America

Budget Would Eliminate Planned Moon Mission; Sound Like A Smart Decision?

A footpring left behind by the Apollo 11 astronauts. (Photo by NASA/Newsmakers) i i

We likely won't be leaving any more anytime soon. NASA/Newsmakers hide caption

itoggle caption NASA/Newsmakers
A footpring left behind by the Apollo 11 astronauts. (Photo by NASA/Newsmakers)

We likely won't be leaving any more anytime soon.

NASA/Newsmakers

When the Obama administration's 2011 budget is released this morning, among the stories buried within its pages will be this:

NASA's mission to return astronauts to the moon would be grounded with the space agency instead getting an additional $5.9 billion over five years to encourage private companies to build, launch and operate their own spacecraft for the benefit of NASA and others. NASA would pay the private companies to carry U.S. astronauts. (Associated Press.)

As DailyTech puts it:

The Obama administration instead will fund research into technology that would be used for a manned mission to Mars. An estimated $6 billion will be dispersed to the private sector to develop "space taxis" to ferry astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) and back.

The moon mission, the administration has decided, isn't affordable at a time when the federal government is racking up record deficits.

Congress, of course, could disagree with the administration on this. We wonder:

We'll hold the question open until 8 p.m. ET on Tuesday.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.