decided to retire the space shuttle fleet, it was a blow to American space
exploration and meant our astronauts would need to bum a ride with a foreign government
to get to the ISS. NASA and its contractors are at work building the spacecraft
that will replace the Shuttle and it will be ready to fly in a few years time.
NASA is not only planning to use the CST-100
capsule to shuttle astronauts to the ISS. The capsule would also be used for
manned missions beyond Earth’s orbit. To launch the CST-100 capsule into space,
NASA is looking at the Atlas V rocket from Boeing.
facilitate plans for missions to Mars and perhaps beyond, NASA has opened a new
deep space office to coordinate missions. The department is called the Human
Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate.
The new office is a combination of two previous
organizations within NASA -- Space Operations Directorate and Exploration
Systems Mission Directorate. Obama has challenged NASA to put man on an
asteroid by 2025 and then five years later to put man on Mars.
"America is opening a bold new chapter in human space exploration,"
NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said in a statement. "By combining the
resources of Space Operations and Exploration Systems, and creating the Human
Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate, we are recommitting ourselves
to American leadership in space for years to come."
NASA notes that the transition and personnel assignments will take several more
weeks to finalize. The HEO Mission Directorate for short is already supervising
ISS operations. Associate Administrator Bill Gertenmaier will head the new
directorate. The move integrates the operation of NASA in-space assets with
current capabilities and planning for the future of the agency. That planning
includes the size and type of workforce, facilities, and contracts.
quote: I don't really see the point in putting a man on an asteroid though. It would be neat, yes, but we have plenty of samples from them hitting our planet to begin with. Placing man on Mars would be far more beneficial--at least to be able to say man has finally set foot on another planet.