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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 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.

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