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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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RE: International Moon Base?
By Gurthang on 4/9/2013 8:34:46 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
I'm sorry but the preconceived attitude of it can't be done should not enter the equation. Stop looking for reasons why it shouldn't be done. All you say is no, no, no. If the moon is such a bad idea, then why is an asteroid, or Mars any better?


That depends on your goals. The Mars and asteroid missions are a good fit for eachother provided your goal is the development long duration space flight outside the protective shield of Earth's magnetic field. Lets be quite frank going to an asteroid may not sound as sexy as Mars or setting up a moon base but it is a good proving ground for long duration flight and if a sufficiently interesting target can be found it may provide some awesome science. The manned Mars mission is lets be frank a flag planting excersize s well as a sexy excuse to keep pushing manned mission tech forward. Sure people can do far more in less time than a rover but you have far less time on the ground with people so other than the excitement of putting people on Mars the science would likely we a wash.

Personally I would like to see extra large rovers sent to the moon for the purpose of developing the technologies to build facilities for scientific outposts like radio telescopes.


RE: International Moon Base?
By Manch on 4/9/2013 10:34:59 AM , Rating: 2
fair enough,and I think getting to an asteroid and Mars are great ideas, but I think using the moon as a proving ground makes more sense in the near term. I for one would like them to send robots, and inflatable capsules a la bigelow to the moon to establish something that can later start to support a manned mission there. If the raw materials do in fact exist on the moon, then they can look at ways to harvest and build things on the moon.

The guy I've been replying to is just nope, nope, nope.


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