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There's disagreement over the destination for the next manned exploratory mission en route to planned Mars orbit in 2035 — an asteroid, favored by President Barack Obama's team at NASA, or the moon, favored by some House Republicans.
The disagreements threaten a bipartisan consensus forged three years ago by then-Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, and Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Florida. Their deal helped the Obama administration smooth the transition from retirement of the shuttle fleet to simultaneously subsidizing development of fee-for-flight commercial spacecraft to service the orbiting space station and building a government-owned monster rocket and state-of-the-art crew capsule for deep space exploration for the next generation.
The House and Senate face budget deadlines after Labor Day to reach agreed instructions for NASA for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1.
“Everyone agrees on the need to get to Mars,” says a Smith staffer speaking on condition of anonymity. “We think preserving the option of going to the moon is the best way to get to Mars.”
Italian astronaut Luca Parmitano nearly drowned from a fluid leak into his helmet during a 92-minute space walk before American astronaut Chris Cassidy maneuvered his imperiled colleague back inside the International Space Station.
The life-threatening emergency last month barely got attention back on Earth — the latest sign that manned space flight and the accompanying dangers just don't command the attention they once did.
Originally posted by Astyanax
reply to post by Cosmic911
I guess business, especially primary producers – mining companies, Big Oil and the rest – see the Moon as a better short-term bet than some asteroid. Science vs. Commerce.
Better to make it closer than 6 months away.
I think children learn to crawl, then kinda stumble, then walk and only then...run.
'Cause it's next. 'Cause we came out of the cave, and we looked over the hill and we saw fire; and we crossed the ocean and we pioneered the west, and we took to the sky. The history of man is hung on a timeline of exploration and this is what's next.