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Buzz Aldrin Pressures Obama For New Space Exploration Initiative 78

MarkWhittington writes: While he has initiated the social media campaign, #Apollo45, to commemorate the 45th anniversary of the first moon landing, Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin is also using the occasion to campaign for an expansion of American space exploration. According to a Tuesday story in the Washington Post, Aldrin has expressed the wish that President Obama make some sort of announcement along those lines this July 20. The idea has a certain aspect of deja vu. Aldrin believes that the American civil space program is adrift and that some new space exploration, he prefers to Mars, would be just the thing to set it back on course. There is only one problem, however. President Obama has already made the big space exploration announcement. Aldrin knows this because he was there. President Obama flew to the Kennedy Space Center on April 15, 2010, with Aldrin accompanying as a photo op prop, and made the announcement that America would no longer be headed back to the moon, as was the plan under his predecessor George W. Bush. Instead American astronauts would visit an Earth approaching asteroid and then, decades hence, would land on Mars.
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Buzz Aldrin Pressures Obama For New Space Exploration Initiative

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  • by Kelbear ( 870538 ) on Wednesday July 09, 2014 @09:02AM (#47414297)

    Buzz did an AMA yesterday on reddit: []

    He elaborated a bit on why he thinks NASA should target Mars, and the short version is that NASA is spread thin with a tiny fraction of the budget it once had to venture to the moon. NASA needs a passion project on which they can fire on all cylinders and do something big. We can visit an asteroid, and few will raise an eyebrow. If we go to Mars, it'll be a landmark achievement that the world will make note of. It's a dream that can focus and revitalize the space program, whereas the asteroid visitation is simply aiming too low as the overarching goal for NASA.

  • Re:Mars no, (Score:3, Informative)

    by Megane ( 129182 ) on Wednesday July 09, 2014 @09:23AM (#47414469) Homepage

    Permanent Lunar presence for Helium 3 extraction YES

    Uh, huh. So what exactly are you going to do with that helium when you extract the few parts per million on the lunar surface? We don't even have fusion working yet, and He3 is not a first-generation fusion fuel.

    We'll be on Mars long before we can use He3 for anything but inflating balloons.

"An organization dries up if you don't challenge it with growth." -- Mark Shepherd, former President and CEO of Texas Instruments