Obama Set To Declare Course For Nasa

12.30.09 | FL News Team

The future aim for the planets and other heavenly bodies by NASA is expected to soon be determined by President Obama. "USA Today" reports the decision before Obama is whether to boost the space agency's budget to provide funding for such things as sending astronauts to the moon or Mars. An announcement, based on a group of advisers in the administration and Congress, is likely to be made by the time Obama releases his fiscal 2011 budget in early February. Democratic Representative Bart Gordon of Tennessee, the chairman of the House Science and Technology Committee views the next NASA authorization as one that will establish its direction for the next decade or two.

A report in October from the Review of U.S. Human Space Flight Committee noted NASA is on what it called an "unsustainable trajectory" to move forward with ambitious missions due to its present funding. It suggested a three-billion-dollar boost to the agency's annual 19-billion-dollar budget. The added funding would help set up such missions as circumnavigating the moon and Mars, landing on one of the moons of the Red Planet and landing or docking with an asteroid during the next 15 years.