Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Feb 16th - ATV sent to resupply the ISS

The Johannes Kepler Automated Transfer Vehicle is the second of it's kind, designed to send large amounts of cargo to the ISS. This mission was the heaviest ever launched by ESA, totaling at 6,600kg of propellant, water, air, and dry cargo. Once the ship unloads at the ISS, it will undock, and will be sent to be destroyed in the earths atmosphere. The previous mission using an identical vehicle was launched in 2008.

This new cargo vehicle is important for one because the ISS is still growing, and as of this year is bigger than ever. Also, the space shuttle, ISS' largest resupply vehicle, is going to retire this year.

New Blog

The purpose of this blog is to deliver recent news of space exploration. The reason I made this blog is because I feel that far too little attention is being paid to this stuff, and I thought I should help with awareness.

Here's a list of orbital launches by year, green is successful, red is unsuccessful, and blue is total:

As you can see, the numbers have been dwindling for decades until a recent rise, which means that the world is operating far below capability in terms of space exploration. Here's a graph of NASA's budget: It's been steady since the Apollo program, but the notable point here is that the budget in 2004 was a mere $15 billion. The budget is set to rise up to $20 billion (in 2010 dollars) by 2014, but that still makes NASA one of the smaller agencies of the US government. It's absolutely nothing compared the the country's unnecessary defense spending.
 Meanwhile the second largest space agency in the world, the European Space Agency (ESA), has a 2011 budget of $5.43 billion USD, and although it has grown significantly over the years, it's still small. My point is, if you live in a country with a space agency, ask your elected governments what their plan for space is. Pressure you government to raise spending for space exploration.