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NASA still unsure how to end Constellation and move forward

NASA has been plagued with financial issues and a continued lack of innovation, but now faces the equally daunting task of leaving behind the Constellation program.

President Obama and numerous space observers have been appalled at how poorly operated NASA has been in the past, with internal struggle and political opposition expected to make change even more difficult.  NASA Administrator Charles Bolden has garnered support from some politicians who said the White House is doing whatever it likes instead of working with experts.

As part of the agreement to end Constellation, NASA is expected to pay $2.5 billion to contractors already working on the Ares Rockets, Altair lunar lander, and Orion space capsule.  However, it's unknown how accurate the $2.5 billion estimate is, even though NASA relied on its own analysts and industry analysts to calculate the price.

NASA originally hoped to return to the moon by 2025, as other space nations plan to send lunar spacecraft and manned missions in the same time frame.  China, Japan, Russia, India, and several other developing space programs have expressed interest in landing on the moon by 2030 -- space industry observers think China will be the next country to reach the moon.

The 2011 budget has likely ended any chance of NASA returning to the moon, with private companies expected to help transport astronauts into space.

President Obama must now try to limit ongoing bickering as he works with NASA, private contractors, and legislators during his presidency.  The U.S. space agency will now rely more on the private contractors until current funding problems are sorted out in the future.

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2011 Budget
By PhilM on 3/1/2010 10:20:02 PM , Rating: 2
I'm confused. I thought all there was so far is a 2011 budget request by the President with the actual 2011 budget yet to be enacted by Congress. The author of this article appears to be confusing the two. For an example of what Congress can do with (to?) budget requests, consider the history of C-17 funding.

RE: 2011 Budget
By wwwcd on 3/2/2010 10:02:35 AM , Rating: 2
Obama lied to his people! He also leads a priority policy for major costs of military action! Where are the promises to cut the military contingents, which are everywhere in the world spend huge money at the expense of ordinary poor Americans, but in favor of the rich Jews? Not accidentally called the United States of America - Jewish poodle "

RE: 2011 Budget
By mmatis on 3/2/2010 5:52:16 PM , Rating: 2
The author of this piece realizes that Pelosi and Reid are both lined up on their knees waiting to brew some fresh hot black tea, and that Nelson and Kosmas and the rest of the Dems in Congress, whether or not they are from Space states, are in line with them. How dat taste, bro? Mmm, mmm, mmm!

Just not enough ACORN or SEIU in Constellation. Now Global Warming, on the other hand, feeds the lies that the Head Nanny What's In Charge is looking for. Go GSFC!

"There is a single light of science, and to brighten it anywhere is to brighten it everywhere." -- Isaac Asimov
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