2007/11/01

NASA Lunar Science Institute at AMES (near Google)

NASA has announced its intent to establish a new Lunar Science Institute that will help lead the agency's research activities for future lunar science missions. Find Astronomy.com account here

In just over a week, STScI will host "Astrophysics 2020" a workshop to start "envisioning the astrophysics that could be accomplished from space in the 2020 era and beyond. Astrophysics in the 2020's will build upon the results obtained by JWST, AL MA, LSST, GMT, TMT, and other remarkable facilities now being planned for the coming decade. While predicting the precise areas in astronomy and astrophysics that will be most important in 15 to 25 years is difficult at best, the research topics that will be ripe for investigation will most likely be those that require sensitivities, discovery efficiencies, and/or spatial resolutions that significantly exceed what the above facilities will routinely provide. These next levels of observational performance will surely be achieved, in part or wholly, using large space-based facilities. NASA's plans to operate the Ares V heavy launch vehicle means that many of the current technical barriers to placing large, massive and/ or voluminous astronomical payloads in orbit will be eliminated or greatly reduced."

Ares V is NASA's vector to take us to the Moon and beyond. It will be an interesting workshop. I will try to report its highlights.