Peralta Community College District's Only Student-Run Publication
Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

    NASA weather$ $ome turbulance

    This month NASA made some big announcements. They reported that seven planetary exploration programs will be extended, and that a new satellite has successfully entered the orbit of Mars, which will closely study the atmosphere and weather patterns of the red planet.

    At the beginning of this year we took a look at NASA’s funding, which was in a sad state of affairs. Government funding has been slashed year after year, bringing the NASA’s lowest point in nearly a decade. The 2014 budget was about $300 million less than the budget in 2013. NASA supporters were vehement about raising these funds, but the budget was not adjusted despite outcry for support of expansions in science and technology.

    In April of this year NASA had to consider shutting down one or more programs, with those choices ranging from the Mars Curiosity rover to the Cassini orbiter exploring Saturn. It seemed that NASA was facing some very difficult decisions regarding which missions would be able to continue.

    Through internal budget adjustments NASA has found a way to continue those missions at risk of shutting down, and push new ones forward as well. Funding is still shrinking, but both the Cassini orbiter and the Curiosity rover will continue for now, as announced by NASA officials at a meeting of a planetary science advisory committee on the third of this month.

    It was at this meeting that we also learned they are going to be extending seven planetary exploration missions with goals for extending the longevity of the International Space Station and sending humans to an Asteroid.

    Only days ago NASA also announced that the newest Mars orbiter, MAVEN, successfully reached orbit. The satellite has already given NASA some incredible images of the Mars surface and will help immensely in understanding what happened to the water that once existed on Mars. In total, NASA has plans to continue about 60 ongoing missions and launch perhaps 35 new ones, despite funding looking even smaller in 2015 and ahead.

    About the Contributor
    In the fall of 2019, The Laney Tower rebranded as The Citizen and launched a new website. These stories were ported over from the old Laney Tower website, but byline metadata was lost in the port. However, many of these stories credit the authors in the text of the story. Some articles may also suffer from formatting issues. Future archival efforts may fix these issues.  
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