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Thursday, November 08, 2012

NASA Gearing-Up Human Spaceflight for the Moon in President Obama's Second-Term?

Artist concept of gateway station courtesy John Frassanito & Associates.)
Space fever could soon reach a new high with rumblings about NASA announcing new manned moon missions with a possible space outpost on the menu in the wake of President Obama's re-election, notes Slate.
 
Following a Space.com story and earlier rumors, George Washington University professor emeritus John Logsdon, says the game plan has already been given the go-ahead by the White House.
 
Starting with a  “gateway” deep-space station between Earth and the moon as a stepping stone out of low-Earth orbit around 2021,  American astronauts would embark upon more manned missions to the moon, a manned outpost on the far side of the moon, a mission sending astronauts to an asteroid by 2025, and the commencement of manned missions to Mars by the mid-2030s.
Apollo 17's Harrison H. Schmitt on the Moon in Dec. 1972. Credit: NASA
Perhaps, the White House will advance the proposals in Chicago with NASA as America approaches the 40th anniversary next month of the Apollo 17 mission last landing a human on the moon. The Obamanauts may be "fired-up and ready to go!"  More from Wired.

1 comment:

Robert Clark said...

A better plan would be to do a manned lunar landing mission by 2019, the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11. This is doable by following the "Early Lunar Access" proposal of 1993:

Encyclopedia Astronautica.
Early Lunar Access.
http://www.astronautix.com/craft/earccess.htm

This only required 52 metric tons to LEO, well within the 70 mT capability of even the first, interim version of the SLS to launch in 2017.

Bob Clark