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The future of the U.S. manned shuttle mission is considered bleak, as NASA needs at least $3 billion more per year

The U.S. Human Space Flight Plans Committee now believes NASA must come up with an additional $3 billion per year to be able to launch manned missions to the moon or to Mars.

The committee said the U.S. space agency absolutely must rely more on private contractors to help fly astronauts back to the International Space Station, and other low Earth-orbit destinations.  Five years ago during the Bush era, it was planned for NASA to get back to the moon by 2020 -- a goal that is extremely unlikely to be met.

Although China, Russia, Japan, India, and the United States all have outlined plans to get back to the moon, it seems like Mars is the true goal for every major space nation.

"You can say that Mars is a destination, but it's really more like Mars is a goal because we're not setting a date," said Leroy Chiao, a member of the 10-person committee, who spoke with Reuters.  "It's saying these are the things we need to do to build up the infrastructure to get to Mars, this is how much money we have now, and we'll see in the next several years what we think we can get done. Then it'll be for the next budget cycles after that to figure out when we might actually get to Mars."

China is expected to be the next country to reach the moon again, according to U.S. space officials, noting there just isn't enough funding going into NASA's long-term manned missions.

Furthermore, the current fleet of space shuttles, which were supposed to be retired in 2010, will likely fly into 2011, the panel said.  President Barack Obama's advisers will analyze the committee's findings, but it's unknown when the president will begin to outline what lies ahead for NASA over the next few years.

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RE: Not Obama's fault
By MrBlastman on 9/9/2009 3:30:54 PM , Rating: 2
I never said I'm a conservative. I get a chuckle everytime people assume automatically I am a Republican. Sure, I mentioned Reagan--I think he was the greatest president we've had in the last 40-60 years or so, but that doesn't automatically make me a Republican.

How quick we are to assume aren't we? ;) I'm a moderate with a conservative lean but I truly do not consider myself a Republican anymore. Bush's radical lean with a leftist prophensity to spend (though he did have strong convictions), McCain's weirdness and his choice of Palin (Palin? are you serious) turned me off completely. If you look at my voting record you'll definitely see that I'm not hardline either.

I definitely could not be grouped in the same category as Rush or Hannity either. But, you quickly assume I could be. There are some free-thinkers left in this country amazingly enough--I like to consider myself one. I call it like I see it.

Obama's flash, sizzle and big spending on propaganda to further his cause. His catering to special interests groups to further his agenda and his outright near-domination of the mass media (print news, television, Hollywood) all reeks of the 1930's Fascist movement which swept Germany like a storm. People got so caught up in the hype being spewed out they didin't pay attention to what was being said--and now that people are finding out what really was planned, some are starting to get angry.

That isn't my fault. It is theirs-no, ours, and America's fathers would shed a tear for the travesties that are occuring in Washington now--not just by Obama, but by Bush as well.

I don't want my kids indoctrinated by Obama at a young age, do you?

RE: Not Obama's fault
By ClownPuncher on 9/9/2009 3:51:56 PM , Rating: 1
My kids are already enrolled in the Obama Youth SS. Oh, crazy can be fun.

"Can anyone tell me what MobileMe is supposed to do?... So why the f*** doesn't it do that?" -- Steve Jobs
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