In Today’s Deep Space Extra… NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) will continue to evolve and return to benefits to the American taxpayer. Cancelling WFIRST, an astrophysics priority, as proposed in NASA’s 2019 budget, will have negative impacts on science and raise concerns about the Congressionally-supported science decadal process that establishes space science priorities through the National Academies. ULA’s Vulcan rocket will incorporate novel reuse technologies. Canada’s space program could see a larger budget.
Human Space Exploration
How SpaceX and NASA’s rockets compare
The Hill (2/21): By looking at the numbers and requirements, NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) stacks up impressively against SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy, when it comes to supporting future human deep space exploration and other missions. Discoveries made with the SLS will belong to the American taxpayer not a single private company, notes Jeff Bingham, a former Congressional staffer and space policy analyst, in an op-ed.
On second thought, the moon’s water may be widespread and immobile
NASA/Goddard (2/23): Water on the moon, a potential resource for human explorers, may be dispersed across the lunar terrain, though chemically bound, rather than collected as ice in crater recesses at the north and south pole. The data, published in ...