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Friday, March 5, 2004

Glenn speaks out Against Presidents Plan

John Glenn.
John Glenn.
John Glenn, the first American to orbit the Earth, has criticized the President's plan for space exploration. This happened at a presidential commission , assigned the task of drawing plans for a permanent Moon base before going to Mars, meeting at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Glenn's home state of Ohio. "We have projects that are planned or in the queue now, projects that people -- academics and laboratories and companies -- have spent millions of dollars to get ready," Glenn said. "That pulls the rug out from under our scientists who placed their faith in NASA, and our scientists within NASA who devoted years and years to their work." Glenn does not feel that going to the moon is wrong, just that it should not be used as a stepping-stone to Mars. Glenn said, "It just seems to me the direct-to-Mars (route) is the way to go." Glenn hopes that NASA does not "use up all our money on the moon and never get to Mars." Glenn also feels that cutting research aboard the ISS would harm the program more than the "few dollars" it would save would justify. Astrophysicist and director of the Hayden Planetarium in New York, Neil de Grasse Tyson, a commission member, called the testimony "refreshing in its candor.”

(More info: Reuters)

- posted by Jim @ 15:25 EST