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Griffin Says NASA Moon Return Possible In 2015

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Speaking at the biennial Paris Air Show, the new NASA administrator places the earliest moon return at ten years in the future.

And that mission could be followed by a multinational space station being constructed on the lunar surface. President Bush has stated an American goal of returning humans to the moon by 2020.

Griffin Says NASA Moon Return Possible In 2015

“I don’t have a specific date, but sometime between 2015, which is the earliest we think we can do it, and 2020, which would be the latest,” said Michael Griffin, the new administrator of NASA, when asked at the Paris Air Show about NASA plans to return to the moon.

“We have enough money to put people back on the moon in that timeframe,” he said. “The model that I have is that we should build a lunar outpost similar to the kinds of multinational outposts we have in Antarctica.”

According to Reuters, NASA will be making decisions in the next few months on what craft will be used to return to the moon. Ultimately, the space agency hopes to begin planning a manned mission to Mars as well.

Mr. Griffin said: “I am hoping we will have some fairly firm conclusions by the end of this summer.”

The space shuttle fleet has been scheduled for retirement in 2010. Preliminary plans called for a new craft, the crew exploration vehicle, to be in service by 2014. Mr. Griffin and Senate leaders found the four-year gap unacceptable.

In response, Mr. Griffin announced plans to accelerate the bidding and selection process for prospective contractors for the CEV. With multiple sources disclosing the upcoming ouster of around 20 senior NASA managers, the new administrator seems to be intent on bringing on board those who share his vision for NASA.

David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business. Email him here.

Griffin Says NASA Moon Return Possible In 2015
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