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Obama expects to be around to see man walk on Mars

The U.S. manned space flight programs were dealt a serious blow when Obama announced plans to go back to the moon were being shelved due to budget cuts and cost overruns. The budget cuts meant that the Constellation program would be cancelled.

The outcry against the President's plan was swift from space program supporters and NASA. Obama quickly began to take steps to alter his plans and called for the Orion crew module originally planned as the shuttle replacement to be scaled back and used as a lifeboat for the ISS. Obama had announced that he would talk about his plans for NASA and the space program in Florida earlier this week.

Obama has now aired his plans, clarifying some points and helping to dress wounds caused when he originally announced his plans for NASA. Obama's plan still calls for a scaled back Constellation program that would see the program continue, but only as a shadow of its former self. The changes still mean thousands in the space industry will be left jobless.

The shuttle fleet is set to retire this year with only three more scheduled flights remaining for the fleet with the last scheduled for September. Obama has promised additional funds to allow NASA padding if a launch has to be rescheduled due to weather. Some hope that the extra funds can instead be used to fund an extra mission.

Once the shuttle fleet is retired, getting astronauts to and from the ISS will be left to the Russian Soyuz spacecraft at a cost of about $50 million per round trip.

Obama sees the future of U.S. space flight in the hands of private companies. Obama wants a new industry that will see private companies offering transportation services to NASA rather than the vehicles themselves.

Obama said, "The new plan is to harness our nation's unparalleled system of free enterprise (as we have done in all other modes of transport), to create far more reliable and affordable rockets."

The 
San Francisco Chronicle reports that Obama foresees manned missions to near Earth asteroids and perhaps even Mars in his lifetime.

Obama said, "[By 2025 the U.S. will have a new spacecraft] designed for long journeys to allow us to begin the first-ever crewed missions beyond the moon into deep space." He continued saying, "We'll start by sending astronauts to an asteroid for the first time in history," he said. "By the mid-2030s, I believe we can send humans to orbit Mars and return them safely to Earth. And a landing on Mars will follow. And I expect to be around to see it."

Obama said of a return trip to the moon, "We've been there before." Obama's plans for the space program still need the approval of Congress. Many lawmakers still plan to fight to keep the jobs that Obama's new budget will cut in their home districts. Obama's plans would see 2,500 jobs added in the Florida "Space Coast" by 2012. Thousands will still be unemployed due to the budget cuts.



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NASA funding highest in ~20 years
By PresidentThomasJefferson on 4/16/2010 4:49:05 PM , Rating: 2
his plan is actually more Republican/free-market, contracting out most ship-building to private contractors competing similar to defense contractors competing for aircraft wins & actually gives billions more than Bush/Republicans to Texas, FL, & Alabama

FYI, Obama has funded & is funding NASA greater any Repubilcan president ever in history in nominal dollars as well as adjusted for inflation (except for Bush 1 in 1991).. not even Reagan in his 'StarWars' heydey funded NASA anything close to Obama or any Democratic president's levels of funding, even when adjusting for inflation.. read NASA's funding levels yourself:

NASA Budget from 1958 to current 2011

from Space.com (the premier space exploration site, not partisan newspapers that sensationalize & distort)::

http://www.space.com/news/obama-space-plan-fact-sh... l

http://www.space.com/news/nasa-new-work-orders-fav... 11.html

Invests in Florida, adding $3 billion more for the Kennedy Space Center to manage – a 60 percent increase.

"We have more money, and that would say that you have more jobs," Bolden told reporters during a teleconference. Bolden said the agency has not conducted an independent assessment of estimated job growth under Obama's plan, but correlated an increase in NASA's contractor work force to the president's proposed $6 billion funding boost for NASA over the next five years. "If we use the standard measure for future jobs as money, then yes, there should be more jobs."

Obama's $19 billion NASA budget request would increase the agency's top-line spending by 1.5 percent next year followed by three years of better-than-inflation boosts.

While that translates to $1.6 billion more for NASA between 2010 and 2013 than the previous administration proposed, the part of the agency in charge of Constellation — the Exploration Systems Mission Directorate — would see its budget shrink by $5.2 billion compared with previous plans.

Although Obama's plan has come under bipartisan fire from Capitol Hill, Bolden said if Congress approves his agency's 2011 spending plan, NASA would stand up a new program office at Kennedy to manage $5.8 billion aimed at fostering development of commercial space taxis over the next five years. In addition, Kennedy would get $2.3 billion over the next five years for infrastructure improvements to the Eastern Range launch complex.

Houston-based Johnson Space Center, which currently has overall responsibility for the Constellation program, could manage a $6 billion flagship technology demonstration program focused on projects costing up to $1 billion. NASA
intends to initiate demos next year focused on in-orbit propellant transfer, inflatable space modules, and rendezvous and docking. NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., which stands to lose its lead role on the Ares rockets and Altair lunar lander programs, would get four new program offices, including one in charge of a $3.1 billion initiative to research and develop heavy-lift and other rocket propulsion technologies.




RE: NASA funding highest in ~20 years
By US56 on 4/16/2010 6:52:31 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
FYI, Obama has funded & is funding NASA greater any Repubilcan president ever in history in nominal dollars as well as adjusted for inflation (except for Bush 1 in 1991).. not even Reagan in his 'StarWars' heydey funded NASA anything close to Obama or any Democratic president's levels of funding, even when adjusting for inflation.. read NASA's funding levels yourself: NASA Budget from 1958 to current 2011


That statement seems counter intuitive. Googling "NASA Budget from 1958 to current 2011" yields nothing but a post you made on another site. Due to your sloppy posting, it's not possible to confirm your claim without more work than I'm willing to invest on a Friday afternoon. You should work for a deeper understanding of what's going on than just a freshman econ interpretation of the budget issue and your blind, mindless admiration of Obama. You might also have more credibility if you paid attention to the spellchecker.


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