Monday, May 04, 2009

NASA abandons moonbase plans

Yep, you heard that right....no only is it unlikely that the next human to step on the moon will be a NASA alumni but the first manned outpost on our closest neighbor won't be cutesy of NASA either.

According to IO9:
  • NASA is reconsidering plans to build an outpost on the moon, due to budget.
  • NASA's acting administrator Chris Scolese said at a recent meeting: an outpost [on the Moon] is really going to be dependent on the studies that we're going to be doing.
These "studies" it would appear are examining putting humans on Mars or asteroids, which sounds exciting, but I seem to recall an earlier comment on starting with the Moon and then on to Mars - NASA officials stated that before we could move on to Mars or Asteroids, a Moon base had to be accomplished first to test the viability of the technology. Hummm, if one doesn't happen, just how likely is it that the other will naturally follow on?

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think that this is a stupid move....probably caused by the Obama administration trying to distance itself from the Bush administration.

Beam Me Up said...

Jesus, then I would think they would want to show that the US can be as vital and world leader in every possible venue. No I suspect....I truly hope that this is an inherited situation.

Anonymous said...

Read Dr. Robert Zubrin's book, "The Case for Mars". It's a compelling story for skipping the moon and going straight to Mars.
See http://www.marssociety.org/
for more details.

Beam Me Up said...

I have heard this book mentioned. Matter of fact, thanks for mentioning it because when I go over the article I will mention it.

My only concern is that I feel this might not be a change in focus as much as a rolling back in efforts all together.

To be honest when I heard of the plan to return to the Moon and then saw the Aries, all I could think of was...damn, been there done that. Maybe I am being childish, but I wanted to see a man step on Mars before I shuffle off to the great beyond... I was extremely lucky to be able to see Neil step off into history and I wanted to experience that wonder again.

So Yes, I think Zubrin has the right idea, but any movement in that direction is good. Right now, I am not sure that's what is going on.

Rosehippi said...

I don't believe the USA has the courage any longer to step out as a leader in anything... We are so busy trying to legislate life out of living and removing God from th equation, so afraid something might scare us or cause us pain we are unable to truly express the individuality that once made us great... after all anyone who would trade freedom for security like the USA has doesn't deserve either... I don't believe the true spirit of adventure necessary to lead and explore into the future truly exists in the usa of today. Otherwise we would ALREADY have a base on the moon and would already be setting up Mars.... Rosehippi

Beam Me Up said...

Rosehippi
As much as it pains me to say this, there is more than a kernel of truth in your note. Unfortunately it would seem that the leadership and the drive to put a man on the Moon in the 60s hasn't existed since the 60s. Some would say it was a simpler time but in truth you just have to swap terrorist with Soviets and you can see the same mindset was present, the pressure and paranoia just as prevalent, so how is it that we could rise above it all and "do those other things" that we haven't been able to duplicate in 40 years? It just might be that "the true spirit of adventure" no longer exsists....at least no longer in the country that used it as a cornerstone.

Luke said...

I'm sure these studies will include if there is any economic value to the resources available on the moon. Frankly, to me, it makes more sense to do that than set foot on the Mars.
What is the purpose of putting someone on Mars? Just to say that we did it?
If we really want to be explorers of our solar system, our precious dollars ought to be spent on developing engine technology that can let us explore without having to risk astronauts on long, slow rides.

Beam Me Up said...

I think our government should leave the economics to those better suited to handle them. H3 alone shows that the moon does have economic value, but the days when the queen sends off the intrepid explorer to open new trade routes to the west are passed simply because the true wealth does not sit in the queen's coffers anymore. That being said Luke, you are dead on. Even a two year trip leaves me cold. NASA's new heavy lifters are but baby steps away from 40 year old tech. Systems that have shown ample proof of how even a 3 day journey is ample enough time for things to go frightfully wrong. The flip side is that if we wait for better and safer, we would still be sailing withing sight of land, never venturing where there be dragons...