NASA Backs Off From Permanent Moon Base

mercurial

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That permanent moon base NASA's been talking about for years? Looks like it might not happen.

Acting NASA Administrator Christopher Scolese quietly admitted so on Capitol Hill Wednesday as he testified before a meeting of the House Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies.

Responding to questions about whether the Obama administration's proposed NASA budget for 2010 would put the space agency on track for construction of a permanent base, Scolese wouldn't commit.

"Do we mean a colony on the moon? That's clearly very expensive," he stated. "It will probably be less than an outpost on the moon, but where it fits between sorties — single trips to the moon to various parts — and an outpost is really going to be dependent on the studies that we're going to be doing."

The permanent moon base was the centerpiece of NASA planning following former President George W. Bush's Vision for Space Exploration speech in 2004, though Bush never specifically called for one.

But NASA, spurred on by then-Administrator Michael Griffin, incorporated a permanent base as part of its grand strategy to get humans back to the moon by 2020.

It was meant to be a research and exploration station, as well as a staging area for missions that would send the first humans to Mars.

Scolese, facing recession-era budget shortfalls and Obama-era budget scrutiny, may be hedging his bets — especially since President Obama hasn't nominated anyone to officially replace Griffin, who handed over the reins temporarily to Scolese when he resigned on Inauguration Day.

A clearer image of NASA budget planning for 2010 is due later this month.

Source
 

pope24

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Nov 2, 2005
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China will get there first. But only because they have the political will.
 

Tux

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The alien version of greenpeace complained that they're planning to build the base on a Lunar Heritage site that would destroy endangered rocks in the process.
Plans for the base are now on hold until a complete environmental impact study has been completed
 

LazyLion

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Mar 17, 2005
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Putting a man on the moon is not the same as putting men into the international space station! The expense would be enormous and I doubt even China could handle or rationalize that expense. I think we will have several visits to the moon before 2050, but no permanent moon base there until later in the century.
 
P

Picard

Guest
There must first be a great leap ahead in terms of technology here on earth, which would make it much easier to do space exploration, than what we currently have. Something like a new type of rocket fuel or metal composites and of course carbon-nanotechnology.

Except for carbon-nanotech I don't see anything big on the horizon.
 
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