Obama Gives NASA Bigger Budget, Backs New Rocket, Cancels Ares 1

Sad news, space cowboys: According to NASA insiders, Ares 1 will be no more. Good news, space cowboys! According to the same sources, Obama has decided that it's worth investing in space. The man got a plan:

Reporting on a White House and NASA meeting last Wednesday, sources say that the President has decided to give NASA an additional $US1 billion in 2011. The extra funding will serve to create a new heavy lift rocket, as well as to increase the fleet of satellites controlling Earth's land, oceans and atmosphere.

The objective is to have the heavy rocket ready for a 2018 launch, while Europe, Japan and Canada would develop a lunar lander and moon base modules. While this may make some NASA fans sad - after the US single-handedly arrived at the Moon - I'm convinced that the collaboration with other countries is the only way to move forward in manned space exploration.

I mean, the Klingons will be here any minute, people. Let's get on with the program here. I get to be Kirk? [Science Magazine]

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