Funding and Plans for Manned Space Exploration

Last month, the new Trump administration submitted a new blueprint for NASA’s budget calling for a net overall increase. Although on a program-by-program basis there were winners and losers, the overall increase was seen to benefit NASA’s core mission competencies as far as space exploration while reducing government redundancies. Over the past several years the Obama administration had repeatedly proposed cuts for NASA, which were then overridden by Congress managing to maintain NASA funding.

There were many highlights in the new budget.  An increase in unmanned planetary science pleased the Planetary Society. In general though, I’ll focus on manned space exploration.
Continue reading “Funding and Plans for Manned Space Exploration”

Special Event – Volunteer Opportunity April 1st

Jason Campanella has been a member of WASI for close to seven years. He is also a Boy Scout in Troop 321. He is working with the Bear Branch Nature Center to install a Solar System Walk. Volunteers are needed on April 1, but if you want to volunteer please contact him first at There are still details that he will have to distribute, so it is important that he knows your intent beforehand. Jason is also looking to raise a total of $200 by way of a gofundme page:

A Most Subtle Eclipse of the Moon

Lunar Eclipse

This month there is an eclipse of the moon that you might not notice without prior knowledge that it’s happening. It’s not a total lunar eclipse; it’s not even a partial eclipse. It is what astronomers call a penumbral eclipse. The eclipse occurs on the evening of February 10.

A lunar eclipse occurs when the moon, in its orbit about the Earth passes through its shadow. Because all three bodies must be lined up with the Earth in the middle, a lunar eclipse happens at the time of full moon. Continue reading “A Most Subtle Eclipse of the Moon”

Start Winter Observing

January’s cold but starry nights are upon us. Did you get a new telescope for Christmas or want to rediscover an optical telescope sitting in some corner? We’ll talk about at a few targets – mostly easy to find – up there. We’ll also look at upcoming astronomical events and programs within easy reach of Carroll County residents. Continue reading “Start Winter Observing”