From Cape Canaveral last Sunday evening, the Air Force, in conjunction with United Launch Alliance (ULA), launched a “massive, secret spy satellite” according to a CBS report, the 351st Delta launch since the program’s maiden flight in 1960.
According to an old quote often attributed to Mark Twain, everyone complains about the weather, but no one does anything about it. Most of the time the weather which most immediately captures our interest is that in our immediate surroundings, but it turns out that the Sun’s weather is quite capable of having an immediate impact on human life.
Nearly a year has passed since President Obama’s controversial Augustine Committee’s report recommended a dramatic change in the future of NASA’s manned space flight program. However, it seems that little has changed on Capitol Hill. The recently-adopted NASA budget is approximately the same as previous appropriations—$19 billion for 2011—while dramatically reducing the amount to be spent on commercial space vehicles and accelerating development of a heavy launch vehicle which would be needed for manned flights to the Moon and eventually Mars.