NASA Boosts Faster Return To The Moon

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Previously reported procedure to develop a replacement to the space shuttle gets a makeover from the agency’s new chief.

Michael Griffin, who replaced Sean O’Keefe as NASA Administrator, sees the four year gap between the shuttle’s retirement and the debut of a new space vehicle as too long.

Initial reports on the process to design a new Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV) called for the acceptance of two proposals by contractors. Lockheed Martin and fifteen other firms submitted proposals.

But the process would see the two proposals flying in 2008 and the successful design ready to begin exploring space in 2014. The existing space shuttle has been schedule for retirement in 2010.

Some Congressional representatives were not pleased by the potential four-year gap. In response, Mr. Griffin has accelerated the timetable.

According to the Washington Post, two designs will be chosen by the end of July of this year, and the winning contractor will be chosen early in 2006.

After a design has been chosen, NASA plans to implement it into the agency’s plans for moon and Mars missions. That implementation will be done by NASA and not by the outside contractor.

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

NASA Boosts Faster Return To The Moon
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