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Charles Bolden  (Source:
NASA Administrator Charles Bolden doesn't see the point of another trip to the moon

There seems to be some differences in opinion around NASA concerning whether the goal of human space exploration should be to land on an asteroid or take another trip to the moon.

The Space Studies Board and the Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board held a meeting in Washington last week, where the topic of asteroid vs. moon took place.

Al Carnesale of UCLA said there wasn't much enthusiasm for an asteroid landing since its initial announcement. It's been almost three years since President Barack Obama officially released plans to land on an asteroid by 2025. 

“Since it was announced, there was less enthusiasm for it among the community broadly,” said Carnesale. “The more we learn about it, the more we hear about it, people seem less enthusiastic about it.”
“There’s a great deal of enthusiasm, almost everywhere, for the Moon. I think there might be, if no one has to swallow their pride and swallow their words, and you can change the asteroid mission a little bit… it might be possible to move towards something that might be more of a consensus.”

However, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden disagrees. He said that NASA will gladly participate if another nation agrees to lead a human lunar landing, but NASA will not plan one of its own. 

“They all have dreams of putting human on the Moon,” said Bolden. “I have told every head of agency of every partner agency that if you assume the lead in a human lunar mission, NASA will be a part of that. NASA wants to be a participant.”
“NASA will not take the lead on a human lunar mission. NASA is not going to the Moon with a human as a primary project probably in my lifetime. And the reason is, we can only do so many things.”

Bolden believes NASA should stick to the plan of sending humans to an asteroid by 2025 and Mars by 2030. 

“We intend to do that, and we think it can be done," said Bolden. 

Source: Space Politics

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RE: International Moon Base?
By M'n'M on 4/8/2013 4:18:41 PM , Rating: 2
And that should be the Next Big Goal. Simply putting people on an asteroid or Mars to get boots on the ground and a flag planted isn't enough for me, let alone the majority of the people who will be asked to pay for it. Exploration is good but we get a lot more bang for the $$ via machines.

If we really want to use space and it's resources we've got to find a way to live off that land and the best and easiest place to start is the Moon. Either we can use it's materials to make what we need to explore space (and thus not have to lift everything out of Earth's gravity well) or we're stuck here until some technological revolution in fighting gravity comes along.

I say strip-mine the Moon ... but just the far side so we don't ruin the view.

(besides I know Moon base women will wear silver catsuits and have electric purple hair. Who doesn't think that's great.)

RE: International Moon Base?
By delphinus100 on 4/8/2013 8:09:38 PM , Rating: 3
I say strip-mine the Moon ... but just the far side so we don't ruin the view.

Yeah, who wants to look up at a lifeless, cratered - oh, wait...

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