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Will NASA asteroid mission be cancelled ?

Posted on Thursday, 20 June, 2013 | Comment icon 62 comments

Image credit: NASA

House Republicans are contemplating whether to push for a Moon base instead of visiting an asteroid.

Despite Obama's pledge to retrieve and then land astronauts on an asteroid, the new draft bill would scrap the entire mission and instead focus the space agency's efforts on establishing a sustained presence on the Moon and Mars. It is unclear how such ambitions goals would be tackled given the current lack of funding and without the precursor 'stepping stone' missions that had been previously planned.

"It is the policy of the United States that the development of capabilities and technologies necessary for human missions to lunar orbit, the surface of the moon, the surface of Mars, and beyond shall be the goals of the administration's human space flight program," the NASA authorization bill states.

"House Republican leaders want to push for outposts on the moon and Mars and they want to push NASA's plan to snare an asteroid into the dustbin, according to a discussion draft of their space spending plan."

  View: Full article |  Source: NBC News

  Discuss: View comments (62)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #53 Posted by Chooky88 on 29 June, 2013, 15:25
A floating rock is a metaphor. You still haven't explained yourself. I took nothing out of context, you were rude Frank as I know many things with impressive pieces of paper to prove it. None of them in the fields of science however . I genuinely want to know why landing once on an asteroid is more scientifically important than a moon base. In my uneducated opinion it's a rock because we know what they are made of and therefore have little to learn from them. A moon base seems to me to be more beneficial to getting off this planet.
Comment icon #54 Posted by Frank Merton on 29 June, 2013, 15:32
The original implication of what you said was a [useless] rock. Now you have backed up and removed the implication, I guess to give you an excuse to get on a high horse. If you think that my response to your thoughtless post was rude, you need a thicker skin
Comment icon #55 Posted by Chooky88 on 29 June, 2013, 23:57
I still think it's useless as I am yet to be convinced otherwise. You keep making it personal on me yet you fail to give me an answer despite repeated requests. Put up or shut up.
Comment icon #56 Posted by danielost on 30 June, 2013, 0:06
An asteriod is just a big rock. Earth is just a big rock. Jupiter and saturn are just a bunch of hot gas. Uranis and neptune are just a mixture of them both.
Comment icon #57 Posted by danielost on 30 June, 2013, 0:11
I see no reason a moon base is less important than the astriod research is, unless they are testing a new rocket or sensor. Something along those lines. Once in space, a ship can use an ion engine which doesn't need to be refueled. I read that nasa is going to test a solar sail.
Comment icon #58 Posted by Merc14 on 30 June, 2013, 4:56
A moon base is important but corporations are looking to build it. Let them. Get off the idea that government should do everything, it is ridiculous and unrealistic and heas led to America nit having a manned flight program. Government doesn't do anything right, ever. They dole out the money and industry builds it What government can do well is explore unprofitable enterprises that may lead to great value in the future. Let business exploit the moon as we have already been there and done that. We broke the ground and made the impossible, possible, now let industry take over. Ma... [More]
Comment icon #59 Posted by Chooky88 on 1 July, 2013, 8:39
Thank you for your answers Merc14. I was under the impression that there were just a few type of asteroids and we knew them all, metallic, carbonaceous etc (Yes I cheated and used used Google for the carbonaceous answer). I accept that I too easily dismissed it and I appreciate the clarification. I hereby apologise to everyone for calling them floating rocks. I truly hope that private industry gets more involved in the future as NASA can only do what the Washington Bean counters let them. Countries like mine (Australia) are happy to let NASA go into space and do much of the research for the... [More]
Comment icon #60 Posted by Frank Merton on 1 July, 2013, 9:41
I was fully with you until the very end (quoted above). Government can be very constructive and very efficient. There is nothing inherent in either state or private enterprise that makes one better than the other for all things. The world is evolving toward mixed economies, neither socialist nor capitalist -- and that is happening in both types as they move toward each other.
Comment icon #61 Posted by Merc14 on 1 July, 2013, 11:24
WE have no manned ship capability at NASA. 'nuff said.
Comment icon #62 Posted by danielost on 3 July, 2013, 9:08
I agree with you. If it had been a private enterprise they would have had the next ship type ready before shutting down the shuttle. But, I have often said any company that is totally backed by the government it will fail. Like the west indies trading company. I know their still around but today they share a small building in london. Monopolies are also doomed to fail. Because they stop inovating, and the customer gets lost.

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