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NASA's cashflow problem puts moon trip in doubt

krou (1027572) writes | more than 5 years ago

NASA 1

krou (1027572) writes "According to the Guardian, a panel of experts and former astronauts appointed by Barack Obama, and led by retired Lockheed Martin chairman Norman Augustine, is going to state that there is simply no money to go back to the moon, and the next-generation Ares I rocket is likely to be scrapped unless there is more funding. The $81bn Constellation Program's long-term goal of putting a human on Mars is almost certainly not going to be possible by the middle of the century. The options outlined by the panel for the future of Nasa "are to extend the working life of the ageing space shuttle fleet beyond next year's scheduled retirement until 2015, while developing a cheaper transport to the moon; pressing ahead with Constellation as quickly as existing funding allows; or creating a new, larger rocket that would allow exploration of the solar system while bypassing the moon." All of this means that Nasa won't be back on the moon before the end of the next decade as hoped, "or even leaving lower Earth orbit for at least another two decades". Another result of the monetary black hole is that they don't have the "$300m to expand a network of telescopes and meet the government's target of identifying, by 2020, at least 90% of the giant space rocks that pose a threat to Earth"."

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Give Them Some Money (1)

MikePo (579147) | more than 5 years ago | (#29065139)

It is a really sad situation, while I do realize that the space program is extremely expensive I believe the future return on investment is well worth the resources. Humans are natural explorers, it is in our blood to find out the unknown and I think we are at our best and joined together when working towards that goal. I know that people do not take the space launches and such as serous as they once did and a lot of excite for the space program has fizzled, but I believe that is because we stopped pushing the limits and just settled into a routine.

Image how excited people will get when we launch for Mars, it will be another turning point in human evolution as when we first took to space. I could go into the benefits of the space program such as all of the spin offs that they have given us but in reality we need to do it because it is who we are.

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