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Monday, September 19, 2005

NASA Unveils its New Lunar Program

NASA's new lunar lander.
NASA's new lunar lander.
Credit: NASA
NASA has announced its new plans to put humans on the moon by 2018. Along the lines of President Bush's new space initiative from January of last year, NASA was asked to develop a program to create a manned base on the moon in preparation for an eventual colony on Mars.

The components of this new program are reminiscent of the Apollo missions of the 60s and 70s. But the mission, technologies, and capabilities will be quite different. A Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV) will carry a crew of six to rendezvous with a lunar lander already arrived on the surface. "Think of it as Apollo on steroids," said NASA Administrator Michael Griffin.

In response to the criticism that space has become irrelevant to a changing world, Griffin put it this way: "The space program is a long-term investment in our future. We must deal with our short-term problems while not sacrificing our long-term investments in our future. When we have a hurricane, we don't cancel the Air Force. We don't cancel the Navy. And we're not going to cancel NASA."

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- posted by Alex @ 20:50 EST