Brahmand NewsPrevious Article
Brahmand NewsNext Article
student competition 2020

To the moon, NASA? Not on this budget, experts say

Line Spacing+- AFont Size+- Print This Article

Concept of a future moon landing. Image Credit: NASA

WASHINGTON (PTI): NASA will test the powerful first stage of its new Ares moon rocket on Thursday, a milestone in a program that already has spent USD 7 billion for a rocket that astronauts may never use.

When that first stage is tested, it will be mounted horizontally. The engine will fire, shake and make a lot of noise. But by design, it will not leave the ground. The same could be said for NASA's plans to go to the moon, Mars or beyond Earth orbit. It's not so much a physical challenge for engineers as it is a financial challenge for budgeteers.

The USD 108 billion program to return to the moon by 2020 was started five years ago by then-President George W Bush.

But a special independent panel commissioned by President Barack Obama concluded that the plan cannot work on the existing budget schedule because it probably will cost at least an extra USD 30 billion through 2020.

Even NASA's soon-to-be-retired space shuttle fleet has proved that getting off the ground is not a given, with two launch scrubs this week of a mission to the international space station.

The space station finally is finished. Yet NASA's long-standing plans call for junking the outpost in about seven years. If the agency keeps that schedule, it would mean that in the next decade NASA's astronauts could be going nowhere if there is no moon mission.

Line Spacing+- AFont Size+- Print Article

Other Related News

Soyuz spacecraft brings back Expedition 23 crew

The spacecraft, with three astronauts, has landed safely in eastern Kazakhstan, wrapping up a 163-day mission to the International Space Station.

Upcoming Defence Exhibitions

BRAHMOS Missile Systems


Brahmand World Defence Update 2020

Brahmand World Defence Update

Image Gallery