Report: Now that election's decided, NASA may announce new manned lunar mission spoke to space policy expert John Logsdon, a professor emeritus at George Washington University, about rumors that NASA may soon unveil new manned moon missions.

"Plans have probably already been cleared with the Obama Administration but have been kept under wraps in case Republican candidate Mitt Romney won," according to

As the Independent notes, these comments sync with remarks by NASA deputy chief Lori Garver at a conference in September. (via Jenny Winder)


  1. Cue the Newt Gingrich jokes…

    All kidding aside, this is wonderful news.  I hope it’s the beginning of a permanent human presence on the Moon.

  2. Man-in-space is so 1960s — and so expensive.
    But NASA continues to see it as an essential part of the PR campaign for taxpayer funding.
    Every dime and every launch-ounce invested in keeping a human alive is a drain on achieving mission goals that can be done remotely.

    1. I certainly understand the sentiment, especially from the practicality and budgetary position. However, rovers and sensors can’t replace human observation and, even though much of the science can be done remotely, human experience still has power that even something as cool as Curiosity can’t provide.

      1. I certainly didn’t want to imply manned missions should be permanently abandoned. And I don’t discount the value of human presence. But in the nation’s current financial condition there’s no bucks for Buck Rogers and the available funding should be spent more productively.
        You want to go to Mars? Develop a faster inter-planetary propulsion technology.

        1. If you doubled NASA’s funding, it would consume 1% of the federal budget. In other words, NASA is a very, very cost effective program, considering the price vs spinoffs. To claim that there is no money to spare for NASA is nonsense, considering how little is spent on it in the first place. And developing faster space travel costs more money.

        2.  How do we do that without more space missions?

          There’s a very good chance that zero-g research will lead to more cool tech, but as more money gets put into space tech, more crazy stuff will result. We don’t need a high-speed rocket for a robotic mission to Mars, but we could sure use one for a manned mission, bone-density loss and all that. Also, putting a station at one of the Lagrange points makes everything else cheaper and easier. Such a station would probably need to be run by humans.

    2. I don’t completely disagree, but do you have an alternative PR solution that works as well as humans in space? I mean sure people marvel at pictures taken by Hubble and the Mars rovers but can that really compare to human boots on the ground? Especially to generations that have never experienced it first hand.

      1.  Having a person up in space talking to us back on Earth is Much more inspiring than just seeing photos taken by a robot. We can relate to it much easier, we can see how wonderful and exciting it is by hearing it in their voice and we want to do it to.

        I for one would happily take a one-way trip to Mars, pity I don’t have the skills to get selected for that trip.

    3. let’s just wait until the robots can do the job of a human, making all the decisions in situ and oh wait that’s AI.
      We’ll solve the problem by waiting for another, more difficult problem to be solved first.

    1. shit with all the racist nuts pissed about re-election I hope no one else intends to JFK his legacy.

  3. You know what would be better than manned missions? Advanced unmanned missions. I say don’t go back to the moon until there’s a fully equipped moon base and a full tank of rocket fuel waiting on the surface.

    The technology we need to develop is robotics which are capable of surveying, mining, refining and manufacturing in space and/or the moon. Robots making robots and turning the asteroids into whatever infrastructure or consumer goods we want or require is the long term goal, the moon would be a good first step.

    1. It is even better to have robots and humans on the spot to improvise and fix the stuff the robots cant fix or lack the software to fix.

  4. What’s the point in only sending robots if we’re never going to live there? We need people, real, live, breathing, feeling people, to explore and see these wonders. We need them to come back, and tell us what it was like. We need our children to hear those words and look to the stars and sky. Science is more than numbers and results – it’s elevating our species to a new level by application of thought and curiosity.

  5. A coherent space strategy cannot be done in 4 year chunks. This moon shot is vaporware, because there’s no way it can be finished before the next clown takes office.

     If the plan is so good that it can endure a change of president, then it wouldn’t have needed to be postponed until after the election.

    Promising us the moon has become yet another empty campaign practice.

    1.  Yeah, but…uh…RTFA?

      “Plans have probably already been cleared with the Obama Administration but have been kept under wraps in case Republican candidate Mitt Romney won,” according to

      Wasn’t a campaign promise, at least this time around.  Besides, the moon has already been JFK’d, and that mission crossed presidential administration boundaries.

  6. Are they restarting the Ares and Constellation programs that were shut down in 2010? They were designed to get us back to the moon and then on to Mars.  

  7. I guess this means that NASA will now be discarding their alternate plan, formulated in case of a Republican victory, of sending a manned mission to Heaven. 

  8. Launch a direct to Phobos mission NOW! NASA planned to do this with a modified Apollo capsule + 3rd stage in the 70s so we have no excuse not to do it asap.

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