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Ehrenfreund P.,Space Policy Institute | McKay C.P.,NASA
Space Policy | Year: 2014

The Global Exploration Roadmap (GER) is driven by several goals and objectives that include space science, the search for life as well as preparatory science activities to enable human space exploration. The Committee on Space Research (COSPAR), through its Commissions and Panels provides an international forum that supports and promotes space exploration worldwide. COSPAR's Panel on Exploration (PEX) investigates a stepwise approach of preparatory research on Earth and in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) to facilitate a future global space exploration program. We summarize recent activities and workshops of PEX in support of the GER. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. Source

The tri-border area (TBA) of Southeast Asia is comprised of three states - the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia - and two main bodies of water - the Sulu Sea and the Celebes Sea. As a major route for commerce, navigation and settlement, the region is also highly contributory to transnational dissident, terrorist and criminal activity. With maritime transportation greatly contributing to the vital role of Asia in world trade, the monitoring of offshore and coastal vessel activity is imperative in protecting the natural environment and its resources and in enhancing regional and global maritime stability. One of the major approaches to accomplishing this may be in the regional cooperation for maritime domain awareness (MDA) through a combination of satellite-based Earth observations, Automatic Identification Systems (AIS) and Geographic Information Systems (GIS). The increased global coverage and reduced costs of these civilian and commercial space systems and geospatial data continue to be of growing interest to the world's naval forces, port authorities, and numerous stakeholder agencies for increasing MDA. This paper examines the current role of these space assets and geospatial technologies in supporting cooperative MDA activity in the TBA, analyses how space competes with the Philippines' strategic approach to maritime threats in the TBA, and evaluates the opportunities for building the capacity of the Philippines to use space technologies in order to increase MDA in the region. The goal of this paper is to establish a framework for future cooperative use of space for MDA across the three TBA states and with strategic partners such as the United States. ©2013 by the International Astronautical Federation. All rights reserved. Source

Perrino R.G.,George Washington University | Perrino R.G.,Space Policy Institute
AIAA SPACE 2015 Conference and Exposition | Year: 2015

In September 2004, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released a study after conducting an analysis of cost data from 72 National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) projects from 1977 to 2000. CBO found that the initial budgets for these projects totaled $41.1 billion whereas revised budgets equaled $66.3 billion, a cumulative increase of 161.3 percent. Several months earlier, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) had released a report in which it assessed the effects of cost estimating processes at NASA on program management. In that report, GAO reviewed 27 projects and found that half of these projects incurred development cost increases, some by as much as 94 percent. GAO also found that the cost estimating processes used by NASA were not able to ensure the reliability of cost and schedule estimates, and that this lack posed significant challenges to the agency’s ability to manage its projects. Whereas these reports provided Congress and the public insight into pervasive cost and schedule estimation issues, there were also a number of peer-reviewed, academic studies, concurrently addressing these issues. Findings and recommendations from many of these studies provided the intellectual impetus for NASA to approach cost estimating in an increasingly sophisticated way. These reports and studies set the stage for policy change at NASA. Change came in the form of a new cost estimating policy, introduced agency-wide in January 2009: the Joint Confidence Level (JCL) policy. In a 2014 assessment of large-scale projects, GAO described the JCL as “quantif[ying] potential risks and calculat[ing] cost, schedule, and reserve estimates based on all available data,” and identified a reduction of cost and schedule overruns among smaller, low-cost, less complex missions, in contrast to larger, high-cost, more complex missions, since implementation of JCL policy. However, the GAO assessments have raised concerns about JCL, including the quality of data entering JCL models; standardized implementation; lack of long-term, cumulative data on the efficacy of JCL policy on project performance; and frequency of JCL analyses. Considering improvements to cost and schedule estimation at NASA after the policy was introduced in 2009 and considering areas of continuing concern by oversight agencies, can similar improvements be realized at other federal agencies through implementation of JCL policy? Are the cost and schedule growth issues that JCL policy addressed at NASA unique to the agency? What would be the benefit(s) and drawback(s) of implementing JCL policy at other federal agencies? This paper will address these and related questions. © 2015, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc, AIAA. All Rights Reserved. Source

Ehrenfreund P.,Space Policy Institute | Ehrenfreund P.,Leiden Institute of Chemistry | Spaans M.,NOVA Kapteyn Astronomical Institute | Holm N.G.,University of Stockholm
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences | Year: 2011

Carbon, and molecules made from it, have already been observed in the early Universe. During cosmic time, many galaxies undergo intense periods of star formation, during which heavy elements like carbon, oxygen, nitrogen, silicon and iron are produced. Also, many complex molecules, from carbon monoxide to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, are detected in these systems, like they are for our own Galaxy. Interstellar molecular clouds and circumstellar envelopes are factories of complex molecular synthesis. A surprisingly high number of molecules that are used in contemporary biochemistry on the Earth are found in the interstellar medium, planetary atmospheres and surfaces, comets, asteroids and meteorites and interplanetary dust particles. Large quantities of extra-terrestrial material were delivered via comets and asteroids to young planetary surfaces during the heavy bombardment phase. Monitoring the formation and evolution of organic matter in space is crucial in order to determine the prebiotic reservoirs available to the early Earth. It is equally important to reveal abiotic routes to prebiotic molecules in the Earth environments. Materials from both carbon sources (extra-terrestrial and endogenous) may have contributed to biochemical pathways on the Earth leading to life's origin. The research avenues discussed also guide us to extend our knowledge to other habitable worlds. © 2011 The Royal Society. Source

News Article | November 13, 2015
Site: http://www.techtimes.com/rss/sections/science.xml

Japan hopes to become the fourth nation to successfully land an unmanned mission to the moon. The space policy committee of Japan modified the schedule of its space timetable program. It noted 2019 as the launch date for its lander technology to the moon. The committee said the country's lander is going to be developed with a brand new technology, allowing it to land within 100 meters of the target landing site. In a bid to significantly boost landing precision, the lander will make use of facial recognition software. The planned trip to the moon is anticipated to be much better compared to what the United States, China or Russia have already launched. The committee said this specific undertaking of Japan might help strengthen the position of the country in space exploration. Furthermore, it said that the Japanese government will ask for input from the general public pertaining to its lunar project and space exploration policies. The committee intends to finalize the master plan within the year. The creation of the lander is targeted to kick off in the coming year. Back in 2013, China followed the footsteps of the United States and the former Soviet Union in completing an unmanned moon mission. Meanwhile, the landing of the Chinese moon lander, Chang’e-3, in 2013 was regarded as a technological victory. “It is an achievement deserving of respect,” said John Logsdon, professor emeritus at George Washington University. “Chang’e-3 is impressive as the first landing on the moon in almost four decades, landing in a place that has not been explored (and using) relatively advanced scientific instrumentation.” Some critics during the time, nevertheless, wondered if the mission was definitely worth the money. A few even made a comment that the unmanned mission could not resolve social issues. China, however, seemed to win over Scott Pace, the director of the Space Policy Institute at the George Washington University. According to him, the mission showed off the remarkable abilities of the country by pulling off what he calls "soft landing." Soft landing, according to Pace, necessitates skill in guidance, control and navigation. This technological triumph of China may be a challenge and at the same time an inspiration to Japan by the time 2019 comes around. Knowing Japan's prowess in technology, however, can make the venture's roaring success a piece of cake.

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