The Space Status Quo What the heck is a “NASA,” anyway? A Lecture by Chris Crowe, who knows someone that works for NASA. nbd.
Short. Sweet. History. • National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (1915) • Sputnik – October 4, 1957. • Requisite freaking out because, well… Russians. • Jan 31, 1958: “Explorer I” is the first US earth satellite. • NASA – created July 29, 1958.
Read these things called “books” • Orders of Magnitude: A History of the NACA and NASA – Robert Bilstein • NASA: A History of the US Civil Space Program – RD Launius • We Never Went to the Moon: America’s Thirty Billion Dollar Swindle – Bill Kaysing • A History of Astronomy – George Forbes (1909)
The Civilian Space Program Now Never FergitYer Inherency!
Space-y Agencies that aren’t NASA • Department of Commerce: NOAA Weather and Environmental Satellites • Department of Defense: Advanced Research Projects, Strategic Command, Secret Stuff • Department of the Interior: EROS Center (Landsat) • Department of Transportation: Federal Aviation Administration, National Science Foundation
NASA Budget • FY 2011: $18.5 billion • Top line increase of $6.0 billion over 5-years (FY 2011-15) compared to the FY 2010 Budget ($18.7 billion), for a total of $100 billion over five years. • These are all requests, not set in stone.
How much is that, exactly? • A lot • 11,562.5 Lamborghini Reventons ($1.6 mill each) • 15 duplicates of Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich’s yacht “Eclipse”
Perspective Is Key • The entire US budget is around $2.9 trillion. • That makes NASA’s cut around 0.6% • NASA’s inflation-adjusted budget since inception: around $750 billion. • Total cost of war in Iraq (conservatively estimated): $900 billion and counting. • Yearly cost of military air-conditioning in Iraq and Afghanistan: $20.2 billion.
NASA Divides Requests Into Eight (8) Categories • “Science”: Earth Science, Planetary Science, Astrophysics, Heliophysics • “Aeronautics and Space Research and Technology”: Aeronautics Research and Space Technology • “Exploration”: You know… Exploring Stuff.
Eight (8) Categories, Cont’d • “Space Operations”: Space Shuttle, ISS, Space & Flight Support • “Education”: You know… Learning Stuff • “Cross-Agency Support”: Center Management, Agency Management, Institutional Investments, Congressionally Directed Items
Eight (8) Categories, Cont’d • “Construction and Environmental Compliance & Restoration” • “Inspector General”: conducts independent audits, reviews, and investigations of NASA programs and operations to prevent and detect fraud, waste, abuse, and mismanagement and to assist NASA managers in promoting economy, efficiency, and effectiveness.
NASA Peeps • Charles Bolden, Jr. – NASA Administrator. Essentially in charge and top space advisor to Obama. • Lori Garver – Deputy Administrator. Second in command. • Almost 19,000 people work directly for NASA.
On-Going Missions/Projects (there are a lot) (many overlap)
Advanced Composition Explorer (ACE) • Launched August 25, 1997 from the Kennedy Space Center. • Collects information about Solar Wind and Weather • Provides advanced warning of geomagnetic storms that can jack stuff up on Earth.
Aeronomy of Ice in the Mesosphere (AIM) • Small Satellite that gathers information about noctilucent or “night-shining” clouds (NLCs) • NLCs are IN the mesosphere. • Counts meteoroids raining down on Earth.
Aqua • Satellite Launched May 4, 2002 • Earth-observing instrument • Measures things like radiative energy, aerosols, phytoplankton, water temperatures. • 89 GB of data a day.
Aquarius • Launched June 10th. • Measures Sea Surface Salinity Variability (for climate studies) • Collaborative Effort with Argentina
ARCTAS Mission • Arctic Research of the Composition of the Troposphere from Aircraft and Satellites • Studies environmental change in the Arctic. • Uses information from a bunch of different satellites and air and ground platforms. • Largest airborne experiment ever undertaken to study the impact of air pollution on arctic climate.
ARTEMIS • “Acceleration, Reconnection, Turbulence and Electrodynamics of the Moon’s Interaction with the Sun” • Yeah… Like I said above. • Basically an extension of expired missions that performed a similar purpose.
Astro-E2/Suzaku • Launched July 10, 2005. • Has an “X-ray Spectrometer.” Provides high resolution images of the X-ray spectrum. • Collaboration with Japan • Apparently it’s broken. • “because of the loss of cryogen, the XRS instrument can no longer provide the planned science.”
Aura Mission • Launched July 15, 2004 • Latin for “breeze” • Studies air quality in the atmosphere.
CALIPSO • “Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observations” • Monitors Asteroids and clouds 24 hours a day.
Cassini-Huygen Mission • Explores the Saturn System (launched 1997) • Currently in second extended mission (through 2017). • Studies moons, rings, magnetic environment
Chandra X-ray Observatory • Part of NASA’s fleet of “Great Observatories” • Obtains X-ray images of exotic environments to understand the evolution of the universe. Carina Nebula – Chandra recently returned images with evidence of a local supernova factory, helping us figure out how young massive stars live and die.
CINDI • Coupled Ion Neutral Dynamic Investigation • Studies elements that influence space weather near the Earth’s equator. • Undertaken in conjunction with the Air Force Research Laboratory
CloudSat • Launched with CALIPSO • Measures the vertical structure of clouds from space. Early genesis of the Pakistan Flood on July 28, 2010
CHIPS • Cosmic Hot Interstellar Plasma Spectrometer • Even Hotter than Erik Estrada • Helps determine the electron temperature, ionization conditions and cooling mechanisms of the million-degree plasma believed to fill the local interstellar bubble.
Cluster • Mission: to study small-scale structures of the magnetosphere and it’s environment. • International collaboration to investigate the physical connection between the Sun and Earth.
Dawn • Study the asteroid Velta and dwarf planet Ceres.
EP-TOMS • “Earth Probe Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer” • Specializes in ozone retrieval. • “Currently experiencing calibration problems.”
Earth Observing - 1 • Advanced Land Imaging. • Designed to pursue future earth imaging observatories that will have increased capabilities while reducing cost and mass.
EPOXI • Combination of “Extrasolar Planet Observations and Characterization (EPOCh) and the “Deep Impact Extended Investigation (DIXI). • Frontrunner for “most contrived abbreviation.” • Supplemental mission of NASA’s Deep Impact spacecraft. • Basically runs into comets. • Took images of “Hartley 2” – only fifth comet ever to have spacecraft fly close enough to take pictures.
GALEX • Galaxy Evolution Explorer • Recently helped “confirm” the nature of Dark Energy driving our universe apart at accelerating speeds. • Five-year survey of 200,000 galaxies.
Fermi • Gamma-ray Space telescope • Studies… You guessed it: gamma-ray radiation. • The most energetic form of radiation. • Enables physicists to study subatomic particles at energies far greater than ground-based particle accelerators.
GOES • Goestationary Operational Environmental Satellites • Earth monitoring satellites, geostationary orbit. • Studies atmospheric “triggers” for severe weather like tornadoes and hurricanes.
Gravity Probe B • Get this: designed by Stanford just to measure two predictions of Einstein’s general theory of relativity • Monitored orientations of ultra-sensitive gyroscopes relative to a guide star. • Apparently, Einstein was right.
GRACE • Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment • Measures changes in sea-floor pressure • Better understanding of ocean currents and ocean heat transport. • Monitors Ice Sheets • Joint US-German mission.
Hubble Telescope • Launched in 1990 • Takes awesome space pictures. • Only telescope designed to be serviced in space by astronauts • Functional until 2014 James Webb Space Telescope possible replacement.
IBEX • Interstellar Boundary Explorer • Mission to achieve the first global observations of the region beyond the “termination shock” at the very edge of our solar system. • Where solar wind slows down quite a bit (past planets).
ICEsat • Multi-year evaluation of the ice sheets. • Collects cloud property information.
INTEGRAL • International Gamma-Ray Astrophysics Laboratory • Gamma-ray stuff, duh. • Collaborative with, like, everyone (ESA).
International Space Station • Research Facility • Largest and longest inhabited object ever to orbit Earth.
Juno • JUPITER! • Scheduled to launch this August. • Five-year cruise to Jupiter. Will study “Jupiter things.”
Kepler • Science Operations Center • Houses 7th best super computer in the world. • Habitable Planet Detection
LRO • Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter • “…leading NASA’s way back to the moon.” • Conducts investigations that prepare for future lunar exploration.
Mars Stuff • Mars Express: searches for water from orbit. • Mars Exploration Rovers: “Spirit” and “Opportunity” explore the Martian Landscape. • Mars Odyssey: maps the mineralogy and morphology of Martian surface. Reconnaissance Orbiter: Studies whether long-standing bodies of water ever existed.
Mars Science Laboratory • Should launch later this year. • Will study whether Mars is able to support microbial life.
MESSENGER • Mercury, Surface, Space Environment, Geochemistry and Ranging • Launched in 2004. • First to orbit Mercury (March 18)
New Horizons • Intended to study Pluto. • Dispatched in 2006 • Flyby Pluto in July 2015. • It’s about halfway!