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White House Panel Seeks Input On Spaceflight Plans 224

Neil H. writes "The Augustine Commission, commissioned by the White House and NASA to provide an independent review of the current US human spaceflight program and potential new directions, is seeking public input on a document describing the preliminary beyond-LEO exploration scenarios they're analyzing. The destination-based scenarios, designed with NASA's current budget in mind, range from a Lunar Base (essentially NASA's current plan), to 'Mars First' (human exploration of Mars ASAP), to 'Flexible Path' (initially focused on several destinations in shallow gravity wells, such as Lagrange points, near-Earth asteroids, and the Martian moon Phobos). The Commission is also seeking input on the issues of engaging commercial spaceflight, in-space refueling, and coordinating human and robotic exploration."

Will Mars be a One-way Trip? 724

alexj33 writes "Will humans ever really go to Mars? Let's face it, the obstacles are quite daunting. Not only are there numerous, difficult, technical issues to overcome, but the political will and perseverance of any one nation to undertake such an arduous task is huge. However, one former NASA engineer believes a human mission to Mars is quite possible, and such an event would unify the world as never before. But Jim McLane's proposal includes a couple of major caveats: the trip to Mars should be one-way, and have a crew of only one person."

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