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March 7, 2014
This Week @ NASA, March 7, 2014

“Here’s some of the stories trending This Week at NASA!”

FY 2015 Budget briefed

NASA’s Fiscal Year 2015 budget proposal was announced March 4. The 17-point-5 billion dollar budget supports NASA’s new strategic plan to drive advances in science, technology, aeronautics and space exploration.

Charles Bolden, NASA Administrator:
“The president’s funding plan for America’s space program reaffirms the path we are on, and will keep us moving forward -- pushing farther in the solar system and leading the world in a new era of exploration.”
The budget enables NASA to continue fostering growth of a vibrant American commercial space industry, stay on target to launch American astronauts from U.S. soil by 2017, keep utilizing the International Space Station until at least 2024 and carry out even more ambitious missions beyond low-Earth orbit."

Charles Bolden, NASA Administrator:
"This budget keeps us on the same, steady path we have been following – a stepping stone approach to send humans to Mars in the 2030’s. It's a path that has seen many recent successes, from the launch of the Global Precipitation Measurement mission last week -- the first of an unprecedented five Earth Science launches this year -- to returning space station resupply missions to U.S. soil with private American companies… to the power-up of Orion and the countdown toward its first flight test later this year… to the final mirrors for the James Webb Space Telescope being delivered.”

Budget highlighted at Capitol Hill luncheon

Two days after the budget announcement, Administrator Charles Bolden was the guest speaker at a luncheon on Capitol Hill, sponsored by The Space Transportation Association. Bolden discussed NASA's budget, programs and prospects for 2014 and beyond. The Space Transportation Association supports policies that advance robust, affordable space transportation for NASA, the Department of Defense and the commercial market.

Next ISS crew trains in Russia

The next crew of the International Space Station is training in Star City, Russia for its upcoming launch to the orbiting lab. NASA's Steve Swanson along with Russian cosmonauts Alexander Skvortsov and  Oleg Artemyev are scheduled for a March 26 launch, Kazakhstan time, to begin a six-month mission on the ISS as Expedition 39/40. Meanwhile, NASA’s Mike Hopkins returns to Earth March 11 while Rick Mastracchio remains onboard as part of Expedition 39.

Flight test boosters arrive

Two of the three boosters that will power the Delta IV rocket scheduled to launch the Orion spacecraft on its first flight test this fall, arrived by barge at Port Canaveral, Florida. The core and the starboard boosters were transported to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station for processing -- the port booster, is expected to arrive in April. Data from Exploration Flight Test-1 will assist in Orion’s design and reduce overall mission risks and costs for later Orion flights.

Goddard Memorial Symposium

NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden delivered the initial keynote speech at this year’s Robert H. Goddard Memorial Symposium in Greenbelt, Maryland. The event attracts science and engineering leaders from around the world to discuss some of the most important issues affecting space exploration. This year’s theme -- "Science and Exploration: Engineering the Future," celebrated past accomplishments while highlighting future space exploration priorities.

5 year anniversary of Kepler launch

March 6 marked the five year anniversary of the launch of NASA’s Kepler spacecraft. The agency's first planet-hunting spacecraft launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on a planned three-and-a-half-year mission seeking signs other Earth-like planets. Even though it completed its prime mission in November 2012, Kepler’s data still is being used – to date, more than 36-hundred planet candidates and 961 confirmed planets have been discovered.

And that’s what’s up … This Week at NASA.

For more on these and other stories, follow us on social media and visit: www.nasa.gov/twan

Page Last Updated: March 7th, 2014
Page Editor: Sarah Loff