NASA’s new goals were explored in New York last week in light of the reality that the manned spaceflight program has been scrapped. Is it really the end of Americans in space? “Effectively, Obama’s budget would abandon the Constellation goal of returning to the moon in the next decade. (As many have noted, that timeline may not have been realistic anyway.) With the immediate goal of a moon landing stricken, it remains unclear where NASA astronauts would go next, and various panelists in the debate spoke up on behalf of Mars, the moon and asteroids. Firmly in the Mars camp was an animated Robert Zubrin, founder of The Mars Society, who said the president and his advisers of ‘have basically endangered the human spaceflight program.’ (The Constellation Program was not ideal, he said, but at least one could call it a plan.) Zubrin likened an approach to manned spaceflight that lacks a destination to a couple who wants to build a home and “cruises garage sales every weekend and finds house parts that appeal to them” before asking an architect to incorporate all the parts into a coherent whole.”
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