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Artist Rendering of MPC on Mars mission  (Source: MSNBC)
New office will be charged with planning multiple facets of NASA's future

When NASA 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.

To help 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.



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RE: Should be easy
By JonnyDough on 8/19/2011 1:44:50 PM , Rating: 2
Are you even healthy enough to make the trip now? I have to wonder. :)


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