I suppose it’s possible that this is an April Fools post, but I don’t think Leonard would do that.
…has been working on previously undisclosed Space Act Agreements with NASA on a lunar lander. That would seem to be part of the puzzle of what’s been happening over the past several days.
It was apparently much worse than we thought:
As Kennett noted in a recent article in The Current (a university press maintained by UCSB), the crater would have led to widespread destruction, characterized by biomass burning, megafaunal extinctions and global cooling. “It’s much more extreme than I ever thought when I started this work,” he said. “The more work that has been done, the more extreme it seems.”
The discovery was made possible by a Chilean group of scientists who were studying sediment layers at the well-know Quaternary paleontological and archaeological site, known as Pilauco Bajo. Years ago, these scientists recognized changes in the sediment record that were associated with the YDB impact event.
These included a “black mat” layer that coincides with the disappearance of South American megafauna fossils and human artifacts dated to the Pleistocene (12,800 years ago), indicating a severe shift in the climate. This was a major find since the vast majority of evidence for the YDB Impact has been found in the northern hemisphere.
Imagine that happening today. And here we’re obsessing over two degrees Celsius.
Better get moving on that vital SLS, so we can protect ourselves. #NotReally
Bob Zimmerman thinks that this is very significant to settling the Red Planet.
The media hysteria is also mistaken (as always) in imagining that NASA human spaceflight has (and has ever had) much to do with science.
NASA starts at page 97.
It’s the beginning of the end for SLS. NASA wants to do Europa on a “commercial vehicle,” plans for Block 1B are “deferred,” and they propose commercial providers for getting to and from the moon itself, which means that SLS has nothing to do except the Gateway, and it can’t do the Gateway without the new upper stage planned for Block 1B.
It will be interesting to see the Congressional response. One thing it does do is continue to flow the wasteful funding for Block 1 to the right zip codes, so Congress may not care. Culberson is gone now, and if this budget passes with that wording, it would end the legislative requirement to use SLS for Europa.
[Update a few minutes later]
This budget is basically an implicit admission that SLS serves no purpose other than to ship taxpayer funds to the right zip codes. Even Gateway doesn't need it. Which means that the need for the Gateway itself goes away, since its primary mission was to give SLS something to do. https://t.co/oohwiukMwS
— Rand Simberg (@Rand_Simberg) March 11, 2019
This is an OMB proposal. Bridenstine had to provide lip service to SLS to get confirmed. I wonder what he’ll say when he gets called on the carpet by Congress?
[Tuesday noon update]
Yes, Dr. Stofan, NASA could get to Mars sooner, but it doesn’t need more money, it just needs to spend the money it gets more sensibly. They could get to Mars in five years if they could use the SLS/Orion budget for something useful.
[Update a while later]
Space Launch System recap over the last two years:
* Delayed from 2018 to 2021
* A single flight in Block 1 configuration to indefinite amount
* All upgrades deferred
* Europa mission moved because of delays
* Gateway moved to private rockets
— Eric Berger (@SciGuySpace) March 11, 2019
But other than that, it’s had a great two years.
Not mention? Whether or not humans can procreate in 0.38 gees. Because no one knows, and Elon doesn’t seem to care.
My buddy Michelle Hanlon was on NPR yesterday, and the LA Times has an approving editorial.
An interesting piece by Michelle Hanlon. This is a corollary with space property right. If some places are off limits, it implies that most others are not.