Saturday, December 19, 2009

Interesting Articles

The first article is from the BBC and provides a nice summary of the proposed Discovery Titan lake probe. 'Boat' could explore Saturn moon

In January or Feburary, the President will propose a new budget for FY2011 (which starts in October 2010) for the federal government, including NASA.  The planetary program is too tiny a fraction of the budget to cause speculation prior to release.  Early indications seem to be a tension between reducing deficits and a small ($1B increase to the FY10 ~$18B budget) increase for the manned spaceflight program and Earth observation missions (see Obama Backs New Launcher and Bigger NASA Budget and An extra billion for NASA in FY11?)

My take on this for the planetary program is that extra money for NASA may reduce pressures to raid the planetary program to fund the manned and Earth observation programs.  We may see the planetary budget hold steady for the coming year.  An alternative would be that all NASA programs except the manned and Earth observation programs will be cut 5% (to match the general cut being asked of all federal agencies) with the savings applied to those two programs.

I'll begin posting summaries from the AGU meeting tomorrow (after seeing Avatar, which I hope lives up to its hype).

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