NASA budget will axe Mars deal with Europe: scientists

An "autonomous robotic scientist" from the ExoMars mission
An "autonomous robotic scientist" is driven following a press conference by the European Space Agency, regarding it's ExoMars mission in 2006. US President Barack Obama's budget proposal to be submitted next week for 2013 will cut NASA's budget by 20 percent and eliminate a major partnership with Europe on Mars exploration, scientists said Thursday.

US President Barack Obama's budget proposal to be submitted next week for 2013 will cut NASA's budget by 20 percent and eliminate a major partnership with Europe on Mars exploration, scientists said Thursday.

The White House is proposing a $1.2 billion budget for the , down from $1.5 billion this year, according to Louis Friedman, a former NASA official and co-founder of the Planetary Society who was briefed on the matter.

"It's certainly dead," Friedman told AFP, referring to the ExoMars project which aimed to send an orbiter to the red planet in 2016 followed by a pair of rovers in 2018, ahead of a possible mission to return samples from Mars to Earth in the 2020s.

According to the deal NASA and the made in 2009, NASA would contribute $1.4 billion to the project and ESA would chip in $1.2 billion.

Friedman added that the political will in Europe and the United States was likely strong enough to push efforts toward a new deal of some kind, but the details remain to be seen.

"I don't think it is hopeless. But there is no indication that Congress is willing to help," he said.

G. Scott Hubbard, a professor of at Stanford University who was NASA's first Mars program director and revitalized the program after a string of failures, also said the ESA project was likely to die.

"If the appear next Monday as the rumors suggest, then the existing NASA/ESA ExoMars collaboration may well disappear. What will replace that is unknown to me," Hubbard told AFP in an email.

NASA officials declined to confirm the details of the but scheduled a series of press conferences to discuss it on Monday.

"Consistent with the tough choices being made across the federal government to reduce spending and live within our means, NASA is reassessing its current initiatives to maximize what can be achieved scientifically, technologically and in support of our future human missions," said NASA spokesman David Weaver.

The project had been named as a top priority flagship mission by the US National Academy of Sciences' Decadal Survey, which sets out a plan for NASA space exploration.


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'Frustration' in Europe over joint Mars probe: NASA

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Feb 10, 2012
What a shame!!! so unfortunate that ESA have to rely o the yanks to get this to mars, they should talk with russia

Feb 10, 2012
Plenty of rocket launches from the middle of the Pacific all the time from movable platforms have the president thinking, "Wait.. what's going on? Those aren't our launches. They're moving forward on their own." And yes, it's been that way for some time, so now you know.

The president has a bigger problem with the military budget. How do you occupy all those people otherwise? I'm thinking, "think space", but..

Feb 10, 2012
There simply is no money for NASA. Even what they do have remaining in their budget is borrowed and would be eliminated in a balanced Federal budget.

As of a couple of days ago:
US National Debt ($15.3 Trillion)
US Unfunded Liabilities ($117.5 Trillion)
Derivative Obligations ($423 Trillion)

Just from an unfunded liabilities viewpoint alone, independent of the other figures, the US Congresses and Administrations have over the last few decades overspent to such a degree that every last US citizen is effectively in hock to the tune of over 400% of their entire personal net worth.

Were we to sell everything, and somehow miraculously still get top dollar for it, we wouldn't be able to satisfy a quarter of what has been obligated in our names.

So by comparison, Mars is pretty unimportant.

Hey, I love space travel. I'd love us to have active colonies on Mars and elsewhere. But even if those should be public projects, which is arguable, we can't afford it.

Feb 10, 2012
In the meantime you are enjoying a standard of living probably unequaled anywhere else in the world, as are most of the rest of us here, so those figures don't really mean a whole lot. Get off the topic of sums and look at yourself.

Feb 10, 2012
what's the difference between a $10 debt and a $10,000,000,000 debt?

If you can't afford to pay the 10$ debt: Nothing.

That's what some people don't get. If you're so deep in debt that you can't/won't pay it off, anyhow, then going deeper into debt makes no difference to you - it just makes the guy lending to you a sucker.

k_m
Feb 10, 2012
The only way out of the debt is to reverse our economy: turn to production instead of consumption. It must be made cheaper to produce goods here than to import.

Feb 10, 2012
The only way out of the debt is to reverse our economy: turn to production instead of consumption. It must be made cheaper to produce goods here than to import.
Look at your US dollar bill. It says DEBT NOTE, Now how are you going to ever build a net worth of even one gold bar with debt? Did you realize it's impossible? Or are you hoping some force will intervene on your behalf, saving you from your swindle? Still high on hopium? I hear the crash is really bad.

Look at your US trade deficit. It's almost exactly to US MILITARY SPENDING: More the rest of the world COMBINED. That's where your $ goes. To the eternal war on terror, aka. CIA's paid actors.

Feb 10, 2012
"also said the ESA project was likely to die."
There is a saying that USA fits perfectly: that that you do not let die will not let you live.
EU be smart and consider USA dead meat. There is no hope in dealing with USA. USA might as well not exist and there will be no difference for the rest of the world: "au contraire" the world might be better off without USA. In fact USA is just a self guarded open air prison.

Feb 10, 2012
He could always purchase gold bars with those DEBT NOTES. Of course Gold has no value unless people value it. Just like those DEBT NOTES.
Yes acting alone he could. But the trick the Rothschilds invented at their gold bank was lending out gold notes amounting to ten times the actual gold held in their vault. So if everyone ran the Rothchild's ponzi scheme, their fraud would be exposed. All their subterfuge amounts to concealing this fraud while expanding it worldwide and extorting governments. Governments are now as helpless as people against the wrath of the market, and will seek any assurances of a rosy outlook.

In short gold is something, while debt notes are paper redeemable for more NONEXISTENT paper which IS NOT redeemable for gold. That's why the FED build a back door at Fort Knox and emptied it out. They got the gold. You got the paper.

Feb 10, 2012
i'm not sorry to see nasa's funds being cut-they have not been honest with the world on their discoveries that we have paid dearly for in the past years, people viewing their photo releases constantly find the marks of editing, (airbrushing) on the released photos and no photos at all on other items of interest--YU55 for one. why keep dumping money into a black hole-maybe supporting a private outfit for their research is the way to go..

Feb 10, 2012
@baudrunner said:
Get off the topic of sums and look at yourself.


Baudrunner, what does that even mean? We are the wealthiest nation in history, but even that doesn't make living beyond our means - individually or collectively - OK.

However, we're also the economic engine of the world, or if you want to quibble about it we are at least a very significant part of that engine, a part it really can't function without. One of the several bad things about us having to scale back on government spending - if not our standard of living, but heck for a lot of people that's the same thing - is that as our consumption declines, which it must, it will harm the entire world.

Welcome to the razor's edge.

Feb 11, 2012
a zeroing of economic growth


Not necessary, and a very stupid idea. There is a way to achieve sustainable economic growth. If it is based on scientific advancement, which grows sustainably with no limit in sight.

Feb 11, 2012
Sustainable economic growth by constantly improving the utilisation of resources, instead of increasing the consumption of resources.

cdt
Feb 11, 2012
In the meantime you are enjoying a standard of living probably unequaled anywhere else in the world, as are most of the rest of us here, so those figures don't really mean a whole lot. Get off the topic of sums and look at yourself.


Actually, you're more likely enjoying a standard of living surpassed in many parts of the world -- Japan, Norway and Australia come immediately to mind -- but blinded to the fact by the economic prosperity of the country as a whole. There is a wealthy 1% in the US with a very high standard of living, to be sure, though even they are dependent on the rest of society to service them, and service and quality in general in the US have a lot to be desired. You would notice it immediately if you started living somewhere where things work.

Feb 11, 2012
I have seen the most important video, and it is indeed important.

"A "natural" 3 percent growth rate has a doubling period of about 21 years. So in 105 years you have 5 doubling periods."

Thats a little too high rate to be longterm sustainable.

"If your plan is to produce 32 times as many goods then you will have to make them last 1/32 as long in order to prevent them from flooding every household."

Not if flooding every household is the intent.

"You will also require the consumption of 32 times as much energy to build and ship those products."

Energy (as opposed to material resources) is one of the few resources that are practically unlimited in possible growth (with renewables and breeder reactors, not even fusion is needed. And with fusion, it would be totally unlimited).

Feb 11, 2012
There are limits to the efficiency of production, and production is nearly maximally efficient now.


Yeah? I doubt it. Great advances in efficiency and resource extraction are awaiting us in the future.

Educate yourself...


Nothing I already did not knew.

Feb 11, 2012
"Perhaps you think you could just use 1/32 of the material that is now used to produce products. Your cups could be 1/32 thinner. Your toaster oven could be made from tinfoil cont."

We are not really limited by sand availability for glass or other basic materials.

And yes, we can make products orders of magnitude more efficient at their tasks without increasing their material requirements much:
Intel 286 achieved 2,66 MIPS, compared to Intel Core i7 177,730 MIPS - with the same amount of raw silicon needed.

Feb 11, 2012
You will also require the consumption of 32 times as much energy to build and ship those products.


Advances in effciency will make that much less than 32 times and advances in energy production will make the requirement much easier to fullfill.

Perhaps you think you could just use 1/32 of the material that is now used to produce products.


Advances in efficiency will indeed lower the need for materials needed and advances in resource extraction will make the increased total requirement easier to fullfill.

Your car will use 1/32 of the gasoline it does now and weigh not 3,200 lbs but only 100 lbs.


How about not using gasoline at all, but something more efficient and/or sustainable?

This is like saying in 19th century that we will never give every family dozens of horses or make a horse cost dozens time cheaper. We didnt, but we gave them something that fullfilled the same purpose better and more efficiently - a car.


Feb 11, 2012
Here is a neat graph of historical real gdp per capita growth:

http://upload.wik...pita.png

Extrapolating, we can say that while 3 % growth over entire 21st century is indeed extremely optimistic, a doubling of 3-4 times is not at all unrealistic if technological progress continues.

Peak oil may complicate things, tough.

Feb 11, 2012
People won't be able to own 32 times as many goods
People will just PRINT their goods. Templates for roll-your-own goodies from 3D printers are already being shared at the new and improved pirate bay.
With nanotechnology within a millennium you could print yourself a new girlfriend.

Feb 11, 2012
You can argue if it will be 100 years or 300 years, but it is most likely 50 years at best.
Products will be virtualized. The barrier between reality and imagination, fiction and fantasy lifted. Something along the lines of a holodeck featured in the Star Trek series will become commonplace. Only energy<=>matter conversion needs to be worked out, and Einstein cracked the ice.
Flesh will be irrelevant at that time.
Not for long when machines figure out the pleasures of the flesh. They will want more pets.

Feb 11, 2012
How do you intend to solve that problem? More Magic Pixie dust?


I have already said, more efficient energy use and more energy production capability. whats so hard to understand about it?

Feb 11, 2012
You do realize that you are now confusing GDP growth with GDP growth per person.


I am not confusing anything, I linked to a graph for per person GDP to get rid of population size effects, obviously.

No matter how you look at it. GDP growth go to zero.


Not as long as science and technology progresses. The you get GDP increase even with flat population. Come on, its not a hard concept to grasp.

You can argue if it will be 100 years or 300 years, but it is most likely 50 years at best.


Most likely hundreds of years.

Feb 11, 2012
I see so the walls of your toaster oven are going to be made from double thickness tinfoil. and your car is going to get 450 mpg rather than 900 mpg.


No, but your toaster will be printed by a cheap 3d printer for a fraction of what todays toaster costs, and your car will cost a fraction of the cost of todays cars, and a mile will cost a fraction of todays cars dollar per mile.

Feb 11, 2012
You have been snorting too much of your Magic Pixie Dust and it has damaged your brain.


You have yet to present a credible argument why sustainable economic growth based on technological and scientific progress is an inplausible idea.

Because technological and scientific progress is one thing that continues to grow with no limit in sight. As long as this is true, economic growth will be able to continue, too.

Feb 12, 2012
yeah, the $20 million we pay every hour for the iraq and afghanistan obligations is a much better use of the money.

Feb 12, 2012
First, if that is the case, they will not part of the GDP. In fact the production of general goods through 3d printing (which is not a practical impossibility) would only reduce the GDP not increase it.


False, you dont know what GDP means.

Gross domestic product (GDP) refers to the market value of all final goods and services produced within a country in a given period.


I dont see anything about an exception for 3d printing.

Feb 12, 2012
Finally, Holodecks will never exist. The best you will do is some 3d goggles and a few tactile sensors for he hands.


Never heard about phased array optics?

http://www.phased-array.com/

Feb 12, 2012
Technological progress is increasingly marginal since nothing can be made more than 100 percent efficient.


Technological progress does not equal increased efficiency. More production capacity is another, and much more important aspect you ignore.

Feb 12, 2012

8 hours ago

Rank: not rated yet
And of course if you print your own toaster you will be depriving the economic system of a taster sale, and hence reduce GDP, not increase it.


False. GDP refers to market value of produced good and services. If your toaster magically appeared from thin air, it would still increase the GDP. Also, note that my graph was of real GDP, to filter out inflation/deflation effects.

Feb 12, 2012
Oil production has peaked. So you aren't going to see any more energy from there. Nuclear is largely unworkable, and renewables are of course limited by the rate at which nature renews them.


Oil is a problem, I can admit that.

But nuclear and renewables are both promising alternatives (not at all unworkable), and their energy capacity is enough for a lot of doublings. We are not even approaching any limits there for a long time to come, assuming technological and scientific progress continues.

Feb 12, 2012
How do you intend to increase the efficiency of an electric motor by a factor of 32 when it is already 80 percent efficient?

Are you completely innumerate?


I have repeatedly said that increase in efficiency AND more effective generating capacity are both needed to achieve that goal. Stop with the 100 % efficient strawman already, it is not that hard to understand.

Feb 12, 2012
You should also stop with the 32x strawman, as I have already stated that I consider 3-4 doublings to be a realistic good-case scenario (the same as in 20th century). So 8-16x at best, and probably less. Of course, nobody can say for sure what the future holds..

Feb 12, 2012
There are limits to the efficiency of production, and production is nearly maximally efficient now.


Yeah? I doubt it. Great advances in efficiency and resource extraction are awaiting us in the future.


Actually, he's right.

Power plants are working at the double carnot limit already, and some are already exceeding it. The carnot limit is the theoretical limit of heat engines, which is 66%. Your automobile engine is about 30% under optimal conditions, and 0% when stopped at a traffic light. Even if you got to the carnot limit, so what? You'd only half consumption, and the world would still run out of oil within the next several decades.

Electric motors are 80 to 85% efficient. Making marginal improvements will hardly even be noticed.

Grid inverters? A guy just made an improvement on those which made them almost ideal. Virtually no room for improvement remaining.

Unless practical FUSION is real, you can't keep doubling energy consumption every few years.

Feb 12, 2012
You should also stop with the 32x strawman, as I have already stated that I consider 3-4 doublings to be a realistic good-case scenario (the same as in 20th century). So 8-16x at best, and probably less. Of course, nobody can say for sure what the future holds..


energy limits are pretty high theoretically, but you must realize as population and standards of living increase, more and more energy must be used for no purpose other than recycling resources and pollutants. In the past up to present day, almost no energy is used in recycling, because we just throw stuff away and forget about it.

If world population is going to be 9 billion, that attitutde will be IMPOSSIBLE to maintain, and literally every scrap of metal, plastic, and organic material must be recycled and reused to maximum.

This business of buying a plastic water bottle or soda bottle or coffee can and throwing it away, or replacing furniture every year or two, etc, must stop.

Feb 12, 2012
You're just wrong on this one Shotman. I suggest you Do The Math
http://physics.uc...he-math/

Our only out is if something like zero-point energy or something that essentially gives us unlimited amounts of free energy were to be realized, and since those have about as much chance of happening as a hamburger-pooping flying unicorn showing up in Congress, we would do better off planning using what we know and can usefully predict right now. Prediction of technological advance isn't useful, even if true, because you can't tell us when it will occur or how much it'll help, so we can't plan for it.

Feb 12, 2012
Shelgeyr

How sad for you. You have a truly distorted perspective of your place in the world. There's a HUGE world out there which really doesn't need America as much as you think it does. Wow.

Feb 13, 2012
You're just wrong on this one Shotman. I suggest you Do The Math


Wrong with what? I dont see anything in your link that would be in conflict with my opinion.

Feb 13, 2012
@vd said:
...Oil production has peaked. So you aren't going to see any more energy from there.


Nonsense.

@baudrunner said:
How sad for you. You have a truly distorted perspective of your place in the world. There's a HUGE world out there which really doesn't need America as much as you think it does.


What is sad is that you're phenomenally, astoundingly incorrect. It would be better for all involved if you WERE right and I was wrong, but that's simply not the case.

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