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Obama Budget Cancels NASA’s Return To The Moon

by @ 11:34 am on February 1, 2010. Filed under Barack Obama, Politicos & Pundits, Politics, Science, Space Exploration

Well, you could’ve seen this one coming from 238,857 miles away:

President Barack Obama has cancelled the American project designed to take humans back to the Moon.

The Constellation programme envisaged new rockets and a new crewship called Orion to put astronauts on the lunar surface by 2020.

But in his federal budget request issued on Monday, Mr Obama said the project was “over budget, behind schedule, and lacking in innovation”.

It was draining resources from other US space agency activities, he added.

He plans instead to turn to the private sector for launch services.

Constellation was initiated by President George Bush in the wake of the 2003 shuttle accident, which saw seven astronauts lose their lives when their vehicle broke up on re-entry to the Earth’s atmosphere.

As much as I support space exploration, I’ve got to agree with this one.

We simply can’t afford stuff like this anymore.

7 Responses to “Obama Budget Cancels NASA’s Return To The Moon”

  1. Vast Variety says:

    So once we mothball the shuttle fleet we will have to rent rides into space on Russian, Chinese, and European Rockets… JFK would be proud.

  2. tfr says:

    Well, we will still need some manned spacecraft capability if we’re planning to make any use of the ISS. I imagine NASA will continue ahead with that much of the project. We could also use some kind of heavy-lift vehicle to replace Shuttle for large payloads, since Titan III is retired now. But yes, going back to the Moon – why? We don’t have anything very useful to do there that wouldn’t be a re-hash of Apollo.

  3. Vast Variety says:

    Imagine where America would be had Columbus said “Well I’ve been to America once, no need to go back.”

  4. zone says:

    The video link below describes getting free of earth’s gravitational pull by elevator! We could use a new approach.

    Bryan Laubscher, Ph. D., Astrophysicist, Project Leader, Los Alamos National Laboratory

  5. tfr says:

    There were very good economic reasons to keep going back to the New World, like fishing, furs, virgin timber. There was a lot of money to be made. There isn’t anything on the Moon that we know of that can offset the cost of going there.

  6. Vast Variety says:

    1. Water was recently found on the moon. This can be mined for creating o2 for use as fuel for trips to the moon and back as well as to Mars.

    2. Want to learn how to live on Mars? Then learn to live on the Moon. Mars is at a minimum an 18 month one way trip. There is no way we will send humans to Mars without first testing the systems that will be needed to keep them alive. The best place to test them is on the Moon.

    3. Low G Manufacturing. While minor, there is gravity on the moon and while manufacturing in space is an undeveloped industry, the possibilities are limitless. Also, many of the mineral resources we have here on Earth can also be found on the Moon.

    4. Human exploration and habitation of the moon will greatly expand all areas of human knowledge. From learning how to live off world, to studying the geology of the Moon, which could give us a greater understand of how the Moon formed which in turn would help us understand how the Earth was formed as well as understanding the Moon’s effects on Earth. Understanding how the Earth was formed is important to things like predicting Earthquakes.

    5. Just because there is very little immediate monetary payback in something doesn’t mean that we should not pursue it.

    While I highly support the expansion and commercialization of space exploration by relying more on private industry to provide launch services, ignoring the exploration and research potential of permanent human habitation of the moon is in a word, lunacy. As long as humanity relies solely on Earth to sustain it, then our extinction is inevitable.

  7. tfr says:

    All true enough, but it still costs $100 Billion to go there.

    This is a discussion I got into when Hubble was launched. It cost something like $1 billion, and was a fiasco due to the improperly shaped mirror. I predicted that we would be able to do the same things from the ground in a few more years, for a lot less than $1 billion. We’re more or less there, although Hubble has been upgraded so much that my argument doesn’t hold the water it used to…

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