New U.S. Plan for Space Exploration

1. Jan 9, 2004

Staff: Mentor

Excerpts from a news article from ABCnews.com.

The president is set to announce next week that he wants to send astronauts back to the moon around the year 2013, and to make a flyby of Mars by around 2020, sources say.

To help pay for the program, the sources say the Space Shuttles would be retired as soon as they have finished building the International Space Station. The White House would also ask Congress to increase NASA's budget by $800 million next year, and keep increasing it by five percent for several years after that. Currently, NASA's budget is about$15 billion a year.

Astronauts last walked on the moon in 1972. This time, it is believed the president favors a permanent station.

A new multipurpose ship, called a "Crew Exploration Vehicle," would be built as NASA's future workhorse. It would consist of different components that could be combined as necessary for different missions, whether they are to Earth orbit, the lunar surface, or beyond.
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A permanent space station on the moon beginning in 10 years?

2. Jan 9, 2004

Descartes

The president favors it? Methinks it would take significant international political gymnastics to organize the colonization of any celestial entities. This couldn't be a US endeavor alone, obviously, lest we endure a missle crisis akin to Cuba on the moon from countries zealous enough to take control.

I first read about it on Spaceflight Now. It's still on the frontpage with links to several articles.

Thanks Evo!

3. Jan 9, 2004

NateTG

Realistically speaking, space is rapidly becoming a much more diverse field.

China, Europe, the US Government, US private, and the Russians are all seperate players. Setting up something like a moon colony is likely to be an international endeavor.

4. Jan 9, 2004

Staff: Mentor

I agree, this would have to be an international undertaking. It will be interesting to see what happens.

No surprise that Bush is using this as a means to deflect declining public opinion of his term, with the elections coming up.

5. Jan 9, 2004

Silverious

Sounds exciting.

6. Jan 9, 2004

meteor

Better late than never

7. Jan 9, 2004

shetland

I wonder what percentage of the budget NASA had during the heyday of the Apollo program?

I would hope that their are not program cut in other areas of NASA, to justify solely this particular goal.

8. Jan 10, 2004

Staff: Mentor

No, there don't appear to be other program cuts.

9. Jan 11, 2004

Kalimaa23

Besides the already tremendous budget-cuts for science, education and social welfare off course...

I think it's a wonderful thing. I'm hoping to go in aerospace myself, so I applaud any expantion in that area. Critics might say that it is a lot of money for a government that is already stretching it's limits to pay for it's war on terror.

And it's not like it's money wasted. This is direct government support for high-tech industry: JOBS!!! People seem to forget this...

10. Jan 11, 2004

Staff: Mentor

Absolutely! The overall advances to technology that will benefit us here on earth as a result are priceless.

Dimitri, I lived many years near NASA in Houston and knew many of the scientists & engineers & even an astronaut. I have an old friend that works at the JPL in CA. It's a fascinating field to enter.

11. Jan 8, 2005

BobG

12. Jan 8, 2005

FulhamFan3

This president is into so many symbolic programs and policies that make people feel good but really don't help anybody. I'd be all for it if we had an excess of money or it actually did yield hard science. But if you ask most scientist they'll say manned missions yield little or no new knowledge about space. Maybe when we have the ISS with permanent zero gravity labs.

To me it just seems like a distraction to the real problems we have.

13. Jan 8, 2005

franznietzsche

Why?
If its such a diverse field they can set up their own. I'm not saying that its preferable that it not be an international effort, but there is no reason to presuppose that it would ahve to be. The first space stations weren't.

14. Jan 8, 2005

franznietzsche

Short term thinking. I love it.

15. Jan 8, 2005

My name was sent on the Mars Exploration Rover-2003 Mission. That’s it; I’m immortal now!

16. Jan 8, 2005

Andromeda321

Same here. I also put my name onto the Deep Impact probe so I can have it smashed to smithereens on a godforsaken rock.

17. Jan 9, 2005

Ivan Seeking

Staff Emeritus
Bush now wants to go to the sun. The budget for a nighttime mission is expected soon.

18. Jan 9, 2005