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Space United States Science

White House Panel Seeks Input On Spaceflight Plans 224

Neil H. writes "The Augustine Commission, commissioned by the White House and NASA to provide an independent review of the current US human spaceflight program and potential new directions, is seeking public input on a document describing the preliminary beyond-LEO exploration scenarios they're analyzing. The destination-based scenarios, designed with NASA's current budget in mind, range from a Lunar Base (essentially NASA's current plan), to 'Mars First' (human exploration of Mars ASAP), to 'Flexible Path' (initially focused on several destinations in shallow gravity wells, such as Lagrange points, near-Earth asteroids, and the Martian moon Phobos). The Commission is also seeking input on the issues of engaging commercial spaceflight, in-space refueling, and coordinating human and robotic exploration."
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White House Panel Seeks Input On Spaceflight Plans

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  • by CorporateSuit ( 1319461 ) on Thursday July 23, 2009 @01:05PM (#28797183)
    Then you'll see that Mercury's main focus was putting a man in space. Apollo's main focus was putting a man on the moon and getting him safely home (There were to be 20 Apollo missions, the goal was achieved in 11, the moon base was an extension of the Apollo mission. The Mars mission would be a different series of missions than Apollo. Apollo's mission objectives can be found on NASA's website [] but the specifics are usually garnered from other books, like any of those written by the astronauts -- such as Gene Cernan's Last Man on the Moon.
  • by elrous0 ( 869638 ) * on Thursday July 23, 2009 @04:15PM (#28799589)
    A couple of hundred years?!? I don't think you appreciate the scale we're talking here to the nearest solar systems. The fastest probes we've ever launched took like 9-10 years just to reach the edge of the solar system--just a few light *hours* away. The nearest solar systems are several light *years* away. So you're not looking at a few hundred years--more like tens of thousands of years. Not only that, but we also don't have the math or craft to hit anything with the kind of precision that far away, and no way to stop them once they get there even if you could make it.

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