Executing NASAs future mission plan

NASA can and must afford to support major new science missions costing $1-3B each in the face of its financial constraints with the Space Station, Shuttle, and Hubble Servicing. According to the strategy based on long-term affordability, the President’s fiscal year 2005 five-year budget plan calls for an increase in NASA funds approaching $18 million. Within this budget agenda, ISS funding remains essentially the same, and Shuttle funding remains essentially the same. The Budget does not specifically include funding earmarked to support a Hubble Servicing Mission.

NASA has led the world in space science and exploration since its creation. Upon the onset of a new space market, increased interest in space science and exploration worldwide, and a new long term agenda to send humans beyond Earth to Mars, it is imperative that NASA continues to support both small science missions and large science missions (such as JWST, LISA, TPF, etc.). Currently, large space-based observatories are a rarity. In addition, the famed HST will no longer be able to operate for an extended period of time, even if temporarily rehabilitated by a servicing mission. In order for NASA to continue to lead in the field of space science, NASA must commit to continuing the agenda of large space based observatories.

In order for NASA to afford such large space based missions, restricted by an annual budget of around $16 billion, NASA must look at new ways to afford such grandiose missions. NASA can easily afford large space observatories if international and interagency collaboration is included to support the costs. Despite concerns of management problems associated with interagency and international cooperation, past successes have proven the system can work. Perhaps, increased DOE support and collaboration with NASA can help the financial constraints facing NASA and permit the future large space observatories to take flight.

NASA can also continue its program of science missions and start a new line of “exploration missions.” International collaboration will undoubtedly become necessary as more and more nations take flight into space. Large exploration missions such as the Moon, Mars, and beyond agenda offer both a unique opportunity to increase international ties and opportunities to relieve much of the financial burden facing NASA. The recent Successes of Huygens Probe prove that international collaboration can work on some level. In addition, large exploration missions lie within the interests of all space faring nation’s world wide. Because of this interest, the opportunity to gain support, both scientific and financial, is prevalent and should be grabbed while ripe.

NASA’s current budget of $16 B per year, including commitments to maintain the shuttle program, the international space station, and possibly the HST, is fiscally supportive of a continual presence of new science missions if interagency collaboration and international support are included within the recipe. The national imperative to continue the presence of large space based observatories is undeniable. Despite financial constraints, these missions must be launched. International cooperation and interagency management will make such large missions both more affordable and more feasible. NASA must continue to lead in space science.

The material in this press release comes from the originating research organization. Content may be edited for style and length. Want more? Sign up for our daily email.

3 thoughts on “Executing NASAs future mission plan”

  1. good job, well written, but you should get in the habit of typing things out in full before using abbreviations.

  2. Zach,

    I liked your 2nd blog because you are getting the hang of infusing opinion into your writing while keeping it informative. The blogosphere is there to showcase the diversity of ideas people have from all over the world. You get to be as angry or sentimental as you want. But it’s also just good practice. Way to go dude!

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