Now that the US elections are over attentions may soon be turning to a new manned mission to the moon.
According to space policy expert Professor John Logsdon, it is likely that plans for the next step in NASA’s manned space programme were agreed upon before the election but delayed until it was known if Obama would be re-elected. The plans are believed to involve a return trip to the moon and a possible manned outpost there as a stepping stone for a mission to an asteroid in 2025. The ultimate goal would be to then send humans to Mars by the 2030’s.
Recent NASA announcements also seem to confirm this timeline. “We just recently delivered a comprehensive report to Congress outlining our destinations which makes clear that SLS will go way beyond low-Earth orbit to explore the expansive space around the Earth-moon system, near-Earth asteroids, the moon, and ultimately, Mars,” said NASA’s deputy chief Lori Garver during a conference in September.
NASA is serious about sending astronauts back to the moon’s neighborhood and will likely unveil its ambitious plans soon now that President Barack Obama has been re-elected, experts say.
The new plans have probably already been cleared with the Obama Administration but have been kept under wraps in case Republican candidate Mitt Romney won Tuesday night’s (Nov. 6) presidential election, said space policy expert John Logsdon, a professor emeritus at George Washington University.
We may know soon enough. NASA higher-ups have dropped hints recently that a big announcement may indeed be in the offing before too much longer.