An anonymous reader writes "Some of the most influential leaders of the space community are quietly working to offer the next U.S. president an alternative to President Bush's "vision for space exploration" — one that would delete a lunar base and move instead toward manned missions to asteroids along with a renewed emphasis on Earth environmental spacecraft.
The alternative vision would include missions to asteroids with the goal of an emergency asteroid diversion and missions to the Earth-Sun Lagrange points for research and possible servicing of the James Webb Telescope. The telescope was recently approved to carry a lightweight Crew Exploration Vehicle docking system. Other issues being considered are robotic options for all mission elements and working to better define manned versus robotic tradeoffs. The vision would also include far greater private-sector incentives for participation at all levels. Missions to asteroids and Lagrangian points, for example, are likely to carry along Bigelow-type commercial inflatable modules."
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