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President Obama controls NASA's destiny, as the U.S. space agency needs at least $3B more per year

A 10-member government panel released a new 157-report that indicates NASA should consider ditching its new rocket, saying its findings can be considered options, not recommendations.

After construction of the International Space Station is completed in 2010, the three space shuttles that make up NASA's fleet will be retired.  The shuttle fleet retirement opens up a several year gap that will force the U.S. space agency to rely on the Russian space program to transport supplies and astronauts to the ISS.

"It's human spaceflight activities are nonetheless at a tipping point, primarily due to a mismatch of goals and resources," according to the Human Spaceflight Program Worthy of a Great Nation report.  "Either additional funds need to be made available or a far more modest program involving little or no exploration needs to be adopted."

The U.S. space agency has put high hopes on its Ares I rockets and Orion spacecraft, but the project severely lacks funds, which has led some to speculate the next-generation launch capsule is a mistake.  The timing of the report's release has proven to be interesting -- Ares is expected to make its first test flight later this month.

Essentially, the future of NASA is now squarely in President Barack Obama's hands, with the president's staff calling on space experts to share their thoughts and ideas.  Congress and the president will now meet to discuss the possibility of boosting NASA's $18.7 billion annual budget to $21.7 billion.

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RE: NASA is inefficient
By Ringold on 10/24/2009 4:02:07 AM , Rating: 2
Facts are: the US military has never sent anybody in space in one of their own craft. Only on NASA's Mercury/Gemini/Apollo/STS missions.

Ehh.. That's a blurry line. Our early space efforts involved what amounted to military officers riding military ICBM's in to space under the mere banner of a civilian agency. The sole reason for NASA not being a military organization is simply that it made for better anti-Soviet propaganda if it were civilian.

Todays NASA involves military officers (albeit more removed from the regular military than the early test pilots were) flying craft designed and built by military contractors.

As for secret military space craft, the Fox link appears legitimate and undeniable. I'm not surprised that the government wont disclose which agency owns that satellite they mention. There's no doubt plenty of government branches that aren't known to the public and, if they have their way, never will be. Don't believe me? NRO was created in 1960. Its cover wasn't blown until 1985, and the government didn't hardly acknowledge it until 1992. Thats 32 years you'd of had the wool over your eyes if you believed everything they say.

"The Space Elevator will be built about 50 years after everyone stops laughing" -- Sir Arthur C. Clarke

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