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Think Goals, Not Destinations, Space Panel Members Advise

30 Jul 2009, 20:59 UTC
Think Goals, Not Destinations, Space Panel Members Advise
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Rather than picking a destination, the U.S. human space program should be built around the goal of extending human civilization beyond Earth, say members of a subcommittee of the presidential panel reviewing NASA’s human space project. “Our ultimate objective should...

Rather
than picking a destination, the U.S. human space program should be built around
the goal of extending human civilization beyond Earth, say members of a subcommittee of the
presidential panel reviewing NASA’s human space project. “Our
ultimate objective should be viewed as the exploration and eventual extension of
human civilization of the solar system,” said Edward Crawley, a board member
and chaired professor at MIT, said at the board's meeting in Cocoa Beach today.

“I
know this sounds terribly ambitious and dramatic, but if that is not the point
of human space flight … then what the hell are we doing?” added board member
Jeff Greason, co-founder and chief executive of XCOR Aerospace.

NASA’s
current plan is to develop a replacement spaceship for the retiring shuttle
fleet and design new rockets that can carry cargo to the moon. The goal of the
program was to return astronauts to the lunar surface by 2020.

Funding
for the $108 billion project, ...

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