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Inside Space (Feb 13th, 2018)

President Trump's proposed $19.9 billion budget proposal would eliminate NASA's Wide-Field Infrared Survey Telescope, but moves ahead lunar exploration. Half of the White House's NASA budget proposal — $10.5 billion — directs money toward the space agency's recently refocused mission of returning humans to the Moon with an eventual goal of Mars and beyond. Under Trump's proposal, the space agency's Office of Education would be eliminated. In addition, five Earth-science missions and five climate missions were cut. Lawmakers have expressed concerns about Trump's budget proposal for NASA. The $3.6 billion telescope would have allowed researchers 100 times the field of view of the agency's Hubble Space Telescope using infrared light. Receiving full funding in Trump's proposal was the experimental supersonic plane that would fly from New York to London in three hours. — SPACE

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SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said Monday that his company's Falcon Heavy center core booster ran out of ignition fluid, causing it to miss landing on a floating platform in the Atlantic Ocean last week. It landed about 330 feet away from its target at a speed of 300 mph during the historic launch. Musk said the "fix is pretty obvious." Falcon Heavy's two side boosters simultaneously touched down on landing. The Tesla Roadster launched as the rocket's payload is now being tracked and cataloged by NASA as a Near-Earth Object. — LA TIMES

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The Trump administration plans to end funding for the International Space Station after 2024. The move could transition funding from public money to the private sector. “NASA will expand international and commercial partnerships over the next seven years in order to ensure continued human access to and presence in low Earth orbit," according to an internal NASA document. In Monday's budget proposal is $150 million for 2019 “to enable the development and maturation of commercial entities and capabilities" of the space station. There already is opposition to the plan to privatize the space station. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said the plan was due to the "numskulls" in the federal Office of Management and Budget. — WAPO

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A second SpaceX drone ship will be built to help with an increase in planned launches. The ship, named "A Shortfall of Gravitas," will be based on the East Coast along with another drone ship — "Of Course I Still Love You." That ship was damaged last week during Falcon Heavy's mission. A third ship is housed on the West Coast and used for launches at Vandenberg Air Force Base. It's named "Just Read the Instructions." The ships are named for spacecraft in "Culture" novels by Iain M. Banks. — ORLANDO BUSINESS JOURNAL

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Researchers think an interstellar object that has tumbled out of control for billions of years will continue to do so. The object, which first flew through the solar system in October, first was thought to be a comet. Researchers at Queen's University Belfast say the object — known as Oumuamua — say "it was most likely sent tumbling by an impact with another planetesimal in its system, before it was ejected into interstellar space." — NEWSWEEK

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No need to adjust your screen.

NASA's New Horizons spacecraft captured these images at a whopping distance of 3.79 billion miles from Earth. This marks the farthest image ever captured from Earth.

"New Horizons has long been a mission of firsts — first to explore Pluto, first to explore the Kuiper Belt, fastest spacecraft ever launched. And now, we've been able to make images farther from Earth than any spacecraft in history," principal investigator of the New Horizons mission Alan Stern. 

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