Representatives John Culberson (R-TX) and Adam Schiff (D-CA) have been champions for NASA’s planetary science funding. Typically being a consideration for cuts in previous fiscal years, planetary science has seen significant increases in allocations. In recent times before cuts, planetary science funding has hovered around $1.5 billion and current efforts through the 2015 FY omnibus have reinstated an operational budget of $1.44 billion.
Original intentions of robotic asteroid redirect missions (ARM) indicated goals of moving an entire asteroid into lunar orbit. However, this mission may be amended to only have a smaller chunk of the asteroid transported. NASA Associate Administrator Robert Lightfoot postponed the official decision until sometime in January.
International efforts on space debris mitigation have been focused on a drafted EU code of conduct. The policy would set certain guidelines and regulations for space operations resulting in potential debris. Language is currently vague and large space faring countries such as China, India, and Russia have still not claimed to be official stakeholders in the proposed code.
NASA’s $349 million A3 test stand at Stennis Space Center in Mississippi was featured in a Washington Post article revealing how bureaucratic and governmental influences can serve interests back home rather than America as a whole for space exploration. The test stand was completed 3 years after the cancellation of the J2-X engine, which was the purpose for the stand’s initial construction. $700K per year will be required to maintain the test facility for future use.
“Focused on Settlement Policy for the NewSpace Citizens of the Universe.”
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