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Is NASA about to unveil plans for manned moon mission?

November 9, 2012 Leave a comment

by Robert T. Gonzalez at http://io9.com/

Suit up, people — word is we’re heading back to the Moon.

According to space policy expert John Logsdon, there’s a decent chance NASA has already cleared plans to establish a manned base on the far side of the Moon with the Obama administration. Thing is, they’ve probably been keeping it under wraps in the event that Romney had won Tuesday’s election. Now that Obama has secured a second term, Logsdon says an accouncement from the Agency could be forthcoming.

“NASA has been evolving its thinking, and its latest charts have inserted a new element of cislunar/lunar gateway/Earth-moon L2 sort of stuff into the plan,” said Logsdon in an interview with SPACE.com’s Mike Wall.

“They’ve been holding off announcing that until after the election,” Logsdon added, noting that NASA’s mission, direction, and budget could have been revised under a Romney administration.

An announcement would certainly gel with the Obama administration’s ambitious agenda for space. In 2010, the President signed the NASA 2010 Authorization Act into law, freeing up close to $60 billion in NASA spending through 2013. This funding would serve as one of the first sparks in a plan to ignite a resurgence in space exploration, including an asteroid visit by 2025 and and a trip to Mars by the 2030s. A manned outpost at the Earth-moon L2 “gateway” — shown in the diagram below — could serve as an important stepping stone in our path out into the solar system.

Is NASA about to unveil plans for manned moon mission?

Read more: http://io9.com/5958867/is-nasa-about-to-unveil-plans-for-manned-moon-mission#13524574961213&{“type”:”iframeUpdated”,”height”:1984}

 

 

The Air Force’s X-37B Space Plane Returns to Earth After a 15-Month Secret Mission

June 19, 2012 2 comments

By Clay Dillow Posted 06.18.2012 at 1:06 pm

The Air Force’s X-37B–its secret robotic space plane that’s been orbiting the Earth on a mission shrouded in mystery for more than a year–landed safely in the wee hours Saturday morning at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. Orbital Test Vehicle 2 (OTV-2) is the second X-37B test vehicle to successfully complete an orbital mission and autonomously return to Earth, following sister spacecraft OTV-1’s 225-day mission in 2010.