As said by Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Alexseyevich Gagarin on this day in 1961 when he became the first human in space.
Now that the NASA rover Curiosity has landed on Mars, the exploration for signs of life there can begin. Of course it will be years before anything can definitively be declared, but the newest search has begun.
Six Ways Investments in Space are Paying Technology Dividends on Earth -- Popular Science
Each time NASA gets a new budget from Congress, a recurring debate takes a spin through a media cycle or two. At its simplest this conflict of opinion is a split between people who think Americans give NASA too much money and those who think it’s not enough. There are the more nuanced arguments too, those that hinge on specific line items and whether or not a specific program or ambition is worth it (or not worth it). But all the noise can largely be distilled into a question that looms ever larger in the current age of austerity: is what we’re getting out of NASA worth what we’re putting in? Is space science a good investment?
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Development of the Space Launch System currently includes a lot of computer simulations.
It's possible that no NASA Administrator has enjoyed appearing in front of Congress since the 1960's. Charlie Bolden's testimony in front of both the Senate and House oversight committees for his agency last Wednesday was likely to continue that trend.
Although there was some argument over the 20 percent cuts to the Mars exploration program and NASA's commitments to the ESA, the key issue in both the Senate and House hearings was a philosophical difference over how to get humans into orbit. The legislators favored NASA's Space Launch System, known among its detractors as the "Senate Launch System," over CCDev, the Commercial Crew Development program. The two shouldn't conflict, given that they are meant for completely different purposes, but in these highly-politicized times, they do.
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