posted on Jan, 14 2004 @ 01:27 PM
President Bush stated on Wednesday that the USA would send a manned mission to the moon by 2015 to setup a permanent base.
The President also stated that the US will withdraw from the
International Space Station and retire the shuttle fleet by 2010. According to the plan probes, landers, and other unmanned missions will begin to
explore the lunar surface, to prepare for the manned mission, no later than 2008. Once the permanent base has been established it will be used as a
springboard to Mars because of the lesser gravity of the Moon.
The cost of the plan for the next 5 years is 12 billion dollars. This means that even if he wins a second term his successors will be responsible for
coming up with the res of the money for a program the could eventually run into the hundred of billions of dollars.
"It's time for America to take the next step" in space exploration, said Bush, who spoke 32 years after the American Apollo program last landed
astronauts on the moon. He drew applause from NASA employees when he outlined a timetable that would put the first human trip to Mars well into the
century. Robotic craft would be sent there first, he said, but exploration wouldn't end there.
"We need to see and examine and touch for ourselves, and only human beings are capable of adapting to the inevitable uncertainties posed by space
flight," the president said.
"Mankind is drawn to the heavens for the same reason we were once drawn to unknown lands and across the open sea," Bush said "We choose to explore
space because doing so improves our lives and lifts our national spirit. So let us continue the journey."
Also NASA will build a new CEV "Crew Exploration Vehicle" that will first be used to transport people to the International Space Station and later
to the Moon.
[Edited on 14-1-2004 by SkepticOverlord]