 9:49 PM, PST (original arrival time was 9:29 PM, PST), but I didn’t get home till a little before midnight. I didn’t go to bed till 2:30 AM, but yes, I was too tired to post a Blog.

Posing in front of Launch Complex 39B as it continues to be modified for NASA's Constellation Program.

Anyways, in terms of the trip itself, it was awesome! Completely successful. I got the pics I wanted, in front of space shuttle Discovery as it continues to get prepped for its Feb. 22 launch (on mission STS-119) from Launch Complex 39A, inside the Space Station Processing Facility and outside the mammoth Vehicle Assembly Building at Kennedy Space Center (KSC). I also took photos of LC-39B as modifications continue to be done to it for the Constellation Program.

Posing in front of the Vehicle Assembly Building at Kennedy Space Center.

The weather was great! It was the complete opposite from the wind and downpour that thwarted the final days of my trip to Florida last August, thanks to Tropical Storm Fay (just click on the labels near the bottom of this journal entry for more info). I should hopefully have pics posted on my official website before, um, the end of this month. But seeing as how I took more than 600 photos during my 4-day trip, it’s gonna be pretty interesting to see which images I actually upload to my page. Stay tuned.

Space shuttle Discovery as seen from the LC-39 Observation Gantry, 3 miles away.

Oh, and one more thing... I bought some astronaut ice cream when I was at KSC. Pretty delicious.


Astronaut ice cream.  Yum.

Friday, February 6, 2009

TOMORROW, I’m travelling back to Florida after going there last August. Will be heading to Kennedy Space Center on Florida's Space Coast (its east coast, that is). Be back on February 10th!


An aerial view of NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
NASA