Scientists Oppose New Moon Mission

Posted by Michael Pinto on Jan 25, 2008 in Science |

Dissent Grows as Scientists Oppose NASA’s New Moon Mission

NASA needs to go back to it’s roots — I say we just go to Mars in my lifetime and forget about play testing the concept:

Dissent Grows as Scientists Oppose NASA’s New Moon Mission

“NASA’s current plan for manned space exploration focuses on establishing a base on the moon, as a vital stepping stone for a visit to Mars. The initiative has been trumpeted by the Bush administration, which wants the first mission to launch by 2020. But trouble is brewing as a growing group of former mission managers, planetary scientists and astronauts argues against any manned moon mission at all. One alternative, they say: Send astronauts to an asteroid as a better preparation for a Martian landing.

The dissenters plan to gather in mid-February at a meeting of the Planetary Society at Stanford University. “We want to get a positive recommendation to the new administration,” says Planetary Society executive director Louis D. Friedman. He supports an eventual mission to Mars, but argues that the current moon scheme was selected with inadequate debate after a speech by President Bush in January 2004. “If you said ‘humans’ and ‘Mars’ [to NASA officials] in the same sentence, you would receive a figurative slap on the face, and then four months later [the moon-to-Mars plan] was the main point on a viewgraph at the highest levels.” In addition to examining alternatives for manned missions, the February meeting will discuss a greater emphasis on Earth science and other potential NASA space exploration priorities, Friedman says.”

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