January 14, 2004 Washington, D. C. – At NASA’s headquarters this afternoon, President George Bush was greeted by NASA Director Sean O’Keefe and Astronaut Mike Foale, who spoke from the International Space Station (ISS) orbiting Earth.
President Bush began, “Today we set a new course for America’s space program. We will give NASA a new focus. We will build new ships to carry man forward into the universe to gain a new foothold on the moon and prepare for new journeys beyond Earth. … We will expand human presence across our solar system.”
Highlights About the New U. S. Space Program;
- NASA’s $86 billion/year budget will get $1 billion increase over next five years.
- In 2008, robotic missions to moon to prepare for human mission to moon as early as 2015.
- Aging space shuttle fleet will be used to complete construction of ISS by 2010.
- Space shuttles will be retired in 2010.
- Develop new Crew Exploration Vehicles (CEVs) to “ferry astronauts and scientists to ISS and to carry astronauts beyond to other worlds.”
- Manned mission to moon by 2020; eventually establish permanent human lunar base.
- Manned mission to Mars by 2030.
The President said that humans “need to touch and see for ourselves. We do not know where this journey will end, but we do know this: human beings are headed into the cosmos.”
On Mars Today, Spirit Is About to Roll
The robot rover Spirit rolled backwards today for about one foot and did a clockwise pivot of 45 degrees after NASA engineers cut the last cable that has linked Spirit to its air bag-covered lander. “We’re ready to roll,” said flight director, Chris Lewicki.
NASA’s current plan is to start Spirit on its independent geology mission into the Gusev Crater in a few hours, beginning at 3 a.m. ET, early Thursday morning, January 15, 2004. The goal is to explore a crater and hills in the distance in its search for evidence that Gusev Crater once was filled with water. The trip to the crater will take about six weeks. Along the way, Spirit will photograph and take soil and rock samples.
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