NASA's Moon Mission Cancelled, Senate Votes In New Plan
July 18, 2010 12:12 PM
comment(s) - last by
NASA's Orion crew vehicle
Senate and White House compromise
Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation committee
terminated NASA's plan to send astronauts to the moon by 2020 by approving the
construction of a new rocket
for a new mission.
Originally, NASA wanted to send astronauts to the moon through the
Constellation moon-rocket program
, which is a human spaceflight program that aims to develop technologies and gain experience needed for space travel. In February of this year, U.S. President Barack Obama wanted to cancel the program through a proposal that would be effective with the 2011 fiscal year budget, but in April, he announced changes to this proposal during a speech at the Kennedy Space Center.
was to rely on commercial rocket companies to help send cargo and astronauts to space for cheap in hopes of NASA being able to focus on developing more futuristic types of rockets. But Obama's proposal was shot down because of the importance of protecting home-state jobs, and also the strong distrust of commercial companies.
Senate panel has settled
on a compromise between what the White House wants, which is to see the commercial space industry grow, and what Congress wants, which is to see NASA built its own rocket. The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation committee agreed by unanimous vote that NASA is to both build its own rocket, and plan a future undefined flight at some point.
There are still large concerns associated with this new compromise, though. Many are afraid that it will end up like the
five-year Constellation program
, which was cancelled after spending $9 billion because of financial and technical problems that prevented any chance of there being a 2020
landing on the moon
. In addition, there is substantial fear surrounding the fact that NASA is stuck having to build a new rocket without the proper resources needed to make it happen.
"The only big-picture question, in my mind, is whether or not the funding is adequate to perform this plan," said Leroy Chiao, a member of the presidential panel last year.
This new bill
ensures the continued development of the Orion crew capsule, which began under the Constellation program, while also building the new rocket, which could potentially carry Orion to the International Space Station sometime before 2016. The bill plans to budget "more than $11 billion" over the next three years to set all of this in motion.
According to U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), a liaison between the White House and Congress, the state of Florida would benefit from the new compromised bill because 2,000 jobs would be made for development of the new rocket and an extra 1,000 would be created for new commercial efforts. With 9,000 expected job losses from the Kennedy Space Center "after the shuttle's final mission" that would occur "sometime next year," this is a bit of a relief and an advantage that the new plan presents.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
More US Senate idoicy, not that it's surprising
7/18/2010 2:31:38 PM
So... the US Senate obsessively wants the federal NASA department to construct a new heavy-lift platform for moon/mars/deep-space missions, but again, won't actually pay for it. This seems like the same-old pork-barrel politics as ever. They simply want to make sure NASA bleeds enough cash to keep the contractor ecosystem greased with pork, nevermind that it's backstabbing any credible chances of success.
NASA's manned spaceflight program in 2010 is a bloated mockery of the program circa 1960-1972. What's weird is that they're quick to attack things like 'socialized' medicine, but want to socialize space exploration? WTF, seriously, WTF. Kill the Nixon space shuttle and contractor welfare it represents and let the innovators have 1/10th the capital wasted and we'll go places. Anything else is foolish hogwash nostalgia BS with no productive or feasible end-goal.
"Well, we didn't have anyone in line that got shot waiting for our system." -- Nintendo of America Vice President Perrin Kaplan
Obama Clarifies Plans for NASA
April 16, 2010, 10:30 AM
NASA Struggles to End Constellation Lunar Program
March 1, 2010, 1:16 PM
United Airlines Puts Boeing's 787 Dreamliner Back in Service
May 20, 2013, 2:52 PM
Obama to "Clarify" His Position on Killing Americans With Drone Strikes
May 20, 2013, 11:22 AM
High School Student Creates Storage Device that Can Charge in 20 Seconds
May 20, 2013, 6:51 AM
Obama Admin Looks to Revive Bill for Greater Media Protection in Wake of AP Controversy
May 16, 2013, 1:47 PM
Notre Dame Designs Camera to Detect Age of Bruise for Abuse Checks
May 16, 2013, 9:05 AM
Report: Climate Change Could Wash Away Historic Jamestown Site Within 100 Years
May 15, 2013, 5:39 PM
Most Popular Articles
Windows 8.1 Will Be Free; Microsoft Holds Onto Struggling ARM Variant
May 14, 2013, 2:57 PM
Google Announces "Pure" Galaxy Nexus S4 for $649, Android Updates
May 15, 2013, 1:42 PM
Bill Gates Gets Teary-Eyed While Discussing Steve Jobs, Shows Off Life-Saving Tech on 60 Minutes
May 13, 2013, 12:30 PM
U.S. Federal Traffic Board Wants to Make Drunk Driving Threshold Far Harsher
May 15, 2013, 11:32 AM
Google's Eric Schmidt: "Don't Be Evil" was Stupid
May 14, 2013, 11:00 AM
Latest Blog Posts
Quick Note: Sony "Teases" PS4 Ahead of Xbox Reveal in New Video
May 20, 2013, 12:33 PM
Nokia Introduces Instagram-Like App of Its Own to Help Lumia Sales
May 20, 2013, 7:10 AM
Parents of Pre-Teen Drivers Commonly Practice Distracted Driving Says Study
May 9, 2013, 7:16 AM
Apple's iOS 7 Running Into Internal Delays Due to Massive Overhaul
May 1, 2013, 4:26 PM
Elon Musk Willing to Spend More Money on Widening of 405 Freeway
Apr 26, 2013, 7:28 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2013 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information