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Old 12-04-2006, 06:09 PM   #1
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(AP) WASHINGTON NASA announced Monday it will establish an international base camp on one of the moon's poles, permanently staffing it by 2024, four years after astronauts return to the moon.

It is a sweeping departure from the Apollo moon missions of the 1960s and represents a new phase of space exploration after space shuttles are retired in 2010.

After consulting more than 1,000 experts from 14 different countries, NASA decided on what deputy NASA chief Shana Dale called a "fundamental lunar approach" that is sharply different from its previous moon missions in nearly everything but the shape of the ship going there.

NASA chose a "lunar outpost" over the short expeditions of the '60s. Apollo flights were all around the center of the moon, but NASA decided to go to the moon's poles because they are best for longer-term settlements. And this time NASA is welcoming other nations on its journey.

The more likely of the two lunar destinations is the moon's south pole because it's sunlit for three-quarters of the time, making solar power easier, and has possible resources to mine in dark areas nearby, said associate deputy administrator Doug Cooke.

To get to the moon, NASA envisions an all-purpose lunar lander that could touch down anywhere and can be the first part of a base camp, said exploration chief Scott Horowitz.

"The nickname I use for the lander is, it's a pickup truck," Horowitz said in a Monday news conference from Houston. "You can put whatever you want in the back. You can take it to wherever you want. So you can deliver cargo, crew, do it robotically, do it with humans on board. These are the types of things we're looking for in this system."

In the wake of the space shuttle Columbia accident, President Bush announced in 2004 a plan to return astronauts to the moon by 2020. His plan would take 16 years, twice as long as NASA's first trip to the moon took in planning. NASA has refused to estimate a price tag for the project.

(© 2006 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)
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Old 12-04-2006, 06:13 PM   #2
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I hope we do it. If it does take until 2024 that's not bad. I think they should call it "Moon Base Alpha".
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Old 12-04-2006, 06:16 PM   #3
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Old 12-04-2006, 07:25 PM   #4
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Did this come from or The Daily Show? Are you honestly telling me President Bush's plan is for NASA to take a pick-up truck to the moon? Where's the hidden camera, I'm being Punk'd aren't I?

I predict they'll be selling ad space by 2025...

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Old 12-04-2006, 07:45 PM   #5
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It really is sad when you can't tell if it's a Bushy or Onion and yet, he's still El PRESIDENTE!

I wonder how many TRILLIONS he wants to throw at this? Man LOVES to spend da money. Even 20years after he's gone. anyone?
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Old 12-05-2006, 10:08 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by TheScionicMan
Did this come from or The Daily Show? Are you honestly telling me President Bush's plan is for NASA to take a pick-up truck to the moon? Where's the hidden camera, I'm being Punk'd aren't I?
Interstate 8 was supposed to go to Hawaii. We can see how that worked out...
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Old 12-05-2006, 10:17 PM   #7
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I heard this on my local news this morning, so it is true.

I wonder if Raplh ever send Alice to the moon? Like he said, "One of these days Alice, pow straight to the moon!"

Last edited by WolfViper; 12-05-2006 at 10:23 PM..
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