NASA Responds to Orlando Sentinel Story on Possible Outpost at Earth-Moon L2
NASA has provided the following response to the story published by the Orlando Sentinel on the possibility of NASA building a small space station -- a "gateway spacecraft" -- at the Earth-Moon L2 Lagrange point as the next step in human spaceflight.
“NASA is executing President Obama's ambitious space exploration plan that includes missions around the moon, to asteroids, and ultimately putting humans on Mars. There are many options - and many routes - being discussed on our way to the Red Planet. In addition to the moon and an asteroid, other options may be considered as we look for ways to buy down risk - and make it easier - to get to Mars. We have regular meetings with OMB, OSTP, Congress, and other stakeholders to keep them apprised of our progress on our deep space exploration destinations. This concept is a part of the Voyages document that we mentioned in an earlier Update posted on NASA.gov in June: http://go.nasa.gov/NASAvoyages." Refer to page 26 of the chapter titled, “Habitation and Destination Capabilities.”
President Obama's current policy is to send humans to an asteroid by 2025 as the next human spaceflight destination, leading to human expeditions to orbit Mars in the 2030s, but not to land there. On April 15, 2010, the President said a human landing on Mars would happen someday "And I expect to be around to see it," but was not more specific.
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