Thursday, February 14, 2008

Stanford Space Panel: Send Astronauts to Mars and Beyond

A conference that has drawn flack from Michael Griffin has come to some conclusions that the NASA administrator would probably agree with:

  • It is time to go beyond LEO with people as explorers. The purpose of sustained human exploration is to go to Mars and beyond. The significance of the Moon and other intermediate destinations is to serve as steppingstones on the path to that goal.
  • Bringing together scientists, astronauts, engineers, policy analysts, and industry executives in a single conversation created an environment where insights across traditional boundaries occurred.
  • Human space exploration is undertaken to serve national and international interests. It provides important opportunities to advance science, but science is not the primary motivation.
  • Sustained human exploration requires enhanced international collaboration and offers the United States an opportunity for global leadership.
  • NASA has not received the budget increases to support the mandated human exploration program as well as other vital parts of the NASA portfolio, including space science, aeronautics, technology requirements, and especially Earth observations, given the urgency of global climate change.
Use the links to the left to contact the President, Congress and presidential candidates to call their attention to the budget shortfall and the opportunity that the USA has to explore space if our nation chooses to. Tell them that you believe that we should.

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