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NASA bumps up space exploration schedule

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posted on Aug, 4 2005 @ 01:28 AM
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From SpaceWar.com

The United States plans to send four astronauts to the Moon by 2018, as a first step toward an eventual mission to Mars, according to NASA documents published by a US newspaper.

The plan also foresees crews building a lunar outpost, complete with living quarters and a power plant, and scavenge the desolate landscape for fuel and water aboard high-tech dune buggies, the Orlando Sentinel daily said.

The space travelers would blast off on rockets derived from the space shuttle, but would parachute back to Earth in capsules similar to those used in the Apollo program that landed the first man on the Moon.

The Moon missions would be a precursor to 500-day expeditions on Mars, the paper said, citing a study that it said would be made public next month.

President George W. Bush announced last year the National Aeronautics and Space Administration would return astronauts to the Moon by 2020 and conduct missions to Mars later. The study estimates a cost of about 217 billion dollars over the next 20 years.

NASA plans to retire its space shuttle fleet by 2009 and have its new spacecraft ready by 2011.

US space agency managers said the new craft would be far safer than the shuttle, which has come under renewed scrutiny after a large piece of insulating foam fell off Discovery's tank after liftoff on July 13, prompting NASA to ground the rest of the fleet. A similar chunk of foam damaged Columbia in 2003, causing the shuttle to disintegrate upon its re-entry into the Earth's atmosphere.

The plan calls for two lunar missions a year from 2018.


So they plan to have the first return to the Moon between 2015-2018, a 3 year window. Instead of between 2015-2020, a 5 year window. And they plan to retire the shuttle a year earlier, and commision the CEV 3 years earlier.




[edit on 4-8-2005 by NWguy83]




posted on Aug, 4 2005 @ 02:15 AM
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2018? Thats 13 years away!

I mean surely if we've been to the moon before, we know how to do it and could easily do it within the next 2-3 years. 5 at the most!

I mean, I acutally beleive(d) that we landed on the moon in the 60's, but i am really starting to doubt it.



posted on Aug, 5 2005 @ 11:13 PM
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The only advantage I see for us to return to the moon would be to use it as a refueling station and a space launch pad. Because we all know the shuttle uses all its fuel on takeoff. So that would really help to get us to Mars and back. Anyone remember that show Space 1999, wasn't that a station on the moon?



posted on Aug, 6 2005 @ 12:19 AM
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China's announced plan for a presence on the moon by 2015 has forced the USA's hand in this to assure that the Chinese do not have solo control of the moon. A moon-based laser weapons system would have complete field of view of the earth from a stable vantage point for targetting. We
must have the ability to go to the moon to counter that potential threat.



posted on Aug, 6 2005 @ 12:47 AM
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Originally posted by managerie
China's announced plan for a presence on the moon by 2015 has forced the USA's hand in this to assure that the Chinese do not have solo control of the moon. A moon-based laser weapons system would have complete field of view of the earth from a stable vantage point for targetting. We
must have the ability to go to the moon to counter that potential threat.




I thought China was going to the Moon in 2020.




 
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