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World

NASA rules out manned missions to Moon in near future
PTI
Washington, April 09, 2013
First Published: 15:31 IST(9/4/2013)
Last Updated: 15:32 IST(9/4/2013)

US won't be repeating its historic one small step anytime soon!

NASA is not sending any astronauts to land on the Moon in near future, the US space agency chief Charles Bolden has said.

The space agency won't lead the way back to the Moon in the foreseeable future in order to maintain its focus on manned missions to an asteroid, and eventually Mars, Bolden said during a joint meeting of the Space Studies Board and the Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board in Washington last week, according to SpacePolitics.com.

"NASA is not going to the moon with a human as a primary project probably in my lifetime. And the reason is, we can only do so many things," he said.

Instead, he said the focus would remain on human missions to asteroids and to Mars.

US President Barack Obama had formally announced the goal of a human mission to an asteroid by 2025 in his speech at the Kennedy Space Center in 2010, it said.

"We intend to do that, and we think it can be done," Bolden said.

Bolden apparently made it clear that NASA does not plan to lead the charge back to the moon's surface.

"I don't know how to say it any more plainly. NASA does not have a human lunar mission in its portfolio and we are not planning for one," Bolden added.

On July 20, 1969, NASA's Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first humans ever to walk on the Moon.

Five more successful lunar landings followed until 1972, when the series ended with NASA's Apollo 17 mission.


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