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Obama wants flights to asteroids around 2025 and Mars in the mid-thirties

The President of the United States visited the Kennedy Space Center on Thursday and promised that the transfer of manned flights to private industry will allow much more work for the employees of the Kennedy Space Center

Barack Obama at the Kennedy Space Center, April 15, 2010. Photo: NASA
Barack Obama at the Kennedy Space Center, April 15, 2010. Photo: NASA

Nancy Atkinson, Universe Today

In a speech at the Kennedy Space Center, US President Barack Obama laid out his plan for NASA, which includes sending astronauts to a near-Earth asteroid around 2025 and a manned flight to Mars in the mid-thirties. "I am 100% committed to NASA's mission and future because expanding our capability in space will continue to serve us in ways we can hardly even imagine."
Obama's plan includes an addition of 6 billion dollars to the NASA budget over the next five years, and the use of upgraded versions of the Orion spacecraft as rescue spacecraft for the International Space Station. Obama also allocated studies for research on the construction of a heavy launcher starting in 2015 or even earlier - to launch astronauts and cargo for missions beyond the moon.
"By 2025, we estimate that a spacecraft designed for long missions will allow us to launch the first mission beyond the lunar orbit into deep space," Obama said. "We can start by sending astronauts to an asteroid for the first time in history. By the mid-30s I believe we will be able to send humans into orbit around Mars and back safely to Earth, and a Mars landing will follow."
Obama said that his plan to partner with commercial space companies will allow more missions to be launched from the Kennedy Space Center, an acceleration of the development of advanced technologies that will allow the development of good space transportation systems and shorten the dependence on Russian rockets. The president did not mention at all the possibility of extending the space shuttle programs, one of the rumors that floated before his speech.

"My plan will create over 2,500 jobs along the Space Coast in the next two years compared to the previous administration's plan. I am offering 40 million dollars to develop an initiative that will lead to the creation of jobs in the area and I am asking that the eight committee that includes people from NASA and other government agencies bring the findings by August 15th. We are interested in utilizing the skilled workforce to take advantage of new opportunities in the space industry."

In his speech after the president, said Norman Augustin - who was at the head The Augustine Committee that dealt with analyzing the future of NASA, because the new plan is very close to one of the alternative options he proposed - option 5B) which would transform NASA from a body dealing with transportation to a body dealing with research. Augustine also pointed out that we seem more eager to accept current Russian technology than to encourage the future of our own private industry.”

President Barack Obama tours SpaceX's private rocket complex at the Kennedy Space Center on April 15, 2010, accompanied by the company's CEO, Elon Musk. Official White House photo
President Barack Obama tours SpaceX's private rocket complex at the Kennedy Space Center on April 15, 2010, accompanied by the company's CEO, Elon Musk. Official White House photo

White House science adviser John Holden said Obama's plan would speed up the path to space and have more, closer and cheaper missions. According to him, this is a visionary approach in that it expands the capacity of private companies and will allow NASA to allocate resources to deep space exploration."

For the news in Universe Today

25 תגובות

  1. It's a shame they don't invest in particle research more. Astrophysics is important, but elementary physics is more important. It is the basis for the entire nanotechnology industry that will dramatically affect our near future.

    More particle accelerators, more machines and more research are needed.

  2. Correction - "But it's nicer to read the Hebrew translation"

  3. Anonymous user Thank you very much for the translation, although I already read the original yesterday, but it's nice to read more of the Hebrew translation, well done for the effort 🙂

  4. Finally a space program with an inspiring vision
    Elon Musk

    The moon landing was one of humanity's greatest achievements. In a thousand years, when most of the twentieth century will have turned into a few footnotes known only to a limited number of historians, they will still remember that in this century humans first set foot on a celestial body. This is only 66 years after the first flight of the Wright brothers.
    In the 41 years since the moon landing, we have yet to better that feat. In fact, our abilities have deteriorated markedly to a level that would have shocked people living in the late 60s. As of today, we were supposed to set up bases on the moon, maybe on Mars and send humans on long-range journeys to the outer planets. Instead the American space program concentrated on sending astronauts into orbit around the Earth. Even this "achievement" will end at the end of the year when the space shuttles are retired.
    In 2003, after the Columbia disaster, President Bush decided on the development of an alternative to the space shuttles, which was based on the development of a rocket named Ares and the Orion spacecraft. It is important to note that the Ares/Orion program was intended (like the shuttle program) to send astronauts into orbit around the Earth. Despite this, many in the media mistakenly assumed that the program was intended (and capable) of reaching the moon. As is frequently the case with government programs, the Ares/Orion program was delayed for several years and costs were inflated by tens of billions of dollars.
    When President Obama canceled the program at the beginning of the year, it was expected that the program would not be implemented until 2017 with an additional investment of 50 billion dollars. In addition, the cost of each flight was estimated at 1.5 billion dollars compared to the XNUMX billion dollar flight cost of the space shuttle. Moreover, the Orion spacecraft were designed to carry only four astronauts compared to seven astronauts on the Space Shuttle. Also, the cargo carrying capacity of Orion spacecraft is extremely limited.
    President Obama came to the obvious conclusion that spending 50 billion dollars to develop a spacecraft that is only able to carry 50% of the weight of the space shuttle and costs 50% more to operate is not the most efficient way of allocating resources. To quote a member of the Augustina Commission that was established by the President to examine (among others) the Ares/Orion program "Even with Santa Claus bringing us the perfect spacecraft tomorrow, our next step would be to cancel the program, because we cannot afford the annual costs necessary to operate ".
    Canceling the program was therefore a matter of time and fortunately there is a president with the political courage to do the right thing - today. A less courageous president would have delayed the repeal until after the next election (2012) while wasting billions of dollars. It was disappointing to see that many members of Congress did not have the same courage. Especially a certain senator reached new heights of hypocrisy when he claimed that the public option is bad for health but good for space!
    Fortunately, as a result of the freeing up of resources due to the cancellation of the Ares/Orion program there is new hope for a bright future for the space program. The program in Hadha calls for harnessing the enormous resources of the American private market in order to create cheap and reliable rockets that will launch people into near-Earth orbit. Handing over the development of means of transportation to orbit around the Earth to commercial companies (as envisioned by NASA and the US Federal Aviation Authority) will free up resources for NASA to develop interstellar means of transportation. This is an essential step if we want to reach the next leap of the human race in space exploration - Mars.
    Today, the President will outline an ambitious new plan that will change the destiny of the human race. I (ie Elon Musk) believe that Obama's speech will be considered as important as Kennedy's speech at Rice University in 1962. For the first time since the Apollo program, Americans will have a space program that will inspire and excite all those who look to the stars. But even more important is the fact that Obama's plan will work.

  5. That's what I meant, of course it's not him, I estimate that he doesn't have a Bentoijn account... 🙂 But the things are important, and on occasion it's worth translating them.

  6. Alon Musk's reaction is real.

    Of course, I don't assume that he works on the science site, with all due respect to the site, but these are his words from his blog.

  7. One of the reasons, precisely because of people who think like me, humanity is progressing and technology is developing, the pressure of building spaceships and sophisticated robotic vehicles that will carry out the research work on distant stars instead of humans is a positive pressure that pushes towards technological efficiency and progress, these are the things that drive science and technology, and certainly There is nothing here to do with primitiveness or caves, it is not clear where you got this nonsense from.

  8. First of all, fight Midbor, flood the Sahara, plant trees in the desert, stop deforestation, clean the oceans and settle in them. Fight ignorance seriously. Then you can fly wherever you want. Even until Jehopitz.

  9. Robots LOL. To Mr. Yaniv if you want to settle for pictures, your problem. If all people thought like you, we would still be stuck in a cave.

  10. Manned flights to space are simply a colossal waste of money and resources! Especially in the technologically advanced age in which we live, it is better to invest in robots that will carry out missions in space and the exploration of distant stars, that will scan their surface, perform tests and transmit the data in high quality back to Earth, you can build robots that will bring samples back here for testing in laboratories, they can be controlled or From control rooms on Earth or to be completely autonomous based on artificial intelligence, a field that is starting to be very, very developed in recent years.

    When you send people into space, the process is much more expensive, you have to build a lot of life support systems and safety measures, which is really an unnecessary waste of money, robots can do an equally effective job, if you build them properly, and they have the added advantage of exploring hostile environments that humans would not survive in .

    It is better for NASA to concentrate on science and space exploration, rather than public relations in the style of the 70s.

  11. A- There is a huge waste in sending astronauts into space.
    B - For a small fraction of today's budget it is possible to create permanent, unmanned stations in space.
    C- Setting goals for another 15 years, without setting goals for increasing spacecraft speed, is a mistake.

  12. All in all good ideas, only that after this term someone else will be chosen and the plans will probably change, be delayed or canceled.
    I hope they invest more in developing robots to explore the solar system. Establishing an unmanned base on Mars. A permanent space station around Saturn, to study Europa and Titan. It will also be possible to start with the earthing of Mars. and so'



    Thursday, April 15, 2010

    The Apollo Moon landing was one of humanity's greatest achievements. Millennia from now, when the vast majority of the 20th century is reduced to a few footnotes known only to erudite scholars of history, they will still remember that it was when we first set foot upon a heavenly body. It was a mere 66 years after the first powered airplane flight by the Wright brothers.

    In the 41 years that have passed since 1969, we have yet to surpass that achievement in human spaceflight. Since then, our capability has actually declined considerably and to a degree that would yield shocked disbelief from anyone in that era. By now, we were supposed to have a base on the Moon, perhaps even on Mars, and have sent humans traveling on great odysseys to the outer planets. Instead, we have been confined to low Earth orbit and even that ends this year with the retirement of the Space Shuttle.

    In 2003, following the Columbia accident, President Bush began development of a system to replace the Shuttle, called the Ares I rocket and Orion spacecraft. It is important to note that this too would only have been able to reach low Earth orbit. Many in the media mistakenly assumed it was capable of reaching the Moon. As is not unusual with large government programs, the schedule slipped by several years and costs ballooned by tens of billions.

    By the time President Obama canceled Ares I/Orion earlier this year, the schedule had already slipped five years to 2017 and completing development would have required another $50 billion. Moreover, the cost per flight, inclusive of overhead, was estimated to be at least $1.5 billion compared to the $1 billion of Shuttle, despite carrying only four people to Shuttle's seven and almost no cargo.

    The President quite reasonably concluded that spending $50 billion to develop a vehicle that would cost 50% more to operate, but carry 50% less payload was perhaps not the best possible use of funds. To quote a member of the Augustine Commission, which was convened by the President to analyze Ares/Orion, "If Santa Claus brought us the system tomorrow, fully developed, and the budget didn't change, our next action would have to be to cancel it,” because we can't afford the annual operating costs.

    Cancellation was therefore simply a matter of time and thankfully we have a President with the political courage to do the right thing sooner rather than later. We can ill afford the expense of an "Apollo on steroids", as a former NASA Administrator referred to the Ares/Orion program. A lesser President might have waited until after the upcoming election cycle, not caring that billions more dollars would be wasted. It was disappointing to see how many in Congress did not possess this courage. One senator in particular was determined to achieve a new altitude record in hypocrisy, claiming that the public option was bad in healthcare, but good in space!

    Thankfully, as a result of funds freed up by this cancellation, there is now hope for a bright future in space exploration. The new plan is to harness our nation's unparalleled system of free enterprise (as we have done in all other modes of transport), to create far more reliable and affordable rockets. Handing over Earth orbit transport to American commercial companies, overseen of course by NASA and the FAA, will free up the NASA resources necessary to develop interplanetary transport technologies. This is critically important if we are to reach Mars, the next giant leap in human exploration of the Universe.

    Today, the President will articulate an ambitious and exciting new plan that will alter our destiny as a species. I believe this address could be as important as President Kennedy's 1962 speech at Rice University. For the first time since Apollo, our country will have a plan for space exploration that inspires and excites all who look to the stars. Even more important, it will work.


  14. The main expression is a budget, so as long as there is a monetary economy that monitors progress in all areas and especially in space technology, it will remain primitive.
    The big problem of humanity is not the inability to advance technologically, but the control of the economy and the distribution of resources in a poor, incorrect and fixed way.

    When the majority of humanity is busy and preoccupied with how to simply pass the time because almost everything humans do is mainly to waste time about the same as the Israeli government.

    And of course it starts with the smallest things and stems from the monetary economy for example:
    Most of the service providers are not necessary and their role can be performed automatically and almost without human touch.
    For example banking companies, insurance, accounting, government offices, shops and many more.
    Even in the agricultural and manufacturing system, these people are hardly needed in the inspection city.
    And so it is possible to direct many more people to science and engineering and increase the progress many times over.
    Of course, all of this is prevented by the economy practiced today where everyone tries to do less and earn more, even though there has long been no sense for economic profit beyond a certain limit, it is neither useful nor purposeful, these are just numbers that have no use, this is greed for hearing and the inhibition of evolutionary development.

    One can ask if this is what will help us to have bankers, economists, accountants, sellers, cashiers...
    There is no need for them, we have endless resources in the throne universe, it is only a limitation that must be removed, it is a completely virtual word from a long time ago, no one understands what it does.
    Does it really make sense to create cars that waste an astronomical amount of resources in order to move one person a few kilometers? It doesn't make sense if they used all the resources of creating the cars ever and operating them (many times sit because you are either standing in traffic or filling up or looking for parking or in a garage or in a test, etc.) could already reach not only this Mars, in my opinion, the moon Europa and send unmanned spacecraft to nearby star systems.

    But of course we will not produce and throw away cars, we will produce a lot of things that are only destroyed and we will produce them again and again so that the "economy" will flourish so that the giant companies will be billionaires, trillionaires, quadrillionaires, etc., etc. Why is it good, what does it contribute.
    Yes, it's true, nothing, just a passing craze.

    Good luck to all of us and we hope that the monetary economy will finish its respectable chapter soon

  15. After he made countless cuts, he starts to take pride in the fact that he is "promoting space exploration"??? According to the original plan, we were supposed to return to the moon at least one more time! And a permanent base on the moon in 2025! Why did he cancel the ORION program??
    Barak Hussein Obama is a blabbermouth, liar, and corrupt.

  16. What a terrible amount of crackpots come to the site! Soon they will outnumber us!

  17. One of the KPS, he wants to outsource to NASA. It's a good thing. More competition in the free market and all.

  18. Hah 6 billion in 5 years, what a zero instead of doubling the NASA budget, he is busy with unnecessary squabbling.

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