No ESAS-2 Needed

NASA to Review Human Spaceflight, NY Times

"The expansive, multimonth technical study, still in the preliminary stages, might be similar to the Exploration Systems Architecture Study that in 2005 settled on the design of the agency's program to return astronauts to the Moon by 2020."

Keith's note: Forget the long-rumored, ponderous "ESAS 2" activity folks. It is not really needed. Charlie Bolden and a small team have already (quietly) put the basic architecture in place. Think LEO, cis-lunar, near-Earth, and inner solar system utilization and exploration of space - all with a significant, paradigm-shifting emphasis on the use and participation of the private sector and (eventually) partnerships with other nations. Look back a few years at previous "architectures" and you will get the basic idea. All Bolden's team needed to wait for was the final word from the White House.

After half a decade, NASA's human space flight program may have unfortunately "lost the Moon" -- but it may be about to gain the solar system - that is, if Congress wants it to happen. Stay tuned.

Keith's update: Let me add (with a prod from Anne Spudis) is that I think it is short-sighted to exclude the Moon as part of the so-called "Flexible Path". We have unfinished business on the Moon - and the resources needed to fully utilize the inner solar system are waiting there for us to utilize. One would hope that the "Flexible Path" is truly "flexible" and not just this Administration's euphemism for "not ESAS".

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This page contains a single entry by Keith Cowing published on January 29, 2010 10:46 AM.

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