Sources: Obama Wants to Cancel Moon Program, Spend $6 Billion on Commercial Space

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Obama officials: Ares dead and $6bn destined for commercial rockets
Orlando Sentinel

Administration officials and a former astronaut on Wednesday called  President Barack Obama’s plans for NASA “exciting” and “bold”, saying that he was replacing a failed moon program with a new $6 billion project to develop commercial rockets capable of taking astronauts into orbit.

They said it was all part of a broader plan to hike NASA’s budget by an average of $1.3 billion annually over the next five years. Part of that increase would cover a new technology research and development program, extension of the life of the International Space Station from 2015 to 2020, and investments in infrastructure at Kennedy Space Center to modernize the facility to maintain it as America’s premier spaceport.

But conspicuous by its absence was any mention of a commitment to develop a new government owned and operated “heavy-lift” rocket capable of taking humans beyond the low Earth Orbit.

The news teleconference was organized for a few select Florida reporters in response to the Orlando Sentinel’s report on Tuesday which said that the White House budget next week would kill NASA’s plans to return astronauts to the moon and scrap the rockets being developed to take them there.

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