“‘If you’re willing to wait until 2028, you’ve got a heavy lift vehicle, but you’ve got nothing to lift,’ she said. ‘You cannot do this program on this budget.‘” President Obama’s Human Space Flight Plans Committee is set to announce that getting back to the moon by 2020 is not feasible given current budgetary constraints, and Mars is definitely out of the question. “The final list of options…will include some variation of a lunar base down the road. But the committee is most animated by what it calls the ‘Deep Space’ option, a strategy that emphasizes getting astronauts far beyond Low Earth Orbit but not necessarily plunking them down on alien worlds.‘” Which basically sounds like unnecessarily strapping astronauts to normally-unmanned fly-by missions — Not sure I see much point in that.
Honestly, this is pathetic. As I said here, it’s time to raise our expectations of what we can achieve in space, and fund manned exploration of the solar system accordingly. Particularly given how much we’re blowing on the Pentagon’s space toys at the moment, we could stand to spend a bit more on one of the most important collective human endeavors still before us.