Skip to comments.Obama abandons bid to return man to moon
Posted on 02/02/2010 3:07:33 PM PST by myknowledge
President Barack Obama has ditched US plans to return to the moon and hitched NASA's future to private industry in a budget calling for the space agency to stay close to Earth and do research.
In budget proposals for NASA, Obama proposed increasing funding for the space agency by AU$6.7 billion over five years.
But he proposed dropping the massively over-budget program to develop a new-generation rocket called Constellation, put in place by former president George W. Bush and which had been aimed at taking Americans back to the moon.
Citing a report issued last year by a commission set up to review the US space program, the White House said Constellation was not only too costly but also used outdated technology and would not be ready to ferry humans to the moon before 2028.
Instead, the United States was "launching a bold and ambitious new space initiative that invests in American ingenuity to propel us on a new journey of innovation and discovery.
"This new effort will enable our nation to explore new worlds, develop more innovative technologies, foster new industries, strengthen international partnerships, and increase our understanding of the earth, our solar system, and the universe beyond," the White House and NASA said in a joint statement.
The Obama administration's plans for NASA call for "a fundamental re-baselining" of the space agency, including fresh "new investment in innovations for space technology, and new ways of doing business."
A key new way to do business would be to get private industry to build the space vehicles that take humans to the International Space Station (ISS), while NASA concentrates on research and development.
The life of the ISS would be extended beyond 2020, said NASA administrator Charlie Bolden, allowing the US to "keep a commitment to our international partners and develop the full potential of this amazing orbiting laboratory."
Along with other NASA officials and former astronauts, Bolden, a four-time veteran of the space shuttle, hailed Obama's six-billion-dollar budget pledge, saying it would reshape NASA into "an engine of innovation", create high-tech jobs and allow the US to go "further, faster and more affordably into space."
Congress has to approve Obama's budget proposals and plans for NASA, and some on Capitol Hill were already railing Monday at the president's proposal to ax the Constellation rocket program.
Senator Richard Shelby, the top Republican on a committee that oversees funding for NASA, said Obama's budget proposal had set manned US space flight on a "death march."
"The cancellation of the Constellation program and the end of human space flight does represent change -- but it is certainly not the change I believe in," Shelby said in a play on Obama's 2008 campaign slogan.
But NASA officials insisted that canceling Constellation did not mean an end to US ambitions to resume manned space flight or even to return to the moon.
"This isn't a step backwards," said Jim Kohlenberger, chief-of-staff at the White House office of science and technology policy.
"The step backwards was trying to recreate moon landings of 40 years ago largely using some of yesterday's technology instead of game-changing new technology that can take us further, faster and more affordably into space."
In his budget, Obama proposes to increase funding for NASA by six billion dollars over five years, bringing the space agency's budget up to 19 billion dollars in fiscal year 2011, compared to 18.7 billion this year.
If Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin could land on the Moon back in 1969, then we could have done it again and again today.
I knew it was a hoax.
How about we just send Obama instead.
But does monorail get us Tang!?
Myths of NASA: Inventions They Never Invented
I bet if we started today, we could not get a man on the moon by the end of the decade. We took more risks in the ‘60’s (fueled by the cold war) that we would never take today.
but...but...but...bammmy...couldn’t we squeeze in just one, last, trip............one passenger, one-way.....YOU.
No big surprise really. There are no ‘rich’ people there from whom he can extract ‘fees.’
zero’s motto: No we Can’t...
Now that's funny!
Man, I thought it said “Obama abandons bid to remain on the moon”. I was confused, yet sad.
...or minority moon people for votes.
If I really thought this was a genuine nod to the possibility for innovation from the free market I might even think it was a good move. This is pure hypocrisy.
Hypocrisy from the Zero?
Give him a couple of weeks and he’ll have that dumbass Gibbs out “walking this back” just like he’s being forced to do with some of his other bad, anti-American ideas.
Obama has no need to go to the moon. All the lunatics in this country are in Washington running our country..
The first thing he has done that I agree with. Now dismantle NASA!
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