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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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RE: Lost all faith
By maven81 on 4/16/2010 5:53:28 PM , Rating: 0
"Thank you for proving my point for me. Just because we went to the moon before doesn't mean the infrastructure is there or the logistics any easier."

The infrastructure isn't there because we destroyed it! So what exactly did you just prove?

"A trip there now won't make a second trip appreciably easier or less costly."

If done in a short time frame of course it would. Because you'd have the boosters and spacecraft designed and built, the mission controllers and astronauts trained, and the engineers working. It all depends on the nature of the program... If you go once and then don't come back for another 20 years sure, but if you go every 2 years that's a different story isn't it.

Is English your second language?

Are insults all you've got?

I'm saying the exact opposite.

I'm not sure you even know what you're saying at this point. You said "95% of the money for a Phobos mission would simply be spent on actually building the hardware, launching it into orbit, and assembling for the mission."
I'm saying this is nonsense. If that was true it would be fantastic! Because building the hardware and launching it into orbit is actually cheap compared to the operational costs. Recall that Apollo was officially cancelled because the operational cost was deemed too big, depsite the fact that the hardware was already built and ready to fly! Perfectly working saturn 5 rockets became museum pieces.

"A trip to Phobos isn't going to make a future Mars mission appreciably cheaper, easier, or faster to accomplish."

Of course it will! Most of the hard problems will have been solved, with only landing remaining. If you don't get that, you don't know what you're talking about.


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