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Should U.S. attempt manned missions to the Moon?
An SI Board Since January 2004
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Emcee:  Edscharp Type:  Moderated
I welcome all discussion on the US space program and related subjects. However, this will be a moderated board. There are numerous other boards that can be used as bash Bush forums. I appreciate that this subject matter may go off topic a bit from time to time and I intend to be very open minded, but I won't allow this board to become a forum for the political agendas of others.

Bush Plans to Send Americans to Moon, on to Mars

Fri Jan 9,12:50 AM ET Add Top Stories - Reuters to My Yahoo!

By Steve Holland and Adam Entous

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Buoyed by a successful landing on Mars by a robot explorer, President Bush (news - web sites) plans a major announcement on space policy next week that envisions sending Americans back to the moon and ultimately to Mars, officials and congressional aides said on Thursday.

Nearly a year after the shuttle Columbia exploded on re-entering the atmosphere, sending NASA (news - web sites) into a deep spell of melancholy, Bush is expected to outline a sweeping vision of U.S. space leadership.

He is expected to propose a new lunar initiative leading to a permanent American presence on the moon and a mission to Mars in the long term, said the sources, who asked to remain unidentified.

Speaking to reporters with Bush in Florida, White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan said that after the Columbia tragedy Bush made clear his desire for U.S. space exploration to continue.

"The president directed his administration to do a comprehensive review of our space policy, including our priorities and the future direction of the program, and the president will have more to say on it next week," McClellan said, declining to reveal any details in advance.

Bush is scheduled to be in Mexico on Monday and Tuesday so any announcement is not expected before Wednesday.

Congressional sources said the administration was also considering setting up a more streamlined hierarchy for guiding the government's wide-ranging space programs and coordinating its research and development.

Under this scenario, there could be more exchanges of technology between NASA and the Defense Department.

Some members of Congress are worried about ensuring the United States remains the global leader in space exploration.

"If we don't do it, somebody else will," said Tennessee Rep. Bart Gordon (news, bio, voting record), a ranking Democrat on the House Science Committee. "The Chinese, the Europeans and the Japanese all have the goal of going to the moon. Certainly we don't want to wake up and see that they have a base there before we do."


The new space plan was spearheaded in large part by NASA administrator Sean O'Keefe, who was appointed by Bush to restore credibility to an agency plagued by budget troubles, including billions of dollars in cost overruns at the international space station.

Vice President Dick Cheney (news - web sites) was also involved in the policy development, along with other senior Bush advisers. The administration was said to see the initiative as an important national security measure and experts said it could lead to new technologies and potential new sources of energy.

Bush's father, former President George Bush, had proposed a mission to Mars that was scuttled because of concerns over its high cost. The younger Bush likewise faces budgetary constraints including a budget deficit expected to top $500 billion this year alone.

Experts say a moon mission could be done without a significant increase in the budget by spreading the cost over seven to 10 years.

"You can use the existing infrastructure and be back on the moon in 5 to 10 years with a modest investment. You don't have to double the NASA budget," said Paul Spudis, a planetary scientist at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Baltimore, Maryland.
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41 I wrote a large post as an edit but it got lost when the edit window ran out. TimF-2/11/2005
40 If its truely random (or at least chaotic and strong pseudo random) I don'TimF-2/10/2005
39Tim, I did not claim that it being overdue increased the odds in the next X yeaFangorn-2/10/2005
38 If a hit of a certain size happens on the average once every million years, anTimF-2/10/2005
37Tim, Those time frames are accurate according to the fossil record of such impacFangorn-2/10/2005
36<i> Given the near certainty that Earth will be hit by a city killer in thTimF-1/31/2005
35NASA: Spirit Rover Not Sending Data NASA: Spirit RoveEdscharp-1/22/2004
34Bush Creative on NASA Aid By KENNETH CHANG Published: January 15,Edscharp-1/14/2004
33History Offers Reasons to Be Cautious on Bush's Space Plan By Edscharp-1/14/2004
32President's Vision Is More Shrewd Than Flashy By KathyEdscharp-1/14/2004
31Ed, Last word... You are an idiot.Fangorn-1/14/2004
30Bush to unveil human space plans By Dr David Whitehouse BBC NeEdscharp-1/14/2004
29Fangorn, I guess I'll have to eliminate the possiblity that you were intentEdscharp-1/13/2004
28Ed, re > I can't understand how come no one else ever thought of thFangorn-1/13/2004
27Fangorn, Oooof! It has suddenly occurred to me that either you are completely Edscharp-1/13/2004
26Ed, Time has become more precious all of a sudden, new project with tight deadliFangorn-1/13/2004
25Ed, re >The expense from launching from the moon might be small, but gettingFangorn-1/13/2004
24Ed, re> If proponents of NASA can effectively make the case that their Fangorn-1/13/2004
23Ed, re >I naturally assumed you were suggesting that the administration had Fangorn-1/13/2004
22Fangorn, <I>"I didn't claim that this is Bush's concern [astEdscharp-1/12/2004
21Fangorn, <i>"NASA has produced an endless avalanche of revenue to thEdscharp-1/12/2004
20Fangorn, Even after reading your post I still find, <I>"it's difEdscharp-1/12/2004
19Ed, re>But, some questions beg to be asked. Did NASA actually hold patents onFangorn-1/12/2004
18Ed, re>If George Bush really has a concern about an asteroid hitting the EartFangorn-1/12/2004
17Ed, re>It's difficult to perceive any tangible economic benefit. <Fangorn-1/12/2004
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