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Charles Bolden  (Source: nasa.gov)
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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By Amiga500 on 4/9/2013 2:09:13 AM , Rating: 2
Not kidding.

[I'm sure plenty here will laugh and snigger - as Sir Arthur C. Clarke said - they will build the space elevator about 10 years after everyone stops laughing.]

CNTs are good enough for the job. They "just" need to be manufactured in sufficient lengths. The other <significant> technical hurdle is providing power to the lifter.




By Gurthang on 4/9/2013 8:09:28 AM , Rating: 2
Yea... I hate to be a wet blanket but there is a lot more to getting space elevators to work than just getting CNT based teathers strong enough which is still unclear at this point if they will ever be. The basic gist of it is that unless you can find a way for the teather to dampen its own movement and "vibration" which occurs not just naturally but is made worse by actually having the gal to use the elevator you just built the thing may tear itself apart. And that is not even getting into how do you deal with damage from space radition, micrometors, space junk, etc.

It is a cool idea to be sure though I am not sure it will ever be a technology for getting out of earth orbit.


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