Archive for the ‘Obama’ category

Pancam spinoff enables 1,474 Megapixel Inauguration Photo

January 24, 2009

Remember how I posted about the cool commercial PanCam spinoff that can take giant panoramas? Well apparently photographer David Bergman used it to take a monstrous 1,474 megapixel image of the inauguration! The level of detail is amazing. Go take a look and remember that the space program helped make this image possible.

inaugural_pan

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Citizen’s Briefing Book

January 15, 2009

Ever wish you could tell the president something? Now you can! change.gov has started a new feature called the citizen’s briefing book where people can submit their own ideas and give other ideas a “thumbs up” or “thumbs down”. The ideas that are voted up by the most people will be presented to President Obama once he takes office.

There are some great ideas and some weird ones on the site, but sadly not very many space or science related ones, so I encourage you to post your own and then vote on which ideas you think are the most important!

Obama’s Solution to NASA’s Moon Woes?

January 6, 2009

Apologies for the slow posting lately. I’m paying for my sloth over the holidays by rushing to get an abstract written  for this year’s Lunar and Planetary Science Conference by Thursday, which means I need to have something resembling results…

I thought it would be worth taking a moment and pointing you at this article, though. If I’m reading it correctly, it suggests that Obama may make the moon effort a joint NASA/Pentagon program. That would certainly take some budget pressure off of NASA, since the Pentagon’s space program has a budget of $22 billion, about a third larger than NASA’s. Of course, the idea of using rockets designed for launching satellites and space probes to launch humans instead could be tricky. Rockets have to be much safer to launch a person than to launch hardware, and refitting them can be difficult.

In any case, its an interesting idea, and it would be nice to tap into some funds external to NASA to speed things up.

Obama’s Weekly Address: Science!

December 20, 2008

Obama’s youtube address this week focused on his views on science in the US and his picks for his science advisors and administrators. I highly recommend watching the whole address – after the last 8 years, it’s therapeutic to hear the president elect talk about science as if it’s one of the US’s greatest assets and not just an institution standing in the way of political ambitions. Here’s my favorite part:

Because the truth is that promoting science isn’t just about providing resources – it’s about protecting free and open inquiry.  It’s about ensuring that facts and evidence are never twisted or obscured by politics or ideology.  It’s about listening to what our scientists have to say, even when it’s inconvenient – especially when it’s inconvenient.  Because the highest purpose of science is the search for knowledge, truth and a greater understanding of the world around us.  That will be my goal as President of the United States – and I could not have a better team to guide me in this work.

Man, that’s refreshing. Here’s the video, and a full transcript over at Daily Kos.