After months of research, public hearings, and debate, the NASA Review of U.S. Human Space Flight Plans Committee, also known as the Augustine Committee, has finally submitted its recommendations to the White House.
Some people may think locking some volunteers in a tin can for a couple of months is enough preparation for a flight to Mars, but the NASA panel reviewing the agency's manned space program envisions a more ambitious set of training wheels: docking with asteroids and a flyby of Venus.
Of the many obstacles preventing manned travel to Mars, spending over a year weightless ranks as one of the biggest. Extended weightlessness degrades the muscles and bones of astronauts so thoroughly that by the time they get to Mars, they may not have the strength to walk on it.
Where’s the money for President Bush’s bold new vision going to come from?
By Dawn StoverPosted 04.15.2004 at 3:15 pm 0 Comments
He's not likely to raid Social Security for it—so NASA will have to scare up most of the cash. Of the $12 billion allotted for the first five years of the new Moon and Mars exploration plan, $11 billion will be siphoned from existing space programs.