14 Apr

Bigelow and NASA may be up to more than just an extra module on the ISS

Bigelow and NASA have agreed to attach a Bigelow station to the ISS. Now there are hints that NASA and Bigelow may be up to a lot more than just that:

“On Thursday, Las Vegas City Life columnist George Knapp wrote that Bigelow and NASA have reached an ‘adventurous deal’ that ‘reads like a Kubrick screenplay or an Arthur C. Clarke story,’ he claimed. The two have agreed to study ‘a series of strategic goals and timetables’ for future space exploration, up to and including bases on the Moon, led by private enterprise. ‘Bigelow’s company would become a clearinghouse of sorts,’ Knapp wrote. ‘Its first assignment: to identify which other companies would be most valuable for NASA’s long-range goals.’”

(Via What’s Robert Bigelow up to now with NASA? « NewSpace Journal.)

07 Apr

NASA is not going back to the moon

Current NASA head lays it out. Interesting:

“NASA has no plans to lead its own human return to the Moon under his watch. ‘NASA will not take the lead on a human lunar mission,’ he said. ‘NASA is not going to the Moon with a human as a primary project probably in my lifetime. And the reason is, we can only do so many things.’ Instead, he said the focus would remain on human missions to asteroids and to Mars. ‘We intend to do that, and we think it can be done.’

‘I don’t know how to say it any more plainly,’ he concluded. ‘NASA does not have a human lunar mission in its portfolio and we are not planning for one.’ He warned that if the next administration tries to change course again back to the Moon, ‘it means we are probably, in our lifetime, in the lifetime of everybody sitting in this room, we are probably never again going to see Americans on the Moon, on Mars, near an asteroid, or anywhere. We cannot continue to change the course of human exploration.’”

(Via Back to the Moon? Not any time soon, says Bolden « Space Politics.)

06 Apr

NASA mulls asteroid capture mission, manned missions

Don’t want to close my eyes
I don’t want to fall asleep
Cause I’d miss you asteroid
Flaming in to hit our world…

“NASA is working on plans to robotically capture and tow a small asteroid back to Earth’s vicinity by the end of the decade, setting the stage for manned visits to learn more about the threat asteroids pose, the resources they represent and to help perfect the technology needed for eventual flights to Mars.”

(Via NASA mulls asteroid capture mission, eventual manned visits – CBS News.)