It has already been over 37 years since man left the lunar surface. In January 2004, President Bush announced plans to return to the Moon by 2020. It was the start for the new race to the Moon. Traveling to it will still be expensive, but benefits can outweigh the cost. The technology that are available now would allow to do much more detailed studies. Returning to the Moon is also an important step in the Mars project.
NASA since 2004 has invested $9 billion in developing the Constellation program’s Ares rockets and the Apollo-style Orion crew capsule for missions to the moon, Mars and International Space Station.
In today’s economic times, the tax-paying public is less likely to accept the high costs when they don’t see the direct benefit. President Barack Obama ask Congress to abandon NASA’s current plans to return U.S. astronauts to the moon. Bad news for US. Retreat from decades of leadership in space is a chance for Russia, China, Japan and India and Europe.
Shuttle program will end in 2010 as well and spaceships will be soled. What does all this mean? Commercial crew taxi services or asking russians to launch cargo to the International Space Station? We all know everlasting failures of launching private rockets.
What next? Does anyone wants to buy Hubble telescope?