Wednesday, January 27, 2010

White House won't fund NASA moon program

[Ed. Note: Coming as the following story does, from two Orlando Sentinel writers of note, and good reputation, it leaves little ambiguity as to what will be in the White House budget proposal for federal Fiscal Year 2011, which begins November 1, 2010. It's important to remember, however that "the president," as they say, "proposes, but Congress disposes." NASA is a "creature of Congress." In the end, if heat can continue to be brought to bare Congress is likely to restore some or all of this funding for FY '11, especially as the present fiscal year ends within a week of the mid-term federal election and coming, as it does, with the end of the Shuttle program.

I can and will speculate further, later, on motivations and ideologies, etc. - those of interest groups and such, but I will stop there, as I should, for the moment. In the end this kind of policy decision is up to the American voter. They can be prevailed upon to take up that responsibility if they are made to understand this.
- Joel Raupe for Lunar Pioneer]

Robert Block
and Mark K. Matthews
Los Angeles Times

Reporting from Washington and Cape Canaveral - NASA's plans to return astronauts to the moon are dead. So are the rockets being designed to take them there, if President Obama gets his way.

When the White House releases its budget proposal Monday, there will be no money for the Constellation program that was to return humans to the moon by 2020. The Ares I rocket that was to replace the space shuttle to ferry humans to space will be gone, along with money for the Ares V cargo rocket that was to launch the fuel and supplies needed to return to the moon. There will be no lunar landers, no moon bases.

"We certainly don't need to go back to the moon," one administration official said.

Instead, according to White House insiders, agency officials, industry executives and congressional sources familiar with Obama's plans, NASA will look at developing a "heavy-lift" rocket that one day will take humans and robots to explore beyond low-Earth orbit. That day will be years away.

Read the full story HERE.

1 comment:

Fearless Leader Sue said...

It looks like private enterprise will go back the moon.