News of the WeekU.S. Space Policy

Obama Backs New Launcher And Bigger NASA Budget

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Science  01 Jan 2010:
Vol. 327, Issue 5961, pp. 18
DOI: 10.1126/science.327.5961.18

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President Barack Obama plans to ask Congress to cancel work on a new rocket and instead fund a heavy-lift launcher to take humans to the moon, asteroids, and the moons of Mars. The president outlined the new direction for the U.S. human space flight program on 16 December at a meeting in the White House with NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, according to officials familiar with the discussion. NASA would see its 2011 budget grow by $1 billion both to get the new launcher on track and to bolster the agency's fleet of robotic Earth-monitoring spacecraft.