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NASA goes before congress

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posted on Jan, 29 2004 @ 03:18 PM
quote from

WASHINGTON -- Concerns about what it will cost to return astronauts to the moon and eventually on to Mars dominated the U.S. Senate’s first NASA hearing since President George W. Bush charted a new course for the U.S. space program earlier this month.

NASA has yet to provide Congress a cost estimate for building a new space vehicle and mounting a human expedition to the Moon by 2020, but a budget chart released by the agency suggests the endeavor would cost about $170 billion over the next 15 years. Some space experts, however, have predicted returning to the moon could easily cost several times that amount.

In the near term, at least, the proposed investment in NASA’s new exploration goals is fairly modest. Bush has said he will propose next week to increase NASA’s $15.4 billion budget by $1 billion over the next five years. At the same time, NASA plans to shift $11 billion over the same period to the new exploration goals, including the development of a new spaceship, the so-called Crew Exploration Vehicle, now known as Project Constellation.

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