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
I see another agenda
7/18/2010 6:37:27 PM
Didn't the USAF just develop and launch their own satellite using a secretly developed heavy lifter?
If the funding for that has already been approved, I guess (hope?) that what we have here is a place holder until the USAF rocket can be made more available for civilian tasks...
RE: I see another agenda
7/18/2010 7:06:12 PM
The Delta IV is adequate for anything the USAF/DoD needs for the foreseeable future. They have no payloads beyond Hubble-sized recon-sats.
And you can't (nor is there any particular need to...it's not as if none have ever existed before) develop a heavy-lift (however you define that) launcher. The launch facilities alone don't lend themselves to stealth and secrecy, any more than shipyards do. This is how we knew about the Soviet N-1 and Energia, before they ever flew.
And the moment one flies, it'll be known for a radius of many tens of miles. You can't hide the fact of orbital launches, only (maybe) their purpose.
"When an individual makes a copy of a song for himself, I suppose we can say he stole a song." -- Sony BMG attorney Jennifer Pariser
Obama Clarifies Plans for NASA
April 16, 2010, 10:30 AM
NASA Struggles to End Constellation Lunar Program
March 1, 2010, 1:16 PM
Star Wars Spinoff Film "Rogue One", Theme Park Attractions Announced
August 17, 2015, 12:20 PM
SpaceX Falcon 9's Seventh Supply Mission to ISS Ends w/ Fiery Stage 1 Explosion
June 28, 2015, 1:10 PM
Cool Science Video: Glowing Millipede Prowls the Nevada Desert
May 18, 2015, 12:00 PM
Newly Discovered Costa Rican Glass Frog is Kermit's Doppelgänger
April 22, 2015, 11:26 AM
Researchers Hope to Find "Exotic" Lifeforms Inside Crater of Dinosaur Killing Meteor
April 14, 2015, 8:47 PM
Mathematician's Sociological Formulation May Explain the "Hipster Paradox"
April 14, 2015, 1:13 PM
Most Popular Articles
Why the U.S. Won't be Able to Ban Google's New Huawei Marshmallow Flagship Phone
October 3, 2015, 5:27 PM
Apple's First Fixes to iOS 9 Land w/ iOS 9.0.1 Release
September 23, 2015, 6:11 PM
Apple Watch Commands 2 in 3 Smart Watch Sales, WatchOS 2 Sweetens the Pitch
September 20, 2015, 6:07 PM
Tag Heuer Admits Its $1,800 Smartwatch Was Inspired By Apple -- Price-Wise
September 30, 2015, 6:32 PM
Breaking Bad: How to Crash Google's Chrome Browser With Just 8 Characters
September 23, 2015, 11:08 AM
Latest Blog Posts
Sceptre Airs 27", 120 Hz. 1080p Monitor/HDTV w/ 5 ms Response Time for $220
Dec 3, 2014, 10:32 PM
Costco Gives Employees Thanksgiving Off; Wal-Mart Leads "Black Thursday" Charge
Oct 29, 2014, 9:57 PM
"Bear Selfies" Fad Could Turn Deadly, Warn Nevada Wildlife Officials
Oct 28, 2014, 12:00 PM
The Surface Mini That Was Never Released Gets "Hands On" Treatment
Sep 26, 2014, 8:22 AM
ISIS Imposes Ban on Teaching Evolution in Iraq
Sep 17, 2014, 5:22 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2015 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information